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In the Nation


Fire at Mosque called suspicious

A fire at a Houston mosque is suspicious and may have been intentionally set, an official from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Saturday.

The fire was reported Friday afternoon at the Islamic Society of Greater Houston. It caused major damage to the building but no one was injured.

The blaze had "multiple points of origin," which is an indicator that a fire accelerant may have been used, according to Nicole Strong, an ATF special agent with the agency's Houston Field Division.

The Houston Fire Department is investigating with help from the ATF, Strong said.

Mustafaa Carroll, who is the executive director for the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, called on law enforcement to investigate, citing a recent spike in vandalism to mosques that have prompted hate crime investigations. - AP

Car hits carriage;

7 on hayride hurt

A car crashed into a horse-drawn hayride in Maine on Friday, injuring seven people, one seriously. Police said Saturday that the car's driver may have been blinded by the sun.

Richard Libby, 73, of Clinton, hit the rear end of the carriage carrying a driver and 14 passengers, smashing into it hard enough to break the seat of driver Cathleen Simmons, 42, and send her sprawling, police said.

Carriage rider Kathy Marciarille, 56, of Rome, Maine, was thrown from the vehicle and run over by the car. She was hospitalized Saturday in critical condition at Maine Medical Center. Six other people were treated and released at hospitals.

Libby and Simmons, were taken to a hospital for blood tests, which is routine, police said. It does not appear speed or alcohol was involved. - AP

Fire damages jet

at Denver airport

A United Airlines passenger jet suffered minor damage at Denver International Airport on Saturday when an engine backfired at a gate while it was being moved by mechanics, causing a small fire.

DIA spokeswoman Mindy Crane says there were no passengers on board and the fire was quickly put out by the Denver Fire Department. No injuries were reported.

Denver Fire Department Lt. Mike Pylar says the small fire did not damage any other parts of the Boeing 757 aircraft. United said the plane was being readied for a trip to Orlando, and passengers were rebooked on other flights. - AP

Courts: No undoing what was put asunder

Should those irreconcilable differences suddenly get reconcilable, don't go looking to get un-divorced in New Hampshire.

The state's Supreme Court this month upheld a lower court ruling refusing to vacate a New Castle couple's 2014 divorce after 24 years of marriage. Terrie Harmon and Thomas McCarron, argued that their divorce decree was erroneous because they mended fences and are a couple once more.

The justices, in a unanimous ruling Dec. 2, said the law allows them to grant divorces but not undo them. - AP