‘The Professor’ dies aged 89
The actor who played “The Professor’’ on Gilligan’s Island, Russell Johnson, has died. His agent, Mike Eisenstadt, says Johnson died on Thursday morning at his home in Washington of natural causes. He was 89. Johnson was a busy, but little-known character actor when he was cast in the slapstick 1960s comedy about seven people marooned on an uncharted Pacific island. His character, high-school science teacher Roy Hinkley, built generators and other gadgets out of scraps of junk found on the island. Johnson later joked that the one thing the Professor never figured out how to do was to fix the leaky boat so the group could get back to civilization. During its three-season run on CBS, critics lambasted the show, but it found generations of new fans in reruns and reunion movies.
Drugs planes can be shot
Lawmakers on Friday approved legislation allowing the government to shoot down planes suspected of trafficking illegal drugs through the poor nation that has been hit by deepening gang violence. The legislation authorizes progressive use of force to make unidentified aircraft land. Only the country’s defense minister can order that a plane be shot down, the legislation said. Most of the cocaine destined for the US moves though Honduras, where Mexican drug gangs have moved in as they take increasing control over the drug trade from Colombian traffickers. The military shot down two small planes in 2012 that were suspected of carrying drugs. The incident pushed the US to suspend anti-drug radar support to authorities for about three months. Conservative Juan Hernandez was elected president in November last year after promising a tough militarized response to drug gang violence that has driven Honduras’ murder rate to the world’s highest.
Nine indicted in murder
A judge on Friday indicted nine people, including several with close ties to former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, in the murder of a prominent journalist, officials said. Jean Dominique was assassinated in April 2000 in the courtyard of Radio Haiti-Inter, a station he owned. “The investigation is finished. We have officially submitted our report,” Judge Yvikel Dabresil told reporters. “Former president Aristide is not indicted,” he added, but confirmed that at least nine people, including a former senator and a former mayor of the capital Port-au-Prince, were.
President visits first lady
President Francois Hollande has visited the first lady for the first time since she was hospitalized late last week after a gossip magazine reported he was having an affair with an actress. An official at the presidential palace said on Friday that Hollande visited Valerie Trierweiler the previous evening. The 48-year-old journalist was admitted a week ago to Paris’ Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital for rest. His office said she had experienced a “crisis of nerves” upon learning of the report in Closer magazine last week that the 59-year-old president has been having an affair with Julie Gayet, 41. Europe-1 radio reported on Thursday night that Gayet told the radio station by telephone that rumors she is pregnant are untrue. Gayet has not spoken publicly about the matter, and her agent and lawyer have declined to comment on her private life.
Eighteen die in stampede