Third woman accuses Mayor Filner; Silversea Cruise Line fails inspection; Alabama abortion law gets blocked

7/26/2013, midnight
National news briefs for the week of July 22, 2013.
Mitch McConnell


A train derailed in western Florida early Thursday, causing 15 rail cars to topple over and leading to an ethanol spill. The derailment took place at the Port of Tampa, said Tampa fire department Capt. Lonnie Benniefield. Firefighters used foam on the spill to reduce flammability. The operation to upright the cars and clean up the spill were expected to last well into Thursday afternoon. There was no immediate word on injuries.


Prosecutors in the Andrea Sneiderman trial in Atlanta intend to drop murder charges against the widow, according to HLN affiliate WSB. Sneiderman was charged with malice murder and felony murder related to the death of her husband. Prosecutors also will drop one count of aggravated assault. Sneiderman is still facing four counts of perjury and seven counts of making false statements to law enforcement officials, and one count of hindering the apprehension of a criminal. Rusty Sneiderman was gunned down in a suburban Atlanta neighborhood in November of 2010, in a busy parking lot outside a preschool with children in a playground less than 30 feet away. He was shot four times. Hemy Neuman, the gunman, is serving life in prison for Rusty Sneiderman’s murder.


As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell fends off attacks from the left in his 2014 Senate campaign, the Kentucky senator will now have to beat back an opponent from the right. But McConnell wasted no time in pushing back against his new primary challenger. Louisville businessman Matt Bevin announced Wednesday he’ll take on McConnell in a Republican primary, saying the five-term incumbent has been in office long enough. He also made a formal announcement Wednesday morning at an event at the state capital in Frankfort, the first of eight scheduled campaign stops across the state in the next three days. Bevin’s newest campaign ad criticizes McConnell’s record, including criticizing his vote for the fiscal cliff deal at the beginning of the year, and for his confirmation vote of two “liberal judges,” referring to Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.


James “Whitey” Bulger’s defense lawyer continued hammering away at one of the government’s star witnesses in a Boston courtroom Wednesday, trying to portray the convicted killer as a pathological liar who should have called it quits and gone to the electric chair when he had the chance. “Why not take the death penalty and get it over with?” Bulger attorney Hank Brennan asked Steven Flemmi. “I was dead either way,” responded the Bulger henchman, who has spent five days on the witness stand. Flemmi said he decided to cooperate with the government to spare his friends and family from having to suffer through endless trials: “I took the path of least resistance.” Key to any deal, he said, was testifying against his former crime partners. “I was facing life in prison, plus 30-year consecutive sentences, plus the electric chair in two states,” he said, describing his testimony as non-negotiable and a package deal, “It was a global situation.” Flemmi pleaded guilty in 2003 to 10 murders.


Anthony Weiner

New York

Anthony Weiner, the embattled New York City mayoral candidate who admitted this week to sending raunchy chats to a young woman last summer, estimated Thursday he had online relationships with three different women after his 2011 resignation from Congress. Weiner stepped down from his House seat in 2011 after admitting to sending lewd photos and messages to multiple women online. He pointed out Thursday that when he left the House of Representatives, he admitted to exchanging messages with six women. Weiner has resisted calls from his rivals to withdraw from the race for New York City mayor, saying the decision of whether he’s trustworthy enough for the job should be up to voters.

Compiled By Juliana Norwood. CNN News Wire contributed to this report.