- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 18, 2009

Woman claims she shot her sons

LOS ANGELES | A woman shot her two young sons, killing a 5-year-old boy and critically wounding his 1-year-old brother, authorities said.

Los Angeles Police Officer Norma Eisenman said the 25-year-old woman called 911 Saturday morning and told a dispatcher that she had killed her children.

When police arrived at the apartment complex in South Los Angeles, the woman was standing on a second floor balcony waving a handgun and telling officers to shoot her. Officers managed to disarm the woman and she was arrested. Her name was not released.

The 5-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. The younger boy was shot multiple times and was hospitalized.

Missing pilot likely died instantly

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. | Air Force officials say a missing fighter pilot likely instantly when his fighter jet collided with another plan over the Atlantic Ocean.

Authorities on Saturday night called off the search for Capt. Nicholas Giglio, who has been missing since the Thursday night crash.

Air Force Col. Joe Guastella says experts analyzed data from the second plane, which landed safely, and interviewed the surviving pilot to determine Capt. Giglio’s fate.

The colonel says investigators think parts on the bottom of the second plane pierced into the canopy of Capt. Giglio’s plane Thursday night as they collided over the Atlantic about 30 miles northeast of Charleston.

Priest auctions silver for homeless

GREEN BAY, Wis. | A Wisconsin priest is auctioning off his late mother’s collection of old silver pieces to raise money for a homeless shelter.

The Rev. Guy Blair donated 14 silver items, including five sugar urns dating back to the 1790s. Other pieces include vases and coffee and tea pots.

Tim Rigdon, a director at Heritage Auctions, said the sum of the items’ minimum bids is $21,000.

Father Blair hopes they fetch at least $50,000. He said that would cover the shelter’s costs for a few weeks. The proceeds benefit the St. John the Evangelist Church shelter in Green Bay.

Father Blair’s mother died in July. He said she agreed with him and his four sisters that the silver would do the most good if it were sold for a worthy cause. The auction is Nov. 10 in Dallas.

Move halted for brigade to Iraq

The Pentagon is canceling plans to send a 3,500-member Army brigade to Iraq, a move that speeds the drawdown there and could free up forces as President Obama considers sending new troops to Afghanistan.

The 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team from the 10th Mountain Division based in Fort Drum, N.Y., had been scheduled to relieve another combat brigade in Iraq in January. But the brigade will no longer deploy and will now return to the Army’s pool of available combat forces, the Defense Department said Saturday.

“This decision was based on a thorough assessment of the security environment in Iraq and reflects the continued improvement in the ability of the Iraqi Security Forces to safeguard Iraqi citizens and institutions,” the statement said.

The U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, has recommended as many as 80,000 more troops and as few as 10,000 more for the war in Afghanistan, but favors a compromise of 40,000 more forces. Such additional forces would not be deployed until early next year at the soonest.

Mr. Obama has said he would make up his mind on additional troops in the coming weeks, and no announcement is expected before November.

Peanut products OK after health scare

Food makers processed more peanuts over the past year than nearly any other time on record despite a national salmonella outbreak blamed for killing nine people and scaring consumers away from peanut products for months.

Peanut farmers who once feared $1 billion in losses are chalking up their good fortune to a bad economy that has more people reaching for peanut butter as a cheap lunch.

Agriculture Department numbers back up the theory. Peanuts processed for snacks - items such as sandwich crackers that were heavily recalled during the outbreak - were slightly down for the accounting year ending July 31. But peanuts used for peanut butter set an all-time record at 1.1 billion pounds, topping the previous year’s total by 100 million pounds.

That was enough to make the year’s overall peanut production the third-highest in history, missing the top mark set in 2005 by just a fraction of 1 percent, with nearly 2 billion pounds being processed.

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