In brief: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to meet
ISLAMABAD – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Pakistan today for meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the nation’s new army chief, hoping to further repair a strained and sputtering relationship between Washington and Islamabad.
His visit comes on the heels of the latest interruption of U.S. military shipments out of Afghanistan through the main border crossings into Pakistan. Anti-American protests along the route in Pakistan prompted the U.S. to stop the shipments from Torkham Gate through Karachi last week, due to worries about the safety of the truckers.
The protests center on the CIA’s drone program, which has targeted and killed terrorists but has also caused civilian casualties.
Senators seek cameras on trains
NEW YORK – A week after four people died in a New York commuter train derailment, two federal lawmakers proposed Sunday that trains nationwide be outfitted with cameras pointed at engineers and at the tracks.
“I know you’re going to hear from Metro-North that there are costs, but the costs of these audio and visual recorders is minuscule, in fact negligible, compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars that this tragic incident will cost Metro-North in the end,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, who joined New York Sen. Charles Schumer for a news conference at Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal.
Last Sunday, a Metro-North Railroad train approached a curve on the tracks just north of Manhattan going at 82 mph instead of the speed limit of 30 mph. A lawyer and union leader for the derailed train’s engineer, William Rockefeller, have said the train’s hypnotic motion may have caused him to experience a “nod” or a “daze” at the controls.
Eleven more whales found dead in park
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Fla. – National wildlife officials say 11 whales believed to be part of a pod that was stranded in the Everglades are dead.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration official Blair Mase said wildlife workers spotted the dead whales Sunday afternoon on Snipe Point, about six miles north of Sugarloaf Key. That brings the overall death toll to 22.
The pod of 51 short-finned pilot whales was first spotted by a fishing guide Tuesday in the shallow waters off a remote section of the Everglades. The species is one of the most commonly involved in mass strandings.
Mase said veterinary teams will try to determine whether disease was a factor in the deaths.
Officials do not know the status of the remaining whales. The marine mammals were last seen alive Friday.