Published: Thursday, August 16, 2007
Army suicide rate up
Army suicide rate up
WASHINGTON Army soldiers committed suicide last year at the highest rate in 26 years, and more than a quarter did so while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a new military report.
The report, obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its scheduled release Thursday, found there were 99 confirmed suicides among active duty soldiers during 2006, up from 88 the previous year and the highest number since the 102 suicides in 1991 at the time of the Persian Gulf War.
The suicide rate for the Army has fluctuated over the past 26 years, from last year's high of 17.3 per 100,000 to a low of 9.1 per 100,000 in 2001. The 99 suicides included 28 soldiers deployed to the two wars and 71 who weren't. About twice as many women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan committed suicide as did women not sent to war, the report said.
Noise detected in mine
HUNTINGTON, Utah Some noise was detected by two devices monitoring vibrations near where six miners were trapped by a cave-in nearly 10 days ago, raising "a very small amount" of hope that the men might be found alive, officials said.
The sound picked up by two geophones could be a rock breaking underground, or even an animal, said Richard Stickler, chief of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. Rescuers were in the process of dropping a video camera and microphone down narrow holes being drilled into the mine, he said. Plans for a fourth borehole had changed because of the "unusual" readings.
Said Bob Murray, chief of Murray Energy Corp., the co-owner and operator of the Crandall Canyon Mine: "Don't read too much into this noise we picked up, but it is a sign of hope." Still, experts say the chances of finding the men alive are slim.
HUNTSVILLE, Texas A prisoner who had threatened to harm corrections officers before his execution was put to death Wednesday evening for the rape and fatal shooting of a woman during a break-in at her home nearly 10 years ago. In a brief final statement, a quiet Kenneth Parr expressed love to his family. He never looked at the relatives of his victims, including her parents.
Parr, 27, was just days past his 18th birthday Jan. 21, 1998, when authorities said he and a younger half brother kicked in the door of 30-year-old Linda Malek, robbed the place, then raped her and shot her in the head while she was in bed with her two young children.
Authorities found the murder weapon and items taken from Malek's home in the apartment where Parr and his brother were staying, and their fingerprints were found at the murder scene. DNA tied Parr to the rape, and at his trial there was evidence Parr wrote a rap song about killing Malek and was planning to murder again.
Earthquake kills 17
LIMA, Peru A powerful earthquake shook Peru's coast near the capital on Wednesday, killing at least 17 people as it toppled buildings and caused hundreds to flee office buildings in Lima. A tsunami warning was issued for South America's Pacific coast. The highly respected Cable new station Canal N reported that a church in the city of Ica south of Lima collapsed, killing 17 people and injuring 70. The U.S. Geological Survey said the 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit about 90 miles southeast of Lima at a depth of about 25 miles.
6 Italians shot to death
DUISBURG, Germany Six Italian men died in a hail of gunfire early Wednesday after a pizzeria celebration of one victim's 18th birthday a Mafia-style massacre that officials said grew out of a long-running feud between two organized crime clans in southern Italy.
The slayings in this industrial city marked the first time the 'ndrangheta syndicate exported a vendetta, Italian authorities said. The organization, based in Italy's Calabria region, is heavily involved in drug trafficking and extortion and earlier this year officials described it as even more dangerous than the Sicilian Mafia.
The six victims, ranging in age from 16 to 38, had just left the Da Bruno restaurant near the main train station in downtown Duisburg in two vehicles when they came under fire, police said.
BAGRAMI, Afghanistan Hundreds of U.S.-led troops have launched an offensive against al-Qaida and Taliban militants in an area of eastern Afghanistan where Osama bin Laden once hid, officials said Wednesday. A bomb attack near the capital, meanwhile, killed three German police officers assigned to protect their country's embassy, and a British national was shot and killed in Kabul.
The offensive involving ground troops and airstrikes in Tora Bora region of eastern Nangarhar province is targeting "hundreds of foreign fighters" who are using dug-in fighting positions, said coalition spokeswoman Capt. Vanessa Bowman.