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Illinois sheriff's investigator killed at party PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 22 December 2013 07:32

BELLWOOD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois sheriff's investigator was fatally shot while trying to break up an armed robbery outside a family Christmas party, authorities said Saturday.

Cuauhtemoc Estrada, 50, died Friday night outside a VFW hall in Bellwood, about 13 miles from downtown Chicago. Officials with the Cook County Sheriff's Office, where he worked, released few details. They only would say that one of the gunmen shot Estrada when he was trying to intervene in the robbery.

Estrada is a former Marine who had been with the department for more than 20 years. He worked in the electronic monitoring unit.

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Mom pleads to keep California girl on life support PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by TERRY COLLINS, Associated Press   
Sunday, 22 December 2013 07:30

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A California woman says she believes her 13-year-old daughter is alive despite a declaration that complications from a tonsillectomy left her brain dead.

The mother of Jahi McMath pleaded for prayers and time to keep her daughter on a ventilator past Monday, when a temporary restraining order barring a hospital from disconnecting life support expires.

"Despite what they say, she is alive. I can touch her, she is warm. She responds to my touch," Nailah Winkfield wrote Saturday.

"Given time I know (God) will spark her brain awake," she wrote in the open letter.

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NASA astronauts begin urgent spacewalking repairs PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer   
Saturday, 21 December 2013 08:15

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronauts have stepped out on the first of a series of urgent repair spacewalks at the International Space Station.

The two Americans on the crew floated outside Saturday morning. They will disconnect an ammonia pump that contains a bad valve. The breakdown has crippled the space station's critical cooling system for the past 1½ weeks.

The pump replacement is a huge undertaking attempted only once before, in 2010. NASA has ordered up three spacewalks to complete the job. The next one will be Monday.

Astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins will go back out again Christmas Day, if any work remains.

The six-man crew had to turn off all nonessential equipment inside the orbiting lab following the malfunction on Dec. 11. Scientific research came to a near-halt.


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Public, media barred from hearing on Holmes sanity PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DAN ELLIOTT, Associated Press   
Saturday, 21 December 2013 07:47

DENVER (AP) — The public and the news media will be barred from a pretrial hearing in the Colorado theater shooting case that will include testimony from a psychiatrist who evaluated whether defendant James Holmes was insane, the judge ruled Friday.

Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. said testimony from the psychiatrist and other witnesses would "infect a large portion of the jury pool with factual information" about Holmes' sanity and make it impossible for him to get a fair trial.

The order also bars victims of the July 2012 attack from the hearing, scheduled to start Jan. 27.

Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 others. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

His lawyers acknowledge he was the shooter but argue he was in the grips of a psychotic episode.

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U.S. holiday travelers brace for foul, wet weather PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by TAMMY WEBBER, Associated Press   
Saturday, 21 December 2013 07:44

CHICAGO (AP) — Freezing rain. Snow. Thunderstorms. Even tornadoes. Much of the nation braced for foul weather on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, as a wet winter storm created travel worries from Chicago and Detroit to Boston and New York.

Forecasters were predicting everything from freezing rain and snow in the north to torrential rain in the Ohio Valley and Appalachia and possibly even tornadoes in the South.

The worst of the storm was expected to hit Midwest population centers on Saturday, though the weather took a toll on air travel Friday with significant delays from Albuquerque to Denver to Chicago, according to FlightStats.com.

The foul weather could cause headaches for the estimated 94.5 million Americans planning to travel by road or air during this holiday season, which runs from Saturday through New Year's Day.

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