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EPA says it'll phase in greenhouse rules

WASHINGTON (NYT) — Facing wide criticism over their recent finding that greenhouse gases endanger the public welfare, top Environmental Protection Agency officials said Monday that any regulation of such gases would be phased in gradually and would not impose expensive new rules on most American businesses.

The EPA's administrator, Lisa Jackson, wrote in a letter to eight coal-state Democrats who have sought a moratorium on regulation that only the biggest sources of greenhouse gases would be subjected to limits before 2013. Smaller ones would not be regulated before 2016, she said.

The eight Democratic senators, led by Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, said hugely significant decisions about energy, the economy and the environment should be made by elected representatives, not by federal bureaucrats.

Senate Republicans are going a step further, seeking to prevent the agency from taking any action to limit greenhouse gases, which are tied to global warming.

Jackson warned that if the Republicans thwarted the agency's efforts to address climate change, it would kill the deal negotiated last year to limit carbon pollution from cars and light trucks and would have a chilling effect on the government's scientific studies of global warming.

Doctor faces 471 counts in sex case

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A Delaware grand jury returned a sweeping indictment Monday against a pediatrician accused of serial molestation in what could be one of the worst child sex abuse cases in the nation's history.

The 160-page indictment returned by a Sussex County grand jury charges Dr. Earl Bradley of Lewes with 471 counts of sexual crimes against 103 children.

Attorney General Beau Biden said all of the alleged victims, including one boy, were caught on more than 13 hours of video recordings, some dating to 1998, that were seized from Bradley's office and home.

Biden said that while there have been other cases around the country involving multiple victims, "I know of no other that has this many victims."

The charges against Bradley include rape, sexual exploitation of a child, unlawful sexual contact, continuous sexual abuse of a child, assault and reckless endangering.

Bradley, who was arrested in December and initially charged with 29 felony counts for allegedly abusing nine children, is being held with bail set at $2.9 million. His medical license was permanently revoked by the state Board of Medical Practice last week.

Tour bus crash kills 2 and injures 23

LAKE PLACID, Fla. (AP) — A tour bus carrying senior citizens on a cultural tour rolled over Monday on a rural stretch of road in central Florida, killing two people and injuring more than a dozen others, authorities said.

The bus carrying 30 people including the driver had just visited murals in Lake Placid and was headed back to a nearby hotel when it crashed. Highlands County Sheriff Susan Benton said the bus swerved to avoid a car that had pulled out in front of it. It rolled at least twice.

Tiffany Bender, spokeswoman for Florida Hospital Heartland Division, said 11 people were taken to Lake Placid hospital. She said 12 others were taken to the group's hospital in Sebring.

The passengers, who ranged in age from 66 to 87, had traveled to the area from around the U.S. to participate in an educational program affiliated with South Florida Community College in Avon Park.

Workers file suit over deadly blast

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Two workers injured in a power plant explosion filed a lawsuit Monday alleging that proper safety procedures were not followed, and an attorney said that included live electricity running through the site, workers welding and a gas-fueled torch heater running when the blast happened.

The enormous blast ripped apart the nearly completed Kleen Energy Systems plant Feb. 7 in Middletown as workers for O&G Industries Inc. purged a natural gas line. Six workers were killed and 20 were injured.

"Our investigation to date has revealed evidence of a substantial breakdown in safety procedures at the time in question," said Paul T. Edwards, attorney for the injured workers.

The lawsuit filed in Hartford Superior Court says workers were not warned that the gas being purged could not be contained.

The lawsuit, which names O&G, Keystone Construction and Maintenance Services and Kleen Energy Systems, contends the companies failed to contain the natural gas being purged and negligently allowed it to escape, ignite and cause the explosion. The lawsuit, which seeks more than $15,000 in damages, says the purging procedure was not properly supervised.

Nancy Sterling, a Keystone spokeswoman, said the company has not had a chance to review the lawsuit and can't comment on it but that Keystone is continuing to cooperate with authorities on the investigation. A spokesman for O&G declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Mother convicted of murdering 2 girls

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — A Maryland woman who adopted three children despite a troubled past was convicted Monday of murdering two of the girls, whose bodies were stored in a freezer as the woman continued collecting payments meant to help with their care.

Renee Bowman, 44, kept the bodies of the two young girls on ice for months while she continued to collect subsidies paid to parents who adopt special-needs children in the District of Columbia, receiving a total of about $150,000 since adopting the girls.

The bodies were found after the third daughter escaped by jumping out a window. The girl, now 9 and living with new foster parents, testified in the murder trial last week about the abuse she and her sisters endured — being beaten with a baseball bat and shoes and choked until they lost consciousness.

The girl's older sisters, Minnet and Jasmine Bowman, were both younger than 10 when they died, though authorities were never able to determine exactly when the murders occurred. Nobody knew they were missing, and there are no records the children were ever enrolled in school. Prosecutors said Bowman killed them while the family was living in Rockville and took the freezer with her when the family moved first to Charles County and later to Lusby, in Calvert County.

Cheney in hospital after chest pains

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former vice president Dick Cheney was hospitalized after experiencing chest pains Monday, an aide said.

Cheney assistant Peter Long issued a statement that the 69-year-old Cheney was resting comfortably at George Washington University Hospital and his doctors were evaluating the situation.

Cheney has a history of heart problems, including four heart attacks starting at age 37. Cheney had bypass surgery in 1988, as well as two later angioplasties to clear narrowed coronary arteries. In 2001, he had a special pacemaker implanted in his chest.

250-pound dog is the world's biggest

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A 250-pound blue Great Dane from Arizona gives new meaning to the term "big dog."

Guinness World Records says Giant George from Tucson is the tallest dog ever on record.

Guinness said Monday that he stands 3 feet, 7 inches tall from paw to shoulder, which is three-quarters of an inch taller than his closest rival — Titan, a white Great Dane from San Diego.

The 4-year-old Titan took the title of world's tallest dog in 2009 after Gibson, a Great Dane from Grass Valley, Calif., died of bone cancer.

Guinness officials say there were conflicting reports about Giant George's height, so they sent a judge to verify it.

The 4-year-old is owned by David Nasser.