Explosive in blast identified
Officials said on Monday that they had determined that ammonium nitrate stored at a Texas fertilizer plant is what exploded on April 17, killing 14 people and injuring hundreds. The finding was expected, and officials had said they were focusing their investigation on the explosive chemical used in many fertilizers, said Rachel Moreno, spokeswoman for the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office. A spot where the ammonium nitrate was stored is now a 27.5m wide crater, Moreno said. However, the ignition source for the explosive chemical remained undetermined on Monday.
Tarbuck arrested over abuse
Veteran comic Jimmy Tarbuck has become the latest celebrity to be arrested in connection with a historical child sex abuse investigation, media reported yesterday. North Yorkshire Police confirmed that a 73-year-old man was arrested in Kingston upon Thames on April 26. The Daily Mail yesterday identified him as Tarbuck. Police released the former quiz show host on bail after questioning him over claims that a young boy was assaulted in the late 1970s, according to the reports. Police said the arrest came after information was given to them by Metropolitan Police officers working on Operation Yewtree, the probe set up following the slew of claims against late former BBC presenter Jimmy Savile. However, the force said the arrest was “not part of Yewtree, but a separate investigation.”
Mirren gives a royal rebuke
A troupe of street drummers got a shock when Helen Mirren, dressed as Queen Elizabeth II, emerged from a London theater to berate them for disrupting her show. Mirren is starring in The Audience, a drama about the weekly meetings between the queen and the nation’s prime ministers over her 60-year reign. Mirren told the Daily Telegraph that she used less-than-royal language in the rant during the intermission of Saturday’s performance. “I’m afraid there were a few ‘thespian’ words used,” Mirren was quoted as saying on Monday. “They got a very stern royal ticking off, but I have to say they were very sweet and they stopped immediately. I felt rotten, but on the other hand they were destroying our performance so something had to be done,” she said. The drummers were marching through London to promote As One in the Park, a gay music festival being held this month. “Not much shocks you on the gay scene,” parade organizer Mark McKenzie told the Telegraph. “But seeing Helen Mirren dressed as the queen cussing and swearing and making you stop your parade — that’s a new one.”
Suspect’s pal awaits trial
A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been released from federal custody while he awaits trial for allegedly lying to federal investigators probing the April 15 bombings. Robel Phillipos was charged last week and faces up to eight years in prison if convicted. The 19-year-old was a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with Tsarnaev. Prosecutors initially asked that Phillipos be held while he awaits trial, arguing that he poses a serious flight risk. However, prosecutors and Phillipos’ lawyers said on Monday in a joint motion they now agree that Phillipos can be released under strict conditions, including home confinement, monitoring with an electronic bracelet and a US$100,000 secured bond. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler agreed to the request during a hearing on Monday.