4 dead, damage rises as Typhoon Danas approaches Tokyo
TOKYO - Typhoon Danas swept onto the Japanese mainland and headed for Tokyo early yesterday, killing five people, flooding homes and businesses and slowing transportation.
The storm dropped slightly below typhoon strength as it moved inland, but its 67 mph winds were still threatening as they buffeted the Pacific coast near the ancient capital city of Kamakura, about 30 miles southwest of Tokyo. It was moving toward Tokyo at 12 mph.
While the storm's winds were waning, Japan's Meteorological Agency the agency warned of the possibility of overflowing rivers, violent winds, high waves and mudslides.
As of yesterday, five people had been killed and 12 injured.
Two workers died in Gunma prefecture just north of Tokyo when they were buried under an embankment that collapsed during a highway inspection.
An elderly couple was buried in their home by a mudslide in Nagano, about 110 miles northwest of Tokyo, and a man died after the wind blew him off a rooftop while he was fixing an antenna.
Yesterday, authorities ordered more than 1,700 people across Japan's main island of Honshu to evacuate their homes, public television broadcaster NHK reported. Late Monday, national police spokesman Nobuo Kazai said 148 homeowners in several prefectures had reported flooding.
Thousands of rail passengers were stranded after strong winds and lashing rains kept dozens of the country's super-fast bullet trains from leaving stations, rail officials said. Airlines canceled flights and several highways were closed to traffic. Some trains and flights were canceled yesterday as well, NHK reported.
Wacky warnings get point across
DETROIT - Be warned: "Shin pads cannot protect any part of the body they do not cover." That label on a pair of shin guards beat out nearly 100 competitors Sept. 5 to win the Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch's Wacky Warning Labels contest. "I picked up the label and found it absolutely ridiculous," said Joe Schanderson, who won $500 for submitting the entry.
M-LAW, a nonprofit group formed in 1997, seeks to call attention to the effects of product-liability lawsuits. Contest winners were announced Wednesday after Michigan Talk Radio Network callers voted on five finalists two weeks ago.
Schanderson's find beat out a label affixed to a toilet inside a public restroom: "Recycled flush water unsafe for drinking."
Other runners-up included - "Warning: Riders of personal watercraft may suffer injury due to forceful injection of water into body cavities either by falling into the water or while mounting the craft," and a warning on an electric router, "This product not intended for use as a dental drill."
Robert B. Dorigo Jones, M-LAW president, said many entries are discarded each year so as not to defeat an important message. Among those was a label printed on children's toothpaste instructing parents to keep the paste away from children.
"It's kind of funny on the surface, but we also know that if kids eat too much toothpaste, they can get sick," Dorigo Jones said.
Shooting defendant's friend charged; link with Cochise County slaying eyed
TUCSON - An Elgin mother allegedly shot by her 15-year-old son was hit six times, according to an autopsy.
A report said Kristina McMullen, 56, was killed by a bullet in the back of her head.
Jonathan McMullen was being held in Santa Cruz County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond on charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder. Authorities said he will be tried as an adult.
Andrew McMullen, 55, was shot twice, and Jonathan's 13-year-old brother, Jack, was wounded at least once. The elder McMullen was in satisfactory condition yesterday, but the boy remained in critical condition.
After the shootings, the youth took off with a friend in the family car with a 12-year-old friend. He was captured 60 miles away in Willcox.
On Monday, the friend was charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Already charged with hindering prosecution and unlawful use of an automobile, he was being held at the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Court Center.
Meanwhile, Santa Cruz County Attorney Martha Chase said the 12-year-old, whose name wasn't released, may have been a witness to a killing in Cochise County.
Olympia Bacon, 54, was found shot to death on July 3 in her Bowie home, about 30 miles east of Willcox. Her son, Leonard, 33, was being held without bond on a charge of first-degree murder. Bowie is about 30 miles east of Willcox.
New Mexico police had arrested Bacon after finding him with a handgun and driving his mother's car.
Chase said the 12-year-old arrested in the McMullen shooting had been living with foster parents in Cochise County prior to his arrest last week. She declined further comment.
Authorities have yet to determine a motive in the shootings.