House migrant group splinters
WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan House group that's been working in secret to write a comprehensive immigration bill splintered Friday with the departure of two Republicans, the latest sign of difficulty in solving the contentious issue.
Texas Reps. John Carter and Sam Johnson said they can no longer be part of the effort because they don't trust President Barack Obama to enforce any legislation they write.
Their move may amount to the end of the group, which even before Friday's development had failed to produce a final product after months of delay. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida is now the sole Republican with four Democrats involved in the effort. Another Republican, Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, departed the group several months ago.
However, it's not clear the development will have much of an impact on what the House does with respect to immigration, since House Republican leaders already had made clear they planned to proceed with a step-by-step approach, not with a single big bill like Mr. Johnson and Mr. Carter's group had working on or like the Senate passed in June.
The group's failure to deliver had already made it largely an afterthought in the House, where the Judiciary Committee has moved forward with individual, single-issue immigration bills that could come to the House floor sometime later this year or next. For now, immigration is on the back burner as Congress confronts pressing deadlines over the budget and federal debt.
Princess case dismissed
SANTA ANA, Calif. -- A human-trafficking charge against a Saudi princess was abruptly dismissed Friday after prosecutors were unable to support claims by a Kenyan maid who said she had to escape from her employer's condominium after having her passport taken and being forced to work long hours for meager pay.
The announcement came during what had been expected to be the arraignment of Meshael Alayban, 42, on the felony charge punishable by up to 12 years in prison.
An attorney had said the maid wanted to make a statement to the court but wasn't available until Monday. The judge told Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas he could wait for the statement, but the district attorney moved to dismiss the case.
The Saudi royal family is extensive, with thousands of princes and princesses.
6 deaths linked to delays
WASHINGTON -- Six deaths have been linked to delayed screenings for colorectal cancer at the veterans medical center in Columbia, S.C., the Veterans Affairs Department said Friday.
The VA's inspector general said in a recent report that delayed colonoscopies and other screenings were linked to malignancies found in 52 patients. The report did not go into detail about the seriousness of those cases.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. The VA requires all veterans at average or high risk for the cancer to be offered a screening.
Cornell lacrosse suspended
NEW YORK -- Cornell University suspended its men's lacrosse program for the semester following an alcohol-related hazing incident, two years after the death of a sophomore led the school to ban all forms of hazing.
More than half of all U.S. college students in clubs, teams and other organizations are hazed, according to a University of Maine study. George Desdunes' death prompted Cornell president David Skorton to vow to "end hazing as we know it."
More oil spills in Colorado
DENVER -- More spills were revealed Friday in a Colorado oil field swamped by floodwaters as cleanup efforts remained stalled due to high waters and regulators cautioned that more oil releases were likely to be found in coming days.
The latest spills included 2,400 gallons of oil from a toppled storage tank, almost 900 gallons from an unspecified source and two others from damaged storage tanks that involved unknown volumes.
That brings the known volume of oil released since massive flooding began last week along Colorado's Front Range to an estimated 22,060 gallons -- about 525 barrels.
-- Compiled from news services