Fri, Aug 06, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ United States

Los Alamos lab suspends 4

Four Los Alamos National Laboratory workers have been put on paid leave in a probe into two missing computer disks containing classified information, officials said. Lab Director Pete Nanos' action brings to 23 the number of workers suspended in a security scandal that has brought a halt to classified work and cast doubt on the 61-year-old lab's future. Last month, Nanos suspended 19 workers: 15 in connection with the missing disks and four others as part of a probe into how a lab intern suffered a serious eye injury from a laser. Beyond announcing the latest suspensions on Wednesday, Nanos declined to comment on the FBI's role or whether criminal charges are possible. ``I don't want to put anything out I can't stand behind,'' he said.

■ United States

Conjoined twins separated

Two-year-old twins from the Philippines who were joined at the tops of their heads were surgically separated on Wednesday, a hospital spokesman said in New York. Doctors teased apart abutting portions of Carl and Clarence Aguirre's brains after completing an incision around their skull, said Steve Osborne of Montefiore Medical Center. The boys survived, and doctors, nurses and technicians applauded in the operating room, Osborne said. The surgery continued after the separation. Doctors planned to reconstruct a membrane that covered the boys' brains and then cover their heads with skin.

■ United States

Lawn defender gets prison

A man who attacked a letter carrier because he walked on his lawn was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison on Wednesday. Arthur Parker, 30, of Old Bridge, New Jersey, was charged with assaulting a federal employee and pleaded guilty in May. Parker became angry after letter carrier Kevin Ward walked on his lawn while making a delivery. Parker drove to confront Ward about 3km away, punching him twice in the face. Ward, 50, was taken a hospital and underwent reconstructive surgery. Ward said on Wednesday that he contin-ues to have dizziness and headaches as a result of the attack.

■ United Kingdom

Falling chainsaw kills wife

A London man pruning a tree with a chainsaw fell from his ladder, landing on his wife and fatally injuring her, police said on Wednesday. "It was a really tragic accident. He is obviously in a great deal of shock," a police spokesman said. They said the 56-year-old man, who has not been named, was cutting back a tree outside their home in the London suburb of Eltham when he fell. His wife died instantly. The man was reported to be in a hospital being treated for shock.

■ Austria

Spa offers chocolate bath

An Austrian health spa is giving chocolate lovers a chance to take the ultimate plunge. Bad Eisenkappel, a spa in southwestern Austria, is drawing visitors with a relaxing soak in a tub filled with melted chocolate, Austrian television reported on Wednesday. Nina Sabitzer, a cosmetologist at the spa, told state broadcaster ORF the baths include cocoa butter, which she said helps protect skin from developing wrinkles. Although clients are encouraged to splash around, "we don't let them eat any -- it's too fattening," she said.

■ Denmark

Officer denies abuse claim

A Danish intelligence officer on Wednesday denied allegations she had abused prisoners during interrogations at the Danish headquarters in southern Iraq. Reserve Captain Annemette Hommel, 37, who is under investigation by army auditors, told Danish TV2 that the complaints against her were groundless. "I'm frankly a person who is very cautious when it comes to other people's rights. There is absolutely no substance to these allegations," Hommel said. Hommel was sent home last week from Iraq, before her tour of duty was up, after former unit colleagues complained about the way she interrogated prisoners. Danish media said Iraqi prisoners were allegedly denied water during questioning and forced to hold stressful positions for extended periods of time. The military would not confirm the allegations.

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