- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Business dispute led to shootings, cops say

LOS ANGELES | A business dispute prompted the shooting of two men at a North Hollywood synagogue last year, police said.

Los Angeles police Detective Steve Castro would not give details on the dispute, but said Monday that one of the victims was targeted and the other was a bystander.

Police said Christopher Littlejohn, 37, shot both men in the legs Oct. 29 in a synagogue parking garage as they arrived for morning service. He was arrested Thursday by Beverly Hills police in a separate assault predating the synagogue shooting. Officers had been looking for him for months.

Detective Castro said the victim in the Beverly Hills assault was connected to the targeted synagogue victim. He did not give details.

A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office did not know whether any charges would be filed.


Pediatrician faces more abuse charges

DOVER | A Delaware pediatrician facing more than 470 counts of child sex abuse has been indicted on more charges.

A grand jury returned an indictment Monday charging Earl Bradley with more than 55 new counts alleging sexual abuse of about two dozen additional children.

Dr. Bradley, who was arrested in December, pleaded not guilty last month to charges outlined in a 471-count indictment accusing him of sexually abusing 103 children. All the crimes in that indictment were based on videotapes seized by investigators. Monday’s indictment was based on interviews with parents of other Bradley patients.

Dr. Bradley is being held with bail set at $4.7 million on charges including rape, sexual exploitation of a child, unlawful sexual contact and continuous sexual abuse of a child.


FDA to pharmacy: No more animal drugs

WEST PALM BEACH | The Food and Drug Administration wants a Florida pharmacy to stop making animal drugs after it mixed a brew of supplements that killed 21 elite polo horses as they prepared for a championship match last year.

The FDA has asked a federal judge to issue an injunction against the pharmacy, Franck’s Compounding Lab in Ocala.

Compounding is a process in which pharmacists mix drugs using bulk ingredients. Patients, both human and animal, usually turn to compounders when they are allergic to inactive ingredients in FDA-approved medicines. They are also used when a patient needs a different dose or a different form of delivery, such as a cream, powder or injectable liquid, than what is commercially available.

However, the FDA has accused Franck’s of illegally creating copies of similar drugs. The agency also said the pharmacy is mixing brews outside of federal guidelines and is compounding animal products from drugs that have not been approved for use in the U.S.


GM to repay loan before June

DETROIT | General Motors Co. will fully repay the $6.7 billion loan portion of its U.S. government aid earlier than its previously promised payback date of June, a person briefed on the plans said Monday.

GM CEO Ed Whitacre will announce details of the repayment during a visit Wednesday to the company’s Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kan., said the person, who did not want to be identified because the announcement has not been made.

Mr. Whitacre will travel to Washington after the announcement to meet with government officials and lawmakers.

The company has received a total of $52 billion in U.S. government aid, with the $6.7 billion considered a loan. The rest would be repaid when the company sells stock to the public, perhaps later this year.

GM has made two $1 billion payments, leaving a $4.7 billion balance on the U.S. loans.


Town warned against tap water

MALTA | Residents in the northern Montana town of Malta have been advised not to use tap water for drinking, bathing or cooking after someone cut the wire fence around the city’s water tanks.

An official from the Public Works Department said someone cut the fence and crawled inside, then used a ladder to get out.

Officials discovered the breach Sunday morning, but the Public Works Department can’t determine if someone tampered with the water until testing is completed. Water samples were being sent to the state capital Monday afternoon.

Malta public schools were closed Monday, and the city was providing bottled water to the town’s estimated 1,800 residents.


Mustang deaths blamed on stress

RENO | Activists say stress and trauma are to blame for most of the deaths of 86 wild horses who died in a government roundup of mustangs north of Reno.

A report issued by the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign said 43 percent of the deaths were a result of diet and metabolic failure induced by stress and trauma.

The report says 22 percent of deaths were owing to the poor condition of the animals, and 19 percent were blamed on traumatic injury.

Activists said the report underscores the adverse effects of roundups on mustangs.

BLM officials attribute most deaths to the animals’ poor condition. They say an overpopulation of horses is harming native wildlife and the range itself, and threatening the mustangs with starvation.


Sentence: 10 years in terrorism financing

NEW YORK | A New York businessman was sentenced Monday to more than 10 years in prison for trying to funnel money to a terrorism training camp in Afghanistan through an undercover agent posing as a wealthy Middle Easterner.

Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari pleaded guilty in September to charges of terrorism financing and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Judge Alvin Hellerstein sentenced him to 121 months, plus three years of supervised release. He faced up to 20 years behind bars.

Alishtari was operating a phony loan investment program when he met the undercover agent. Prosecutors said he accepted an unspecified amount of money from the agent to transfer $152,500 that Alishtari thought was being sent to Pakistan and Afghanistan to support a terrorist training camp.


Guilty plea in student’s killing

RALEIGH | The man accused of killing a University of North Carolina student body president found fatally shot in the middle of a street two years ago pleaded guilty Monday to federal crimes, avoiding the death penalty.

Demario Atwater, 23, pleaded guilty to several charges, including carjacking resulting in death and kidnapping. Prosecutors agreed to drop their plan to pursue the death penalty, and Atwater agreed to a life sentence.

Eve Carson, 22, of Athens, Ga., was found fatally shot in the middle of a Chapel Hill street in March 2008. She had been shot five times, including once in the head with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Atwater is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 23, and he still faces a murder charge in state court along with Laurence Lovette, who was only 17 at the time of the killing and is ineligible for the death penalty. Mr. Lovette does not face federal charges.


Car, carriages set off crash

PHILADELPHIA | A chain-reaction crash involving a car and at least three horse-drawn carriages seriously injured three people in Philadelphia’s historic district.

The car pushed one carriage on a curb and a second carriage was overturned Monday morning near Independence Hall.

Police said two carriage drivers were taken to a nearby hospital in serious but stable condition. The driver of the car was also taken to a hospital in serious condition.

No horses were injured in the crash.

Authorities say the investigation is continuing.


Gunman kills woman, injures 2 at hospital

KNOXVILLE | A gunman took a taxi to a hospital Monday and then opened fire, killing a woman and injuring two others before committing suicide, police said.

All the victims were female and current or former employees of Parkwest Medical Center, Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen IV said. The attack happened about 4:30 p.m. outside the hospital’s discharge area.

Police were trying to determine a motive, but it did not appear that any of the victims were related to the gunman or there was any connection between them, spokesman Darrell DeBusk said. Police also didn’t think the gunman was ever employed at the hospital.


Cole victims’ kin sue Sudan again

NORFOLK | Relatives of the 17 sailors killed in the attack on the USS Cole are suing Sudan for emotional damages they were denied in a previous lawsuit.

Sixty-one family members filed the new lawsuit late last week in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, the Cole’s home port and home of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. They are seeking $282.5 million in damages for pain and suffering.

Three years ago, 33 family members were awarded $8 million in compensatory damages after U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar found Sudan liable for assisting the terrorists who attacked the destroyer at a Yemeni port in 2000. Judge Doumar ruled that the federal Death on the High Seas Act allowed him to award compensation only for lost wages and earning potential, not for pain and suffering.

Congress changed the law in 2008, allowing families of terrorism victims to seek pain and suffering damages.


State to hold memorial for miners

CHARLESTON | A public memorial for the 29 victims of the worst coal mine disaster in 40 years is scheduled for this weekend in Beckley.

Gov. Joe Manchin III announced Monday that a memorial will be held Sunday at the Raleigh County Convention Center.

The event will feature musical performances, prayers, tributes and remarks from clergy and Mr. Manchin.

The 29 died April 5 when an explosion ripped through Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine. The cause of the blast is under investigation, but officials think it was caused by methane.

Mr. Manchin said Sunday’s memorial is a chance for the state to pay its respects to those who were killed and the two miners who were injured.


Mother of bride delivers stranger’s baby

MILWAUKEE | A Wisconsin woman who went into labor on the way to a hospital got some help from the mother of a bride at a nearby wedding party.

Ben Sherwood of New Berlin was driving his wife, Kimberly, to the hospital Saturday when she told him they wouldn’t make it. They saw a police officer by the Milwaukee Art Museum and flagged him down.

Mr. Sherwood told WTMJ the officer had the same frightened look he had. So he turned to a nearby wedding party and starting yelling for a doctor.

A woman in a peach dress and high heels ran over. It was Annette Soborowicz, an emergency-room nurse.

A few pushes later and Mrs. Soborowicz was holding little Lincoln Sherwood.

Mrs. Soborowicz said it was an amazing day: The Sherwoods had a son, and she gained a wonderful son-in-law.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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