Archive for Sunday, December 12, 2004

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December 12, 2004

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Maryland

Bush declared 'fit for duty' after physical

President Bush was found in good health and pronounced "fit for duty" after an annual physical Saturday that also showed that the 58-year-old chief executive is now, as he rather sheepishly conceded, "a little overweight."

"I obviously have gone through a campaign where I probably ate too many doughnuts, if you get my drift," said the usually trim Bush, who pledged to drop some weight in the new year.

Bush's cholesterol level increased slightly, to 170 from 167 at his August 2003 physical, but he saw a large rise in his level of HDL, or "good" cholesterol, and a drop in his level of LDL, or "bad" cholesterol.

Atlanta

King march draws thousands, protesters

A march that brought thousands of people Saturday to the grave site of Martin Luther King Jr. also drew a few dozen protesters who claimed organizers were hijacking the slain civil rights leader's legacy to promote an anti-gay marriage agenda.

The march's organizer, Bishop Eddie Long, said his followers "did not come in a march of hatred."

The first goal of the march listed on his church's Web site is to promote a constitutional amendment to protect marriage "between one man and one woman." Other goals were promoting education reform, affordable health care and programs that create wealth for minorities.

The march began after King's daughter, Bernice, lit a torch at her father's grave and passed it on to Long, who carried it on the two-mile march through the city.

Massachusetts

Coast Guard says heart attack leads to fuel spill

A man suffered a fatal heart attack while refueling a ferry, resulting in a spill that dumped nearly 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel into Hyannis Harbor on Saturday morning, a Coast Guard official said.

Kurt Garland, 48, was gassing up the Grey Lady, a high-speed ferry operated by Hy-Line Cruises between Cape Cod and Nantucket, when he had a heart attack and died.

Chief Petty Officer David Gilbert said an estimated 1,900 gallons kept flowing into the harbor.

The harbor was closed for much of the day and a containment boom was placed around the spill. Because of foggy weather, a Coast Guard vessel was stationed at the mouth of the harbor to keep other boats from entering.

Tennessee

Student says God told him to kill his parents

A college student who admitted he fatally shot his parents in their bedroom and broke a chain saw cutting up their bodies told investigators: "God told me to."

Philip Badowski made the comment in a recorded interview with police after the Dec. 2 slayings of Chester "Chet" Badowski Jr., 47, and Christine Badowski, 46. Prosecutors played the recording at Badowski's preliminary hearing Friday.

General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon referred two murder and abuse of corpse charges to a grand jury and ordered Badowski held without bail.

Badowski, 22, a student at Chattanooga State Technical Community College, sobbed at times during the recorded interview and at one point asked: "I'm not dreaming this whole thing, am I?"

Alaska

Weather again stymies cleanup of freighter spill

With 24-foot seas and 50-knot winds continuing to pound the Aleutian island where a soybean freighter cracked in half, officials Saturday could take only a few small steps toward cleaning up the massive oil spill left behind.

Three days after the 738-foot Selendang Ayu wrecked on the west side of Unalaska Island, Coast Guard officials still didn't know how much of the more than 400,000 gallons of thick oil had spilled because they hadn't been able to board either half of the wreck.

The agency's first priority is avoiding more casualties. Six crew members from the ship were lost when a helicopter crashed after lifting them off the vessel Wednesday; four other people were rescued. A search for the missing crew -- five from India and one from the Philippines -- was suspended Friday night.

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