National briefs: Sinkhole body hunt called off
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Sinkhole body hunt called off
SEFFNER, Fla. -- The effort to find the body of a Florida man who was swallowed by a sinkhole under his home was called off Saturday and crews planned to begin demolishing the four-bedroom house.
The 20-foot-wide opening of the sinkhole is almost completely covered by the house and rescuers feared it would collapse on them if they tried to search for Jeff Bush, 37. Crews were testing the unstable ground surrounding the home and evacuated two neighboring homes as a precaution.
The sinkhole opened up Thursday night.
Bernanke defends rates
WASHINGTON -- Chairman Ben Bernanke is standing by the Federal Reserve's low-interest-rate policies, cautioning that any move to raise rates prematurely could derail a still-modest economic recovery.
Mr. Bernanke also sought to calm fears that super-low rates risk igniting inflation or rattling investors, during a speech late Friday in San Francisco to an economic conference sponsored by the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank.
The central bank's policies are intended to encourage borrowing and spending to boost the economy.
Rig owner's BP accusation
NEW ORLEANS -- The owner of the oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 says BP hampered efforts to stop the resulting gusher of oil by misleading government officials about how many barrels of oil were flowing each day from the damaged well on the Gulf floor.
The Transocean corporation's assertions were filed Friday in federal court in New Orleans, where a civil case began last week to determine percentages of blame and how much BP, Transocean and others will pay for the April 2010 catastrophe that killed 11 workers and sent millions of gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf for 87 days.
Transocean, which leased the Deepwater Horizon rig to BP, says the leak could have been stopped two months earlier. The motion filed Friday seeks to limit or eliminate Transocean's liability for damages, and outlines a case for collecting damages from BP itself.
Obama issues pardons
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on Friday issued pardons for 17 people, largely for minor offenses.
Those receiving pardons came from 13 states and had been sentenced for crimes that included falsely altering a money order, unauthorized acquisition of food stamps, drug violations, and possession of an unregistered firearm.
Manson cohort rebuffed
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday blocked parole for Bruce Davis, a former follower of notorious killer Charles Manson.
Mr. Brown said in his written decision he did not believe that Davis, who is in prison for taking part in two Manson family murders, "was just a reluctant follower who passively went along with the violence."
-- Compiled from news services
First Published March 3, 2013 12:00 am