According to foxnews.com, the death toll in a train derailment in western Japan rose to 71 early Tuesday, nearly a day after a packed commuter train jumped the tracks and hurtled into an apartment complex in the deadliest Japanese rail accident in four decades. More than 440 were injured. Investigators focused on whether excessive speed or the actions of the inexperienced, 23-year-old driver caused the crash in an urban area near Amagasaki, about 250 miles west of Tokyo. Survivors said the force of the derailment sent passengers tumbling, and many were bloodied or unconscious. A few noted the stench of burning metal. “There was a violent shaking, and the next moment I was thrown to the floor…and I landed on tope of a pile of other people,” passanger Tatsuya Akashi said.
CIA’s final report: No WMD found in Iraq
The CIA’s top weapons inspector in Iraq, Charles Duelfer, said that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction has gone “as far as feasible” and has found nothing in his final report. This closes an 18-month investigation into the programs of Saddam Hussein that was used to justify the 2003 invasion. In 92 pages posted online Monday evening, Duelfer provided a final supplement to a roughly 1,000-page report released last fall.
Duelfer also said a group formed to investigate whether WMD-related material was shipped out of Iraq before the invasion wasn’t able to reach firm conclusions because the deteriorating security situation limited and later halted their work. Investigators were focusing on transfers from Iraq to Syria. However, Duelfer said, the Iraq Survey Group believes “it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place. However, ISG was unable to rule out unofficial movement of limited WMD-related materials,” according to msnbc.com.
Elton John to wed longtime partner
According to msn.com, pop singer Elton John will marry his longtime partner, David Furnish, later this year or early next year, his publicist said Monday. John, 58, said he plans to marry Furnish, 42, before Christmas; however, a spokesman for John said that the nuptials might be postpones until 2006. Laws recognizing homosexual civil partnerships come into effect in Britain in December of this year. The wedding could take place in Windsor, the same place where Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were married in early April. John has publicly credited Furnish, whom he has dated for 11 years, with helping him to overcome addictions to alcohol and drugs.