Naoma, West Virginia (CNN) - Rescue crews seeking four miners missing after an explosion in a West Virginia coal mine were pulled from the mine Thursday because deteriorating air quality posed the threat of a new blast, officials said.
The crews were ordered to turn back about 9:30 a.m., said Kevin Stricklin of the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.
As the rescuers - 32 in all, in four teams - were in the mine, officials began to get deteriorating readings on air exiting a borehole drilled into the mine Wednesday, Stricklin said.
"We do not base pulling people on one sample," he said. "We looked at a couple of samples. They were all very consistent."
The readings showed levels of carbon monoxide, methane and hydrogen rising to potentially explosive levels, endangering the rescuers. FULL STORY
By Elizabeth Nunez, CNN
(CNN) – They say the miracle can be witnessed in the hallways: Teenagers who struggle to pronounce words like “toothbrush” in their Level 1 language classes are heard a few months later chatting in fluent English in the winding corridors of Newcomers Public High School in Long Island City, Queens.
Alfredo Duque, 17, was one of them. When he arrived to the United States three years ago from Guerrero, Mexico to live with his aunt and uncle in Queens, he enrolled at the school. After his graduation this coming June, he will move to Wisconsin to attend Lawrence University with a Posse Scholarship to cover all of his tuition.
Stories like his are not uncommon at the school. Newcomers is devoted exclusively to teaching immigrant students who have arrived to the United States within a year or less of enrolling. Half of them come from Latin American countries, one quarter from China and the rest from over 40 countries, mostly in Southeast Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.
The students speak little or no English and yet Newcomers sends 90 percent of its graduating seniors to college, and at least a third of them win some kind of scholarship.
Senior Susandi Htut, from Burma, is being considered for a Torch Scholarship at Northeastern University in Boston. Susandi, 19, arrived to the United States with her mom and two younger brothers in 2006 to join her father, who works as a nurse technician at Rikers Island prison health care service.
While she waits to hear from Northeastern, Bard College has already given her a partial scholarship. If selected, Susandi, who is torn between majoring in biology or political science, says she will be first in her family to attend university.
(CNN) – Over the decades, a lot of coal miner blood has been spilled, despite efforts to pass laws to make their jobs safer.
This week's mining disaster in West Virginia seems to have struck a nerve like no other. The coal mining community there is having a very hard time coping with history once again repeating itself. Our John Roberts takes a look at coal mining's safety record and efforts made to improve it.
Read more: Rescuers enter West Virginia mine
(CNN) – Rescue teams entered the Upper Big Branch Mine in Naoma, West Virginia today, searching for four miners still missing after Monday's deadly blast.
A West Virginia mom is among the many members of the tight-knit community hoping and praying they'll be found alive. It would give some solace to Pam Napper after losing her brother, a nephew and a son when everything went terribly wrong on Monday afternoon.
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Obama, Medvedev to sign 'comprehensive' arms treaty
(CNN) – President Obama landed in the Czech Republic on Thursday for a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to sign a major nuclear arms control agreement that reduces the nuclear stockpiles of both nations.
The new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) builds on a previous agreement that expired in December.
Obama has called the treaty the "the most comprehensive arms control agreement in nearly two decades" and said it would cut the nuclear weapons of the United States and Russia by about a third.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he hopes Congress will ratify the treaty with a large bipartisan majority, as it has with previous arms control treaties. FULL STORY
McDonnell: Not mentioning slavery was 'a mistake'
New anger is being aimed at Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. He's declared April "Confederate History Month," but in his initial remarks there was no mention of the word "slavery." The governor has apologized, but as our Kate Bolduan reports this morning, that hasn't stopped the controversy. FULL STORY
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