- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 7, 2008

Storage room added to new Japanese lab

HOUSTON | Astronauts aboard the International Space Station used its robotic arm Friday to grapple and then hoist a storage room onto Japan’s new orbital research laboratory.

The massive lab complex dubbed “Kibo” - “hope” in Japanese - was delivered to the space station by the Space Shuttle Discovery.

But Kibo also needs its own components, such as the storage facility, which is like a tool shed where spare parts, tools and experiments will be stored. Astronauts Karen Nyberg and Gregory Errol Chamitoff used the station’s 58-foot Canadian-built robotic arm to grab the storage facility and move it to its permanent home atop the Kibo complex.

911 calls released in hit-and-run case

HARTFORD, Conn. | City police Friday released audio tapes of two 911 calls made shortly after a 78-year-old man was struck by a car and then left alone in the street by passing motorists and pedestrians.

The tapes were released two days after police Chief Daryl Roberts publicized a surveillance video of two cars veering across the center line and one striking Angel Arce Torres and leaving him paralyzed in the busy street.

The video showed cars zooming past and bystanders staring at Mr. Torres from the sidewalk, prompting Chief Roberts to declare, “We no longer have a moral compass.” City officials later acknowledged that police received four 911 calls immediately after the accident.

“Send an ambulance quick, quick, quick, he’s bleeding hard,” one man implores a 911 operator.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell on Friday offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the motorists involved in the accident.

Shooting suspect dies in hospital

MONTEAGLE, Tenn. | A man suspected of killing a sheriff’s deputy and wounding another officer died Friday morning after shooting himself at the end of a daylong manhunt, authorities said.

Kermit E. Bryson, 29, died about 12:30 a.m. at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, said David Trillet, a supervisor at the hospital.

The death ended an ordeal that began before dawn Thursday when three officers went to a Monteagle mobile home to serve Bryson with a warrant for probation violation. Authorities said Bryson fatally shot Grundy County Sheriff’s Deputy Shane Tate, 28. Another police officer was grazed by a bullet but not seriously hurt.

Police guard site of stunts in N.Y.

NEW YORK | A cordon of police officers and private security stood guard Friday in front of the New York Times building after two daredevils scaled the skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan within hours of each other.

Police arrested both men Thursday after each safely reached the top of the 52-story tower, the distinctive facade of which has slats like the rungs of a ladder. The stunts drew the attention of hundreds of onlookers, along with TV cameras that captured the drama live.

Coast Guard blamed for oil spill

SAN FRANCISCO | A container ship’s owner blames the U.S. government for a major San Francisco Bay oil spill last year because the ship’s pilot was granted a license despite a history of drug and alcohol abuse.

A lawsuit filed earlier by the Justice Department claims the owner and the pilot of the Cosco Busan broke environmental laws when the ship struck a bridge support and spilled 53,000 gallons of oil in the Bay. But the response Hong Kong-based Regal Stone filed Thursday argues that the Coast Guard caused the spill by its “gross negligence and willful misconduct” in granting Capt. John Cota a pilot license.

The counterclaims draw heavily on media and investigative revelations about Mr. Cota’s past, including that he once had a sleep disorder and was on Valium and prescription medication to ward off drowsiness.

Muslim immigrants file lawsuit

ST. LOUIS — A group of Muslim immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship sued federal officials Friday claiming they’ve been left in limbo for months or years because of slow background checks.

The class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of 33 plaintiffs who have settled in Missouri from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Egypt, Pakistan, Somalia and other countries. It said some have had to wait more than four years to be cleared by the FBI, violating time limits.

The law requires a decision on processing within 120 days of the immigrant’s interview, the last step in becoming a citizen, attorney Jim Hacking said. The FBI does name, fingerprint and background checks for every applicant for naturalization. The agency said similar names can result in false hits that take time to resolve.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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