NEW YORK — A newspaper Web site is reporting Google Inc. is “99.9 percent” sure to close its search engine in China after negotiations over censorship stalled. The Financial Times cited a source familiar with the company’s thinking when it reported Saturday that Google has drawn up plans to shutter Google.cn. The newspaper did not say when the company would shut the site. It comes a day after China’s top Internet regulator reiterated that Google must obey its laws or “pay the consequences.”
Virginia: Reid’s wife better
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s wife has been transferred out of an intensive care unit and is improving after she was seriously injured in an accident on an interstate highway near Washington. A spokesman for the senator said Landra Reid’s condition was upgraded on Saturday to good, two days after a tractor-trailer rear-ended the minivan she and their daughter were riding in on I-95. He said doctors at Inova Fairfax Hospital have indicated that the 69-year-old is on a fast track for recovery.
Utah: Majority leader quits
Utah’s House majority leader resigned from the Legislature Saturday, two days after acknowledging he paid a woman $150,000 to keep quiet about a nude hot-tubbing incident that took place a quarter century ago when she was a teenager. Republican Rep. Kevin Garn’s Thursday night confession came in a speech before House colleagues and stunned this conservative state. Garn, 55, acknowledged the indiscretion with the legal minor immediately after the Legislature adjourned for the session.
Florida: Fast proves deadly
Authorities said a 55-year-old woman died alone in her bedroom after locking herself in the room for several weeks for a lengthy religious fast. Evelyn Boyd told her husband, a preacher at a Pentecostal church in Bartow, not to disturb her when she locked herself in the room Feb. 7 to fast and pray with only water to drink. Family members forced open the door March 5 and found her dead. The woman’s husband said he didn’t check on his wife because she felt she was doing what God called her to do and he wanted to respect her privacy.
S. Korea: Kissinger released
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was released from a Seoul hospital today after recovering from stomach pains, a hospital spokesman said. Kissinger’s condition was “not serious” while he was being treated at Seoul’s Severance Hospital and he had recovered after a day of medical treatment, the spokesman said. He said Kissinger didn’t receive any major treatment like surgery, but didn’t elaborate. The 86-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate arrived in the Seoul earlier in the week to attend a security forum.
Kazakhstan: Flood kills 35
The death toll from a massive flood that devastated a village in southern Kazakhstan has soared to 35, the country’s president said Saturday. A privately owned dam at a reservoir in the eastern Almaty region neighboring China ruptured Thursday evening, unleashing torrents almost 6.5 feet high and completely destroying Kyzyl-Agash, a village of 3,000 people. A commission is assisting in organizing funerals and providing replacement documents for the surviving flood victims.
Brazil: Christ statue repairs
The iconic statue of Christ with outstretched arms that overlooks Rio de Janeiro is getting a $4 million renovation. Heavy rains have eroded portions of the face and hands of the statue. It has also been damaged by lightning strikes over the years. Workers this week started replacing large pieces of the statue’s soapstone exterior and patching up a layer of concrete under that. The Rio archdiocese that manages the statue said donations will pay for the repairs.
Sri Lanka: Tamil platform
Sri Lanka’s main ethnic Tamil party on Friday dropped its demand for an independent state and said it is ready to accept regional self-rule, following the defeat of separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in a 25-year civil war. The Tamil National Alliance, which backed the rebels, said in its platform for April 8 parliamentary elections that it would accept a “federal structure” in the north and east provinces with power over land, finance, and law and order. The platform was released Friday. Tamils have long complained of discrimination at the hands of the island’s majority Sinhalese.
From Herald news services