- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Newborn found dead in airport restroom

PHOENIX — The body of a baby girl was found in a trash can in a women’s restroom at Sky Harbor International Airport, authorities said.

The baby’s umbilical cord was attached, but police did not think the child was born in the restroom, said Detective Tony Morales, a police spokesman.

A maintenance worker found the body Monday morning in the airport’s largest terminal, police said.

Officers did not know whether the baby was born alive. An autopsy will be conducted.


Power outage hits downtown L.A.

LOS ANGELES — A blackout hit downtown government buildings, Chinatown and adjacent areas yesterday, but backup power kept key parts of City Hall and police headquarters running. It was the third significant electrical failure in the city since mid-September.

The blackout began at about 9 a.m. and cut power to as many as 1,000 customers, affecting City Hall, the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration and police headquarters at Parker Center, said Gale Harris, a spokeswoman for the city Department of Water and Power.

The cause was under investigation, Miss Harris said.


U.S. apologizes over ‘Gold Train’

MIAMI — The United States yesterday apologized to Hungarian Holocaust survivors whose possessions were stolen by U.S. soldiers at the end of World War II after Allied forces seized what became known as the “Gold Train.”

Washington previously had reached a $25.5 million settlement with elderly Jews over the trainload of gold, artwork and other property that was plundered by the Nazis and then fell into the hands of the U.S. Army.

Most of the haul was auctioned off to pay for postwar refugee aid programs, and some was requisitioned by U.S. Army personnel for use in offices or kept as trinkets.

The statement closes the book on a lawsuit filed in 2001 in Miami by Hungarian Jews, many of whom live in the area.


Other ills linked to cancer mortality

CHICAGO — Black women with breast cancer do not live as long as white women with the disease, largely because of higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and other concurrent illnesses, researchers said yesterday.

The finding helps researchers understand the reasons for the disparity beyond factors previously recognized, such as more advanced stages of cancer at the time of diagnosis, inferior medical treatment and poverty among black women, said the report from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.

In general, white breast-cancer patients in the United States have an 89 percent chance of surviving for five years compared with 75 percent for black women, the study said.


Resident charged in apartment fire

LAWRENCE — A 20-year-old resident of an apartment complex where three persons died in a fire last week was charged yesterday with setting the blaze.

Jason Allen Rose was scheduled to be arraigned on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated arson, police said. They would not discuss a motive or say whether there were other suspects.

The Friday fire caused an estimated $2.1 million in damage at Boardwalk Apartments, not counting vehicles or contents. The blaze also displaced 87 residents and injured about 20 people.

The bodies of the victims were found Sunday in the three-story, building in the complex, officials said.


City emptied of floodwaters

NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said yesterday that it has finished pumping out the New Orleans metropolitan area, which was flooded by Hurricane Katrina about six weeks ago and then swamped again by Hurricane Rita.

“Of course, there will be a little puddle here and there, but as far as accessibility goes, everything is pumped out,” Corps spokeswoman Lauren Solis said.

The initial flooding during Katrina was caused by water surging over some levees and breaking through others. At one point, 80 percent of New Orleans was under water. Much of the city had been pumped out when Rita pushed more water over the levees.


Radar malfunction causes flight delays

BOSTON — Air traffic was backed up for several hours at Logan International Airport on Monday because of a glitch in the radar system, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman said.

Air traffic controllers saw “false targets” on their radar scopes — blips that they knew were not planes in flight, said FAA spokeswoman Arlene Murray.

The FAA was investigating the trouble with the system.


Blessed animals include earthworms

FARGO — John Christensen brought his earthworms and his cat to church.

The 9-year-old is creating a worm farm, and he chose a couple of the community’s founding members to attend the service Sunday.

John’s earthworms and his cat, Arthur, were among about 20 animals taking part in the annual Blessing of Animals ceremony at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Fargo.

The animals — mostly dogs, a few cats, one parakeet — gathered inside the church garage for the ceremony, led by the Rev. Jeffrey Wald.

The blessing is associated with the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, known as the patron saint of animals. The ritual lasted only a few minutes.


Bridge segment blasted into river

CHARLESTON — Workers yesterday used explosives to send a 500-foot segment of an aging bridge plunging into the water, one of two spans replaced by the futuristic Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, the longest one of its kind in North America.

The 39-year-old Silas Pearman Bridge and parallel 76-year-old John P. Grace Memorial Bridge closed in July when the eight-lane Ravenel Bridge opened, becoming the longest cable-stayed bridge on the continent.

The two old bridges linking Charleston and Mount Pleasant over the Cooper River were outdated, and the Grace, narrow and rickety, was considered structurally unsound.

Workers used 2,250 pounds of explosives to bring down a 500-ton section of the Pearman Bridge. It fell with a thunderous roar and a giant plume of smoke. Then a barge with an orange crane moved in to retrieve the 11 pieces of the superstructure that fell into the water.

The $60 million demolition project is scheduled to be finished in 2007.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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