By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - A construction crew on Friday accidentally ruptured a natural gas transmission line in Fresno, California, sparking an explosion and fire that injured up to 15 people, four of them critically, officials said. The 12-inch (30-cm) pipeline, belonging to Pacific Gas & Electric Corp , was struck by a backhoe near state Highway 99, unleashing a fireball that injured members of the construction team and a jail inmate crew nearby, Fresno Fire Department spokesman Peter Martinez said. One worker in critical condition was flown to hospital by helicopter, and 13 or 14 others were taken to hospitals for evaluation and treatment of injuries after the pipeline was ruptured at about 2:30 p.m., Martinez added. Four of the injured were taken to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, and two more were taken to the burn unit there, said hospital spokeswoman Mary Lisa Russell, adding that four were in critical condition and two serious.
NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Rand Paul lashed out Saturday at military hawks in the Republican Party in a clash over foreign policy dividing the packed GOP presidential field.
HOUSTON (AP) — Storms packing winds approaching 90 mph are sweeping across parts of Texas and Oklahoma, causing widespread power outages in the Dallas area — including at a professional soccer game.
Yemen's government has rejected a four-point peace plan for the country that Iran submitted to the United Nations, a spokesman said on Saturday. Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab coalition partners have been bombing Iranian-allied Houthi rebels for three weeks in order to halt advances that could give the rebels full control of the country. The conflict, though rooted in local rivalries, has been described as a proxy war between predominantly Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran, both top OPEC oil producers. The Iranian plan calls for an immediate ceasefire and end of all foreign military attacks, humanitarian assistance, a resumption of broad national dialogue and "establishment of an inclusive national unity government." "We reject the Iranian initiative," Yemeni government spokesman Rajeh Badi told Reuters by telephone from Qatar's capital, Doha.
Chinese police have shot dead two suspected "terrorists" on the border with Vietnam, part of a group of people trying to sneak out of the country, state media said on Friday. The group was discovered on Friday morning in Dongxing city, which lies on the other side of Vietnam's border in the southern region of Guangxi, the China News Service said on its official microblog. Chinese police have previously captured or killed ethnic Uighurs from the far western Chinese region of Xinjiang who have tried to cross into Vietnam. Exile group the World Uyghur Congress said that growing numbers of Uighurs were trying to "extricate themselves from a life of terror in China".