In brief: Fuel leak blamed for cruise ship fire
ATLANTA – A leak in a fuel oil return line caused the engine-room fire that disabled a Carnival cruise ship at sea, leaving 4,200 people without power or working toilets for five days, a Coast Guard official said Monday.
Cmdr. Teresa Hatfield addressed the finding in a conference call and estimated that the investigation of the disabled ship, the Carnival Triumph, would take six months.
Hatfield said the Bahamas – where the ship is registered – is leading the investigation, with the Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board representing U.S. interests in the probe. The vessel was in international waters at the time of the incident.
She said investigators have been with the ship since it arrived Thursday in Mobile, Ala. Since then, she said, interviews have been conducted with passengers and crew and forensic analysis has been performed on the ship.
A Carnival Cruise Lines spokesman said in an email Monday that the company agrees with the Coast Guard’s findings about the fire source.
Colorado House OKs some limits on guns
DENVER – Limits on the size of ammunition magazines and universal background checks passed the Colorado House on Monday, during a second day of emotional debates that has drawn attention from the White House as lawmakers try to address recent mass shootings.
The bills were among four that the Democrat-controlled House passed amid strong resistance from Republicans, who were joined by a few Democrats to make some of the votes close.
The proposed ammunition restrictions limit magazines to 15 rounds for firearms, and eight for shotguns. Three Democrats joined all Republicans voting no on the bill, but the proposal passed 34-31.
The House also approved a bill requiring background checks on all gun purchases.
The Senate still needs to consider the proposals.
Three men save man on subway tracks
NEW YORK – Three good Samaritans in New York City jumped onto subway tracks after a stranger fell, hoisting the man to safety before a train rolled into the station.
The New York Post reports it happened Sunday at Columbus Circle in Manhattan. A man in his 20s hit his head and stumbled onto the tracks.
The newspaper says the next train was supposed to arrive in two minutes when Garrett O’Hanlon jumped onto the tracks.
Seeing his struggle, Dennis Codrington jumped in too. So did Matt Foley. The three worked quickly as the train approached.
Riders waiting on the platform helped lift the man. The three men got up just in time.
First responders rushed the unconscious man to a hospital.
WASHINGTON – In a surprise announcement that adds to a growing list of Senate retirements, Nebraska Republican Mike Johanns said Monday that he will not seek a second term in 2014.
Johanns, who was elected to two terms as the state’s governor and served in George W. Bush’s Cabinet as agriculture secretary, said in a letter to his constituents that it was simply the right time to end his three-decades-long career in public office.
Johanns becomes the fifth sitting senator to opt against seeking another term.
Russian adoptee’s death under review
DALLAS – Russian authorities have blamed “inhuman treatment” for the death of a 3-year-old boy adopted by an American family, but Texas officials say they are still investigating claims that the child was abused before his death.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said Monday that it had questions about the death of an adoptee authorities identified as Maxim Kuzmin. The committee is the country’s top investigative agency.
Texas Child Protective Services spokesman Patrick Crimmins confirmed the agency had received a report on Jan. 21 of the death of a 3-year-old named Max Shatto, and that the Ector County Sheriff’s Office in West Texas was investigating.
The death comes weeks after Russia announced it was banning all American adoptions in retaliation for a new U.S. law targeting alleged Russian human-rights violators.
Russian Foreign Ministry official Konstantin Dolgov said in a statement that the boy’s death was “yet another case of inhuman treatment of a Russian child adopted by American parents.”