Air Force fires general in charge of nuclear missile force; 2nd nuke leader fired this week
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Air Force fired the general in charge of its nuclear missiles on Friday, just two days after a Navy admiral with top nuclear weapons responsibilities was sacked. Both men are caught up in investigations of alleged personal misconduct, adding to a cascade of turmoil inside the nation’s nuclear weapons force.
The Air Force removed Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, a 35-year veteran, from his command of 20th Air Force, responsible for all 450 of the service’s intercontinental ballistic missiles. Carey, who took his post in Wyoming in June 2012, will be reassigned pending the outcome of an investigation into personal misbehavior, the service said.
The Air Force would not specify what Carey is alleged to have done wrong, but two officials with knowledge of the investigation indicated that it was linked to alcohol use.
They said it was not related to the performance or combat readiness of ICBM units or to his stewardship of the force.
Removing senior officers in the nuclear force is rare but has happened twice this week.
Nobel Peace Prize goes to chemical-weapons watchdog; Some Syrians say it won’t stop bloodshed
BEIRUT (AP) -- The watchdog agency working to eliminate the world’s chemical weapons won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a powerful endorsement of the inspectors now on the ground in Syria on a perilous mission to destroy the regime’s stockpile of poison gas.
In honoring the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said "recent events in Syria, where chemical weapons have again been put to use, have underlined the need to enhance the efforts to do away with such weapons."
The prize came 10 days after OPCW inspectors started arriving in war-torn Syria to oversee the dismantling of President Bashar Assad’s chemical arsenal.
While world leaders and former Nobel laureates praised the group’s selection, some in Syria lamented that the prize would do nothing to end the bloodshed, most of which is being inflicted with conventional weapons.
"The killing is continuing, the shelling is continuing and the dead continue to fall," said Mohammed al-Tayeb, an activist who helped film casualties after the deadly chemical attack in August that the rebels and the government have blamed on each other.
Another migrant ship capsizes off Italy island, 27 dead but more than 200 saved
VALLETTA, Malta (AP) -- For the second time in a week, a smugglers’ boat overloaded with migrants capsized in the Canal of Sicily on Friday as it made the perilous crossing from Africa to Europe. At least 27 people drowned, but 221 people were rescued in a joint Italian-Maltese operation, officials said.
Helicopters ferried the injured to Lampedusa, the Italian island that is closer to Africa than the Italian mainland and the destination of choice for most smugglers’ boats leaving Tunisia or Libya. It was off Lampedusa that a migrant ship from Libya capsized Oct. 3 with some 500 people aboard. Only 155 survived.
Friday’s capsizing occurred 65 miles southeast of Lampedusa, but in waters where Malta has search and rescue responsibilities.
The two shipwrecks were the latest grim reminder of the extreme risks that migrants and asylum-seekers often take in an effort to slip into Europe every year by boat. Facing unrest and persecution in Africa and the Middle East, many of the migrants think the Lampedusa escape route to Europe, which is barely 70 miles from northern Africa, is worth the risk.
"They do know that they are risking their lives, but it is a rational decision," said Maurizio Albahari, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. "Because they know for a fact they will be facing death or persecution at home -- whatever remains of their home, or assuming there is a home in the first place."
Officials: 1 dead, dozens hurt in collision between logging truck, train on scenic W.Va. tour
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A logging truck collided with a train taking passengers on a scenic tour amid fall foliage in eastern West Virginia, killing one person and injuring more than 60 others Friday, emergency services officials said.
The cause of the accident between the truck and the Durbin & Greenbrier Railroad train on a trip at the height of the autumn leaf-watching season wasn’t immediately known.
Two passenger cars overturned in the accident at 1:30 p.m. Friday along U.S. Route 250 about 160 miles east of Charleston near Cheat Mountain, said emergency services director Shawn Dunbrack of Pocahontas County.
Randolph County emergency services director Jim Wise said at least three people were critically injured. He said 21 people were taken to a hospital in Elkins by ambulances and 45 others were transported there by bus with lesser injuries. There were no immediate details on the death and the nature of the injuries.
Hospital spokeswoman Tracy Fath said at least eight ambulances arrived at the hospital. She didn’t immediately know the condition of the arrivals. Medical personnel also were tending to those who arrived by bus.
Report on abuses by Syrian rebels could feed Western unease about those fighting Assad
BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian villagers described watching rebels advance on their homes, as mortars thudded around them. By the end of the August attack, 190 civilians had been killed, including children, the elderly and the handicapped, a human rights group said Friday in its most detailed account of alleged war crimes committed by those fighting the Damascus regime.
Human Rights Watch said the offensive against 14 pro-regime villages in the province of Latakia was planned and led by five Islamic extremist groups, including two linked to al-Qaida. Other rebel groups, including those belonging to the Free Syrian Army, a Western-backed alliance, participated in the campaign, but there is no evidence linking them to war crimes, the 105-page report said.
The new allegations are bound to heighten Western unease about those trying to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad and about who would take over if they were to succeed.
"It creates justifiable alarm that the opposition has been infiltrated and undermined by radicals," said David L. Phillips, a former U.S. State Department adviser on the Middle East.
The Free Syrian Army distanced itself from the five groups identified by HRW as the main perpetrators, saying it is not cooperating with extremists. "Anyone who commits such crimes will not belong to the revolution anymore," said spokesman Louay Mikdad.
Parents charged in death of baby girl who prosecutors say had heroin in her formula
QUINCY, Mass. (AP) -- A couple accused of killing their 5-month-old daughter by giving her a bottle of formula with heroin in it were charged with manslaughter on Friday.
Ryan Barry and Ashley Cyr, both of Quincy, just south of Boston, were arrested Friday. They pleaded not guilty and were ordered held on $200,000 cash bail.
The couple’s daughter Mya Barry died in September 2011, when the family lived in Marshfield, a half-hour drive southeast of Quincy.
Police responded to a 911 call and found the baby on the living room floor with her grandmother performing CPR on her, Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz’s office said. The baby was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later.
Police said they found 3 grams of heroin and hypodermic needles on a shelf in a bedroom shared by Barry, Cyr, the baby and her two sisters, ages 3 and 4.
Ala. high court: Remains of woman buried in front yard must be removed; husband had appealed
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The Alabama Supreme Court on Friday rejected an elderly north Alabama man’s appeal to keep the grave of his late wife in the front yard of the home they shared for decades.
The justices, in an 8-3 decision that didn’t include a written opinion, issued a brief order, agreeing with other courts in saying that Patsy Davis’ body must be removed from the front yard in Stevenson where it had been since 2009. James Davis has said he buried his wife in front of their log home because it was her dying wish.
Parker Edmiston, an attorney representing the city, said work to remove the grave from Davis’ yard could begin as early as next week.
The 74-year-old Davis said he does not have the money to pursue the case any further and does not know what will happen next. He said the city has tried to get him to remove the body on his own, but he won’t do it, regardless of court rulings.
"I still ain’t got no justice," he said.
’Bionic man’ walks, breathes with artificial organs, limbs
NEW YORK (AP) -- Gentlemen, we can rebuild him, after all. We have the technology.
The term "bionic man" was the stuff of science fiction in the 1970s, when a popular TV show called "The Six Million Dollar Man" chronicled the adventures of Steve Austin, a former astronaut whose body was rebuilt using artificial parts after he nearly died.
Now, a team of engineers has assembled a robot using artificial organs, limbs and other body parts that comes tantalizingly close to a true "bionic man." For real, this time.
The artificial "man" is the subject of a Smithsonian Channel documentary that airs Sunday, Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. Called "The Incredible Bionic Man," it chronicles engineers’ attempt to assemble a functioning body using artificial parts that range from a working kidney and circulation system to cochlear and retina implants.
The parts hail from 17 manufacturers around the world. This is the first time they’ve been assembled together, says Richard Walker, managing director of Shadow Robot Co. and the lead roboticist on the project.