July 4, 2010 in City

In brief: Tour boat runs aground

The Spokesman-Review
 
Associated Press photo

Crews work to salvage the tour boat that ran aground on a rocky ledge in Boston Harbor Saturday.
(Full-size photo)

BOSTON – A tour boat headed on a whale watch with 174 people on board was evacuated Saturday after it ran aground on a rocky ledge in Boston Harbor and began taking on water.

No one was seriously hurt in the accident.

Authorities said a combination of Coast Guard vessels, local emergency vessels and nearby fishing boats helped evacuate the 87-foot vessel Massachusetts, and by early afternoon, everyone was safely off the boat.

Meanwhile, workers on board the Massachusetts tried to pump out the sinking vessel, while divers attempted to patch the gash in the hull, said Winthrop Deputy Harbormaster Chuck Evans.

“It’s a pretty serious accident,” Evans said. “Once it goes down, it would be a total loss, I believe. … They’re trying to save it.”

Drug-smuggling

submarine seized

WASHINGTON – The Drug Enforcement Administration said Saturday it has helped seize a submarine capable of transporting tons of cocaine.

DEA officials said the diesel electric-powered submarine was constructed in a remote jungle and captured close to the Ecuador-Colombia border. Ecuadorean authorities seized the sub before it could make its maiden voyage. The DEA said the sophisticated camouflaged vessel was built for transoceanic drug trafficking.

Clinton: ‘Steel vise’ threatens rights

KRAKOW, Poland – Intolerant governments across the globe are “slowly crushing” activist and advocacy groups that play an essential role in the development of democracy, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Saturday.

“Some of the countries engaging in these behaviors still claim to be democracies,” Clinton said at an international conference on democracy and human rights.

Before an audience of several hundred senior government officials, Clinton recalled Winston Churchill’s warning 60 years ago that an iron curtain was descending across Europe. She noted that with the collapse of the Soviet Union, that curtain no longer remains.

“But we must be wary of the steel vise in which governments around the world are slowly crushing civil society and the human spirit,” she said. Social activists, Clinton said, are being harassed, censored, cut off from funding, arrested, prosecuted or killed.

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