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New rules rejected for mine safety

The House has rejected a bill that would have adopted sweeping changes to rules about mine safety. The legislation was prompted by the deadly explosion in April that killed 29 West Virginia coal miners.

The measure would have made it easier to shut down problem mines, increased penalties for serious safety violations and offered more protection for whistle-blowers.

Democrats brought up the bill under a special procedure in which debate was limited and no amendments were allowed. That procedure requires a two-thirds majority to pass. The vote was 214-193 in favor of passage, short of the two-thirds needed.

Republicans say the bill is too punitive and call it premature because investigators are still looking into the Upper Big Branch disaster in West Virginia.


Service planned for Edwards

RALEIGH | A public memorial service is being planned to honor the life of Elizabeth Edwards.

A family friend said Wednesday that Mrs. Edwards, who died Tuesday, will be honored Saturday at Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh at 1 p.m. The public is allowed to attend the event. The family is still working on burial plans.

The family is asking that people make donations to the Wade Edwards Foundation, which was created in honor of Mrs. Edwards’ son who died in a car crash at age 16.

Mrs. Edwards died of breast cancer six years after she was first diagnosed with the disease. Family, friends and admirers said she was an inspiration for how she handled a series of adversities in her life.

From wire dispatches and staff reports