- - Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CALIFORNIA

Slow tow home for disabled ship

SAN DIEGO | Two tugboats slowly pulled a disabled cruise ship with nearly 4,500 passengers and crew toward San Diego on Wednesday.

The 952-foot Carnival Splendor crept into cell-phone range, and the on-board phone system started working on a limited basis, enabling passengers mostly cut off from communication since an engine caught fire Monday to reach their loved ones.

Officials said the ship could arrive in San Diego as early as midday Thursday.

The ship’s bars, casinos, pools and upper deck were closed. Rooms in the interior of the ship were pitch black, and passengers propped open their doors to let in air and emergency lighting from the hallways.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Prosecutors drop a charge, rest their case

Prosecutors rested their case Wednesday in the Chandra Levy murder trial with testimony that again focused attention not on the defendant but on former Rep. Gary Condit of California.

FBI forensic expert Alan Giusti testified that Mr. Condit’s DNA was found on Miss Levy’s underwear recovered from her apartment but was not found anywhere at the crime scene where her remains were discovered a year after her May 2001 disappearance.

A Salvadoran immigrant, Ingmar Guandique, is on trial for Miss Levy’s 2001 murder. The Washington intern’s disappearance became a national sensation when she was romantically linked with Mr. Condit. He was once a primary suspect in her disappearance, but police no longer believe he was involved.

The DNA link between Mr. Condit, a Democrat, and Miss Levy may be evidence that they had an affair but does not in any way appear to implicate him in her death.

Also , prosecutors dropped a charge of attempted sexual assault against Guandique. They are still pursuing murder and kidnapping charges.

GEORGIA

Study: 1 in 10 kids has ADHD

ATLANTA | Nearly one in 10 U.S. children is reported to have ADHD, a sizable increase from a few years earlier that government scientists think might be explained by growing awareness and better screening.

ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, makes it hard for youngsters to pay attention and control impulsive behavior. It’s often treated with drugs, behavioral therapy or both.

In the new government study, about two-thirds of the children who have ADHD are on medication.

The new estimate comes from a survey released Wednesday that found an increase in ADHD of about 22 percent from 2003 to the most recent survey, in 2007-08. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention interviewed parents of children ages 4 through 17 in both studies.

In the latest survey, 9.5 percent said a doctor or health care provider had told them their child had ADHD. The earlier study found that fewer than 8 percent of children had been diagnosed with it.

NEW YORK

Ruling favors state in smoke-shop tax fight

BUFFALO | A federal judge has sided with New York in the latest ruling in a dispute over the state’s plans to tax most Indian reservation smoke-shop sales, but collection of the tax is on hold for now.

U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara in Buffalo denied a request to block the state from collecting a sales tax on cigarettes sold to non-Indians. However, he froze his decision so the two tribes that sought the order can appeal.

Judge Arcara’s ruling Tuesday in a case brought by the Unkechaug and St. Regis Mohawk tribes mirrors an earlier decision in a challenge by the Seneca and Cayuga nations.

The decisions mean New York still can’t start collecting the $4.35-per-pack sales tax until a higher court, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, hears the issue.

From wire dispatches and staff reports