In Brief

IN BRIEF

September 16, 2008|By FROM BALTIMORE SUN NEWS SERVICES

Death toll rises to 26 in Calif. train crash

LOS ANGELES: The coroner's office says the death toll in the Los Angeles commuter train crash has reached 26. Coroner's assistant chief Ed Winter says the 26th death was reported to his office yesterday after a victim died Saturday at County-USC Medical Center. The commuter train carrying 220 people rolled past stop signals Friday and barreled head-on into a Union Pacific freight train in suburban Chatsworth.

Tainted milk may sicken more babies, China says

BEIJING: China's Health Ministry is warning that its investigation into contaminated milk powder may uncover additional cases of babies who have fallen ill from the tainted product. Today, the official Xinhua News Agency quoted the ministry as saying medical agencies were prepared for additional cases. The company at the heart of the problem, Sanlu Group Co., has apologized for its contaminated milk powder, which has been linked to the deaths of two infants and sickened more than 1,200 others in a widening food scandal.

6 indicted in N.J. in execution-style killings

NEWARK, N.J.: Three men and three teenagers were indicted yesterday on murder and other charges in the execution-style slayings that shocked New Jersey's largest city more than a year ago. The grand jury charged all six suspects, who have reputed links to the MS-13 street gang, with murder, attempted murder, robbery and weapons offenses related to the killings on Aug. 4, 2007. Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow said the indictments took a year because charges against the three teens were upgraded from juvenile to adult court and because multiple agencies worked together to make sure the case was airtight. The six suspects are accused of killing three college students who were hanging out behind the Mount Vernon School when they were killed.

Suicide blast kills 22 at Iraqi police celebration

BAGHDAD: A suicide bomber blew herself up yesterday among police officers who were celebrating the release of a comrade from U.S. custody, killing at least 22 people, Iraqi officials said. The suicide attack happened in Diyala, a province northeast of Baghdad where Sunni insurgents have carried out persistent attacks despite security gains elsewhere in the country. The bomber targeted the home of a police commissioner who had been detained by U.S. troops for allegedly cooperating with the Mahdi Army, a Shiite militia. In Baghdad, a double-car bombing struck a busy commercial district, killing 13 people in one of the deadliest attacks in the capital in weeks.

Regional summit seeks solution to Bolivia crisis

SANTIAGO, Chile: South America's presidents converged on Chile for an emergency summit yesterday aimed at preventing the collapse of Bolivia, whose leftist president has essentially lost control of half the country and said bloody unrest there amounts to an attempted coup. Evo Morales said he would explain to his fellow presidents how his political foes in Bolivia's rich eastern lowlands have mounted a "civic coup," inciting "crimes against humanity by groups massacring the poorest of my country." At least 30 people were killed in political violence last week, prompting Bolivia's first indigenous president to declare martial law in the rebellious state of Pando and seek the arrest of its governor. Gov. Leopoldo Fernandez denied any responsibility for the deaths, calling it an armed clash between rival groups and accusing Morales of "mounting a farce."

Simpson's robbery, kidnapping trial opens

LAS VEGAS: A prosecutor told jurors yesterday that they will learn "the true face" of O.J. Simpson during the former football star's trial on charges of robbing sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. Prosecutor Chris Owens began his opening statement by playing an audio recording of the confrontation and pointed out one voice barking commands. Simpson, who flashed a thumbs-up sign when he arrived at court, sat impassively while Owens described the rest of the recording. In his opening statement, defense attorney Yale Galanter asserted that the evidence will not show that Simpson intended to commit a crime, but rather that he simply wanted to recover stolen personal effects. Simpson, 61, and co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart, 54, have pleaded not guilty to 12 charges, including kidnapping, armed robbery and conspiracy.

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