Rapper Fabolous shot
NEW YORK -- The rapper Fabolous was shot early Tuesday as he stood at a Manhattan parking garage, spurring a sequence of events that left him hospitalized and then under arrest. The 28-year-old rapper, whose legal name is John Jackson, had just left Justin's, a restaurant owned by Sean "Diddy" Combs, with three friends when a gunman approached and opened fire, police spokesman Sgt. Mike Wysokowski said. Fabolous was hit in the thigh. He and his entourage jumped into a 2005 Dodge Magnum and fled, attracting the attention of police when they ran a red light. Officers stopped them and discovered two loaded guns in the vehicle, both of which were apparently unlicensed, Wysokowski said. All four men were arrested, and charges were pending. The rapper was in police custody after being treated at Bellevue Hospital. Police were searching for the shooter. The Brooklyn native's hits have included "Breathe" and "Can't Deny It."
Tongue tied
CHICAGO -- The teenager said the stabbing pains in her face felt like electrical shocks that lasted 10 to 30 seconds and struck 20 to 30 times a day. Her doctors diagnosed trigeminal neuralgia, a nerve disorder sometimes called "suicide disease" because of the excruciating and dispiriting pain it causes. Doctors tried painkillers, then stronger medication, but in the end, a cure proved more simple: The young woman removed the metal stud from her pierced tongue. Two days later her pain vanished. The account in today's Journal of the American Medical Association is the latest documentation of complications, some life-threatening, linked to tongue piercing. Other problems include tetanus, heart infections, brain abscess, chipped teeth and receding gums. The young Italian woman's mouth jewelry apparently irritated a nerve running along the jaw under her tongue. That nerve is connected to the trigeminal nerve, one of the largest in the head. Stefania Fraccalvieri, the patient in the report, is now 21 and a student in Rome.
Failure in Afghanistan?
WASHINGTON -- The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan failed to follow through as it should have after ousting the Taliban government in 2001, setting the stage for this year's deadly resurgence, the NATO commander in the country said Tuesday. The mistake consisted of adopting "a peacetime approach" too early, British Gen. David Richards told Pentagon reporters. He said the international community has six months to correct the problem before losing Afghan support, reiterating a warning he issued last week. "The Taliban were defeated. ... And it looked all pretty hunky-dory," Richard said of the environment at the end of 2001. "We thought it was all done ... and didn't treat it as aggressively as ... with the benefit of hindsight, we should have done."
Generous with fund
WASHINGTON -- Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid paid cash for a 750,000 condo at the Ritz-Carlton where he lives. But when he gave Christmas bonuses to the doorman and other support staff, he used campaign donations instead of his own money. Federal election law bars candidates from converting political donations for personal use. Questioned about the campaign expenditures by The Associated Press, Reid's office said Monday his lawyers had approved them but he nonetheless was personally reimbursing his campaign for the 3,300 he had directed to the staff holiday fund at his residence. His office said he got the money to buy the Ritz condo from an earlier house sale.
Hawaii disaster
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii -- Preliminary damage estimates from the earthquake that shook Hawaii over the weekend hit 46 million Tuesday, and President Bush declared a major disaster, opening the way for federal aid. Damage to seven schools and a harbor on the island of Hawaii accounted for most of the preliminary figure, said Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim. The damage estimate included 31 million for schools, 8 million at Kawaihae harbor, 4.89 million to businesses, 650,000 to homes, 800,000 to roads and 750,000 to bridges, Snyder said.
Associated Press

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