By Michael Fleeman OXNARD, Calif. (Reuters) - A Los Angeles-bound commuter train hit a truck on the tracks near a Southern California railroad crossing before dawn on Tuesday, injuring 50 people, four of them critically. The truck driver, who was not hurt, left the scene near Oxnard on foot and police found him talking on a cellphone in "some sort of distress" more than 1.6 miles (2.6 km) away, Assistant Police Chief Jason Benites said. The force of the impact overturned three double-decker Metrolink rail cars and derailed two others, ripped the truck apart and left twisted wreckage smoldering for hours. National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt told reporters late on Tuesday that the truck appeared to have traveled some 80 feet (24 meters) down the track before hitting the train.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska has become the third U.S. state to legalize marijuana. But the historic day passed with little public acknowledgement in a state with a savvy marijuana culture that has seen varying degrees of legal acceptance of the drug for 40 years.
MIAMI (AP) — The Justice Department's decision to not prosecute a civilian neighborhood-watch volunteer for a hate crime in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager isn't necessarily a harbinger of how it will rule in two other high-profile deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police.
DENVER (AP) — Mental health experts say the case of an 87-year-old Alzheimer's patient suspected of killing his roommate at an assisted living facility in suburban Denver is rare and shows the difficulty of caring for those with the unpredictable disease, even for the specially trained.
(Reuters) - Southwest Airlines Co said it pulled 128 aircraft out of service on Tuesday after it discovered that they were overdue for a required check of the standby hydraulic system that serves as a back up to the planes' primary systems. "Once identified, Southwest immediately and voluntarily removed the affected aircraft from service, initiated maintenance checks, disclosed the matter to the FAA, and developed an action plan to complete all overdue checks," the company said in a statement. Southwest, the largest U.S. carrier by domestic traffic, said it canceled about 80 flights on Tuesday due to the grounding and was expecting "very minimal impact" to its operations on Wednesday. The Federal Aviation Administration approved a proposal that would allow the Dallas-based carrier to continue operating the aircraft for a maximum of five days while it completes the checks within the next few days, the airline said.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie's $33.8 billion budget won't go anywhere in the Legislature without a green light from Democratic leaders, and so far their reaction amounts to more of a yellow caution light.