Explosions rock Baghdad
Strong explosions shook central Baghdad early today, and fighting erupted on a major street in the heart of the city near the U.S.-guarded Green Zone.
Rocket and mortar fire erupted about 5:30 a.m. and continued into the morning. Several rounds landed in the Green Zone, raising clouds of black smoke and triggering warning sirens.
The rattle of heavy machine-gun fire echoed through Haifa Street, on the western side of the Tigris river near the Green Zone and a "no go" area for international forces. A Bradley fighting vehicle caught fire and children climbed on top, cheering and dancing beside the flames.
U.S. soldiers took positions behind walls and trees along Haifa Street.
Mushroom cloud reported in North Korean province
A large explosion occurred in the northern part of North Korea, sending a huge mushroom cloud into the air on an important anniversary of the communist regime, a South Korean news agency reported Sunday.
The Yonhap news agency, citing an unidentified source in Beijing, said the explosion happened Thursday in Yanggang province near the border with China. The explosion in Kim Hyong Jik county blasted a crater big enough to be noticed by a satellite, the source said.
North Korea was founded Sept. 9, 1948. Leader Kim Jong Il uses the occasion to stage performances and other events to bolster loyalty. Experts have speculated that North Korea might use a major anniversary to conduct a nuclear-related test.
Interior orders rivers protected from mining claims
Interior Secretary Gale Norton approved an order Saturday that prohibits mining companies from making claims on nearly 200 miles of scenic rivers in southeastern Utah.
The order will provide 20 years of protection for 111,895 acres of public lands along the Green, Colorado and Dolores rivers. The order also helps protect at least 161 prehistoric sites, habitat for six threatened and endangered species, and 32 recreation facilities along the Colorado River.
Each year, more than 120,000 boaters explore the three rivers. Thousands of others visit the area's state and federal parks and trails.
Father of emergency medical services, James Page, dies
James O. Page, a Southern California fire-service veteran who was viewed as the most influential proponent of emergency medical services, has died. He was 68.
Page, founder of the highly regarded Journal of Emergency Medical Services, or JEMS, died Sept. 4 of apparent cardiac arrest while swimming in a pool in Carlsbad, Calif.
Considered by many to be "the father of modern emergency medical services," or EMS, Page was a Los Angeles County Fire Department battalion chief when he was assigned to coordinate countywide implementation of paramedic rescue services in 1971.
The same year, producer-actor Jack Webb hired Page as technical adviser and a writer for the new "Emergency!" television series, which is credited with introducing modern EMS to America.