- The Washington Times - Monday, February 5, 2007


Ryan O’Neal accused of assaulting son

LOS ANGELES — Actor Ryan O’Neal was arrested and accused of assaulting his adult son with a handgun during a fight at the actor’s Malibu home, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said yesterday.

Deputies went to Ryan O’Neal’s home at 12:30 a.m. Saturday and determined that he had assaulted his son, Griffin O’Neal, during a family dispute, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Ryan O’Neal, 65, was accused of assault with a deadly weapon and negligent discharge of a firearm. He was released on a $50,000 bond after five hours in custody. Sgt. Peter Charbonneau at the Malibu/Lost Hills station said the weapon was a handgun, but he did not know how many shots had been fired.

Griffin O’Neal, 42, was not injured, but a 22-year-old female friend of his suffered minor injuries, not from the gun, and was treated at a hospital.

Griffin O’Neal is the son of the elder O’Neal, who starred in “Love Story” in 1970, and his first wife, Joanna Moore. He also is the brother of actress Tatum O’Neal.


More teens exposed to online porn

CHICAGO — More children and teens are being exposed to online pornography, mostly by accidentally viewing sexually explicit Web sites while surfing the Internet, researchers say.

Forty-two percent of Internet users ages 10 to 17 surveyed said they had seen online pornography in the past year. Of those, 66 percent said they did not want to view the images and had not sought them out, University of New Hampshire researchers found. Their conclusions appear in the February issue of Pediatrics, due out today.

Online pornography was defined in the study as images of naked people or people having sex.

“It’s so common now. Who hasn’t seen something like that?” said Emily Duhovny, 17. The Marlboro, N.J., high school senior said X-rated images pop up all the time when she’s online.

In the survey, most youngsters who reported unwanted exposure were 13 to 17. Still, sizable numbers of 10- and 11-year-olds also cited unwanted exposure — 17 percent of boys and 16 percent of girls that age.


Weight-loss surgery available for children

NEW YORK — As the popularity of stomach surgery has skyrocketed among obese adults, a growing number of doctors are asking, “Why not children, too?”

For decades, the number of children trying weight-loss surgery has been tiny. The operations were risky, with a death rate of about one in 50. Children rarely got that fat, and when they did, pediatricians hesitated to put the developing bodies under the knife. Only 350 U.S. children had such an operation in 2004, according to federal statistics.

But improvements in surgical technique and huge increases in the number of dangerously obese children have begun fueling a change of heart.

A group of four hospitals, led by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, is starting a large-scale study in the spring to examine how children respond to various types of weight-loss surgery, including the gastric bypass, in which a pouch is stapled off from the rest of the stomach and connected to the small intestine.

Three more hospitals have approval from the Food and Drug Administration to test how teens fare with a procedure called laparoscopic gastric banding, where an elastic collar installed around the stomach limits how much someone can eat. Surgeons at New York University Medical Center reported in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery this month that the device holds promise.


Top eater devours 182 chicken wings

PHILADELPHIA — Professional competitive eater Joey Chestnut devoured a record 182 chicken wings to win his second consecutive Wing Bowl, a gut-busting annual event that draws thousands of revelers to the city’s sports complex in the pre-dawn hours.

Mr. Chestnut, surrounded by buxom “Wingettes,” had a crown adorned with tiny rubber chickens placed atop his head Friday as his winning total was announced. He also won a 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara for out-eating his competitors.

“I love to eat,” said Mr. Chestnut, 23, of San Jose, Calif. “Today I was swallowing wings, swallowing bones, whatever it took.”


Army officer faces court-martial

SEATTLE — Denied a chance to debate the legality of the Iraq war in court, an Army officer who refused to go to Iraq goes to trial today, hoping to at least minimize the amount of time he could serve if convicted.

Anti-war activists consider 1st Lt. Ehren Watada a hero, but the Army accuses him of betraying his fellow soldiers.

The 28-year-old faces four years in prison if convicted on one count of missing movement and two counts of conduct unbecoming an officer for refusing to ship out with his unit, the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

Lt. Watada has spoken out against U.S. military involvement in Iraq, calling it morally wrong and a breach of American law.

His Honolulu attorney, Eric Seitz, unsuccessfully sought an opportunity to argue the legality of the war, saying it violated Army regulations that specify wars are to be waged in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. His final attempt was quashed last month when the military judge, Lt. Col. John Head, ruled that Lt. Watada cannot base his defense on the war’s legality. Lt. Col. Head also rejected assertions that Lt. Watada’s statements were protected by the First Amendment.


Crane likely to have survived Florida storms

MILWAUKEE — A whooping crane thought killed with 17 others in severe Florida storms may be alive, because a signal transmitting from the bird’s monitor indicates it survived, an official said yesterday.

Eighteen of the endangered birds were being kept in an enclosure at the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge near Crystal River, Fla., when violent storms moved in Thursday night.

The birds were led south in December by ultralight aircraft as part of a project to create a second migratory flock. Organizers of the project thought the birds had perished in the storms. But when they went to recover the cranes’ carcasses Saturday, one was missing, said Rachel Levin, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Organizers received a signal from a transmitter on the young male crane on Saturday night and again yesterday in the vicinity of the pen, convincing them that the bird is likely alive. The birds were fitted with transmitters for the journey so organizers could track them.

“I think we probably consider him to be a little bit of a miracle bird,” Miss Levin said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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