- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 18, 2006

New Orleans shooting leaves five teens dead

NEW ORLEANS — Five persons ranging in age from 16 to 19 were killed in a street shooting early yesterday, the most violent crime reported in this slowly repopulating city since Hurricane Katrina hit last August.

All were thought to have been gunned down in a volley of bullets on a street in the Central City neighborhood just outside the central business district. Three of the victims were found in a sport utility vehicle rammed against a utility pole and two were found nearby on the street.

Authorities said they were looking for one or more suspects but did not elaborate.

Police Capt. John Bryson said police think the shootings were either drug-related or some type of retaliation attack.

Buffalo featured on new gold coin

The golden buffalo, the legendary symbol of the American West, will soon roam again — this time as the nation’s first pure gold coin.

The coin will be slightly larger and thicker than a Kennedy half dollar, will contain one ounce of gold and will be designated a $50 gold piece. The actual price will depend on the market price of an ounce of gold, plus markups. The design is a replica of the popular buffalo nickel that was minted from 1913 to 1938.

Collectors can buy the proof coins directly from the Mint starting Thursday by going to the Mint’s Web site — www.usmint.gov — or by calling 800/USA-Mint. The site also will have a listing of local dealers who will be selling the coins.

Book purports al Qaeda plot

NEW YORK — Al Qaeda planned to release poisonous gas in New York City subways shortly before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, according to a synopsis of a book excerpt published yesterday by Time magazine.

Ron Suskind’s “The One Percent Doctrine” reveals that the government was tipped off to the plot by a CIA mole inside the al Qaeda cell, which was operating in the United States, the magazine said.

Al Qaeda came within 45 days of attacking the New York subway system with a lethal gas similar to that used in Nazi death camps, in the weeks ahead of the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, it said.

The plot was stopped only by an order from Osama bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, according to Mr. Suskind’s book. The synopsis did not make it clear why al-Zawahri called off the attack.

U.S. intelligence got its first whiff of the plot from data on a laptop computer belonging to a Bahraini jihadist captured in Saudi Arabia early in 2003.

Time said it would post the full excerpt of Mr. Suskind’s book this morning on its Web site at www.time.com.

Man pays ticket 52 years late

PHILADELPHIA — Better late than never.

That’s how John Gedge felt about paying a $15 speeding ticket he received from a guard in a city park nearly 52 years ago.

Fairmount Park officials received a letter and a British five-pound note this week from Mr. Gedge, now 84 and living in a nursing home in East Sussex, England. Five pounds was worth about $14 in 1954, about $9 today.

“Englishmen pay their debts,” Mr. Gedge told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I’m very sorry I left it all that time. But my conscience is clear.”

Mr. Gedge was visiting Philadelphia on July 15, 1954, when a park guard nabbed him for driving 55 mph in a 35 mph zone. He recently discovered the unpaid citation in the pocket of an old coat.

Firm to fix spelling error

AMARILLO, Texas — Caitlin Campbell couldn’t spell collyrium but at least she can spell her last name.

A billboard went up in this Panhandle city to honor Caitlin’s eighth-place finish in the national spelling bee. It reads: “Congratulations! Caitlin Cambell for making Amarillo proud.”

Lamar Outdoor Advertising, which donated the space, said it plans to replace the downtown sign with the correct spelling.

Caitlin, 14, made it to the ninth round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee earlier this month in Washington. She left the competition when she misspelled the word collyrium, a term for eye lotion.

Mayor fines self for infraction

NEWARK, Ohio — The mayor of this central Ohio city caught someone violating a city employee policy — himself.

Mayor Bruce Bain paid a $368 fine for sending an e-mail that promoted his son’s part-time beverage business to city workers. He wrote to 15 city employees, recommending they become involved in selling a health drink.

“I violated the computer use policy I helped write,” Mr. Bain said Thursday. “You have to use the computer only for city business. How can I say to a city employee, ‘Don’t do that,’ if I do it?”

He said he realized the mistake on his own and calculated the fine of two days’ pay based on his annual salary of roughly $66,000.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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