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POSTED December 5, 2012 9:56 p.m.

NEW STUNNING NIGHTTIME VIEWS OF EARTH UNVEILED: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twinkling city lights, raging wildfires and colorful auroras are lit up in new dazzling nighttime views of the Earth.

The new images released Wednesday are courtesy of a newly launched NASA-NOAA satellite that's equipped with a sensor to observe the planet at night.

There's the Nile River bathed in city lights. A map of the United States shows the populated East Coast illuminated. Light from fishing boats can be pinpointed.

The satellite also captured the glow from natural sources including moonlight, northern lights and naturally-occurring fires.

After Superstorm Sandy made landfall in late October, hard-hit New Jersey, lower Manhattan and the Rockaways appeared dark in the satellite images compared with surrounding areas — the result of widespread power outages.

HUNTERS FIND BODIES BELIEVED TO BE  IOWA COUSINS: EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) — Hunters discovered two bodies Wednesday believed to be the young Iowa cousins who vanished five months ago while riding their bikes, authorities said.

The families of 9-year-old Elizabeth Collins and 11-year-old Lyric Cook were notified of the discovery and are asking for privacy, Black Hawk County sheriff's Capt. Rick Abben said.

OBAMA TO ASK FOR $50 BILLION SANDY AID: WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama plans to ask Congress for about $50 billion in additional emergency aid for states hit by Superstorm Sandy, Democrats on Capitol Hill said Wednesday.

Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that the administration is still working on a request for a supplemental spending bill to provide the aid and expects to send it to Congress this week.

The price tag is expected to be anywhere between $45 billion and $55 billion. Two Senate Democratic aides, speaking on condition of anonymity because the request is still being assembled, put the number in the neighborhood of $50 billion.

TEXAS STUDENT SHOOTS SELF WHILE IN POLICE CUSTODY: HOUSTON (AP) — A student taken into custody for his own protection Wednesday at his Houston-area high school shot himself with a hidden gun while handcuffed inside a patrol car, authorities said.

The student, a senior whose name was not released, was conscious when taken to a hospital and was in critical but stable condition Wednesday evening.

Police say deputies searched the 17-year-old before placing him in the back of the patrol car and are investigating how the gun was not discovered.

Galena Park school district spokesman Jonathan Frey said deputies picked up the student between 10:30 and 11 a.m. Wednesday at North Shore High School after he sent a text message to a friend saying he wanted to hurt himself.

FATHER: SICK GIRL SAFE AND BEING TREATED IN MEXICO: PHOENIX (AP) — The mystery surrounding the whereabouts of a sick girl with leukemia deepened Wednesday after her father said his 11-year-old daughter is being treated in Mexico and authorities considered bringing child neglect charges against the family.

Phoenix police have been looking for Emily since surveillance video one week ago showed the girl's mother walking her out of Phoenix Children's Hospital a day before the child was set to be released.

Authorities are searching for the girl in Arizona, California and Mexico, where the family has relatives, as doctors say she could contract a potentially deadly infection if not returned for treatment.

The girl underwent about a month of chemotherapy and had been treated for an infection that forced doctors to amputate her arm, police said. Doctors had inserted a tube through her chest to deliver medications through her heart. Her mother unhooked the tubing from an IV and left with the girl, leaving her susceptible to infection.

 

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