Obama honors veterans during holiday weekend
WASHINGTON President Barack Obama is paying tribute to veterans during Memorial Day weekend, honoring those willing to sacrifice their lives for their country.
Obama says in his weekly radio and Internet address he will mark Mondays holiday with veterans and their families at Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
The president says the nation needs to honor veterans, including those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, by ensuring they have access to health care, higher education and jobs.
In the Republican address, Rep. Lynn Jenkins of Kansas says higher prices from gasoline to groceries have placed a strain on families. She is calling for building the controversial Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Upper Peninsula wildfire grows to 21K-plus acres
NEWBERRY, Mich. A wildfire in Michigans Upper Peninsula grew by 17 percent to more than 21,000 acres Saturday as officials warned of tough conditions and welcomed help from water-dumping aircraft from the Michigan National Guard.
Wind gusts were predicted at 15 mph and high temperatures were in the 60s in a dry, remote part of the state where access has been tricky because there are few roads. Tahquamenon Falls State Park, a popular destination for campers seven miles from the fire, was closed.
The fire, known as the Duck Lake Fire, was 20 percent contained in Luce County, about 75 miles northeast of the Mackinac Bridge, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said. Fewer than 100 people have been evacuated, said Dean Wilson, a spokesman for the fire management team.
Rainy Memorial Day forecast for southeastern U.S. coast
SAVANNAH, Ga. A cluster of thunderstorms that stalled off the southeastern U.S. coast on Saturday is expected to make for a sloppy, rainy Memorial Day on beaches and in tourist towns from Florida to South Carolina.
Tropical storm warnings were in effect for the entire Georgia coastline, as well as parts of Florida and South Carolina.
Beryl technically was still considered a subtropical storm, but the system is expected to bring winds and rain to the area regardless of its official classification. Tropical storm conditions exist with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.
Some coastal flooding was forecast, as the rain could cause high tides.
Late Saturday afternoon, Beryl was centered about 220 miles east-southeast of Charleston, S.C. It was moving southwest at 6 mph.
Crew of ship in piracy drama file $50 million lawsuit
NORFOLK, Va. More than half the crew members of a container ship that was at the center of a piracy drama off Somalia in April 2009 are suing for nearly $50 million, contending their captain ignored warnings to sail clear of pirate-infested waters off Africa.
The lawsuits have been filed by 11 crew members aboard the Maersk Alabama, a Norfolk-based ship, the Virginian-Pilot reported Saturday. The five-day standoff ended when Navy SEALs killed three of Capt. Richard Phillips captors.
While Phillips was hailed as a hero, his former crew members allege his actions put them in grave danger when the ship sailed within about 250 miles of the African coast despite warnings to stay at least 600 miles offshore because of the threat of piracy.