News briefs

New York City bouncer stabbed to death

After asking one of two brothers in the Guernica club on the Lower East Side of Manhattan to put a cigarette, Dana “Shazam” Blake, a bouncer at the nightclub, was stabbed to death. The 6-foot-6 32-year-old man was trying to enforce New York’s tough new anti-smoking law that applies to bars and restaurants with few exceptions. Blake died of his injuries. The two brothers, Jonathan Chan, 29, and Ching Chan, 31, of Manhattan’s Chinatown face charges of assault, criminal possession of a weapon and resisting arrest.

More SARS deaths in Hong Kong

Severe acute respiratory syndrome has claimed the lives of nine more people in Hong Kong Tuesday. The city’s total SARS death toll is now 56. In addition, 1,232 patients have been diagnosed with the illness. Across the world, 150 people out of 3,000 infected with SARS, have died. China, which has 1,435 cases, is disinfecting buses and other public facilities in order to contain the virus. U.S. scientists have mapped the genetic make-up of SARS, which is critical in producing an anti-viral drug.

Meth production ring busted

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reported that at least 65 people in the United States and Canada involved in a methamphetamine production ring were arrested Tuesday. Six executives from three Canadian chemical companies were among those who were arrested. Those arrested in New York were assisting in laundering drug proceeds and transferring money to bank accounts in the Middle East.

Female and infant bodies found in San Francisco Bay

Two bodies found in the San Francisco Bay area Tuesday could be those of Laci Peterson and her son. An initial autopsy found no obvious cause of death. DNA tests could take weeks to verify the identities of the bodies. Both bodies were somewhat decomposed. Peterson, expecting a child, disappeared Dec. 24. Since his wife’s disappearance, Scott Peterson has acknowledged he was having an affair with another woman. Police have not named the husband as a suspect in the case.

Rodney King crashes into a house

Rodney King crashed his sport utility vehicle into a house in Los Angeles Sunday, breaking his pelvis. King, who was weaving through traffic at 100 mph, is listed in fair condition. He is suspected to have been intoxicated at the time of the accident. In 1992, King’s videotaped beating by police led to riots in the California city.

1985 hijacker captured

Abu Abbas, the brains behind the 1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro, was captured by U.S. Special Forces in Iraq this week. Officials in Italy seek Abbas’ extradition as he has been sentenced to five life terms in the country. Palestinian leaders are calling the arrest illegal.

United States, North Korea and China to talk

The United States, North Korea and China will meet in Beijing April 23. The meeting will center around Pynongyang’s suspected nuclear weapons programs. Previously, North Korea refused to participate in multilateral negotiations.

David Duke to serve 15-month sentence

David Duke turned himself in Tuesday to serve a 15-month sentence for mail and tax fraud. The former Ku Klux Klan leader’s sentence is the result of a plea agreement after he pleaded guilty to false income reports and a mail fraud scheme. The agreement was finalized in December. Duke said he plans on being a model prisoner in the Texas facility.

Australian teen alive after death scam

Natasha Ryan, an Australian teen, has appeared after year of being thought of as the victim of a serial killer. The girl disappeared in September 1998 at the age of 14. For months, Ryan’s family and volunteers searched for her. Three years later, Leonard Fraser was charged with the murder and the family held a memorial service for their daughter. Recently, however, Ryan was found hiding in a home rented by her older boyfriend. The teen said she went along with the lie about her death, but the reason is unknown.

High winds in New Mexico

Winds reaching more than 130 mph are blamed for a 10-car pileup and the deaths of two people. The winds kicked up dust and blocked the vision of many drivers. It also blew topsoil off of farms. Many school bus drivers had to wait for the winds to subside before they could continue with their routes.

Chinese students using memory tonics

According to a poll, many pupils in Shanghai are taking tonics to boost their memories. Their parents say they know the tonics are not miracles, but they wanted the children to try it anyway. Last year, authorities found more than 1,000 different types of tonics being sold in China.

Perfect driver had no license

A 77-year-old man was pulled over by police at a routine roadside stop while on his way to collect an award for 25 years of accident free driving. During the routine stop, police learned the man was driving without a license. The German man had been driving illegally for 25 years after his license was taken away for driving offences.



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