Archive for Sunday, February 22, 2004

Briefly

February 22, 2004

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Louisiana

Supply boat sinks after collision in river

An offshore supply vessel with a crew of five sank near the mouth of the Mississippi River after colliding with a container ship early Saturday, the Coast Guard said.

A Coast Guard rescue boat was at the scene and searching for the crew of the Lee III, Coast Guard Petty Officer Jonathan McCool said.

He said the rescue crew saw the Lee III sink, but had not found anyone several hours after the accident.

If the crew members were not wearing their life jackets, they probably did not have time to get them, McCool said.

The 178-foot Lee III and the 534-foot Zim Mexico III collided in the river's Southwest Pass, he said.

Los Angeles

Spirit rover investigates trench for water clues

NASA's Spirit Rover began investigating a trench Saturday to see if the minerals inside it can provide clues about whether there was once enough water in the area to support life.

The robot spent about two hours digging the 3-inch trench Friday by running a front wheel back and forth over a stretch of ground in a depression. On Saturday, it studied the trench with a microscopic imager and its Mossbauer spectrometer, a German-built instrument that measures the composition and abundance of iron-bearing minerals.

Sprit was to further investigate the trench today and Monday, then continue toward a crater scientists have named "Bonneville," about 445 feet away.

Washington

Bush defends decisions on Iraq in radio address

President Bush on Saturday defended his decision to go to war in Iraq and his administration's postwar efforts to bring democracy to that country against Democratic criticism.

The president's remarks in his weekly radio address marked the second time this week he has emphasized his leadership on the war on terror, with Iraq cited as the chief example. The address reprised a speech he gave earlier in the week during a hastily arranged appearance at an Army base in Louisiana.

Bush on Saturday said his administration, along with lawmakers in Congress and the United Nations Security Council, "saw a threat. All of us knew Saddam Hussein's history."

Oregon

Fans bid farewell to killer whale Keiko

Nearly 700 people, some wiping away tears, turned out Friday to bid farewell to Keiko, the killer whale who starred in the popular "Free Willy" movies, and died overseas in December.

The crowd gathered at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, where he splashed his way into visitors' hearts from 1996 to 1998.

"Keiko was not one of our kind, but nonetheless he was still one of us," Thomas Chatterton, a veterinary chaplain, said during the service.

Officials at the aquarium organized the event in response to hundreds of e-mails, letters and phone calls from Keiko's fans, who sought closure.

New York City

Owner of 867-5309 puts number on eBay

Jenny and her telephone number, 867-5309, are forever tattooed into the minds of American teenagers, circa 1982, when the Tommy Tutone song hit the radio charts.

Now, for the right -- that is, exorbitant -- price, a New Yorker may be able to lay claim to the telephone number of Tutone's fictional heartthrob. A New York law student named John has the same telephone number, with a Manhattan 212 area code, and he's put it on eBay.

The number set off a bidding frenzy; it had reached $80,000 and was climbing when eBay halted the sale after five days. It turns out, according to Verizon Communications Inc., that customers don't own numbers and therefore can't sell them.

The dispute is now before the Federal Communications Commission.

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