National news briefs: 8/9/14

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Decision due on Bergdahl

SAN ANTONIO — The military has completed its questioning of freed U.S. prisoner of war Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, and a U.S. Army general must now recommend whether he should face charges over the circumstances that led to his capture by the Taliban.

Sgt. Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, was released in May after five years of captivity in exchange for five Taliban prisoners from the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Some of his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan have said Sgt. Bergdahl deserted his post.

The questioning was “cordial” over two days, ending Thursday, by Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, who will now make a recommendation to the Pentagon on what punishment, if any, Sgt. Bergdahl should face, said Sgt. Bergdahl's attorney, Eugene Fidell. Mr. Fidell said Sgt. Bergdahl answered every question openly and honestly even though he could have refused to answer questions. Mr. Fidell did not say what questions were asked.

One in five not saving

WASHINGTON — One in five people near retirement age have zero money saved.

The statistic was one of many released Thursday by the Federal Reserve as part of its report on the economic well-being of U.S. households, which surveyed more than 4,100 people online last year between mid-September and early October.

The study offered a stark reminder that as more Americans are made responsible for their retirement savings, most are not saving nearly enough.

Overall, 31 percent of people said they have zero money saved for retirement. That included 19 percent of people between the ages of 55 and 64 — those closest to retirement.

Siblings killed by train

CHICAGO — A brother and sister in their 50s were struck and killed by a commuter train as they took a well-worn shortcut over the tracks through weeds and trees in Chicago, according to officials and family.

Relatives believe Margaret Huddleston, 54, may have been trying to get her brother Berry Huddleston, 57, off the tracks when they were both hit around 4:50 p.m. Thursday. They said Mr. Huddleston had lost most of his vision and was often helped around by his sister.

Another recall for GM

General Motors has issued recalls for another round of cars with problems related to faulty ignition switches.

The company said 202,115 of its Saturn VUEs from the years 2002 to 2004 may be fitted with keys that can come out when the car is still turned on — a problem that could be connected to two crashes and one injury, GM said.

GM said owners of the affected vehicles should make certain to put their transmissions in “Park” — or in “Reverse” on manual transmission cars — before exiting them.

Few hurricanes expected

MIAMI, Fla. — Forecasters upped the odds for a slow hurricane season Thursday, predicting even fewer storms as record strong winds in the upper atmosphere keep a lid on brewing storms.

Just five to 10 storms are predicted over the rest of the season, which runs through November, said Gerry Bell, lead hurricane forecaster for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Counting Arthur, which arrived in early July, and Bertha which formed this month, only one to four more hurricanes are forecast. The prediction for the number of major storms with winds topping 110 mph is up to two.

First Published August 9, 2014 12:00 AM

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