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National briefs from Tribune news services

Published May 25, 2013 9:33 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Texas flooding killsat least two people

San Antonio • Authorities say flooding in San Antonio has killed at least two people, and they were searching for a third person who was swept away in a creek.

San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Christian Bove says two women were killed in separate incidents Saturday after becoming trapped in their cars. Emergency crews recovered both of their bodies.

In the suburb of Schertz, authorities were still looking for a teenage boy who was swept away while trying to cross the swollen Cibolo Creek.

Torrential rains swamped San Antonio with flash floods on Saturday. Emergency workers used boats as they rushed to rescue more than 200 residents stranded in cars and homes.

More rain is forecast for overnight.

Obama has a new chief speechwriter

Washington • President Barack Obama's new chief speechwriter is a 32-year-old fellow Chicagoan who believes in public service.

Cody Keenan stoked his appetite for public service while working for the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. He was steered to Obama's first presidential campaign while studying at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Keenan joined Obama's campaign in the summer of 2007 as an unpaid speechwriter and was hired full time after earning his degree the following year. He's been with Obama ever since.

White House colleagues, including many Obama campaign veterans, praise Keenan's writing skills and work ethic.

Keenan first gained public notice for writing the speech Obama delivered at a Tucson, Ariz., memorial service for victims of a deadly January 2011 mass shooting that severely injured then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Hagel echoes Obama in West Point speech

West Point, N.Y. • Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is telling West Point cadets that sexual assault in the military must be stamped out.

Hagel's message comes a day after President Barack Obama delivered a similar edict to U.S. Naval Academy graduates, amid a series of widespread incidents of sexual misconduct across the military in recent months and a new report showing that the problem is growing.

Hagel tells graduates at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point that they must be the generation of leaders who will stop the debilitating threats of suicide, sexual assault and drug and alcohol abuse that are hurting the all-volunteer force.

He says that as they face an uncertain future, they must also be ready to fight unpredictable wars with fewer people and less money.

Angel Flight crashes; at least two dead

Ephratah, N.Y. • Rescuers are searching for the pilot of a volunteer Angel Flight that crashed in upstate New York, killing two passengers.

A dispatcher for the Fulton County Sheriff's Department says divers went to a large pond Saturday morning where the bulk of the plane was found submerged in Ephratah, west of Albany. Investigators were also combing nearby woods.

The Federal Aviation Ad ministration says the plane departed from Bedford, Mass., and was headed to Rome, N.Y., when it crashed Friday night.

Angel Flight is a nonprofit group that arranges free air transportation for sick patients. The passengers and pilot had not yet been identified.