Nation, World Briefs: Big mumps outbreak strikes Orthodox Jews

  • Sat Feb 6th, 2010 10:25pm
  • News

MONSEY, N.Y. — More than 300 people have been diagnosed with the mumps in suburban New York as the nation’s largest outbreak of the disease in years spreads. A health official says 303 people in the Rockland County towns of Monsey and New Square have been diagnosed with the highly infectious disease. Almost all the cases are among Orthodox Jews. Mumps is spread by coughing and sneezing with the most common symptoms being fever, headache and swollen salivary glands under the jaw.

Tennessee: Palin assails debt

Sarah Palin says President Barack Obama’s proposed 2011 budget is “immoral” because it increases the national debt, which she called “generational theft.” Palin told the national “tea party” convention Saturday that America’s national debt, which is held largely by other nations, “makes us less free” and “should tick us off.” The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee got one of several standing ovations from the gathering of about 600 people when she said the nation is drowning in debt.

Colorado: Air crash kills 3

A small Cirrus SR20 plane clipped the towline of a Piper Pawnee plane pulling a glider Saturday, sparking a fiery midair crash near Boulder and killing at least three people, authorities said. The glider disconnected from the plane just before the second plane hit the tow rope, officials said. The glider landed safely — with no injuries to any of the three people on board — just after the planes made impact, authorities said. The crash spread debris over a 1½ mile region, scorching several sections of prairie in the Rocky Mountain foothills. The crash happened near a suburban area dotted with homes and businesses, but no one on the ground was injured.

California: PayPal in India

The online payments service PayPal has taken the unusual step of suspending many transactions in India for more than a week. A spokesman for the service said Saturday that “personal payments” to and from India are being blocked. Transfers to banks in India are being suspended as well. The spokesman said PayPal is taking the step while it answers questions that have arisen about the service. He declined to elaborate.

New Jersey: Teacher pleads

A former social studies teacher in has admitted pocketing “charitable donations” from students looking to improve their grades. Megan Laboy of Howell pleaded guilty Friday to theft by deception, admitting she received $200 to $500 in donations from her Colts Neck High School students during the 2008-2009 school year. The students were told they would receive extra credit for the donations and the cash would go to charities. But the 30-year-old Laboy kept the money.

Afghanistan: Civilians die

Border police mistook a group of villagers gathering wood near the Pakistan border as insurgents and opened fire, killing seven civilians, a police official said Saturday. All six officers involved in Friday’s predawn shooting have been arrested and the incident is under investigation, a border police commander said. The Afghan-Pakistan border area is a common transit route for both Taliban militants and smugglers, and border police regularly are attacked in the area.

Haiti: Local lawyer fired

The Haitian lawyer for 10 U.S. Baptists charged with child kidnapping tried to bribe the missionaries’ way out of jail and has been fired, the attorney who hired him said Saturday night. The Haitian lawyer, Edwin Coq, denied the allegation. He said the $60,000 he requested from the Americans’ families was his fee. Jorge Puello, the attorney in the neighboring Dominican Republic retained by relatives of the 10 American missionaries after their arrest last week, said he fired Coq on Friday night.

Brazil: Condom distribution

Health officials have kicked off an AIDS awareness campaign and will hand out 55 million condoms during the annual Carnival festival that begins next week. A new television ad features a talking condom that loudly reminds young people to take him along when they go out to party. The health minister said Saturday that this year’s campaign is focusing on educating young women and young gay men to use protection. The slogan is: “The condom. For love, passion or just sex. Always use it.” Last year the government distributed nearly 500 million free condoms throughout Brazil.

From Herald news services