Latest Carnival cruise problem
PASSENGERS from the Carnival Dream were heading to the airport Thursday instead of sailing home after an on-board generator problem halted their trip in the latest maintenance headache for the world's largest cruise line.
The Dream was in St. Maarten on the final stop of a Caribbean cruise when the crew announced they would not be sailing home to Port Canaveral, Fla., because of a mechanical issue with a diesel generator, passengers said.
Carnival Cruise Lines said the Dream had a "technical issue" with its backup emergency diesel generator that was discovered during a test on Wednesday. A company statement said the ship did not lose power but there were periodic interruptions to elevators and restrooms.
Carnival said all systems were functioning normally Thursday, but the company had decided to make flight arrangements for the passengers to return home by air.
Passengers strolling about the Dutch Caribbean town of Philipsburg told The Associated Press the power and water were out for 10 to 20 minutes, contradicting media reports of longer outages and unsanitary conditions.
The Dream has been on a seven-day cruise of the Caribbean with 3,646 passengers. The ship's March 16 voyage from Port Canaveral has been cancelled.
An engine fire crippled the Carnival Triumph in February, leaving 4,200 stranded for five days without working toilets or power.
Canada falling behind: UN
OTTAWA -- Canada has slipped out of the top 10 countries listed in the annual United Nation's human development index -- a far cry from the 1990s when it held the first place for most of the decade.
The 2013 report, which reviews a country's performance in health, education and income, places Canada in 11th place versus 10th last year.
A closer look at the trends shows Canada actually did better than last year, but other countries such as Japan and Australia improved at a greater rate.
The main finding of the report is positive, that some of the world's poorest countries are consistently improving areas such as life expectancy, school attendance and per capita income.
Even the countries at the bottom of the list, Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are among those that showed the greatest improvement.
Nepal judge gets nod
KATMANDU, Nepal -- Nepal's chief judge was named head of an interim government in an attempt by the Himalayan country's main political parties to cure the paralysis and infighting that have blocked elections for months.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Khilraj Regmi was sworn in Thursday by President Ram Baran Yadav, and his choices of former bureaucrats Madhav Ghimire as home minister and Hari Prasad Neupane as law minister took the oath of office with him.
An agreement signed late Wednesday night by leaders of Nepal's four main political parties says Regmi will have an 11-member cabinet and the interim government will hold elections by June 21.
Smaller parties oppose the move. Protesters vandalized government vehicles Thursday and shut down the country for hours.
No more death penalty: governor
EUGENE, Ore. -- A power struggle between a death-row inmate who wants to be executed and a governor who refuses to let it happen reached Oregon state's highest court Thursday as lawyers sparred over the governor's power.
The lawyer for a man convicted of two murders argued that Gov. John Kitzhaber lacks authority to delay Gary Haugen's execution without the inmate's consent.
Kitzhaber, a death-penalty opponent, regretted letting two other inmates be put to death and said he won't allow it to happen again. He blocked Haugen's execution in 2011, two weeks before Haugen was scheduled to die by lethal injection, delaying the sentence until the governor leaves office.
Haugen's lawyer, Harrison Latto, said the Oregon state constitution allows the death penalty and that trumps the moral views of the governor.
The governor argued his clemency power is absolute, and nobody -- certainly not an inmate on death row -- can prevent him from doing what he believes to be in the state's best interest.
If you can make it there...
NEW YORK -- New statistics show more people moved into New York City than out of it last year. It's the first time in more than 60 years.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday cheered the reversal as a sign of the city's quality of life.
The finding comes from new census estimates that put the city's population at a record high of 8.3 million.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the city's population has grown by more than 161,500 people since 2010. The increase is also due to a growing gap between births and deaths as life expectancy increases.
Cop gets surprise after pull over
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- An Iowa City police officer pulled over a speeding SUV -- then helped the driver and his passenger deliver a baby.
When officer Kevin Wolfe stopped the vehicle Sunday night, the driver jumped out and yelled, "Sir, we're delivering a baby right here, right now!"
Wolfe told a Cedar Rapids TV station by the time he reached the passenger door of the SUV, the baby's head and arms were already out. He assisted in the final stages of the delivery and wrapped the child in a blanket before escorting the family to a hospital.
The episode was captured by Wolfe's dashboard camera.
Police spokeswoman Vicki Lalla says Wolfe didn't issue a speeding ticket and so did not take down the parents' names.
-- from the news services