World and national briefs

Published: Friday, January 24, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 24, 2003 at 12:22 a.m.

Two helicopters crash, killing four reservists

  • FALCON HEIGHTS, Texas - Two military helicopters taking part in a nighttime anti-drug patrol crashed and burned in the dusty scrubland near the Mexican border, killing all four Marine reservists on board.
    The AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters went down Wednesday night amid the brush and cactus about 110 miles northwest of Brownsville.
    Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Joe Kloppel said that he had no immediate information on the cause of the crash but that it was possible the helicopters collided.

    North African man arrested in ricin case

  • LONDON - A North African man has been arrested in connection with this month's discovery of the deadly poison ricin in a London apartment, police said Thursday.
    The 31-year-old suspect was arrested Wednesday in northeast London under the Terrorism Act, a Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said. She did not release the name of the man, who was being questioned at a central London police station and has not been charged with a crime.
    The arrest was linked to the Jan. 5 discovery of traces of the toxin in an apartment in the Wood Green district of north London.

    Scouts led game in which 'Nazis' chased 'Jews'

  • COPENHAGEN, Denmark - A Danish scout group acknowledged it "may have crossed the line" by organizing a game of tag in which adults pretending to be Nazis chased children dressed as Jews around a phony concentration camp.
    The Danish Christian FDF scout group put up swastikas and Nazi-type signs and had the children wear yellow Stars of David as they were chased around the school yard at the Kongeaadal school, 161 miles southwest of Copenhagen.
    One sign had the German words "Arbeit macht frei," or "Work will set you free," the infamous inscription over the entrance of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

    Parents admit using son to scam neighbors

  • BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Parents of a 7-year-old boy admitted scamming neighbors of nearly $700 by dressing their son in a Cub Scouts uniform and going door to door seeking donations for a nonexistent troop.
    Anthony M. Herman, 46, and Sally Ann Gombocz, 45, of Bethlehem knocked on more than 150 doors between Jan. 7 and Jan. 18, collecting $667 as their son silently smiled, police said.
    At the couple's arraignment Wednesday, Herman said they perpetrated the scam because the family landscaping business was failing.

    Three suits related to hostage crisis tossed

  • MOSCOW - A Moscow court on Thursday rejected three lawsuits by six plaintiffs against the city government for moral damages suffered by hostages in the terrorist seizure of a Moscow theater last year.
    The court did not rule on the remaining 21 lawsuits because the plaintiffs had not appeared during the hearings.
    "I have no words, only emotions," said Sergei Karpov, the father of one of the victims.
    His case was not among those rejected, but he said he now held out little hope for winning a judgment.
    - Compiled from The Associated Press
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