- - Monday, June 27, 2011


Small asteroid swings harmlessly past Earth

LOS ANGELES — An asteroid the size of a tour bus zipped harmlessly past Earth.

The space rock was 7,600 miles above the Earth’s surface, sailing high above the southern Atlantic Ocean at its closest approach.

The asteroid was discovered last week by telescopes in New Mexico. It is between 15 feet and 60 feet wide. Scientists say asteroids this size sail past Earth every six years.

Earlier this year, a smaller space rock came within 3,400 miles of Earth.


Homeowners on standby to flee from wildfire

BOULDER — About 100 firefighters are battling a wildfire that broke out in a canyon northwest of Boulder.

Fire officials had put 340 homeowners on standby to evacuate. No structures are immediately threatened by the fire.

Meanwhile, hot, windy weather in southern Colorado has caused a wildfire that has been burning since June 12 to spread. The Duckett fire grew by about 400 acres over the weekend but it’s not threatening any homes. Most of the growth has been in a steep, rugged terrain in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

That fire covers 7 square miles and is 80 percent contained.


Planned Parenthood sues officials on funding

TOPEKA — Planned Parenthood has filed a federal lawsuit about a provision pushed by abortion opponents in Kansas’ next state budget that prevents it from receiving federal family- planning dollars.

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri filed the lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan. It says the provision violates the organization’s free speech and due process.

The provision says the state’s portion of federal family-planning dollars must go first to public health departments and hospitals.


Film launches new project on busing riots in 1970s

BOSTON — A documentary making its debut this week is the start of a project that aims to show that the busing riots that roiled Boston in the 1970s and stained the city’s reputation were more than just a conflict between blacks and whites.

The Union of Minority Neighborhoods, a Boston advocacy group, will show the documentary Tuesday at the Boston Public Library. It’s called “Can We Talk?” The film is part of the organization’s yearslong Boston Busing/Desegregation Project.

The project’s coordinator, Donna Bivens, says the crisis was largely about equal access to education and not simply another episode of racial strife. She says organizers of the 10-year project plan to hold community meetings around Boston with victims of the riots and seek to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.


National Park Service unveils Flight 93 memorial drawings

SHANKSVILLE — The National Park Service has released architectural drawings of the first phase of the Flight 93 memorial in western Pennsylvania.

The first drawing depicts two white marble walls framing a ceremonial gateway. A second shows the concrete gateway itself.

Forty passengers and crew died Sept. 11, 2001, when the plane crashed into a field near Shanksville, about 65 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

The Families of Flight 93 say about $50 million in public and private money has been raised for the project. The dedication of the first phase is scheduled for Sept. 10.

Flight 93 was traveling from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco the day four airplanes were hijacked by terrorists. The 9/11 Commission found that the hijackers likely wanted to crash into the White House or U.S. Capitol the jet went down in Pennsylvania as passengers fought back.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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