News Briefs

July 6, 1996
Web posted at: 11:45 p.m. EDT

Fire disables cruise ship, strands passengers

Image of Cruise Ship

SEATTLE (CNN) -- A fire in the engine room of a luxury cruise ship knocked out power and left the vessel stranded in the waters off British Columbia Saturday.

There were no reports of injuries on the "Golden Princess," a 685-foot vessel that was on a pleasure run from San Francisco to Vancouver.

A tug towed the crippled liner 60 miles to Victoria under U.S. Coast Guard escort.

Season's second tropical storm gains strength in Atlantic

MIAMI (CNN) -- Tropical Storm "Bertha," the second named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, was picking up strength late Saturday as it moved toward the Lesser Antilles.

A hurricane watch was issued for the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and the French islands of Guadeloupe, St. Barthelemy and French St. Martin.

Forecasters say maximum sustained winds had increased to near 50 mph. They predicted the storm to become stronger during the next 24 hours.


Police check truck near bomb trial courthouse

DENVER (CNN) -- Police closed a downtown Denver street Friday night while they investigated a rental truck parked behind the federal court building where the Oklahoma City bomb trial will take place.

Vehicle checks and a bomb-sniffing dog turned up no problems with the truck. Authorities have checked suspicious vehicles in the area before, but Friday was the first time a street was closed for the security check.

Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols are awaiting trial in Denver for the April 19, 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City. The explosion killed 168 people.

Murder conviction upheld for brain-damaged man

HARTFORD, Connecticut (CNN) -- The state Supreme Court Friday upheld the murder conviction of Richard Lapointe, who suffers from a congenital brain malformation that results in the condition commonly called "water on the brain."

Lapointe was convicted in 1992 for the 1987 rape and murder of his ex-wife's 88-year-old grandmother. His attorneys argued on appeal that his rights of due process were violated because police did not record his three confessions, and thus the jury could not see whether he was coerced.

Lapointe's case attracted the attention of high-profile supporters and other advocates for the rights of the mentally retarded.


Appeals court says contractors don't have to pay for defense recreation

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A federal appeals court has ruled the Pentagon cannot require its contractors to contribute a portion of the federal dollars they receive to a recreation fund that receives no taxpayer money.

The "Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fund" was set up to pay for golf courses, day care and other facilities for defense department workers. The appeals court found that the policy violates a federal law designed to keep departments from padding their budgets outside Congressional oversight.


Contaminated water could be linked to miscarriages

ATLANTA (CNN) -- The Centers for Disease Control says that the miscarriages of three LaGrange County, Indiana women may be linked to well water polluted by a hog farm, and has recommended that those with private wells check the water quality periodically.

Some private wells in the northeastern Indiana farming community, where the three women lived within a few miles of one another, have been found to be high in nitrate. Nitrate occurs naturally in trace amounts, but can be harmful in higher concentrations.

All three women -- along with a fourth whose well water was contaminated by the family's septic system -- have successfully given birth after changing their drinking water.

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Police blame exorcism for woman's death

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Police say a South Korean woman died from injuries she received while her husband and two others tried to exorcise her "evil spirits" through physical force.

Kyun Chung died at a hospital Thursday, nearly four hours after rescue workers came to an apartment in the affluent Century City area of Los Angeles. Her husband and the other two men have been arrested.

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