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Nation & World Briefs


Thursday, May 17, 2018
School bus ripped apart in dump truck crash, killing 2

MOUNT OLIVE, N.J. — A school bus taking children on a field trip to a New Jersey historic site collided with a dump truck Thursday, ripping the bus apart and killing a teacher and student.

The crash left the bus lying on its side on the guardrail of Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, its undercarriage and front end sheared off and its steering wheel exposed. Some of the victims crawled out of the emergency exit in the back and an escape hatch on the roof. More than 40 people were taken to area hospitals.

“I heard a scraping sound and we toppled over the highway,” said student Theo Ancevski, who was sitting in the fourth row of the bus and was treated at a hospital for cuts and scrapes. “A lot of people were screaming and hanging from their seatbelts.”

The front end of the red dump truck was mangled in the wreck, which took place about 50 miles west of New York. The truck was registered to Mendez Trucking, of Belleville, and had “In God We Trust” emblazoned on the back of it.

Hawaii volcano erupts anew, spews huge plume of ash into sky

HONOLULU — Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted anew early Thursday with little sound and only modest fury, spewing a steely gray plume of ash about 30,000 feet into the sky that began raining down on a nearby town.

The explosion at the summit came shortly after 4 a.m. following two weeks of volcanic activity that sent lava flows into neighborhoods and destroyed at least 26 homes.

Geologists have warned that the volcano could become even more violent, with increasing ash production and the potential that future blasts could hurl boulders the size of cows from the summit.

Toby Hazel, who lives in Pahoa, near the mountain, said she heard “a lot of booming sounds” Thursday. Those came after days of earthquakes. “It’s just time to go — it really, really is,” she said, preparing to leave town. “I feel so sorry for the people who don’t go, because they don’t have the money, or don’t want to go to a shelter and leave their houses.”

Trump defends ‘animals’ remark, says he’ll always use it

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday defended his use of the word “animals” to describe some immigrants who enter the country illegally, saying he would continue to use the term to refer to violent gang members in spite of a sharp rebuke from Democratic leaders.

Answering a reporter’s question during a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump said his comment a day earlier had clearly been directed at members of the MS-13 gang.

“MS-13, these are animals coming onto our country,” Trump said, repeating his language from Wednesday. He added: “When the MS-13 comes in, when the other gang members come into our country, I refer to them as animals. And guess what? I always will.”

Trump has been under fire for comments he made Wednesday while railing against California for its so-called sanctuary immigration policies. Trump was speaking at a roundtable with local California officials when he responded to a comment that had referenced MS-13.

“We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them,” Trump said after Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims complained about state restrictions that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities. “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals.”

Beset by leaks, White House talks firings, not apologies

WASHINGTON — A West Wing aide’s morbid remark about gravely ill Sen. John McCain has not yielded widespread White House soul searching. Instead it has produced a push to fire those responsible for leaking that story and others that have bedeviled President Donald Trump’s administration.

Nearly a week after Kelly Sadler dismissed McCain’s opinion on Trump’s CIA nominee during a closed-door meeting by saying “he’s dying anyway,” a torrent of criticism has rained down upon the White House. The administration has repeatedly declined to publicly apologize, but the fallout has shaken the West Wing, where the focus remains on who leaked to the media.

Trump is demanding that whoever let the story go public be fired, according to a White House official and an outside Trump adviser. Neither was authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

Leaks have long been a problem for Trump’s White House, but this one has drawn particular scrutiny within the building due to the staying power of the damaging story. Several senior officials, including chief of staff John Kelly and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, have called closed-door meetings to warn junior staffers that a shake-up could be in the offing.

From Associated Press