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briefs

Divers find body near burned rig

– Authorities say that divers hired by the owner of an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico that caught fire on Friday have recovered a body near the site.

Coast Guard spokesman Carlos Vega said the unidentified person was found Saturday evening by divers hired by Houston-based Black Elk Energy who were inspecting the platform. Vega said the Coast Guard was turning over the remains to local authorities.

The news came shortly after the Coast Guard suspended a 32-hour-long search for two workers missing after the fire erupted. Vega said the Guard could resume the search if there is credible evidence that one of the workers survived.

Four other workers were severely burned.

Plane crash victims were frat brothers

A small plane that spiraled downward and burst into flames after striking a pickup truck shortly before takeoff was carrying two University of Maine students and one alumnus, all of whom died in the crash, the school said Saturday.

All three were members of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

The Cessna 172 struck a truck on the Knox County (Maine) Regional Airport runway early Friday night, Knox County Chief Deputy Sheriff Tim Carroll said. One fraternity brother, senior Lucas Bernardi, told the Bangor Daily News one of the victims had just gotten his pilot’s license and wanted to take his friends for a fun ride.

Rubio visits Iowa, discusses tax views

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said the way to turn around the nation’s struggling economy is not to raise taxes on the wealthiest individuals but rather to make “poor people richer” as he visited politically important Iowa and stoked speculation of a White House run.

Ostensibly, Rubio’s visit was for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s birthday party. But the political implications of Rubio’s visit were clear from the start as the Republican Party looks ahead to 2016’s presidential contest.

His birthday wishes for Branstad were more like a road map for his party looking for a new direction and an argument for a Rubio presidential campaign.

In a 24-minute, campaign-style pitch to fellow Republicans, Rubio ticked through conservative goals: Lower taxes to spur economic growth.

Compassionate immigration overhaul to help those who want to become Americans. Reduced regulation to let small businesses grow.

Official who ended gold standard dies

Thomas W. Wolfe, who as a Treasury Department official managed the United States’ move off the gold standard and its economic consequences, died Nov. 5 at the Gardens at Fair Oaks assisted-living facility in Fairfax, Va. He was 93.

Wolfe worked at Treasury during the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations, and he faced the difficult task of managing the technical details of the U.S. decision not to offer to exchange dollars for gold at a fixed exchange rate.

Wolfe led the government’s efforts to sell off much of its gold and silver holdings in a manner that maximized the return on the sales. It was a particular challenge because the U.S. government was dumping such large supplies onto markets that could have collapsed prices to taxpayers’ detriment, if not handled properly.

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