United States donates military aid worth $5 million to Senegal
DAKAR, Senegal - The U.S. government donated military equipment worth nearly $5 million to Senegal yesterday to help it prepare to send peacekeepers to the troubled West African nation of Sierra Leone.
Military vehicles, machine-guns, mortars, tents, helmets and other equipment were delivered to the Senegalese army during a ceremony at Thies air base, about 43 miles from the capital, Dakar.
The equipment, worth about $4.8 million, was donated under a U.S. program called Operation Focus Relief. Earlier this month, 650 Senegalese soldiers completed a 10-week training course given by 70 U.S. Army Special Forces troops as part of the program.
Group wants cholesterol-lowering drug users to receive warning
WASHINGTON - Nearly two weeks after a popular cholesterol-lowering drug was pulled off the market for causing deadly muscle destruction, a consumer group charged yesterday that five similar medications have killed an additional 81 people.
Public Citizen petitioned the government to force manufacturers to give special warning brochures to the millions of Americans who take those medicines - statins - telling them to quit the pills at the first sign of muscle pain or weakness.
Statins have been shown to dramatically lower cholesterol levels and reduce patients' risk of heart attacks.
"Most people taking these drugs aren't aware that they could sustain serious muscle damage and could even die,'' said Dr. Sidney Wolfe of Public Citizen's Health Research Group.
The FDA disputed Wolfe's death count, saying its own investigation last year uncovered just 18 deaths that could be linked to the five statins on the U.S. market - Lipitor, Mevacor, Pravachol, Zocor and Lescol.
The agency stated that they would continue to consider Wolfe's request for stiffer warnings.
5 slain in Calif., authorities search for suspect
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A 27-year-old man stabbed his wife to death yesterday and then drove to a home in a nearby suburb and killed four more relatives before fleeing with his 3-year-old son, authorities said.
Nikolay Soltys, a Ukrainian immigrant with no known criminal record, was being sought for the slayings of his wife, aunt and uncle, and two young cousins, Sacramento County sheriff's Sgt. James Lewis said. "We want to get this guy off the streets as quickly as possible," he said. A bulletin was issued to law enforcement agencies nationwide.
Soltys was seen leaving both crime scenes, according to authorities who were also searching for Soltys' son. The boy was seen with Soltys earlier yesterday.
Police called by a neighbor found the body of Soltys' 27-year-old wife at their home in North Highlands. The other victims - two adults and their grandchildren, a 9-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy - were found at a duplex in Rancho Cordova, about 10 miles away.
The girl was found in the street and was later pronounced dead at a hospital from stab wounds. The boy's body was found on a walkway outside the complex. Police covered the body with a blanket. A bloodstain remained on the wall above him.
Their grandparents were found inside their home. Authorities did not immediately say how they were killed.
Four animal rights activists arrested demonstrating at Wendy's
TUCSON - Four members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals were arrested yesterday after a lunchtime demonstration inside a Wendy's restaurant.
Police spokesman Sgt. Marco Borboa said the four were taken to pretrial services to be cited on misdemeanor charges, including disorderly conduct and trespassing.
Those arrested included Roberta Wright, 60, and Gary DiNardo, 51, of Tucson, and Lila Phillips, 66, of Green Valley, who climbed onto a counter, PETA spokesman Sean Gifford said.
"PETA is looking for publicity," said Wendy's spokeswoman Andrea Winans. "They're very well orchestrated."
Winans said Wendy's is committed to the ethical treatment of animals and has an animal welfare program in place on par with those of rivals McDonald's and Burger King.
PETA ended similar campaigns against both Wendy's competitors after they announced stepped-up efforts to ensure their suppliers provided better treatment of animals used to make their food.