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Nation, World Briefs: CDC issues warning on Internet swine flu scam

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RALEIGH, N.C. — People should disregard e-mails urging them to register personal information on an H1N1 flu vaccine registry with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health officials warned Wednesday. The registry is bogus, and people who try to send the information to the CDC may instead get a virus installed on their computers. CDC officials have posted a warning about the e-mail scam on their Web page, and officials urged people to beware of e-mail solicitations that ask for personal or medical information.
Georgia: Cracks delay 757
A Delta Air Lines flight from Colombia to Atlanta returned to the Bogota airport as a precaution Wednesday after the crew discovered cracks in the copilot’s windshield. The decision to turn back was made about 35 minutes into the flight that left Bogota at 10:30 a.m. EST. Flight 444, a Boeing 757 carrying 115 passengers and 6 crew members, landed safely. The flight was later canceled, and the passengers were given vouchers for hotel accommodations. The passengers were expected to be put on a flight to Atlanta leaving at 8 a.m. today.
Massachusetts: Law degree
Harvard University’s law school will stop offering a year of free tuition to students who go into public service law after graduation, the Law School dean said this week. She said the school will suspend its Public Service Initiative for future incoming classes. The university suffered investment losses while also seeing more students than expected look for public service jobs, school officials said. Currently enrolled students remain eligible for the program, she said.
New York: Online Pulitzers
The Pulitzer Prize board is opening the door wider to journalism entries from online-only news publications. The board changed its entry requirements a year ago to allow Internet-only publications if the Web site was “primarily dedicated” to original news reporting. The board announced Wednesday that it will drop that requirement. It will also allow entries from Web sites that primarily publish commentary and links to other sites. A prize administrator said the focus will be on the merits of the work.
Hawaii: Humpback entangled
A juvenile humpback whale entangled in hundreds of feet of heavy rope off the Hawaii coast was being tracked by marine experts Wednesday. “The entanglement is life-threatening,” said a marine mammal response manager for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. “It’s in the mouth, and it’s over the body. It’s yellow, polypropylene line, pretty heavy gauge, and it’s several hundred feet of line on the animal.” A location transmitter was attached to the rope Tuesday after earlier rescue efforts failed because of rough water in the channel between Maui and Molokai, he said.
California: Mexican tunnel
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said Mexican authorities found an incomplete tunnel that extends into San Diego and is equipped with a lift system, ventilation and lighting. The DEA said Wednesday that the tunnel runs nearly 1,000 feet from its entry in Tijuana, Mexico, including 860 feet into the United States. There is no exit on the U.S. side. The DEA said Mexican authorities arrested more than a dozen people inside the tunnel Wednesday.
Burglars target crash victims
Two people are under arrest for allegedly burglarizing the home of a family of four killed in a weekend vehicle crash, police said Wednesday. Investigators believe Amber True, 29, and her boyfriend, Michael Guiterrez, 26, decided to target the Sonoma house after learning about the deaths in media reports. Johnathan Maloney, his wife Susan and the couple’s two young children were killed Saturday when a speeding Mini Cooper ran a red light and plowed into their minivan in southern Sonoma County.
Russia: Rebels claim attack
Chechen rebels claimed responsibility Wednesday for blowing up a high-speed Russian train last week, an attack that killed 26 people, injured scores of others and raised fears of a fresh wave of terror attacks. The separatist statement, issued on behalf of Chechen separatist leader Doku Umarov, claimed Friday’s bombing of a Moscow-St. Petersburg express train was carried out on his orders. “We declare that this operation was prepared and carried out ... pursuant to the order of the Emir of Caucasus Emirate,” it said.
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