National and world briefs


Published: Friday, January 17, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 17, 2003 at 12:54 a.m.

Sniper victims' families sue gun maker, store

  • SEATTLE - Relatives of two Washington, D.C.-area sniper victims on Thursday sued a gun manufacturer and store linked to the Bushmaster XM15 assault rifle used in the deadly attacks.
    The family members of James "Sonny" Buchanan and Conrad Johnson claim the gun maker and store showed "gross negligence" that caused injuries and death, according to the complaint. The relatives are represented by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
    The case, filed in Pierce County Superior Court in Tacoma, seeks unspecified damages. It names Bull's Eye Shooter Supply of Tacoma, which either sold the rifle or lost it in a theft; store owners Brian Borgelt and Charles Carr; Bushmaster Firearms Inc. of Windham, Maine; and sniper defendants John Allen Muhammad and Lee Malvo.

    Man charged in kidnap, prostitution ring

  • DETROIT - A man suspected of running a multistate ring that kidnapped women and girls or lured them with promises of money before forcing them into prostitution was charged Thursday with nine felony counts.
    Authorities say Henry Davis of Chicago used threats of violence to keep the women and girls - many of them runaways - under his control in the ring, which is believed to have been operating since 1995.
    "This guy picked his targets," Detroit Police Cmdr. Gerard Simon said. "Young girls who (were) unsure of themselves, were runaways, didn't have a place to go."

    Discovery may boost infertility treatment

  • WASHINGTON - In research that could lead both to new ways to treat infertility and new types of contraceptives, scientists have identified molecules that help embryos stick to the wall of the uterus.
    Timing is everything, the study shows. By analyzing carbohydrate molecules on the surface of the uterus during different times of the female cycle and by identifying a protein, called L-selectin, on the surface of the embryo, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, learned for the first time how the embryo sticks to the wall.

    Oxford students want Clinton to be chancellor

  • LONDON - He may no longer be president, but Bill Clinton still is winning ballots.
    A new poll says 48 percent of undergraduates at Oxford University want Clinton as their new chancellor, editors at Cherwell, the student magazine, said Thursday.
    Clinton is a former Rhodes Scholar at Oxford whose daughter, Chelsea, now is a graduate student there. His closest rival was Shirley Williams, one of the British politicians who formed the Social Democrats in 1981. She got 16 percent.

    Sweden offers best maternity benefits

  • LONDON - Maternity benefits vary widely around the world, but Sweden leads the way, giving moms as many as 96 weeks off, according to a study released Thursday.
    For more than half that period, Swedish mothers also receive the equivalent of 80 percent of their salary. Pay decreases sharply after 390 days, according to the poll of 33 countries. It was released by the New York-based firm Mercer Human Resource Consulting.
    - Compiled from The Associated Press
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