- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 31, 2008


Astronauts take risky spacewalk

CAPE CANAVERAL — The space station’s two American astronauts went out on a riskier-than-usual spacewalk yesterday to fix one of two equipment failures that had crippled their power system and threatened to stall construction at the orbiting outpost.

Commander Peggy Whitson and Daniel Tani replaced a motor needed to tilt a solar wing toward the sun, taking extra precautions to avoid being shocked. Once the new motor was hooked up, electricity began flowing through the unit and provided a power boost.

Flight controllers tested the motor via ground commands, and everything checked out so well that NASA declared the operation a success.

Yesterday’s seven-hour spacewalk was especially hazardous because of the risk of electrical shock.


Judge rejects doctor’s guilty plea

CAMBRIDGE — A Brazilian doctor charged with manslaughter in an immigrant’s liposuction death tried to plead guilty yesterday, but the judge instead set the case for trial after the doctor contradicted prosecutors.

Luiz Carlos Ribeiro appeared in Superior Court to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter in a case that exposed an underground cosmetic-surgery network used by Brazilian immigrants.

Prosecutors were giving a standard recitation of the facts that they could have proved at trial when Dr. Ribeiro, 51, told the judge that he didn’t agree with many of them, insisting that he had a sterile surgical area and the proper resuscitation equipment when he performed the fat-removal surgery on Fabiola DePaula in the basement of a suburban condominium in July 2006.

Miss DePaula, a 24-year-old Brazilian immigrant, died of complications from the surgery, including pulmonary fat emboli, or fat particles in the lungs.


Saturn V rocket restored for display

HUNTSVILLE — Konrad Dannenberg helped build the Saturn V rockets that sent men to the moon, yet he is still amazed that workers could move one of the behemoths indoors and make it look new after more than three decades of decay.

The job wasn’t as easy as scraping off rust and slapping on new paint. First they had to clear out raccoons, birds and opossums that were living in the 363-foot-long steel structure.

Mr. Dannenberg, 95, will be among the honored guests as the U.S. Space & Rocket Center dedicates the renovated Saturn V today, the 50th anniversary of the launch of the first U.S. satellite. The work was the cornerstone of a $23.4 million project to preserve the rocket and expand the state-owned museum.


Inouye announces his engagement

HONOLULU — Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, the 83-year-old who ranks No. 3 in seniority in the chamber, is getting married.

The Hawaii Democrat said Tuesday that he is engaged to Irene Hirano, the president and chief executive officer of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. They plan to marry May 24 in Los Angeles, Mr. Inouye said in a press release.

The release from Mr. Inouye’s office did not give Miss Hirano’s age, and museum officials could not be reached by telephone after hours.

Margaret Awamura Inouye, Mr. Inouye’s wife of nearly 60 years, died in March 2006.


Judge rules corps immune in levee suit

NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge threw out a key class-action lawsuit yesterday against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over levee breaches after Hurricane Katrina, saying that the agency failed to protect the city but that his hands were tied by the law.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval ruled that the corps is immune over failures in drainage canals that caused much of the flooding of New Orleans in August 2005. The ruling relies on the Flood Control Act of 1928, which made the federal government immune when flood control projects like levees break.

The lawsuit led to about 489,000 claims by businesses, government entities and residents, totaling trillions of dollars in damages against the agency. It was not clear how many claims still could move forward.

In his ruling, Judge Duval said he was forced by law to hold the corps immune, even though the agency failed to protect New Orleans and “squandered millions of dollars in building a levee system … which was known to be inadequate by the Corps’ own calculations.”


Mayor apologizes in TV speech

DETROIT — Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick pleaded for forgiveness from his family and his constituents yesterday in an emotional televised speech, his delayed response to recently revealed racy text messages that contradict his sworn testimony that he did not have a physical relationship with a key aide.

“I truly apologize to you,” Mr. Kilpatrick said, turning to his wife, Carlita, who sat by his side, holding his hand, at their family church.

“I am the mayor. I made the mistake,” he told Detroit residents, looking into the camera. “I am accountable.”

He did not specify, however, for what he was apologizing, saying legal matters prevented him from doing so. A prosecutor is investigating whether the mayor and chief of staff Christine Beatty lied under oath during a whistleblower’s lawsuit last summer in which both denied having a physical relationship. Lying under oath can be penalized by 15 years’ imprisonment.

Mr. Kilpatrick vowed to remain mayor in his speech, which aired live in prime time on Detroit television stations. Mrs. Kilpatrick also spoke yesterday, describing the pain her husband had caused, but urging the city to remain committed to him.

“I am angry, hurt and disappointed,” she said. “But no question I love my husband.”


2 men, teen found dead in home

ALBANY — A teenage boy and two men were found dead yesterday in an apparent homicide in a house not far from the governor’s mansion, police said.

A family member found the bodies on the second floor, police spokesman James Miller said.

He did not identify the victims or say how they died, except that it was apparently a homicide. Their ages were 16, 26 and 30, and two of the three have been positively identified, Mr. Miller said.

Investigators did not have a motive, he said.

The neighborhood is a mix of densely packed one- and two-family houses about five blocks from the governor’s mansion.


Nazi suspect loses deportation appeal

CINCINNATI — A federal appeals court yesterday rejected a suspected Nazi death camp guard’s challenge to a final deportation order by the nation’s chief immigration judge.

A panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled there was no basis to John Demjanjuk’s challenge of a December 2005 ruling that he could be deported to his native Ukraine or to Germany or Poland.

The government initially claimed Mr. Demjanjuk was the notoriously sadistic guard at the Treblinka camp known as “Ivan the Terrible.” Officials later concluded that he was not, but a judge ruled in 2002 that documents from World War II prove Mr. Demjanjuk was a Nazi guard at various death or forced labor camps.

Mr. Demjanjuk, 87, lives in the Cleveland suburb of Seven Hills. He has steadfastly denied that he ever helped the Nazis, arguing that he served in the Soviet army and was captured by Germany in 1942 and became a prisoner of war.


Xbox fan convicted of killing daughter

PHILADELPHIA — A man who spent long hours each day playing video games was convicted Tuesday of killing his 17-month-old daughter when she pulled down his Xbox console.

Prosecutors think Tyrone Spellman pummeled Alayiah Turman, cracking her skull several times, while her pregnant mother napped in another room in September 2006.

Jurors rejected arguments that Spellman confessed to protect the mother and convicted him of third-degree murder and child endangerment.

Spellman fled the house after the beating, and the mother, Mia Turman, had no reason to go into the bedroom where the baby was found, prosecutors said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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