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In the Nation

Money only part of Big Dig truce

BOSTON - A company blamed in the deadly ceiling collapse of a Big Dig tunnel last year has agreed to give the loved ones of the woman killed not only $6 million, but also something they really want: answers.

But representatives of the widower and children of Milena Del Valle said yesterday that the family wanted even more information on events, decisions and failures that led 26 tons of concrete ceiling panels to crash down on her car July 10, 2006, crushing her and injuring her husband, Angel.

Investigators found that the ceiling in an I-90 connector tunnel had collapsed because workers secured it with a fast-drying epoxy that was not safe for overhead loads. Power Fasteners of Brewster, N.Y., which supplied the epoxy, agreed Monday to settle the Del Valles' lawsuit, capping weeks of confidential negotiations.

Powers Fasteners did not acknowledge wrongdoing in the settlement, but its representatives answered questions from the family and their lawyers on the ordering and shipping of the epoxy, said one of the lawyers, Bradley M. Henry. Powers Fasteners was indicted in August on a manslaughter charge.

- AP

House's Wexler wants Cheney out

WASHINGTON - Rep. Robert Wexler (D., Fla.) has launched a Web site on which he is gathering signatures calling for impeachment hearings against Vice President Cheney.

In a video on


, Wexler says the Constitution mandates that the House "hold presidents and vice presidents accountable when they commit high crimes." His site suggests, among other things, that Cheney manipulated intelligence to boost the case for war against Iraq and was involved in the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson.

Wexler said he had surpassed his goal of 50,000 signatures and was aiming for 250,000. He acknowledged that the effort was a "huge uphill battle" because the House leadership has not been interested.

- McClatchy Newspapers

Bushes together for Christmas

WASHINGTON - President Bush brought his extended family together for a Christmas celebration at Camp David, Md.

Gathered at the compound in the Catoctin Mountains, about 60 miles northwest of Washington, were the Bushes' twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna; Laura Bush's mother, Jenna Welch; the president's sister, Doro Bush Koch, and her family; and his brother Marvin and his family.

The president gave his wife a silver tray and a purse, and she gave him a new coat and warming soles for cold-weather mountain biking, said Sally McDonough, Laura Bush's press secretary. The Bushes gave their daughters household items for their apartments, McDonough said.

Bush planned to leave Camp David today for his Texas ranch and was expected to return to Washington on New Year's Day.

- AP


The California Supreme Court

has ruled that shopping malls may not stop protesters from urging the boycott of stores while on mall property.