National briefs: Kurdish oil approaches U.S.

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HOUSTON -- A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan was hours away from the Port of Galveston in Texas on Saturday, according to Reuters ship tracking data and the U.S. Coast Guard, its arrival imminent despite Washington's concerns about independent oil sales from the autonomous region.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Andy Kendrick said the ship is too large to enter the Galveston port, near Houston. That means it would have to offload its cargo onto smaller ships offshore before the oil is delivered to the U.S. mainland.

Carjack suspects still at large

PHILADELPHIA -- Two carjackers who fled after ramming a stolen SUV into a family selling fruit for their church, killing three young siblings, were still on the run Saturday as the reward for their capture topped $100,000.

The children's 34-year-old mother, Keisha Williams, remained in critical condition at Temple University Hospital. Her deceased children were identified as 15-year-old Keiearra Williams, 10-year-old Thomas Reed and 7-year-old Terrence Moore.

Guns found at suspect's home

PHILADELPHIA -- Two additional guns have been found at the home of the man accused of opening fire last week inside a Philadelphia-area hospital, shooting dead a case worker and exchanging gunshots with a doctor, officials said Saturday.

The Delaware County District Attorney's Office said authorities with a search warrant found the handguns Friday night in the home of Richard Plotts, 49, in Clifton Heights, Pa. Plotts has a long criminal history involving firearms.

Goldman Sachs nears deal

NEW YORK -- A deal to resolve a U.S. regulator's claims against Goldman Sachs Group Inc over mortgage-backed securities sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac leading up to the financial crisis could cost the bank between $800 million and $1.25 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The person said Goldman Sachs is discussing a settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which filed 18 lawsuits against Goldman and other banks in 2011 over about $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities that later went sour.

Nissan recalls faulty air bags

NEW YORK -- Nissan is recalling more than 226,000 additional vehicles over a defective air bag that has affected much of the global auto industry.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Saturday that Nissan North America Inc. is recalling certain lines of its Infiniti, Maxima, Pathfinder and Sentra cars for the model years 2002 to 2004.

The problem is that the air bag inflators can rupture, causing metal fragments to fly out when the air bags are deployed in crashes. That can potentially cause serious injury to passengers.

Study: Basin heavily used

IRVINE, Calif. -- Seven Western states that rely on the Colorado River basin for valuable water are drawing more heavily from groundwater supplies than previously believed, a new study by the University of California, Irvine, finds -- the latest indication that a historic drought is threatening the region's future access to water.

In the past nine years, the basin -- which covers Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and California -- has lost about 65 cubic kilometers of fresh water, nearly double the volume of the country's largest reservoir, Lake Mead.

-- Compiled from news services


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