Briefs from Tribune news services
Two missing after storms bring flooding to northeast
Fort Plain, N.Y. • Two people are missing after heavy rains inundated the northeast and led to severe flooding in some areas.
Officials say a woman in upstate New York's Mohawk Valley is unaccounted for after her mobile home was washed away by rising waters Friday in Fort Plain. A number of other nearby communities also experienced flash flood
Heavy rains Thursday and Friday caused the Mohawk River and other waterways to overflow. At Little Falls, the river reached more than 3 feet above flood stage late Friday morning before receding, the National Weather Service said.
Authorities in central Pennsylvania say an 86-year-old man was swept into a rain-swollen creek Thursday while trying to retrieve an ATV. State police in Clinton County have not released the Beech Creek Township man's name.
Atheists' monument counters Ten Commandments
Starke, Fla. • A monument to atheism now sits near a granite slab that lists the Ten Commandments outside a courthouse in a conservative north Florida town.
The New Jersey-based group American Atheists unveiled the 1,500-bound granite bench Saturday as a counter to the religious monument in what's called a free speech zone.
Group leaders say they believe it's the first such atheist monument on government property.
About 200 people attended the event. Most were atheists, but a few protesters attended as well, including a group with signs that said, "Yankees Go Home."
The atheists sued to try to have the Ten Commandments removed but dropped the case when they were told they could have a similar monument.
Facebook pulls ads from violent pages
Menlo Park, Calif. • Facebook is pulling ads from pages that contain violence or sexual content.
The social network says that on Monday will expand its definition of pages and groups that are too controversial to carry advertisements.
Facebook has sought to strike a balance between giving its 1.1 billion monthly users the freedom to post what they want and providing advertisers with space to sell their products.
In May, Facebook Inc. lost more than a dozen advertisers, at least temporarily, after the activist group Women, Action and the Media urged an advertising boycott to protest hate speech on the Facebook site. The controversial content included grisly photos and mottos that encouraged rape, abuse and other violence against women.
The company said then that it would review its guidelines.
Government probes Honda brake problem
Detroit • U.S. safety regulators are investigating some Honda Odyssey minivans because they can brake without the driver pressing the pedal.
The probe affects nearly 344,000 vans from the 2007 and 2008 model years.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has received 22 complaints from owners about unexpected braking. In some cases, the vans braked while drivers were accelerating, cutting the speed by up to 30 miles per hour. Five people told the agency that dealers found trouble in a steering angle sensor in the electronic stability control system.
The agency says it has no reports of crashes or injuries.
Investigators will determine if the problem happens frequently enough to seek a recall.
The problem is similar to one that resulted in the recall of about 250,000 vehicles worldwide in March. That problem was caused by improper electronics and wiring in the electronic stability control system, which automatically applies brakes to individual wheels if vehicles are out of control.
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