Maryland

Truck spills 8,000 bottles of dressing; cleanup a 'nightmare'

A tow company crew was still working on Monday to clean up a week after a semi trailer truck crashed near Hagerstown, dumping about 8,000 bottles of ranch dressing into and along the banks of the Little Conococheague Creek. One employee called it a "nightmare." The tow company said it was hired by the company that operates the truck that crashed March 2 as it was traveling along eastbound Interstate 70 near the creek. The truck was carrying about 20,000 bottles of ranch dressing at the time of the crash; the highway was closed for more than 10 hours.

Trooper kills man who stabbed him

A Maryland state trooper fatally shot a man who stabbed him Monday in Carroll County, officials said. The trooper, a six-year veteran of the patrol, was treated for his injuries and released from a hospital. Officials said the trooper was responding to a call regarding the destruction of property. A man reported that his tires had been slashed and that his vehicle had been damaged for "the second day in a row," according to police. The trooper was stabbed during a struggle.

Coast Guard officer pleads not guilty to drug, weapons charges

A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of using his government computer to plot a domestic terrorist attack pleaded not guilty to drug and weapons charges during his latest court appearance. Christopher Hasson, 49, appeared in U.S. District Court in Maryland almost two weeks after he was indicted on additional weapons charges related to what the government says were silencers found among a stockpile of weapons seized from his basement apartment. Hasson was arrested Feb. 15 on drug and gun charges after a computer program the Coast Guard uses flagged suspicious activity tied to his work devices.

Colorado

Moose rescued from window well

Rescuers hauled a bull moose to safety after it became trapped in a window well at a private home about 77 miles west of Denver. The rescuers first tranquilized the animal Saturday night before attempting a rescue from the 5-foot-deep enclosure. Authorities said they erected a pulley system to lift the young male weighing between 800 and 1,000 pounds. The moose may have been trying to avoid snowdrifts by walking close to the house. A parks spokesman said the operation took nearly six hours and included 30 to 35 people. The moose returned to the woods without any injuries.

New York

$77M in cocaine is seized

A whopping 3,200 pounds of cocaine worth about $77 million on the street was confiscated from a container at the Port of New York/Newark in what authorities said was the largest cocaine seizure in 25 years there. The cocaine, found on Feb. 28, was in 60 burlap bundles hidden on two pallets in a container that otherwise had a shipment of dried fruit, officials said. The container originated at the port of Buenaventura, Colombia.

Afghanistan

Taliban talks peace amid killings

Taliban fighters killed or captured an entire Afghan National Army company of more than 50 soldiers on Monday, Afghan officials said, the latest in a series of major attacks by the militant group even as it pursues a peace deal with the U.S. The attack, in which the Taliban were reported to have killed 16 soldiers and taken 40 prisoners, took place in northwestern Badghis Province, close to the country's western border with Turkmenistan. It came as Taliban negotiators entered a third week of talks with U.S. diplomats in the Persian Gulf kingdom of Qatar. The episode was the deadliest in a weeklong insurgent campaign that has killed, wounded or captured 70 soldiers in the district.

Algeria

April elections are postponed

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has delayed elections on April 18 and will not seek a fifth term in office, a stunning turnaround after weeks of massive street protests in the North African nation. The decision came a day after the ailing Bouteflika returned to the capital, Algiers, from Switzerland, where he had been receiving medical treatment for the past two weeks. The elections will be postponed until a new interim leadership is established.

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