- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 21, 2002

Artillery accident kills 1, injures 14

FORT DRUM, N.Y. Two artillery shells fell short during an Army firing exercise and exploded near a mess tent where soldiers were having breakfast yesterday. One soldier was killed and 14 were injured.

The soldiers, from the 10th Mountain Division's 110th Military Intelligence Battalion, were about a half-mile from the edge of the 90-square-mile target area when the shells hit, the Army said.

FEC rejects fund-raising complaints

Federal election officials have rejected complaints against two Republican committees that promised donors access to Bush administration officials.

Judicial Watch, a conservative Washington-based legal group, contended that the party's House and Senate fund-raising committees illegally sold access to public officials, and that they should have disclosed visits with officeholders that they arranged for donors.

The Federal Election Commission made public on Tuesday its unanimous vote to dismiss the complaints.

Suicides fall slightly among black males

PHILADELPHIA The rate of suicide by gun among black male teen-agers nearly quadrupled between 1979 and 1994 before falling off somewhat in the late 1990s, according to a study.

The rate among white male teen-agers climbed by more than a third during the period before dropping back some.

Traditionally, blacks have had much lower suicide rates than whites, but the availability of guns may help account for the narrowing of the gap among young men, researchers said.

The study, based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, appears this month in the journal Psychiatric Services.

JonBenet's parents settle libel suit

BOULDER, Colo. The parents of slain JonBenet Ramsey have reached an out-of-court cash settlement with a former detective who wrote a book accusing the couple of killing their daughter, the family's attorney said yesterday.

L. Lin Wood, who represents John and Patsy Ramsey, said in exchange for the undisclosed payment the Ramseys will drop their multimillion-dollar libel lawsuit against former Boulder homicide detective Steve Thomas for comments made in his book, "JonBenet: Inside the Ramsey Murder Investigation."

Asteroid passes near Earth unnoticed

MELBOURNE, Fla. An asteroid large enough to demolish a city the size of Orlando passed within 288,000 miles of Earth without being noticed by astronomers until four days later.

The asteroid, about 165 feet across, came from the direction of the sun, making it difficult for astronomers to spot. It passed by Earth on March 8, but wasn't seen until March 12 as it hurtled away.

Body recovered in Russian mob probe

SACRAMENTO, Calif. The body of a woman has been pulled from a mountain lake, the fifth recovered in an investigation of a Los Angeles-area Russian mob.

Investigators found the body Tuesday in 220 feet of water under a bridge straddling New Melones Lake, FBI spokesman Nick Rossi said. Acting on a tip, investigators on Sunday recovered the weighted bodies of two males from the lake, and another male body on Monday. Autopsies are under way.

On Tuesday, investigators identified a body found in the 12,500-acre reservoir last fall as that of Los Angeles-area real estate developer Meyer Muscatel, 58.

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