Two drug-smuggling tunnels outfitted with lighting and ventilation systems were discovered along the U.S.-Mexico border, the latest signs that cartels are building sophisticated passages to escape heightened surveillance on land, U.S. authorities said Thursday.
Both tunnels were at least 150 yards long. One began under a bathroom sink inside a warehouse in Tijuana, Mexico, but was unfinished and didn't cross the border into San Diego. The Mexican army found the tunnel Wednesday.
The other was discovered Saturday in a vacant strip mall storefront in San Luis, Ariz.
"When you see what is there and the way they designed it, it wasn't something that your average miner could put together," said Douglas Coleman, special agent in charge of the Phoenix division of the Drug Enforcement Administration. "You would need someone with some engineering expertise to put something together like this."
Smart911 comes to nation's capital
Washington, D.C., is the latest city to adopt the Smart911 system -- an online emergency database where people can enter personal information, such as medical conditions, the number of children in a house and other data that might be critical to dispatchers and first responders.
Nashville was the first large city to adopt it in 2010, and Arkansas became the first to do so statewide this year. The program is used in more than 300 communities across the country.
"Imagine you have a diabetic on the phone who can't talk, and that person has registered," said Jim Sierzchula of the Office of Emergency Services in Baxter County, Ark. "It gives us that critical information we need."--Kevin Pieper
Drought expands, intensifies across U.S.
Almost 61% of the contiguous U.S. is now in a drought, the highest percentage in at least 12 years, federal climate scientists said Thursday.
Twelve states -- Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio -- are completely in a drought or considered "abnormally dry," according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
The only region untouched by drought is the Northeast, although many parts of that area are classified as "abnormally dry," the Drought Monitor shows. --Doyle Rice
More Zimmerman case records released
The Florida neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed black teen was following the boy because he was frustrated by previous burglaries in his community and not because of the teen's race, according to an FBI report released with other case documents.
The shooting of Trayvon Martin, 17, and the weeks without an arrest led to nationwide protests over racial profiling and self-defense laws. George Zimmerman, 28, is charged with second-degree murder in the February shooting. He has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense.
Chris Serino, the lead detective investigating Trayvon's death, described Zimmerman to FBI agents as overzealous and as having a "little hero complex" but not as a racist, the FBI report said. Prosecutors and Trayvon's family say the teen was racially profiled by Zimmerman.
Mass. officials reverse local flag ban
Massachusetts stepped in to reverse a decision by a town's housing authority that barred residents from flying U.S. flags outside their homes.
The Wrentham, Mass., Housing Authority notified residents of the flag ban through a letter taped to their doors. The unsigned letter said the move was made after a tenant made "repeated" complaints over the Fourth of July holiday.
"It was a mistake that is being corrected immediately," Department of Housing and Community Development spokesman Jason Lefferts said.
The unsigned letter left many tenants angry, including Barbara Marshall, 82, whose brother took part in the D-Day invasion of France.
Most Popular Stories
- European Car Sales up First Time in 20 Months
- Kanye West 'SNL Speech' Renounces Celebrity Status
- Entrepreneurs Chase Social Media
- Financial Times Twitter, Email Hacked
- Apple's iPhones, iPads Approved for Military Use, Sir Yes Sir!
- RFD-TV launches on Charter Cable
- 'Star Trek Into Darkness': The Return of Khan?
- Manila's Hollywood Week
- Jolie Mastectomy Raises Legal Questions
- Ullman Says Penney Turnaround Will Take Time