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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

Cargo ship hits seawall off South Korea; 9 dead

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 01:30 Published in National News

   SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A cargo ship hit a seawall off South Korea's southeastern coast and partly sank in an accident that killed nine crew members and left two missing, coast guard officers said Wednesday. Eight crew members were rescued.

   The ship is owned by a Chinese firm and flagged in Panama, and its crew is nearly all Chinese with one Vietnamese.

   The 8,461-ton ship had anchored off the port city of Pohang but high waves forced it against the seawall Tuesday afternoon, a coast guard statement said.

   All 19 people on board were listed as missing about 14 hours after the accident as winds and waves hampered rescue efforts.

   Early Wednesday, coast guard rescuers found eight sailors either floating in the sea or waiting for help on the front of the ship. Most of the vessel has sunk, coast guard officers said. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to speak to the media on this matter. The rescued sailors were wearing life jackets, the officers said.

   The coast guard also collected the dead bodies of nine crew members but two are still missing, the officers said.

   China's official Xinhua News Agency said the ship, the CHENGLU15, belonged to China's Lishen International Shipping Group Corp. in Zhejiang province.

   The ship had unloaded its freight and was set to leave for Japan. The coast guard officers said the ship was carrying about 130 tons of bunker oil and diesel fuel.

BREAKING: Arrest in LAX dry ice bomb explosions

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 01:15 Published in National News

   LOS ANGELES (AP) — A baggage handler was arrested Tuesday in connection with dry ice explosions at Los Angeles International Airport after police stepped up patrols and increased its checks on employees.

   Dicarlo Bennett, a 28-year-old employee for the ground handling company Servisair, was booked for possession of a destructive device near an aircraft. He is being held on $1 million bail.

   Bennett took the dry ice from a plane and placed it in an employee restroom Sunday night and another device that was found on a tarmac outside the international terminal, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation who wasn't authorized to speak publicly.

   Police had previously said they didn't believe the explosions were an act of terror because of the locations of the devices and because people weren't targeted.

   No one was injured in either incident, although some flights were delayed Sunday.

   The incidents could be the work of a disgruntled employee due to an internal labor dispute, said Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Downing, who heads the department's counter-terrorism and special operations bureau.

   Swissport recently agreed to acquire Servisair and the transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. An after-hours message seeking comment from Servisair was not immediately returned.

   It wasn't immediately known what Bennett's motives were, but he was riding in a van with several others, including a supervisor, when he decided to plant one of the dry ice bombs, the official told The Associated Press. Those in the van were aware of the dry ice, the official said, but no other arrests have been made.

   The bombs were made by putting dry ice in 20-ounce plastic bottles and could have caused serious injury to anyone in close proximity, Downing said.

   One device exploded in an employee men's room Sunday night in Terminal 2. Remnants of an exploded bottle also were found that night on the tarmac area near the Tom Bradley International Terminal, but an employee threw it away. The same employee found an unexploded bottle Monday evening and then reported what he found the previous day.

   While there are cameras in some of these restricted-access areas, Downing said there isn't as much camera coverage as in the public-access areas and investigators had been reviewing available video.

   Dry ice is widely used by vendors to keep food fresh.

UPDATE: Pujols' lawyer answers Clark's polygraph request

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 01:07 Published in Local News

   It looks like Albert Pujols won't be taking a polygraph test to resolve his defamation case against Jack Clark.  

   Pujols is suing Clark for calling him a "juicer" on his radio show back in August.  

   Clark's attorney suggested in a letter earlier this week that the dispute could be resolved if both men took lie-detector tests.  

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Martin Singer, a Los Angeles attorney representing Pujols, wrote back, calling the suggestion "an absurd publicity ploy."  Singer wrote that his client is willing to testify under oath in a court of law, where it counts.  

    Clark's radio show was canceled after his on-air comments that former Pujols trainer Chris Mihlfeld had confided in him about shooting up Pujols with performance-enhancing drugs in 2000.  Mihlfeld denies speaking with Clark.

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