National

Ruling on Day of Prayer meets with criticism

WASHINGTON — About two dozen members of Congress on Wednesday condemned a federal judge's ruling that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional, saying prayer has long been part of the country's history.

"The American people believe in prayer. The American people believe that prayer changes things," said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., as he urged the Obama administration use "all means at its disposal" to challenge the decision.

Several of the lawmakers also called on the Justice Department to appeal the ruling.

The government has yet to make a determination as to what its next step will be, said Charles Miller, a Justice Department spokesman.

11 workers missing after fire on oil rig

PORT FOURCHON, La. —Eleven offshore oil workers remained missing Wednesday evening off the southeastern tip of Louisiana, a day after an oil rig fire sent a column of flame into the sky and pangs of worry through a community built around the risky job of extracting the resource from below the ocean floor.

The U.S. Coast Guard had helicopters, boats and a plane searching a 900-nautical-square-mile section of the Gulf of Mexico near the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon. The rig burst into flames around 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Coast Guard experts were trying to assess any environmental cleanup that may be necessary, said USCG Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike O'Berry.

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