- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Man charged with hate crime
CONCORD, N.H. — A man accused of fatally beating a Laotian neighbor, claiming that "Asians killed my brother and uncle in Vietnam," has been charged with a hate crime, authorities said yesterday.
Richard Labbe, 35, was indicted on two counts of second-degree murder in the death of Thung Phetakoune at the apartment complex in Newmarket where they both lived. Police gave the victim's age as 62 but his son said he was in his 70s.
The Rockingham County grand jury indictment charged that racism motivated the July 14 attack.
Mr. Labbe told police he pushed Mr. Phetakoune after the older man hit him in the face, but the son and other witnesses said Mr. Phetakoune never touched him. The victim struck his head as he fell and died two days later.

Parents, boy drown in flash floods
KINGMAN, Ariz. — Flash floods swept a 2-year-old boy and his parents to their deaths while they were hiking in a canyon near the tribal village of Supai.
The names of the Dulce, N.M., residents were not immediately released, Bureau of Indian Affairs investigator William Coochyouma said. Heavy rains brought flash floods to the area late Friday night and Saturday morning when the victims were trying to hike down to the village for a concert, Mr. Coochyouma said.

Astronauts move into space station
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — An American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts moved into the International Space Station yesterday for a four-month stay. Astronaut Frank Culbertson, replacing cosmonaut Yuri Usachev as skipper, and his crewmates, Vladimir Dezhurov and Mikhail Tyurin, won't be back until December. They are the third crew to live aboard the space station.

Artificial heart patient put back on ventilator
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The recipient of the first self-contained artificial heart has suffered a setback, requiring a ventilator once more to assist his breathing, one of his surgeons said.
The patient, who has not been identified, had a buildup of secretions in his lungs and was put back on the breathing machine Thursday because he remained too weak to expel mucus secretions on his own.
The man also had developed a pulmonary infection and was running a fever, Dr. Laman Gray, one of the University of Louisville heart surgeons who implanted the AbioCor artificial heart in the patient's chest, said Sunday night.

Settlement reached in 1994 shootings
SPOKANE, Wash. — The victims of a former airman who killed four persons and wounded 23 others during a 1994 shooting spree have agreed to split a $17 million tentative settlement from the U.S. government.
Attorneys representing 29 victims and family members reached the settlement over the weekend with lawyers from the U.S. Justice Department, the Spokesman-Review reported yesterday.
The agreement came more than seven years after Dean Mellberg's June 1994 rampage at the hospital at Fairchild Air Force Base west of Spokane.
At issue was whether the Air Force mishandled his enlistment, training and medical care. The government does not accept any responsibility for Mellberg's actions in the settlement, the newspaper reported.

CDC says AIDS not falling as fast
ATLANTA — The declines in the number of Americans contracting AIDS and those dying of the disease are leveling off, signaling a disturbing turning point in the 20-year epidemic, federal health officials said yesterday.
AIDS cases and deaths peaked in the early 1990s, then fell steadily as new, more effective drugs took hold. But both statistics have been nearly flat since 1998, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
New studies released yesterday highlight two key demographic groups — young homosexual men and poor black women — who are at alarming risk for becoming infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

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