Obama: Syria deal an important step...Hundreds evacuated amid floods...Storms near 2 coasts of Mexico

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By AP

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Updated: Sat, 14 Sep 2013 03:16:06 EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama calls an agreement reached today an "important, concrete step" toward the goal of eliminating Syria's chemical weapons. But he says the U.S. is prepared to act if the attempt at a diplomatic solution fails. The agreement reached by Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart plan calls for Syria to eliminate all its chemical weapons by the middle of next year or face U.N. penalties. It gives Syria one week to submit a complete list of its chemical weapons stockpiles. LYONS, Colo. (AP) — National Guard trucks and helicopters are moving people out of flooded areas of Colorado by the hundreds. The Guard says it had evacuated nearly 800 people as of this morning. Flooding across a wide area of the state has killed at least four people, but authorities say that number could grow. One woman is missing and presumed dead in Larimer County, where witnesses saw floodwaters destroy her home. More than 170 people remain unaccounted for in Boulder County, but the sheriff says many of those could be people who just haven't been in contact. VERACRUZ, Mexico (AP) — Two tropical storms are converging on Mexico's east and west coasts, prompting authorities to evacuate coastal residents and set up shelters. Forecasters say Tropical Storm Ingrid is gathering strength off Mexico's Gulf Coast, while Tropical Storm Manuel is swirling off the Pacific coast, threatening to produce 10 to 15 inches of rain. Manuel's top winds are 45 mph and Ingrid's are 65 mph. HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A federal judge in Pennsylvania is rejecting a bid by farm industry and home builders' groups to block U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pollution limits designed to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia Rambo says the EPA had the authority to set standards to reduce levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment in rivers that drain into the bay and harm its ecology. In her ruling yesterday, the judge also rejected complaints that the EPA's process and science were flawed. HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Jerry Sandusky's challenge to his child molestation conviction goes before a state appeals court on Tuesday. The former Penn State assistant football coach is hoping to overturn a sentence that could keep him behind bars for life. Pennsylvania's Superior Court will decide whether prosecutors made an improper reference to the fact that Sandusky did not testify, whether jury instructions were mishandled and whether the defense should have been given more time before trial to digest a large volume of investigative material.

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