WASHINGTON – The House narrowly rejected a challenge to the National Security Agencys secret collection of hundreds of millions of Americans phone records Wednesday night after a fierce debate pitting privacy rights against the governments efforts to thwart terrorism.
The vote was 217-205 on an issue that created unusual political coalitions in Washington, with libertarian-leaning conservatives and liberal Democrats pressing for the change against the Obama administration, the Republican establishment and Congress national security experts.
The showdown vote marked the first chance for lawmakers to take a stand on the secret surveillance program since former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden leaked classified documents last month.
Train derailment kills 40-plus in Spain
A passenger train derailed Wednesday night on a curvy stretch of track in northwestern Spain, killing at least 40 people caught inside toppled cars and injuring more than 140 in the countrys worst rail accident in decades, officials said.
Bodies were covered in blankets next to the tracks as rescue workers tried to get trapped people out of the trains cars. Images showed one car pointing up into the air with one of its ends twisted and disfigured. Another carriage that had been severed in two was lying on a road near the track.
Officials gave differing death tolls in the immediate aftermath of the crash just outside Santiago de Compostela.
Alligator killed after eating husky
A public safety officer in eastern North Carolina shot and killed an alligator after it ate an 80-pound husky that was walking with its owner.
Officials in Jacksonville, N.C., said a woman was walking the dog at dusk Tuesday when it ran to the edge of the water near a local shopping center. Alligators usually feed around dusk.
Jacksonville public safety and state Wildlife Resources Commission officers searched for the alligator Wednesday morning. Public Safety spokeswoman Beth Purcell said officials discussed capturing and relocating the alligator, but decided that in the interest of public safety, the alligator had to be killed.
Girl birthed baby found in trunk
An Ohio police chief says a 17-year-old told officers that she was the one who gave birth to a baby whose remains were found in a box in the trunk of a car at a repair shop.
Shelby police Chief Charlie Roub says the girl told investigators Tuesday night that she didnt know she was pregnant and gave birth at home in late January or early February.