- The Washington Times - Friday, March 8, 2002

Astronomers conclude universe is beige

Whoops! Call the painter back. The color of the universe is not the turquoise that astronomers said. Try a rather ordinary beige.

Two Johns Hopkins University astronomers announced in January that they had averaged all colors from the light of 200,000 galaxies and concluded that if the human could see this combined hue, it would be a pale green.

But Karl Glazebrook and Ivan Baldry said yesterday that their January conclusion was tripped up by flawed software that was uncovered by color engineers who checked their data.


Rape charges tossed in priest sex case

BOSTON A judge threw out two child-rape charges against the former Roman Catholic priest at the center of the Boston Archdiocese sex scandal yesterday.

Suffolk County Judge Margaret Hinkle said too much time had passed between the mid-1980s assaults and the 1999 indictment against John Geoghan, who already is serving a nine- to 10-year sentence for fondling a different 10-year-old boy.

The county District Attorney's Office said it had not decided whether to appeal the decision.


CDC takes down link to 'pro-sex' teen site

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has removed a link on its Web site to a group promoting a "pro-sex" message to teens.

The CDC's "youth" resources link to the Coalition for Positive Sexuality (CPS) had been criticized by the Physicians Consortium, a Pennsylvania-based public-policy group which complained about "explicit messages" on the CPS Internet site.

Bill Pierce, deputy assistant secretary for public affairs and media at the Department of Health and Human Services, said the CDC removed the link yesterday afternoon, after an article in The Washington Times detailed the connection.


Risk of murder peaks on first day of life

ATLANTA Americans are at least 10 times more likely to be murdered on the day of their birth than at any other point in their lives, according to a study released yesterday by federal health officials.

When based on years of exposure per person, the homicide rate for infants on the first day of life, 7.3 percent, was about 10 times greater than the next most vulnerable group adults between the ages of 20 and 24, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC noted that 89 percent of those who kill infants are female and tend to be the mother of the infant. Mothers who kill their children are more likely to be adolescents and have a history of mental illness, the agency said.


Defense rests in Brown trial

ATLANTA The defense in the murder trial of the former black-power radical once known as H. Rap Brown rested its case yesterday without calling him to the stand. Closing arguments are set for today.

Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin is charged with killing one sheriff's deputy and wounding another in a shootout in Atlanta last March. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The final defense witness, Imhotep Shaka, a retail shop owner who lives near the West End neighborhood shooting site, testified that someone else opened fire the night the deputies died.


Judge rules Smith entitled to $88 million

SANTA ANA, Calif. A federal judge ruled yesterday that former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith is entitled to more than $88 million in damages stemming from a case involving the estate of her late husband, Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II.

U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter ruled that Miss Smith was entitled to $44.3 million in punitive damages and the same amount in compensatory damages against Mr. Marshall's son, E. Pierce Marshall.

Miss Smith, 33, has fought long court battles over more than $400 million left by her late husband, who died at age 90 in August 1995, 14 months after they wed.


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