Nation & World Briefs 12-31-12 Nine are killed in Oregon tour bus accident on I-84

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PENDLETON, Ore. -- A tour bus careened through a guardrail along an icy Oregon highway and several hundred feet down a steep embankment Sunday, killing nine people and injuring about 20 others, authorities said.

The charter bus carrying about 40 people lost control around 10:30 a.m. on the snow- and ice-covered lanes of Interstate 84, according to the Oregon State Police.

The bus came to rest at the bottom of a snowy slope. More than a dozen rescue workers descended the hill and used ropes to help retrieve people from the wreckage in freezing weather. The bus driver was among the survivors, but had not yet spoken to police because of the severity of the injuries the driver had suffered.

Lt. Greg Hastings said the accident happened at the west end of the Blue Mountains, and west of an area called "Deadman Pass." Stretches of highway in the rural area of east Oregon tend to be icy in winter months.

Umatilla County Emergency Manager Jack Remillard said the bus was owned by Mi Joo travel in Vancouver, B.C., and state police said the bus was en route from Las Vegas to Vancouver.

Maine landlord charged with murder: James Pak, 74, was charged in the shooting deaths of two tenants inside an apartment he rented out at his home, possibly over a dispute about where they parked their cars during a snowstorm, Maine state police said Sunday in Portland. Pak was arrested at about 10 p.m. Saturday following a standoff at his suburban neighborhood home in Biddeford, about 15 miles south of Portland, police said. He is charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of Derrick Thompson, 19, and Thompson's girlfriend, 18-year-old Alivia Welch.

Hillary hospitalized with blood clot: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital after the discovery of a blood clot stemming from the concussion she sustained earlier this month. Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines said her doctors discovered the clot during a follow-up exam Sunday.

Family pleas for pregnant woman: The family of an ailing, pregnant American woman missing in Afghanistan with her Canadian husband has broken months of silence over the mysterious case, making public appeals for the couple's safe return. James Coleman, the father of 27-year-old Caitlan Coleman, told Associated Press over the weekend that she was due to deliver in January and needed urgent medical attention for a liver ailment that required regular checkups. He said he and his wife, Lyn, last heard from their son-in-law Josh on Oct. 8 from an Internet cafe in what he described as an "unsafe" part of Afghanistan.

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