- - Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Woman said to be in WWII photo dies

LOS ANGELES — Edith Shain, who claimed to be the nurse who was smooched by a sailor in Times Square in the famous Life magazine photograph marking the end of World War II, died Sunday of liver cancer. She was 91.

Mrs. Shain died at her home in Los Angeles, said her son, Michael Shain, of Conifer, Colo.

Another son, Robert Shain of Malibu, said his mother had just gotten off her shift at a hospital when she and a friend took the subway to Times Square on Aug. 15, 1945, to join a celebration of what became known as V-J Day (short for Victory over Japan).

The enduring photo shows a sailor in a dark uniform kissing a white-uniformed nurse he has bent backward in a clinch. Their faces are partially obscured.

The photo was snapped by Life magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt but he never got the names of the sailor and nurse, and Life’s effort years later to identify the woman produced several claimants.


Bin Laden hunter heads back to U.S.

DENVER — An American on a solo mission to hunt down Osama bin Laden is headed back to the United States, 10 days after authorities found him in the woods of northern Pakistan with a pistol, a sword and night-vision equipment.

Gary Faulkner, who has been detained since June 13, left Pakistan early Wednesday and will arrive in Denver later in the day, his brother Scott Faulkner said.

Scott Faulkner said he spoke to his brother briefly Tuesday, and he reported being treated well in Pakistan. By the excitement in his brother’s voice, Scott Faulkner said he thinks his brother came close to finding bin Laden.

Gary Faulkner, 50, of Greeley, told officials he was out to kill the al Qaeda leader. He was then moved to Islamabad, and his brother told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he was being released by the Pakistani government without charges.


Parolees disappear after early release

SPRINGFIELD — Dozens of parolees, including one imprisoned for his part in a 2008 murder, have disappeared after they were set free as part of a secret early-release program, according to documents acquired by the Associated Press.

The parolees were let go as part of the “MGT Push” plan that Gov. Pat Quinn shut down in December after the AP revealed it.

The program has embarrassed Mr. Quinn as he runs for re-election, although the Democratic governor has tried to blame Corrections Director Michael Randle, saying he didn’t know Mr. Randle was going to release violent offenders. The administration ordered parole agents in January to begin “intensive compliance” checks on the released prisoners.

More than 50 MGT (“meritorious good time” ) Push parolees are currently on the lam, according to documents from corrections obtained under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act and analyzed by the AP.

While many who go astray are picked up within days, some absconders have been gone for months. Those currently on the list have been missing an average 136 days, or 4.5 months, according to the AP analysis.


Oil spill focus in aquarium exhibit

DES MOINES — A new exhibit at an aquarium that intended to showcase the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico will instead be void of life to underline the environmental impact of a massive oil spill in the ocean basin.

The 40,000-gallon aquarium at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, about 1,000 miles from where the river dumps into the Gulf, was supposed to have been teeming with sharks, rays and other marine life. Two smaller tanks were to show a seagrass bed and coral reef.

The main tank — the size of a school bus — will contain water and artificial coral, its sides adorned with window stickers that look like oil.


FBI mulls complaint about horse roundup

RENO — The FBI is reviewing a Las Vegas woman’s claim that U.S. land managers broke a federal law protecting wild horses when they removed nearly 2,000 mustangs from public rangeland in Nevada about six months ago.

FBI Special Agent Joseph Dickey confirmed Wednesday they received a formal request for an investigation earlier this week from Cindy MacDonald, a horse-protection advocate who has challenged roundups before.

She claims the Bureau of Land Management gathered far more horses than allowed during the roundup in the Calico mountains about 200 miles north of Reno.


Judge sides with Google over Viacom

NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York is siding with Google in a $1 billion copyright lawsuit filed by media company Viacom over YouTube videos.

Viacom Inc. had alleged that YouTube, which Google Inc. bought in 2006, built itself into a successful video-sharing site by promoting the unlicensed use of video taken from Viacom cable channels such as MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.

But U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton ruled in favor of Google in a summary judgment Wednesday, saying that YouTube removed illegal videos promptly as required by federal copyright law.

Viacom says it will appeal.


Endangered list sought for bees

GRANTS PASS — A conservation group wants to add a bumblebee from southern Oregon and Northern California to the endangered-species list.

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and University of California at Davis entomologist Robbin Thorp on Wednesday formally petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the insect — called a Franklin’s bumblebee — under the Endangered Species Act.

Scott Black of the Xerces Society said the petition is part of an effort to reverse the decline of bumblebees and other native bees nationwide. Bees pollinate about 15 percent of all crops grown in the nation, worth $3 billion.

Mr. Thorp’s surveys for the Franklin’s bumblebee have shown a dramatic decline in numbers since 1998, with none seen since 2003.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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