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National news briefs — compiled on March 22

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PROVIDENCE, R.I.

House Speaker Fox resigns

Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox is resigning from his leadership post and will not run for re-election, he said Saturday, a day after federal and state authorities raided his Statehouse office and home as part of a criminal investigation that they would not detail. “Because of the respect I have for all members of the House of Representatives, I am resigning as Speaker,” Fox said in a written statement emailed Saturday evening to reporters. The Providence Democrat, 52, said he planned to serve out the remainder of his term, but that “my personal focus going forward will be on my family and dealing with the investigation.” Fox has represented Rhode Island’s capital in the General Assembly for more than 20 years. He became the nation’s first openly gay House speaker when he assumed the post in 2010.

SEATTLE

Mudslide kills three, injures eight

Snohomish County authorities say a massive landslide in Washington state has killed three people, injured at least eight and destroyed at least six houses. An estimated mile-long slide of dirt, trees, rocks and other debris hit just before 11 a.m. Saturday. Snohomish County spokeswoman Shari Ireton says a 6-month-old infant was among those injured. Authorities believe the slide was caused by ground water saturation from recent heavy rainfall. The landslide has completely blocked State Route 530 near Oso.

SAN DIEGO

Plane carrying drugs crashes

Authorities say an ultralight aircraft carrying about 250 pounds of marijuana has crashed in the mountains east of San Diego, but there’s no sign of the pilot. The downed plane was discovered Friday morning by U.S. Customs and Border Protection during a routine air patrol. A team of federal agents picking through the wreckage in the remote Laguna Mountains found a helmet, gloves and other gear. There was also a pair of footprints leading away from the crash site. Because there was no sign of blood, authorities believe the pilot walked away unscathed. The marijuana was removed.

Compiled from wire reports.


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