AAS: You’ve got BEIRUT and UPS as potential fillers so please check to make sure they didn’t get in.
AJC: Please do not use BEIRUT or UPS.
CMGO: Please do not use UPS.
Car bomb deadly in Beirut
A deadly car bomb exploded Thursday in a densely populated district of southern Beirut, a stronghold of the Hezbollah group, fanning new fears of violent fallout in Lebanon from the war raging in neighboring Syria. The government said at least 18 people were killed and 291 injured in the blast; local media put the death toll at a minimum of 21 killed. A group calling itself the Brigades of Aisha the Mother of the Faithful issued a statement on YouTube taking responsibility for the attack.
Feds: No engine failure in UPS crash
Federal investigators found no initial evidence that a UPS cargo jet suffered engine failure or was burning before it clipped trees at the end of a runway and slammed into a hillside in Alabama, killing the two pilots, officials said Thursday. Robert Sumwalt, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, said during an afternoon news conference the findings were only preliminary, and investigators hope to get additional evidence from data and voice recorders that were pulled from the plane’s burned-out tail section earlier in the day.
NASA gives up fixing telescope
NASA called off all attempts to fix its crippled Kepler space telescope Thursday. But it’s not quite ready to call it quits on the robotic planet hunter. Officials said they’re looking at what science, if any, might be salvaged by using the broken spacecraft as is. The $600 million Kepler mission has been in trouble since May, unable to point with precision at faraway stars in its quest for other potential Earths. That’s when a critical second wheel failed on the spacecraft. The first of four gyroscope wheels broke in 2012; at least three are needed for precise pointing. The spacecraft is 51 million miles from Earth, orbiting the sun.
Rockefeller impostor sentenced for murder
A man who assumed numerous identities, including as a Rockefeller heir, has been sentenced to 27 years to life in prison for a murder. German immigrant Christian Gerhartsreiter was sentenced Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court for the killing of John Sohus, who disappeared with his wife, Linda, in 1985. John Sohus’ bones were later dug up in the backyard of a California home where Gerhartsreiter had been a tenant living under a false name. Gerhartsreiter vanished about that time, and in the following years he masqueraded across the U.S. under a series of identities.
Court convicts 3 for rape of American
A Rio de Janeiro court convicted three men Thursday in the gang rape of an American woman aboard a public transit van that shocked Brazil and made headlines around the world. Judge Guilherme Schilling delivered the verdict Wednesday, sentencing 20-year-old Jonathan Froudakis de Souza and 21-year-old Walace Aparecido de Souza Silva each to 49 years and three months in prison on rape, robbery and extortion charges. Carlos Armando Costa dos Santos, whose age was not given, was sentenced to 21 years and seven months in prison, while a minor detained in connection with the rape has yet to be tried.
New president woos foreign investment
Multimillionaire Horacio Cartes made a play for more foreign investment Thursday as he assumed the presidency of impoverished Paraguay and tried to move past accusations about business dealings that have made him a target of U.S. criminal investigations. “I’m not in politics to make a career of it or become wealthier,” the 57-year-old Cartes said in his inauguration speech, promising to strengthen Paraguay’s international relations and its commitment to human rights. “I’m in politics to serve my people, make the future better for new generations and build up our identity as a free, independent and sovereign people.”
Boston bomb survivor, 7, using new leg
A 7-year-old girl who lost part of her left leg in the Boston Marathon bombings is learning to use a prosthetic leg as her family still mourns the death of her older brother in the April attack. The family of Jane Richard and the late 8-year-old Martin Richard said Thursday she already is dancing on her prosthetic leg and “struts around on it with great pride.” “While we have made progress with our physical injuries, the emotional pain seems every bit as new as it was four months ago,” the Richard family said in a statement Thursday. Parents Bill and Denise Richard also were hurt in the attack April 15.
Calm winds help fire officials
Fire officials say they are starting to get the upper hand on a blaze that has burned 14 houses near a Utah ski resort town, but the evacuation of nearly 300 homes will remain for at least one more night. Utah fire official Steve Rutter said during a news conference that Thursday’s calm winds helped crews prevent the fire from spreading or burning any more homes. But Rutter says the smoldering fire and hot, dry conditions make it too dangerous still to allow residents back in their homes. The homeowners have been displaced since Tuesday afternoon from their upscale mountainside homes northeast of Park City, Utah.
Woman loses arm in suspected shark attack
A German tourist has lost her arm in a suspected shark attack off Hawaii. Maui County emergency responders said the woman’s right arm was severed below her shoulder Wednesday as she snorkeled about 50 yards off shore. “She screamed and called for help,” said Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga. The arm was not found, Mainaga said. The woman, who is about 20 years old, was helped to shore by two friends and a kayaker. She was unconscious when she reached the beach and was rushed to a hospital.