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Nation & World news briefs: March 31, 2013

L.A. police ID male suspect in abduction of 10-year-old girl found abandoned hours later

The police in Los Angeles yesterday released the name of a man suspected in the abduction of a 10-year-old girl who was snatched from her San Fernando Valley home before dawn last week and abandoned hours later in front of a hospital.

Tobias Dustin Summers, a 30-year-old man who was recently released from prison, was identified as a “child-kidnapping suspect,” the Los Angeles police said. Summers has a lengthy criminal record, having been arrested in the past for robbery, grand theft auto and kidnapping, according to authorities.

Dozens of detectives worked around the clock looking for clues since the girl was abducted from her home Wednesday. She was found hours later, wandering near a Starbucks several miles from her home.

The girl was barefoot, scratched and not wearing the same clothes she had on when she vanished. She told the police two men she didn’t recognize had taken her from her home.

Investigators have said they believe the girl was driven around the San Fernando Valley in a couple of cars and taken to at least two locations, including a storage facility, before she was released.

Oklahoma

Patients oral surgeon line up outside clinic to get tested for HIV, hepatitis

Hundreds of patients of an Oklahoma oral surgeon accused of unsanitary practices showed up at a health clinic yesterday, looking to find out whether they were exposed to hepatitis or the virus that causes AIDS.

Letters began going out Friday to 7,000 patients who had seen Dr. W. Scott Harrington during the past six years, warning them that poor hygiene at his clinics created a public health hazard. The one-page letter said how and where to seek treatment but couldn’t explain why Harrington’s allegedly unsafe practices went on for so long.

Testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and the virus that causes AIDS began at 10 a.m. yesterday, but many arrived early and stood through torrential downpours. The Tulsa Health Department said 420 people were tested yesterday at its North Regional Health and Wellness Center. Screenings resume tomorrow morning.

Phil Ramone, Grammy-winning producer, arranger and musical innovator, dead at 79

Phil Ramone, the masterful Grammy Award-winning engineer, arranger and producer whose platinum touch included recordings with Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Paul Simon, died yesterday of complications stemming from heart surgery, his family said. He was 79.

Ramone, who lived in Wilton, Conn., had elective surgery Feb. 27 to prevent an aortic aneurysm, son Matt Ramone said. He later developed pneumonia and died yesterday morning at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, the son said.

Ramone won 14 competitive Grammy Awards and one for lifetime achievement. Worldwide sales for his projects topped 100 million. He was at ease with rock, jazz, swing and pop, working with Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, Elton John and Tony Bennett, Madonna and Lou Reed.

Jamaica

Bill targeting lottery scams expected to pass

The House of Representatives in Jamaica has passed a bill this week calling for tougher prosecution of those involved in multimillion-dollar lottery scams that mostly have targeted elderly Americans.

The governor general is expected soon to sign the bill, which the Senate also passed on March 21. The bill targets advanced fee fraud, identity theft and the use of technology for illegally accessing financial accounts. The bill also prohibits making threats and coercing victims over the phone. Those found guilty could face up to 20 years in prison.

Authorities say at least 30,000 calls are made daily from Jamaica to the U.S. as part of the scams. Suspects usually tell victims they’ve won millions but must first wire payments to cover taxes before they can receive the prize. The scams generate at least $300 million a year.

The Associated Press

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