Man slashes kids, teachers in attack at kindergarten



Man slashes kids, teachersin attack at kindergarten
BEIJING -- A gatekeeper at a Beijing kindergarten slashed 15 pupils and three teachers with a kitchen knife today, killing one child and leaving others terrified and covered in blood, police and news reports said.
Two other children suffered serious injuries at the school run by the No. 1 Hospital of Peking University, according to police. State media initially said 16 children were injured, but a police statement put the number at 15.
A suspect was detained and identified as Xu Heping, a 51-year-old man with a history of schizophrenia who had worked at the kindergarten for two years, a police spokesman said.
Xu was a psychiatric patient at a Beijing hospital for five months in 1999, according to police.
Authorities received reports that a man had been "hacking people up at the kindergarten," the Web site Sina.com said. Officers were sent to the scene within a minute and arrested the man, police said.
Citing a reporter at the hospital, the official Xinhua News Agency said the children were "covered in blood and looked terrified."
The kindergarten is run by a hospital of Peking University, one of China's most prominent universities.
The street in front of the kindergarten was cordoned off. One onlooker said he had helped police escort injured teachers to the hospital after hearing the commotion.
Death toll passes 1,700
NEW DELHI -- The death toll from monsoon flooding in India surpassed 1,000 today with reports of 129 people killed in the country's west, as millions of people across South Asia fled submerged villages and rescue workers struggled to reach victims.
The latest deaths in India were recorded in the state of Gujarat over the past three days, mostly in remote areas unreachable by roads or telephone, said state spokesman I.K. Jadeja. They included 17 people killed when heavy rains smashed three homes in the Bharuch district.
The new reports brought the toll across South Asia from six weeks of monsoons to 1,773, according to official figures compiled by The Associated Press. The monsoons have caused some of the worst flooding in recent memory.
In neighboring Bangladesh, United Nations agencies were meeting with foreign donors and government officials in the capital, Dhaka, today to assess the flood damage and relief needs. The meeting comes before an aid appeal that the United Nations intends to launch next week, U.N. officials in Dhaka said.
Schwarzenegger endorsesoverhaul of government
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger promised a complete overhaul of California's state government to save billions of dollars and replace what authors of a 2,500-page reform plan called an "antiquated and ineffective" bureaucracy.
Schwarzenegger handed over the reform package to a 21-member commission minutes after receiving it Tuesday from the 275 state employees and consultants who conducted the largely secret "top to bottom assessment of state government" at his request.
Commissioned by Schwarzenegger in January, the reorganization plan aims to save as much as $32 billion over the next five years by consolidating departments, cutting growth in state employment by 12,000 positions and privatizing some state work.
"We can't just chip away at the edges of the state's problems. Sometimes a surgeon has to cut to save the patient," Schwarzenegger said.
Officials to be indictedin New York ferry crash
NEW YORK -- After a 10-month investigation into the Staten Island ferry crash that killed 11 commuters and exposed systemic problems with the ships' operations, the captain, pilot and city ferry officials were expected to be indicted, law enforcement sources said.
Prosecutors planned to announce the unsealing of an indictment today that includes 11 counts of manslaughter in last year's crash and would name Capt. Michael Gansas, Assistant Capt. Richard Smith and other ferry officials as defendants, the sources said.
Smith was scheduled to enter a guilty plea today in federal court in Brooklyn, according to the calendar for Chief Judge Edward Korman. The calendar did not specify the charge, and Smith's lawyer declined to comment Tuesday.
The indictment also names a physician who treated Smith before the accident, said one of the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity and refused to give further details.
The ferry, the Andrew J. Barberi, slammed into a concrete maintenance pier on Staten Island on the afternoon of Oct. 15, tearing open a 250-foot-long gash extending 8 feet into its hull. The accident killed 11 people, injured dozens and led to billions of dollars in civil claims.
Associated Press

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