Police officer in Obama motorcade struck, killed

A motorcycle police officer who was part of President Obama’s motorcade to a campaign event in Florida died Sunday after being struck by a pickup truck.

Officer Bruce St. Laurent, 55, was a 20-year veteran of the Jupiter Police Department and one of several officers from agencies across Palm Beach County helping with security for the president’s visit.

He was ahead of the motorcade on Interstate 95 preparing to shut down the highway when he was hit by the Ford F-150, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera said. He was taken to nearby St. Mary’s Medical Center and was pronounced dead.

Barbera said an investigation was ongoing and no charges had yet been filed against the driver.

Obama was on the second day of a bus tour through the key swing state and made a campaign appearance Sunday at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said the president didn’t see the accident, but he was notified of the officer’s death and said “our thoughts and prayers are with the officer’s family.”


Tropical storm brushes by Bermuda; officials relieved

Tropical Storm Leslie’s outer bands buffeted Bermuda with gusty winds and rain, swirling to the east of the British enclave Sunday and then heading on a path expected to take it to Canada’s Newfoundland later in the week.

The government reopened the L.F. Wade International Airport in the early evening after keeping it closed for most of the day because of tropical storm winds. Major airlines already had canceled flights to the British Atlantic territory of about 65,000 inhabitants.

As Leslie moved away from Bermuda into the northern Atlantic, the Bermuda Police Service said there were no reports of major damage or injuries. Bus service resumed. But scattered power outages affected hundreds of customers during the day.

Government officials were breathing a sigh of relief since Leslie had several days earlier been forecast to be a Category 2 hurricane as it passed Bermuda, possibly as a direct strike.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph late Sunday as it moved away from Bermuda.

U.S. forecasters said Leslie could regain hurricane strength Tuesday over open ocean as it was expected to approach Newfoundland.


Sixteen moderate preachers slain en route to conference

Sixteen Muslim preachers from a moderate sect were shot dead in central Mali as they traveled by road to a religious conference, the Malian and Mauritanian governments said Sunday.

Early reports indicate that the men’s long beards aroused the suspicion of Mali’s military, which confused them with the extremists who have taken over the nation’s north.

The preachers were heading to the gathering in Bamako when they were executed in Diabaly, 267 miles north of the capital.

The dead included at least 12 nationals of Mauritania, the Mauritanian government said in a government communique that blamed Malian security forces for executing the preachers. A relative of two of the victims and a Mali police official confirmed this version of events.

— From news service reports