Midday Roundup: Napa wineries clean up after quake
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 8/25/14, 12:40 pm
Shaken, not stirred. Business owners in Napa Valley are assessing damages after a 6.0-magnitude earthquake early Sunday morning. About 120 people received injuries—mostly minor—and no deaths were reported. Napa Valley is home to a $50 billion wine industry. Some wineries reported little damage, while others lost bottles, barrels, and supplies. The owner of Henry Hill & Company was wading in a “sea of Cabernet” at his wine warehouse. He estimated he had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars of stored wine in the quake, the region’s largest in 25 years.
Rest in peace. Mourners from around the country today lay to rest Michael Brown, the 18-year-old shooting victim whose death sparked violent protests in Ferguson, Mo. Funeral attendees include the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton, movie director Spike Lee, and scores of St. Louis residents who didn’t know Brown but want to show their support for his family. At a peaceful rally Sunday, Brown’s family asked for calm in the city during their son’s funeral, which coincides with Ferguson students’ return to school. Classes were delayed due to the unrest in the community that followed Brown’s death Aug. 9.
Freed. An American journalist held captive in Syria by an al-Qaeda-linked group was released Sunday. Theo Curtis, 45, was captured nearly two years ago by the Nusra Front, a militant group fighting against the Syrian government. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the nation of Qatar, which supports the Syrian rebels, helped negotiate Curtis’ release. Curtis, writing as Theo Padnos, has published articles for New Republic and a book called Undercover Muslim: A Journey Into Yemen. Last week, the rebel group ISIS, which has terrorized parts of Syria and Iraq, beheaded American journalist James Foley. Nusra Front and ISIS do not have formal ties, though both fight against the Syrian government. Al-Qaeda disavowed Islamic State last year for being too brutal.
Let them sleep. Teens need more sleep than they’re getting, says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which is calling on secondary schools to delay start times. Starting school at 8:30 a.m. or later would lead to more nighttime sleep and improve students’ moods and motivation in class, the AAP states. The recommendation, published online today, cites numerous studies showing the negative health effects of sleep deprivation on teens. But experts say the cost of adding or changing bus availability is a barrier to starting school later.
Fort Lee shooting. A soldier at Virginia’s Fort Lee shot herself inside a high-traffic building, prompting the Army base to briefly go on lockdown this morning. The shooting took place in the same building as the Combined Arms Support Command, which trains 180,000 students annually. Fort Lee is the country’s third largest Army training base with a daily population of 34,000. The soldier was taken to a nearby hospital, and no other injuries were reported.
Accountability Gap. The Government Accountability Office last week said President Barack Obama broke the law when he authorized exchange of five U.S.-held Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The law requires 30 days’ notice to Congress before such action. Money for the exchange wasn’t approved by Congress for the task, violating a rule called the Antideficiency Act. The breach would normally carry serious consequences, like fines and imprisonment, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget. But that office reports to the president, who doesn’t seem worried. Obama’s stated justification for breaking the law is the executive branch’s job of protecting American lives. Bergdahl’s health was failing, and Congress would have interfered, Obama has said.
WORLD Radio’s Mary Reichard and The Associated Press contributed to this report.