North Texas Daily

National/Regional News Briefs

National/Regional News Briefs

April 05
23:43 2012

NATIONAL

US to sink ghost ship dislodged by Japan tsunami

KODIAK, Alaska — The U.S. Coast Guard plans to use explosives to sink a derelict Japanese ship dislodged by last year’s massive tsunami.

The shrimping vessel, which has no lights or communications systems, was floating about 195 miles south of Sitka in the Gulf of Alaska on Thursday morning, traveling about 1 mile per hour.

The ship holds more than 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and authorities are concerned it could interfere with the course of other vessels as it drifts through shipping lanes. A Coast Guard cutter was headed out to the ship Thursday with plans to use high explosive rounds to sink the vessel.

If left to drift, the ship would ground somewhere, said Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer Charley Hengen.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency studied the problem and decided it is safer to sink the ship and let the fuel evaporate in the open water.
The Coast Guard is warning other ships to avoid the area.

The Japan earthquake triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis since the Chernobyl accident in 1986, but Alaska state health and environmental officials have said there’s little need to be worried that debris landing on Alaska shores will be contaminated by radiation.

REGIONAL

Customs agents seize nearly one ton of marijuana

EL PASO – Officers at a West Texas border crossing have confiscated nearly one ton of marijuana stuffed in more than 190 rolls of roofing paper.

Customs and Border Protection authorities on Wednesday announced the seizure in El Paso at the Ysleta (is-LAYT’-uh) commercial cargo site.

A drug-sniffing dog Tuesday drew attention to the load.

Customs officers discovered that smugglers had cut rectangular spaces into the roofing paper rolls and filled the spaces with bundles of marijuana. Authorities seized more than 1,800 pounds of marijuana.Nobody has been arrested as the investigation continues.

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