- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 19, 2007

Burning N.Y. building claims 2 firefighters

NEW YORK — A seven-alarm fire ripped through an abandoned skyscraper next to ground zero in Lower Manhattan yesterday, killing two of the firefighters who responded to the blaze.

Officers at the scene were preventing nearby residents from returning to their homes, telling them that authorities were concerned the former Deutsche Bank office building, vacant since the September 11 terrorist attacks turned it into a toxic nightmare, could fall. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said this fear turned out to be unfounded.

Two firefighters were killed and five or six others were taken to a hospital but are expected to be released, Mr. Bloomberg said. No civilians were hurt.

Billy Graham hospitalized

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Evangelist Billy Graham was admitted to a hospital near his home early yesterday for evaluation and treatment of an intestinal bleed, hospital officials said.

Mr. Graham, 88, was resting comfortably yesterday afternoon, said Merrell Gregory, a spokesman for Mission Health & Hospitals in Asheville.

Mr. Graham’s doctors said his condition does not appear life-threatening, said Mr. Graham’s spokesman, Larry Ross. He estimated the ailing preacher could be released from the hospital in a couple of days.

The hospital said Mr. Graham’s condition stabilized after his admission, and an endoscopy and a bleeding scan found no areas of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.

The hospital said the initial bleeding may have been caused by diverticuli, or small pouches that can form in the lower intestine. A diverticular bleed often begins suddenly and may stop on its own, the hospital said.

Two more suspects arrested in slayings

TRENTON, N.J. — Authorities arrested two more suspects yesterday in the slayings of three college students who were shot execution-style in a schoolyard, bringing the total number of arrests in the case to five.

The two additional suspects were found in suburban Washington, police said. A spokesman for the mayor of Newark, where the killings occurred, said the pair are brothers.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Bill Sorukas declined to discuss what led authorities to Rodolfo Godinez, a 24-year-old Nicaraguan immigrant, and an unidentified 16-year-old.

Mr. Godinez was arrested in Prince George’s County, Md. The teenager was arrested in the Woodbridge, Va., area. Both await extradition to New Jersey, Mr. Sorukas said.

Obama to attend fewer forums

Sen. Barack Obama plans to attend fewer presidential candidate forums in the future, his campaign manager wrote on the Illinois Democrat’s 2008 Web site.

“We simply cannot continue to hopscotch from forum to forum and run a campaign true to the bottom up movement for change that propelled Barack into this race,” David Plouffe wrote.

“I think this approach will be better for the voters and the campaign,” he added.

Mr. Plouffe said Mr. Obama is committed to five remaining debates sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee, two Iowa debates in December and one in Florida on Sept. 9.

Many of Mr. Obama’s rivals also complained about the overwhelming number of multicandidate gatherings and could follow suit.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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