Nation & World Briefs 06-30-14

Published:

NEW ORLEANS -- Two men exchanged gunfire early Sunday on the city's always-crowded Bourbon Street in the celebrated French Quarter and nine people were shot in the crossfire, including two who were critically wounded, police said.

Images captured from a surveillance camera above a bar showed people running down the famous street in the chaos of the shooting at 2:45 a.m., NOLA.com The Times-Picayune reported (http://bit.ly/1iRk304). Police and emergency workers responded immediately and attended to victims as other revelers looked on.

New Orleans Police Chief Ronal Serpas said six victims were hospitalized in stable condition. The other victim's condition was not available. Some of them were tourists. Their names have not been released.

The victims were shot two blocks from historic Jackson Square and just around the corner from the popular Pat O'Brien's piano bar. Preservation Hall, a music venue dedicated to preserving New Orleans jazz, is also nearby.

Serpas said at a news conference in the French Quarter that the victims were shot "by two cowardly young men trying to hurt each other."

Payment plan won't have limit: When Kenneth Feinberg announces the terms of General Motors' plan to pay victims of crashes caused by bad ignition switches, he'll have an open wallet. Feinberg, the country's most well-known compensation expert, is scheduled to reveal the terms Monday, and GM CEO Mary Barra has said there will be no cap on payments. Also, GM won't have any say in Feinberg's awards, she told a U.S. House subcommittee during a hearing earlier this month. "He will have complete independence," Barra said under questioning. "General Motors wants to reach with this compensation program everyone who lost a loved one due to this issue, or who suffered serious physical injury.

Criminal case of Benghazi suspect unfolds: The first prosecution arising from the Benghazi attacks is playing out in the federal courthouse blocks from both the White House and Capitol Hill, an appropriate setting for a case that has drawn stark lines between President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress. The criminal proceedings could provide new insights into the 2012 attacks that killed four Americans and will serve as the latest test of the U.S. legal system's ability to handle terrorism suspects captured overseas. Unfolding during an election year, the case against alleged mastermind Ahmed Abu Khattala could also help shape the legacies of Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, and spill over into the potential 2016 presidential candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Talks with Putin, Merkel, Hollande: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko tried to keep his peace plan to settle the conflict with pro-Russian separatists on track in a four-way phone call Sunday with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of France and Germany. The two-hour conversation came ahead of a deadline today that European Union leaders set for Russia and the separatists to take steps to ease the violence, warning that otherwise they were ready "at any time" to impose further punitive measures. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande encouraged the Ukrainian and Russian presidents to work on meeting the EU conditions, Hollande's office said in a statement.

To launch global warming satellite: Five years after a NASA satellite to track carbon dioxide plunged into the ocean after liftoff, the space agency is launching a carbon copy -- this time on a different rocket. The $468 million mission is designed to study the main driver of climate change emitted from smokestacks and tailpipes. Some of the carbon dioxide is sucked up by trees and oceans, and the rest is lofted into the atmosphere, trapping the sun's heat and warming the planet.

Two dead, including rescuer: A search and rescue worker has died trying to save another man who fell 100 feet at Pilchuck Falls in western Washington. Skagit County authorities told KOMO-TV (http://is.gd/ZiZwMu ) the hiker also died Saturday night. A friend who got in trouble himself while trying to rescue the 25-year-old hiker was rescued. The accident happened about 36 miles northwest of Seattle when the two men were separated from their hiking group and tried to make their way down to the falls near Lake Cavanaugh. The names of the victims have not been released.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.