Flooding Crests In Vicksburg; U.S. Diplomats Attacked In Pakistan

May 20, 2011

The flooding Mississippi River has crested lower than expected in Vicksburg, Miss., but the Army Corps of Engineers warns it will be days before the surging waters recede, according to AP. Now the water is surging downstream to the Gulf of Mexico.

Note: We incorrectly described the sites that worry environmental activist group, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. The group says there's one oil refinery in the projected flood zone and no chemical plants. But the group says there are thousands of oil and gas wells and abandoned oil waste pits that need to be guarded. NPR's Jeff Brady tells NPR Newscasts the state of Louisiana says oil companies must install automatic cutoffs for wells that might be inaccessible during a flood.

Libya has released four foreign journalists held for weeks. The Guardian says American Clare Morgana Gillis, GlobalPost reporter James Foley, Spanish photojournalist Manuel Varela and British freelancer Nigel Chandler were taken to Tunisia. But they revealed missing South African journalist Anton Hammerl was dead, even though Libya had insisted Hammerl would be released.

Two U.S. consulate vehicles were hit by a bomb in Peshawar, Pakistan today. The Los Angeles Times says a Pakistani bystander was killed, and the Americans inside the vehicles were slightly wounded. Pakistani television says the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

The head of the Japanese utility that runs the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant is resigning. Japan Today says Masataka Shimizu is quitting to take responsibility for the nuclear disaster. At the same time, Tokyo Electric Power Co. says it lost $15 billion dollars for its fiscal year that ended in March, according to the Washington Post.

One of North Korea's leaders is visiting China. The AP cites South Korean news agencies as saying North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is making the trip but earlier reports indicated his son, Kim Jong Un, was the traveler. North Korea is an extremely secretive country but there are reports the country is suffering devastating food shortages. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.