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In the Nation

Vehicle plunges off road; 7 die

NEW YORK - An out-of-control SUV careered across several lanes of traffic on a New York City highway Sunday, then plunged more than 50 feet off the side of the road and landed in a ravine on the grounds of the Bronx Zoo, killing all seven people aboard, authorities said.

Three of the victims were children, fire department spokesman Jim Long said. The others were 84, 80, 45, and 30. Long did not name them.

The Honda Pilot was headed south when it bounced off the median and crossed all southbound lanes over to the guardrail, police said. It flipped over the edge of the highway.

The vehicle landed nearly upside down on zoo property that is closed to the public and far from exhibits, zoo spokeswoman Mary Dixon said. It was not clear what caused the loss of control. - AP

White House aide: Security is intact

WASHINGTON - The White House's top counterterrorism adviser said the Secret Service's prostitution scandal did not expose weak spots in the president's security.

John Brennan, speaking Sunday on CNN's State of the Union, said disciplinary actions against the officers allegedly involved show the Secret Service will do whatever is necessary to ensure that potential threats won't "penetrate the security shield that surrounds the president."

Eight Secret Service officers were fired and three others disciplined for their behavior in Colombia, where they were setting up security for a visit by President Obama. - AP

Crash suspected in yacht deaths

LOS ANGELES - A yacht involved in a race off the coast of California and Mexico apparently collided at night with a much larger vessel, leaving three crew members dead and one missing, a sailing organization said early Sunday. It was the state's second ocean racing tragedy this month.

The 37-foot Aegean, carrying a crew of four, was reported missing Saturday during a 125-mile race from Newport Beach, Calif., to Ensenada, Mexico, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The Newport Ocean Sailing Association, the race organizer, said the accident late Friday or early Saturday was several miles off the coast near the ocean border of the two countries. "It appeared the damage was not inflicted by an explosion but by a collision," spokesman Rich Roberts said in a news release Sunday. - AP

Navy, Calif. utility near deal on use

LOS ANGELES - The Navy is nearing a first-time agreement to curb electricity use at its sprawling San Diego-area bases if power runs short in Southern California this summer, a deal intended to diminish the threat of blackouts while the troubled San Onofre nuclear plant remains off-line.

The Navy is San Diego Gas & Electric's largest customer, and the utility has been working on an agreement under which the Navy would temporarily reduce its energy consumption if regional supplies get scarce. In exchange, the Navy would receive a break on electricity rates. The company has similar agreements with large industrial customers. - AP


Sales of safe rooms, small residential storm shelters, are surging across much of the nation, especially in cities such as Montgomery and Tuscaloosa in Alabama and in Joplin, Mo., where tornadoes last year laid waste to entire neighborhoods. Manufacturers can barely keep up with demand. Some states are offering financial incentives to help pay for the added protection. Storms in 2011 killed 358 in the South and 161 in Joplin.