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5:21 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Officials Seek Answers In Aftermath Of Deadly Plant Explosion

An explosion leveled a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, on Wednesday. The blast killed 14 people, injured more than 200 others and damaged or completely destroyed at least 80 homes.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 4:47 pm

With the house-to-house search over and the living and dead largely accounted for, the town of West, Texas, began the transition from shock and disbelief to communal grieving.

On Friday night, mourners gathered at St. Mary Church of the Assumption to remember the dead. Many of the dead were first responders who were fighting a roaring fire for 30 minutes before the explosion, which was felt 80 miles away in Fort Worth.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn caused a stir when he suggested that there might be many more people missing than thought.

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It's All Politics
5:49 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Stubbornly, Manchin Maintains Optimism On Background Checks

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., meets in his office last week with families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. A bipartisan plan to expand background checks for gun buyers was defeated Wednesday in the Senate.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who lent his name to bipartisan legislation that would have extended background checks for gun purchasers to gun shows and online sales, isn't letting go.

At least not yet.

To Manchin, the bipartisan compromise he co-sponsored with Sen. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican of consistent conservative credentials, fell victim to a steady stream of misinformation spread by some gun rights absolutists, including the National Rifle Association.

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The Salt
4:30 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Fertilizer Shows Its Deadly Side

Workers at a cooperative farm near Shanghai scatter fertilizer across fields of winter wheat. Image from the May issue of National Geographic magazine.
© Peter Essick National Geographic

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 5:06 pm

My first reaction when I heard details of this week's deadly fertilizer explosion in Texas was horror.

My second thought was, "Maybe I shouldn't have pushed to change that headline."

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Boston On Lockdown: 'Today Is So Much Scarier'

A sign calling for citizens of Boston to "Shelter in Place" hung across I-93 Friday in Boston.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 7:20 pm

Update at 7:10 p.m. ET. Back Inside:

Following reports of sudden, heavy police presence in Watertown, Boston police have asked residents to once again stay indoors. Just about an hour earlier, the governor had lifted the shelter-in-place advisory. The police tweeted: "Police operations in the Franklin Street Watertown area. Residents shelter in place."

Update at 6:25 p.m. ET. "Shelter-In-Place" Advisory Lifted:

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The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

FAA OKs Boeing's 787 Battery Fix

A part of a charred battery from a Japan Airlines 787 on display at the NTSB headquarters in January.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved changes to the design of the Boeing 787's battery system — the first step toward returning the grounded aircraft to service.

The approximately 50 787 "Dreamliners" delivered to airlines worldwide were grounded in January after incidents involving overheating problems in lithium-ion batteries.

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