1 Dies in Arkansas

Railroad Explosion

TEXARKANA, Ark. -- A tanker car transporting the flammable gas propylene derailed in a switchyard and exploded in a ball of fire Saturday, killing one person and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of houses.

Two houses were destroyed, including the victim's, and smoke covered the south end of the city after a Union Pacific train from Chicago hit another freight train, causing eight cars to derail, authorities said. At least seven people went to hospital emergency rooms with complaints of respiratory problems.

* KEY WEST, Fla. -- The parents of a 6-year-old Cuban boy who died while being smuggled to the United States were released by immigration officials to relatives in Florida, a Customs and Border Protection spokesman said. The couple, Julian Villasuso, 49, and Maizy Hurtado, 32, arrived in Key West late Friday after the speedboat they were being smuggled in overturned as it was being chased by a Coast Guard cutter.

* BATON ROUGE, La. -- About 95 percent of about 270,000 Hurricane Katrina evacuees were cleared from shelters by the federal government's self-imposed deadline. State and federal officials said 15,875 people remained in shelters, 9,292 of them in Louisiana. An estimated 600,000 of the 1.5 million people displaced by Katrina were being lodged in hotels at a cost projected to reach as much as $425 million by Oct. 24.

* TAMPA -- The Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base is investigating whether soldiers received inferior equipment because contractor William Burke took bribes from defense companies. Burke who worked for Alexandria, Va.-based Sentel Corp., pleaded guilty Friday to bribery and agreed to identify conspirators.

* KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas temporarily blocked a federal judge's order to transport a pregnant inmate to a clinic for an abortion.

-- From News Services