Across tobacco country, crops wilt from rain
View galleryIn this photo taken Friday, July 12, 2013 Harnett County farmer Kent Revels holds a damaged tobacco leaf caused by excess rain in his tobacco fields in Fuquay Varina, N.C. Heavy rain across the nation’s tobacco-growing territories has soaked the dry weather-loving plants to the point that many can’t be saved. Revels estimates up to a third of his yield has already been damaged. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)Bruce Schreiner and Martha Waggoner, Associated Press July 13, 2013 Science, Social Science, & HumanitiesLOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Jason Elliott had one of his best stands of burley tobacco growing until the rains started. Five days and seven inches of precipitation later, about a quarter of his crop was ruined, trimming thousands of dollars from his payday when he hauls his leaf to market in a few months. Fields all over tobacco country have been soaked, and without a good stretch of dry weather in coming weeks, Elliott’s predicament could play out many times over. In Kentucky alone, the nation’s second-leading producer, the toll could hit as much as $100 million if the crop doesn’t rebound. More than half of top grower North Carolina’s crop is in jeopardy. It threatens to become the latest setback for a sector of agriculture that has endured sluggish prices, higher production costs and uncertain markets due to smoking bans. In Kentucky, the thunderstorms that started two days before Independence Day and continued into the weekend caused tobacco plants to wilt and collapse about a month before burley harvest shifts into high gear. Some of the plants at Elliott’s Lincoln County farm slumped over, barely boot-top high. Others stood but looked sickly. „It’s just got a real pale color to it,” Elliott said. „It doesn’t have the good green tobacco color that it should have.” Damage appeared to be heaviest in south-central Kentucky, a prime burley tobacco region where as much as 60 percent to 80 percent of the crop was affected, said Bob Pearce, a University of Kentucky burley extension specialist. „This is the most widespread and significant amount of damage I’ve seen from a single event like this,” Pearce said. „The number of (damage) reports that I’m getting is kind of unprecedented. It’s been a game-changer.” Kentucky is the nation’s leading producer of burley tobacco, an ingredient in many cigarettes. Based on last year’s prices, the downpours could cut the statewide yield by up to 25 percent, Pearce said. Rain gauges have been overflowing as well in North Carolina, where flue-cured tobacco reigns. Kent Revels, who grows flue-cured tobacco in Harnett County, N.C., said he’s measured more than 30 inches of rain since May 1, with 17 in June — when the average is just over 3 inches. Rains has continued into July. „We’re doing the things we normally do,” said Revels, who farms 260 acres of tobacco. „We’re just fighting the rain to do it. I’m not throwing in the towel, but it’s going to be a short crop. It all depends on what the weather will be from here on out.” North Carolina farmers planted 170,000 acres of tobacco in 2013, up 4 percent from 2012, said state Agriculture Department spokesman Brian Long. In Kentucky, burley growers planted an estimated 78,000 acres this year, a 4,000-acre increase from a year ago, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s field office in the state. Tobacco is known as a resilient crop, and the roots can dry out if the rain stops. But so much rain makes for a thinner crop that doesn’t weigh as much as it should, and the marketing system is based on dollars per pounds. Regional agronomist Don Nicholson estimated that up to 80 percent of North Carolina tobacco farmers will be able „to turn this crop around” with a stretch of normal summer temperatures and dry conditions. „That’s one of the wonderful things about tobacco,” he said. „You can’t count the plant out until you destroy the crop. It can be extremely dry and you get a few rains and you can make a crop. Or it can be really wet and it gets dry, and the plants put a root system down.” In Tennessee, yields will be down from a year ago due to a wet spring and early summer, said Bob Miller, a tobacco researcher for UK and the University of Tennessee. „We’ve had way more water than tobacco likes,” Miller said. In Virginia, the nation’s No. 3 tobacco producer and home to Marlboro maker Philip Morris USA, the rainy conditions prevented tobacco plants from setting deep roots. „In terms of damage or loss, we haven’t lost very much. It’s been limited,” said David Reed from Virginia Tech’s Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center. „We’re going to be OK unless it absolutely turns off dry in August.” Despite the plants being shallow-rooted and having a thin leaf, Virginia has the potential for a good crop, he said. The prospect of lower yields in Kentucky comes as burley farmers hoped to reap some of their highest leaf prices since the 2004 tobacco buyout. The buyout ended a system in which tobacco growers sold their crop under federal production and price controls dating back to the Depression. Tobacco now is mostly grown under contracts between farmers and tobacco companies. Last year’s burley and dark tobacco crops in Kentucky exceeded $400 million in sales for the first time since the buyout. And until the recent wave of rainfall, this year’s crops had the same potential due to burley prices expected to be around $2 per pound, said UK agricultural economist Will Snell. For Elliott, the 34-year-old who farms the same ground tended by his grandfather and father, tobacco accounts for nearly a third of his income from a diversified operation that includes cattle, corn and soybeans. While his tobacco has suffered from the rains, his corn and soybeans have thrived, a trend being seen across most of Kentucky. Elliott said he will still plant burley next year, regardless the outcome this year. „It’s been too good to me over the years,” he said. „I can’t just up and quit.” _Waggoner reported from Raleigh, N.C. She can be reached at http://twitter.com/mjwaggonernc. Associated Press writers Michael Felberbaum in Richmond, Va., and Randall Dickerson in Nashville, Tenn., also contributed to this report.
Rail at center of Quebec town tragedy and heart of its recovery By Phil Wahba and Julie Gordon | Reuters – 5 hours ago
By Phil Wahba and Julie Gordon LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec (Reuters) – It was a runaway train that caused this month’s deadly inferno in Lac-Megantic, but the Canadian town’s leaders, business owners and many of its residents see the railway as crucial to their survival and want it operating again as soon as possible.Fifty people, including 15 still missing, are believed to have been killed on July 6 when a driverless train with 72 oil tanker cars crashed and exploded in the center of the picturesque, lakeside town in rural Quebec.The derailment was the worst railway disaster in North America in 24 years, and cut off Lac-Megantic’s companies from the railroad that ships their products to customers, including exports to Maine, just 18 miles away.While many of the town’s 6,000 residents are incensed that trains carrying such flammable cargo could pass through an area with bars, restaurants and other local businesses, they also say the rail is their economic lifeline.”We don’t want to lose the train. We want our economy to function,” said Raymond Lafontaine, the owner of an excavation and pavement company that has 175 workers, making it one of the town’s largest employers.Lafontaine lost a son, two daughters-in-law and an employee in the disaster. He said no money is coming in and he is worried about how long he can hang on without the ability to pay his employees. His 46-year-old company, which makes most of its revenue in Lac-Megantic, had just begun work on a major repavement project downtown.The derailment is widely expected to spur changes in Canadian railway regulations, and has fueled the debate about the safety of using railroads to transport oil.Lac-Megantic Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche said she will ask the federal government to draw up a new route that skirts the town center when the rail line is rebuilt.Lac-Megantic is located in the less prosperous part of Quebec’s Eastern Townships, a region with a 6.4 percent unemployment rate, lower than the provincial average.The town’s namesake lake, a deep blue expanse of water that is close to two provincial parks, and nearby mountains covered with dark pine and birch trees, attract hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. Very little oil made it into the lake.Still, Lac-Megantic is primarily an industrial town, with an industrial park east of its downtown. Even before the crash, many houses and businesses had been put up for sale or for rent on Rue Laval, the town’s main artery. Locals said jobs can be hard to find.RAIL SPUR–The disaster site is still an active crime scene investigation that is likely to be closed for weeks.Investigators wearing masks could only work 15-minute shifts before having to take a break on Sunday, as the temperature reached 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), police said.Roy-Laroche, who invited people to visit the town and nearby tourist sites in the wake of the disaster, said on Sunday that visitors should know that a large wall had been erected around the site to prevent anybody from watching the investigation.”Thank you for being here, thank you for coming to support us, but I don’t want to cause too much disappointment. You can’t see what’s going on,” she said in a briefing.Lac-Megantic’s mayor and business leaders said they want to build a temporary track to connect to parts of the railway outside the restricted investigation area. The timing is uncertain.”We have no sense whatsoever of when we’ll be able to examine any possible solution,” Roy-Laroche told Reuters. „The rail is essential to our industries.”The railway also is key for Tafisa’s particle board manufacturing plant in Lac-Megantic’s industrial park, which makes cabinetry products from wood fiber that would otherwise be discarded as waste and is North America’s largest such facility.Prior to the crash, Tafisa used a rail connection to the main line to transport its products. After sitting idle for five days the plant resumed operations on Thursday, using trucks.But shipping by truck is much more expensive than by rail and untenable over the long term, the mayor said.The Quebec government plans this week to unveil an emergency aid plan for the town’s businesses, in addition to the C$10 million ($9.6 million) that were part of a C$60 million emergency fund set aside for companies.Despite deep anger at the management of the railway operator – Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway – over the accident, the town’s residents say they want the railroad to remain but with better regulation and a ban on transporting oil and gas through the center of their own town.”For industry yes, but for the oil and gas transport, I don’t think so,” Rejean Champagne, a resident of a condo in the evacuation zone, said when asked if the railway should reopen.Ghislain Bolduc, who represents Lac-Megantic in predominantly French-speaking Quebec’s provincial assembly, said the town’s economy was inextricably tied to the railway.”It has been the economic engine of this town for 145 years and it is still the economic engine. So do you want it to disappear? Or you want it to be there, but in a proper way?”Rebuilding the economy will take years and many residents, like Lafontaine, are too busy grieving for lost ones to think far out.”Everyone is in mourning, everyone is crying,” he said of his employees.($1=$1.04 Canadian)(Reporting by Phil Wahba in Lac-Megantic; Additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Tiffany Wu and Paul Simao)
Kepler Spacecraft Should Pin Down ‘Alien Earth’ Planets Despite Glitch NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft should be able to achieve its primary mission goal regardless of whether or not it can bounce back from a recent malfunction, researchers say.Kepler launched in March 2009 on a 3.5-year prime mission to determine how common Earth-like planets are throughout the Milky Way galaxy. That goal is likely already attainable, even if the spacecraft is unable to recover from the glitch that halted its exoplanet hunt two months ago, mission team members say. „We believe we do have enough data to answer the question,” said Kepler analysis lead Jon Jenkins of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, Calif. [7 Greatest Kepler Discoveries (So Far)]”Now, we won’t have as tight error bars as we would otherwise have, and we won’t have orbital periods out well beyond Earth’s in terms of Earth-size planets,” Jenkins said during a lecture last month at the SETI Institute. „But we’ll still do a credible job and a good enough job delivering the answers that we need.”Kepler spots exoplanets by noting the tiny brightness dips caused when they cross the face of their parent stars. The observatory needs to see three of these „transits” to flag an alien world, so it takes years to detect planets orbiting relatively far from their stars.This is precision work, and the Kepler space telescope requires three functioning gyroscope-like reaction wheels to stay locked onto its 150,000-plus target stars.The observatory launched in 2009 with four reaction wheels — three for immediate use, and one spare. One wheel, known as number two, failed in July 2012. Another (number four) stopped working on May 11 of this year, robbing Kepler of its precision pointing ability.Kepler hasn’t searched for exoplanets since the latter wheel failure. Mission engineers have been devising possible fixes for the problem, and they plan to start sending some of these commands to the spacecraft over the next week or two.(Launching astronauts out to repair Kepler, as was done five separate times with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, is not an option. Kepler orbits the sun rather than Earth and currently sits millions of miles from our planet.)If at least one of the failed wheels cannot be brought back, Kepler will almost certainly be given a new mission, researchers say — one that emphasizes scanning instead of its previous point-and-stare operations. While the Kepler team would love to continue the exoplanet hunt for years to come, researchers can likely determine the Milky Way’s frequency of Earth-like worlds with the data the spacecraft has already collected, Jenkins said. But doing so will require a fair bit of work.For one thing, he said, the team needs to continue pulling planets out of the spacecraft’s huge dataset. (To date, Kepler has detected 3,277 candidate planets, 134 of which have been confirmed by follow-up observations. Mission scientists think at least 90 percent of the spacecraft’s finds will end up being the real deal.)Scientists also need to determine the completeness and reliability of Kepler’s discovery system, among other things, and understand how the mission’s target stars relate to the stellar population of the Milky Way as a whole to enable extrapolation, Jenkins added.The target stars „were chosen to be really good for discovering transiting planets but undoubtedly have selection biases in them,” he said.All of this work should keep mission scientists busy for some time to come.”We have about two years of data that we have yet to fully search; we’re still in the process of searching through the third year of data,” Jenkins said. „I think that this could occupy us for another two to three years, easily.”The Kepler mission’s total pricetag is about $600 million thus far, and it costs about $20 million per year to operate the spacecraft and analyze the data, NASA officials have said.Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on SPACE.com.
How traffic congestion kills the economy By Brenda Bouw | Insight – Fri, 12 Jul, 2013 11:03 AM EDT Transit users don’t get too smug. Your decision to take the train or bus during rush hour has the same impact, inspiring people to take their car instead of packing themselves in with other transit commuters.In fact, the study shows both transit and traffic congestion is keeping many workers at home. They’re either telecommuting or giving up their jobs altogether just to avoid the every day gridlock that can be both financially and emotionally drainingThe C.D. Howe Institute study says the combined social and economic costs of congestion are costing cities billions of dollars in lost revenues. It’s calling on governments to make better infrastructure decisions to try to stop the economic bleeding.”When congestion makes people choose to stay at home rather than travel, all sorts of activities are curtailed, resulting in a quantifiable loss to the economy,” says Benjamin Dachis, author of the report called, Cars, Congestion and Costs: A New Approach to Evaluating Government Infrastructure Investment. „These losses should be included in the costs of congestion and, in turn, estimates of the benefits of new infrastructure investment.”It’s the latest in a series of reports calling on governments to fix transit gridlock issues in major Canadians cities.The C.D. Howe report estimates the costs of congestion in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area to $7.5 to $11 billion a year, which is an additional $1.5 to $5 billion than current forecasts.That’s money lost when people choose to stay away from urban centres as a result of increasing congestion.Dachis points out the benefits of “urban agglomeration,” including people accessing jobs that better match their skills, in-person knowledge sharing and more demand entertainment and cultural opportunities, which benefit other people.”When congestion makes urban interactions too costly to pursue, these benefits are foregone, adding significantly to the net costs of congestion,” said Dachis.“The social returns from infrastructure can be substantial.”The report says government aren’t calculating these benefits in their infrastructure spending decisions, which he argues is a mistake.Dachis recommends governments in Canada should make infrastructure investment by calculating the positive and negative external factors in their cost-benefit analysis used in the initial decision to build.They should considering charging the “social costs” for users, which Dachis says includes fares and tolls to the extent that they generate economic activity at the destination.”Charge users of infrastructure the full social costs, to the extent possible,” he wrote in the report. „In the case of transportation infrastructure, governments should charge users for the full cost of congestion, but invest in more infrastructure than would be self-sufficient from fare or toll revenue alone, with a view to increasing quantifiable benefits from urban agglomeration.”
Student Team Set for Zero-Gravity Fire Experiment on NASA ‘Vomit Comet’ A team of university students is counting down toward the ultimate science ride, a weightless flight aboard a modified NASA jet to see just how certain fires burn in zero gravity.The experiment, led by engineering undergraduate Sam Avery of the University of California, San Diego, is aimed at testing how biofuels burn in weightless conditions. And with a target flight date of Thursday (July 18), Avery and his crew are getting pumped.”The team is really excited about this experiment,” Avery said just two weeks ahead of takeoff. „We’ve been working hard to get the equipment ready and tested for the parabolic flights with NASA in a couple of weeks.” [6 Everyday Things that Turn Strange in Weightlessness] Avery and his team are flying with NASA under the space agency’s Microgravity University Program, which offers university students the chance to perform experiments under weightless and reduced-gravity conditions using a modified aircraft. The „Vomit Comet” flights, as they’ve been nicknamed, fly about 30 parabolas, moving up and down like a roller coaster, to produce short periods of weightlessness that are followed by brief stints of „hypergravity” that can reach 2Gs, twice the normal pull of Earth’s gravity. The flights are based at Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center, which oversees the Microgravity University project. The space center is also home to NASA’s astronaut training and Mission Control for the International Space Station.The UCSD team’s biofuels in space project is being conducted under the supervision of UCSD professor Forman Williams. SPACE.com managing editor Tariq Malik will serve as the team’s journalist member. After the flight, the results will be written up by the team and submitted to the university and NASA for evaluation.When asked how his team might best prepare for the ordeal, Avery said: „We might take a few runs on roller coasters or drop towers at theme parks to feel the effect of free-fall.”Before each weightless dive, Avery’s team must electronically trigger two small hypodermic needles to inject a droplet of biofuel onto a thin fibrous crosshair that holds the droplet in place until the environment reaches a weightless condition. Then a small spark ignites the drop and twin video cameras record the burning process for later evaluation.”We have had some great success rates with our ground tests of the fuel ejection and ignition systems, and we have programmed each system so that we can repeat its process multiple times during each parabola,” Avery said. „I am 80 percent confident that it will work on the first parabola and 95 percent confident that it will work by the end of the flights.”As it turns out, not all parabolas are created equal.”There will be around 28 parabolas, with around 25 microgravity parabolas, two lunar-gravity parabolas, and one Mars-gravity parabola,” Avery said. „There will also be periods of level flight occasionally between parabolas.”Lunar gravity is about one-sixth that of Earth, and Mars gravity is about one-third that of our planet.Avery’s team also recently completed testing of software they have written that automates the fuel-drop delivery to the crosshairs.”We recently fixed our code for our automated syringe ejection system so that every time we press a button the syringes will move toward the cross fiber and eject another droplet,” he said.One big hurdle still looms large for the team. „JSC would like us to do more analysis of our rig to validate our load testing. They will review it at the beginning of the flight week, which is coming up soon,” Avery said. „But with most of the team members working full time [over the summer break], it’s difficult to get everything to work.” Avery himself is interning for the summer at a San Diego-based company that works on the Orion capsule’s abort system. His team is one of 14 different groups flying on NASA’s microgravity aircraft between today (July 12) and July 20. The groups include seven student teams flying under the Microgravity University program, as well as seven teacher groups as part of NASA’s Teaching from Space program.Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on SPACE.com.
Courts will treat Asiana passengers differently
View galleryFILE – This July 6, 2013, file photo shows the wreckage of Asiana Flight 214 on the ground after it crashed at the San Francisco International Airport, in San Francisco. When the courts have to figure compensation for people aboard Flight 214, the potential payouts will probably be vastly different for Americans and passengers from other countries. A pact is likely to close U.S. courts to many foreigners and force them to pursue their claims in Asia and elsewhere, where lawsuits are rarer, harder to win (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)Paul Elias, Associated Press 7 hours ago Asiana Airlines SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — When the courts have to figure compensation for people aboard Asiana Airlines Flight 214, the potential payouts will probably be vastly different for Americans and passengers from other countries, even if they were seated side by side as the jetliner crash-landed. An international treaty governs compensation to passengers harmed by international air travel — from damaged luggage to crippling injuries and death. The pact is likely to close U.S. courts to many foreigners and force them to pursue their claims in Asia and elsewhere, where lawsuits are rarer, harder to win and offer smaller payouts. Some passengers have already contacted lawyers. „If you are a U.S. citizen, there will be no problem getting into U.S. courts. The other people are going to have a fight on their hands,” said Northern California attorney Frank Pitre, who represents two Americans who were aboard the plane. Federal law bars lawyers from soliciting victims of air disasters for the first 45 days after the crash. Pitre said his clients called him. Congress enacted that law in 1996 amid public anger over lawyers who solicited clients in the days immediately following the ValuJet Flight 592 crash in the Florida Everglades and the crash of TWA Flight 800 off the New York coast. National Transportation Safety Board attorney Benjamin Allen reminded attorneys of the rules in a mass email sent Thursday. „We are closely monitoring the activities of attorneys following this accident, and will immediately notify state bar ethics officials and other appropriate authorities if impermissible activity is suspected,” the message said. The flight that broke apart recently at the San Francisco airport was carrying 141 Chinese, 77 South Koreans, 64 Americans, three Canadians, three Indians, one Japanese, one Vietnamese and one person from France when it approached the runway too low and too slow. The Boeing 777 hit a seawall before skittering across the tarmac and catching fire. Three girls from China were killed and 182 people injured, most not seriously. Two girls, Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia, both 16, died right away. It is unclear, however, whether Ye Mengyuan died in the crash or in the chaotic aftermath. Both girls’ parents appeared at a vigil Saturday near the airport, and thanked, through a translator, the more than 100 people in attendance for their support, KGO-TV reported. The other victim killed, 15-year-old Liu Yipeng, died Friday at a hospital where she had been in critical condition since the July 6 crash. The dozens who were seriously injured — especially the few who were paralyzed — can expect to win multimillion-dollar legal settlements, as long as their claims are filed in U.S. courts, legal experts said. Northern California attorney Mike Danko, who is consulting with several lawyers from Asia about the disaster, said any passenger who was left a quadriplegic can expect settlements close to $10 million if the case is filed in the United States. Deaths of children, meanwhile, may fetch in the neighborhood of $5 million to $10 million depending on the circumstances in U.S. courts. In other countries, he explained, the same claims could be worth far less. In 2001, a South Korean court ordered Korean Air Lines to pay a total of $510,000 to a woman whose daughter, son-in-law and three grandsons were killed in a 1997 crash in the U.S. territory of Guam that killed 228 people. Broken bones in plane accidents usually mean $1 million settlements in the Unites States and in the low five-figure range overseas, Danko said. In 2011, the Federal Aviation Administration put the value of a human life at $6 million when it was contemplating the cost-benefit of a new „cockpit resource management” regulation. But again, Danko said, that estimate applies only in U.S. courts. Foreign courts can be expected to pay far smaller settlements. In all, the South Korean government agency that regulates that country’s insurance industry expects Asiana’s insurers to pay out about $175.5 million total — $131 million to replace the plane and another $44.5 million to passengers and the city of San Francisco for damage to the airport. Suh Chang-suk, an official at Financial Supervisory Service, declined to discuss how the watchdog agency calculated its estimate. The international treaty is commonly referred to as the Montreal Convention because of the Canadian city where it was drafted. It offers international passengers five options for where to seek compensation: where they live, their final destination, where the ticket was issued, where the air carrier is based and the air carrier’s principal place of business. Foreign passengers who had roundtrip tickets to final destinations beyond the U.S. face stiff legal challenges to pursue their claims against the airline in the United States, where courts are more receptive to lawsuits and the payouts larger than in the courts of most other nations. Asiana can also invoke the America legal doctrine of „forum non conveniens” to argue that it’s much more convenient for it to litigate the Asian victims’ cases in Asia because all parties are based there. South Korean attorney Suh Dong Hee represented some of the victims of the 1997 Korean Air Lines crash. He said family members of the victims who pursued their case in the United States settled for as much as 100 times more than those who sued in South Korea. Brian Havel, director of DePaul University’s International Aviation Law Institute, said the convention does require the airlines to make immediate „down payments” to victims to help with medical expenses, travel costs and other inconveniences caused by the crash. „Everyone will get something,” Havel said. „But who receives what does largely depend on where they qualify under the convention.” However, Pitre and others say, the foreign passengers are still able to sue others who may have contributed to the accident, such as the plane’s manufacturer, airport personnel and even, perhaps, the first responders. Pitre said he and his clients are investigating whether Boeing Co. shoulders any responsibility for the crash, including potential design flaws in the plane’s automated instruments or differences between first-class passengers’ seatbelts, which come with a shoulder strap, and the seatbelts in the economy section, which are lap restraints only. Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said the company buys seats from other companies and „simply installs them.” He also said the seat belt designs and configurations are mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Birtel declined to discuss the other issues Pitre raised. Authorities said Friday that 15-year-old Liu Yipeng was struck by a fire truck, although it’s not clear whether that killed her. Some passengers who called 911 immediately after the crash also complained that the emergency response took too long. Those third parties and others are open to lawsuits in the United States. San Francisco officials said ambulances could not immediately come too close to the plane out of concern the aircraft would explode. _Associated Press Writer Youkyung Lee contributed to this report from Seoul, South Korea.
Sun’s 2013 Solar Activity Peak Is Weakest in 100 Years