- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 20, 2008

Detroit mayor says God behind woes

DETROIT — Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick says God is punishing him for his “disobedience.”

The mayor addressed a crowd yesterday at Fellowship Chapel Church in Detroit. He and his former chief of staff face perjury and other charges stemming from their testimony during a whistle-blower trial last year.

Mr. Kilpatrick told the crowd: “I’m not being whupped by the devil; I am being punished by my God. I know that my disobedience put me in the situation I am in.”

His address was part of a Detroit Manpower Movement event aimed at getting more black men involved in volunteer efforts. Mr. Kilpatrick and Christine Beatty denied having a romantic relationship, but excerpts of text messages contradict their testimony.

Wind blows toddler into Lake Michigan

CHICAGO — A gust of wind blew a 2-year-old in a stroller into Lake Michigan, where the boy remained submerged for at least 15 minutes before being pulled out unconscious but alive.

The child’s grandfather, who had been pushing the stroller on the lakeside Friday afternoon, jumped into the harbor to try to save the boy, the Chicago Fire Department said.

Witnesses said the frantic grandfather struggled in the frigid water, just off a 70-foot long pier, shouting, “Child! Child!”

“He was just moaning in the breakwater, crying,” said John Derscheid, who called 911. Winds at the time were about 20 mph with gusts of about 30 mph.

The boy was in critical condition at Children’s Memorial Hospital, authorities said Friday night. A hospital spokeswoman declined to comment yesterday. The grandfather was in fair condition.

Peanut butter cookie leads to charges

LEXINGTON, Ky. — An eighth-grader in Kentucky is accused of putting peanut butter cookie crumbs in the lunchbox of a classmate with a severe peanut allergy.

The allergic student did not eat the cookies Thursday at Morton Middle School in Lexington. Fayette County schools spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall says the accused student was arrested on a felony wanton-endangerment charge. The student, 13, will face charges in the juvenile court system.

Ms. Deffendall says it was well-known that the other student suffered severe allergies, which can make even trace amounts of peanut oil potentially deadly.

Cop saves owner from pet-shop python

EUGENE, Ore. — A pet store owner is calling a police sergeant a hero for saving her from the coils of a 12-foot Burmese python doing its best to turn her into a meal.

Teresa Rossiter had reached into a cage Thursday to show the huge snake to a customer when it bit her right hand and coiled around her left arm to throw her to the floor. A friend who happened to be at the store kept the snake off her neck and body while police were called, and when Sgt. Ryan Nelson rushed into the store, he was ready to kill the snake with his knife.

But Ms. Rossiter asked him to spare the expensive python, so Sgt. Nelson put on gloves and pried open the snake’s mouth to free Rossiter’s hand. Two responders from the Eugene Fire Department helped unwrap the snake, which was eventually returned to its cage.

“He was the bravest guy ever. He went way above and beyond the call of duty,” Ms. Rossiter said to the Oregonian.

Dalai Lama says to keep traditions

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Dalai Lama yesterday encouraged people gathered at the University of Michigan to preserve their own religious traditions while respecting others with differing beliefs.

“As you know, I always believed since all different traditions have the same potential to bring inner peace, inner value … it is important to keep one’s own tradition,” he told about 8,000 people at Crisler Arena, the first of the Dalai Lama’s four scheduled weekend talks at the university.

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said he learned about Christianity, Judaism and Islam through personal contact and that he has a “genuine admiration and respect and appreciation for those traditions.”

Remark about China prompts protest

LOS ANGELES — Chinese Americans rallied outside CNN’s Hollywood office yesterday to demand the firing of commentator Jack Cafferty for calling China’s goods “junk” and its leaders a “bunch of goons and thugs.”

“What if Cafferty said this about other racial groups? I think he would be fired. I think he’s jealous of China,” Lake Wang, 39, told the Los Angeles Times.

A crowd estimated by police at between 2,000 and 5,000 gathered, chanting “Cafferty, Fire,” and singing Chinese songs. The crowd was peaceful, and no arrests were made, police Sgt. David Torres said. Another two dozen people holding Chinese flags also demonstrated outside CNN’s corporate headquarters in Atlanta.

In an April 9 appearance on “The Situation Room,” Mr. Cafferty said: “We continue to import their junk with the lead paint on them and the poisoned pet food and export, you know, jobs to places where you can pay workers a dollar a month to turn out the stuff that we’re buying from Wal-Mart.”

“I think our relationship with China has certainly changed,” he continued. “I think they’re basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they’ve been for the last 50 years.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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