Katrina experienceleads to artistic award
DECATUR, Ala. -- Andy Cummings won best of show for his chain-saw carving of a giant heron at the 25th Annual Southern Wildlife Festival at Calhoun Community College. The weekend event was the first Cummings had entered. He developed the skill while helping clear debris after Hurricane Katrina in Pensacola, Fla.
2 cleared in exhumationof Billy the Kid claimant
PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- Prosecutors won't seek charges against two men who exhumed the remains of a man who claimed to be the outlaw Billy the Kid. Tom Sullivan, former sheriff of Lincoln County, N.M., and Steve Sederwall, former mayor of Capitan, N.M., dug up the bones of John Miller in May 2005. Miller was buried at the state-owned Pioneers' Home Cemetery in Prescott nearly 70 years ago. "It appears officials in charge of the facility gave permission, and the people who were attempting to recover samples of the remains believed they had permission to do so," said Bill FitzGerald, a spokesman for the Maricopa County attorney's office, which made the decision not to seek charges. Sullivan and Sederwall obtained DNA from Miller's remains. The samples were sent to a Dallas lab to compare Miller's DNA to blood traces taken from a bench that is believed to be the one Kid's body was placed on after he was shot to death in 1881. Sederwall refused to disclose the results of that DNA test Monday, for fear of provoking attacks from historians.
U.N. anti-torture chief:Nations look to U.S.
UNITED NATIONS -- Several governments around the world have tried to rebut criticism of how they handle detainees by claiming they are following the U.S. example in the war on terror, the U.N. anti-torture chief said Monday. Manfred Nowak, the U.N. special investigator on torture, said that when he criticizes governments for their questionable treatment of detainees, they respond by telling him that that if the United States does something, it must be all right. He would not name any countries except for Jordan. Nowak said that because of its prominence, the United States has a greater responsibility to uphold international standards for its prisoners so other nations do not use it as an excuse to justify their own behavior.
At least 40 are injuredin Hungarian protest
BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons to disperse thousands of anti-government demonstrators who later hijacked two unarmed tanks in violence Monday that marred the 50th anniversary of Hungary's uprising against Soviet rule. At least 40 people, including some police, were injured, rescue officials said. State news agency MTI reported that police beat some of the protesters -- including women and elderly people -- with rubber batons, and some had head injuries. The tanks were powerful symbols of the 1956 revolt. The night the uprising began, Red Army tanks rolled through the streets of Budapest and 12 days later, a blitz led by 4,500 Soviet tanks overran the country.
Natural-history museumto sell minerals and gems
PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia's natural-history museum is abandoning the rocks-and-minerals business. Trustees of the cash-strapped Academy of Natural Sciences voted last week to sell more than 15,000 minerals and gems that hadn't been cleaned or displayed for decades. Workers then began boxing up specimens for an unnamed private dealer, acting academy president Ian Davison said. "To me, it's a very sad day when this kind of thing happens," said Stephen G. Wells, president of the Geological Society of America, which in a coincidence is meeting through Wednesday in Philadelphia. Orphans Court Judge Joseph D. O'Keefe cleared the move this month with the consent of the state attorney general's office. The sale price was not disclosed, but the items form the bulk of a collection with an estimated value of several million dollars.