Nation Briefs

Lion attacks, kills worker at Calif. animal park

DUNLAP, Calif. – A female intern-volunteer was killed Wednesday by a lion at a private wild animal park in Central California, and authorities were trying to determine what might have caused the fatal attack.

Cat Haven founder and executive director Dale Anderson was crying as he read a one-sentence statement about the fatal mauling at the exotic animal zoo he has operated since 1993.

The 26-year-old intern was attacked and killed when she entered the lion’s enclosure, Anderson said, but he refused to provide more details.

Sheriff’s deputies responding to an emergency call from Cat Haven, in the Sierra Nevada foothills about 45 miles east of Fresno, found the woman severely injured and still lying inside the enclosure with the lion nearby, Fresno County sheriff’s Lt. Bob Miller said.

Another park worker had unsuccessfully tried luring the lion into a separate pen, so deputies shot and killed it so they could reach the wounded woman, who died at the scene, Miller said.

House votes to prevent March 27 federal shutdown

WASHINGTON – Republicans pushed legislation through the House on Wednesday to prevent a government shutdown this month while easing the short-term effect of $85 billion in spending cuts – at the same time previewing a longer-term plan to erase federal deficits without raising taxes.

The legislation that cleared the House on a bipartisan vote of 267-151, ensuring funding through the Sept. 30 end of the budget year while granting the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs greater flexibility in implementing their share of short-term spending cuts.

Minority Democrats appeared torn between a desire to support legislation to keep the government open and their goal of replacing at least half of the spending cuts with provisions to increase revenue.

Jobs report lifts Dow Jones to another record high

NEW YORK – After barreling through a record the day before, the Dow Jones industrial average meandered higher on Wednesday.

The Dow edged up 42.47 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 14,296.24. An encouraging job-market report helped nudge the stock market up and pushed bond prices lower.

On Tuesday, the Dow blew past the previous all-time high it hit more than five years ago. The index of 30 big corporations has more than doubled since hitting a low during the financial crisis in March 2009.

Associated Press