In brief: Officials: Programs halted terror plots
WASHINGTON – Top U.S. intelligence officials said Saturday that information gleaned from two controversial data-collection programs run by the National Security Agency thwarted potential terrorist plots in the U.S. and more than 20 other countries – and that data gathered is destroyed every five years.
Last year, fewer than 300 phone numbers were checked against the database of millions of U.S. phone records gathered daily by the NSA in one of the programs, the intelligence officials said.
No other new details about the plots or the countries involved were part of the newly declassified information released to Congress on Saturday and made public by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Firefighters gain edge against blaze
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Fire officials say crews have gained the upper hand on the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history and had more than half the blaze contained by late Saturday.
The wildfire left behind a grim landscape that El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said that in some areas, it appeared as if “a nuclear bomb went off.”
The fire that exploded Tuesday outside of Colorado Springs destroyed nearly 500 homes and killed two people who appeared ready to flee. It’s unknown what sparked the blaze.
Shipping innovator Soros dies at 87
NEW YORK – Paul Soros, 87, a successful innovator in shipping and the older brother of billionaire financier George Soros, has died in New York City.
Soros’ son, Peter, says his father died early Saturday after a long bout with a host of illnesses, including cancer, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
Soros was born Paul Schwartz in Hungary. His father changed the family name to Soros to avoid Nazi persecution, and Soros immigrated to the U.S. in 1948.