Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nation Briefs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nation Briefs

Article excerpt

SeaWorld makes big change

Finally bowing to years of public pressure, SeaWorld announced Thursday that it will immediately stop breeding killer whales, and soon stop making them perform theatrical tricks.

SeaWorld's 29 orcas will remain on display at the company's theme parks, but in "new, inspiring natural orca encounters," the company said.

Attendance at SeaWorld's parks dropped after the 2013 release of "Blackfish," a highly critical documentary. SeaWorld reported a fourth-quarter loss of $11 million in February. SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby said he approached the company's killer whale quandary with a "fresh perspective" since taking the helm less than a year ago, and he realized, "society is shifting here."

Gas line blasts bring new safety plan * U.S. officials moved Thursday to strengthen safety rules for the nation's 300,000-mile network of natural gas transmission pipelines in response to numerous fiery accidents, including a 2010 California explosion that killed eight people and injured more than 50.

The Department of Transportation proposal would expand inspection and repair rules to include lines in some rural areas and newly installed lines in burgeoning gas drilling fields.

Officer freed after arrest in boy's death * A suburban Dallas police officer who shot and killed a teenage burglary suspect and wounded another boy while off duty was released from jail on bail Thursday, authorities said. Ken Johnson, a Farmers Branch police officer, was arrested Wednesday on murder and aggravated assault charges in the shootings Sunday in Addison. He posted $150,000 bond and left jail early Thursday, according to Melinda Urbina, of the Dallas County Sheriff's Department.

NYC St. Patrick's Day parade more inclusive * From the green line painted on Fifth Avenue to the tartans, pipes and drums, New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade reveled in its long traditions. But to the marchers behind a green-and-lavender banner, it also marked a new era of inclusion at the nation's largest celebration of Irish heritage. …

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