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More levees threatened ... 4 young people dead in Indiana crash ... 2 explosions kill 16 in Syrian city



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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Nine levees in the St. Louis area have already been topped by water and another dozen are considered at risk, but residents are moving out just in case. The mayor of the St. Louis suburb of Valley park has ordered mandatory evacuations for up to 400 homes and dozens of businesses near the fast-rising Meramec (MEHR'-uh-mehk) River. Crews are trying to keep Interstate 55 open as long as possible by sandbagging and pumping water. At least 20 deaths over several days in Missouri and Illinois have been blamed on flooding.

WAVERLY, Ind. (AP) — Four people are dead and another five are injured in a crash near Indianapolis. State Police say a vehicle crossed a median last night and struck a minivan on State Road 37 in Morgan County. Police say four "young people" in the vehicle were killed and a fifth passenger was taken to the hospital. A family of four in the minivan also was taken to the hospital with injuries that aren't considered to be life-threatening.

ELKINS PARK, Pa. (AP) — For the first time since dozens of women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault, the entertainer is facing criminal charges. The 78-year-old was charged Wednesday in Pennsylvania with felony assault, stemming from a 2004 encounter with a former Temple University employee less than half his age. Prosecutors believe Cosby sexually assaulted the woman after giving her pills and wine. She reached a settlement with Cosby after suing him in 2005.

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's state news agency is reporting that two "terrorist explosions" have gone off in the predominantly Kurdish northeastern city of Qamishli, killing 16 people and wounding 35. The SANA news agency says last night's explosions happened in a Christian neighborhood in the predominantly Kurdish city. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the bombs went off in two restaurants in the city center, near a security point run by government troops.

NEW DELHI (AP) — An unwanted passenger has forced an Air India plane to return to Mumbai. The aircraft was on its way to London when passengers spotted a rat on board. The airline says though the rat was not found, the pilot returned to Mumbai, keeping passenger safety in mind. The airline says the aircraft will be fumigated and checked before it's returned to service.

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The Associated Press

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