Life was returning to normal for 50 million people hit by the largest power blackout in US history, as investigators worked to determine the cause of the failure Thursday in eight states and the Canadian Province of Ontario. Initial attention focused on three transmission lines south of Cleveland, at least two of which are owned by utility FirstEnergy Corp. The outage closed more than 50 auto plants and other businesses from Michigan to New Jersey and forced airlines to cancel hundreds of flights.
It would be "foolish" to assume terrorists won't try to attack an Asia-Pacific summit in the wake of last week's capture of alleged senior Muslim militant Hambali, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told Australian television. "We have a top planner, [but] we do not have all the members of Al Qaeda ... or Jemaah Islamiyah," Armitage said. Hambali is allegedly a leader of both groups. He reportedly was captured last Monday in a joint operation by Thai police and the Central Intelligence Agency after a lieutenant arrested earlier provided information on his whereabouts. Hambali's wife, Noralwizah, who was captured with him, was handed over to police in her native Malaysia.
Some 350 homes were evacuated near Missoula, Mont., as the Black Mountain fire quintupled in size Saturday to more than 5,200 acres. Statewide, the situation "has gotten more intense since last night," said fire official Scott Vail, as high winds fanned two dozen major blazes. NorthWestern Energy said some of its power lines are threatened and warned of possible blackouts in Missoula, Butte, Bozeman, and Hamilton.
Federal agents joined state and local authorities investigating three sniper deaths in and around Charleston, W. Va., after police confirmed Friday that they may be the work of one man. The shootings, which occurred Aug. 10 and Aug. 14, all took place outside gas stations after dark and involved the same caliber weapon.
A steadily weakening tropical storm Erika drenched southern Texas as it continued to move inland, but there were no reports of significant damage or flooding, emergency officials said. The storm made landfall Saturday in Matamoros, Mexico, about 30 miles south of Brownsville, Texas, downing trees and damaging roofs.
Several thousand people attended a rally in support of a Ten Commandments monument in Montgomery, Ala., Saturday, with some coming from as far away as California. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who put up the 5,300-pound monument and has indicated he'll defy a federal court order to remove it by Wednesday, said it is "about the acknowledgment of God." An appeals court found the statue to be an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.