Nation, World Briefs: Vietnam commander, 93, dies in Honolulu

  • Thu Feb 11th, 2010 10:26pm
  • News

HONOLULU — Former Army Chief of Staff Frederick C. Weyand, the last commander of U.S. military operations in the Vietnam War, has died. He was 93. Weyand died of natural causes Wednesday night at the Kahala Nui retirement residence in Honolulu, a stepdaughter said Thursday. The general oversaw the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from South Vietnam before becoming the Army’s chief of staff in 1974. He retired from active service in 1976. His military honors and decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and Legion of Merit.

Georgia: Mumps spreading

A mumps outbreak among Orthodox Jews in New York and New Jersey has now surpassed 1,500 cases and shows no sign of ending soon, health officials said Thursday. The 7-month-old outbreak began last summer at a boys camp in the Catskills. The campers were from Orthodox Jewish families, and cases multiplied when they returned to their close-knit communities in and around New York City. Most had a mumps vaccination, but the shots don’t prevent all cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said.

Utah: Frisbee inventor dies

Walter Fredrick Morrison, the man credited with inventing the Frisbee, has died. He was 90. An attorney who represented Morrison in a royalties case, said Morrison died at his home in Monroe on Tuesday. “That simple little toy has permeated every continent in every country, as many homes have Frisbees as any other device ever invented,” the lawyer said. “How would you get through your youth without learning to throw a Frisbee?” Morrison’s son said Thursday that “old age caught up” with his father and that he also had cancer.

Arizona: Private prison riot

A private prison is on lockdown after a brawl broke out that involved as many as 150 minimum-security inmates and left a staff member and 12 prisoners with minor injuries. The Department of Corrections said the fight broke out before 10 p.m. Wednesday but was contained within an hour. A 20-member tactical unit from State Prison Complex-Tucson responded to help put down the disturbance. The Marana Community Correctional Treatment Facility near Tucson houses 500 inmates and is owned and operated by Management and Training Corp.

China: Dalai Lama warning

China urged the United States on Friday to immediately cancel plans for President Barack Obama to meet with the Dalai Lama next week, warning the move could further hurt ties. The meeting is likely to inflame tensions between China and the United States, already strained over disputes over trade issues and U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan. A Foreign Ministry spokesman issued the remarks hours after Washington announced Obama would meet with the Tibetan spiritual leader at the White House on Feb. 18.

Aruba: Suspect’s father dies

The father of the only remaining suspect in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway has died in Aruba. An local newspaper reported Thursday that Paul van der Sloot, 57, died of a heart attack on the Dutch island in the Caribbean. The paper said he collapsed late Wednesday after playing tennis and was declared dead at a hospital. Van der Sloot’s son Joran has been characterized by Aruban prosecutors as the only suspect in the case. No charges have been filed.

Taiwan: Pirate ransom paid

Taiwan says Somali pirates have freed a Taiwanese fishing boat and all of its crew held since April after the boat owner paid a ransom. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said the Win Far 161 was released Thursday and the boat and its crew are on their way home. He did not say how many crew were on board and how much ransom was paid. Win Far 161 was seized last April near an island in the Seychelles, more than 700 miles off the coast of Somalia.

Sweden: Auschwitz sign theft

Police on Thursday arrested a former neo-Nazi leader that Polish investigators suspect of being involved in the theft of the “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign at Auschwitz. A prosecutor said 34-year-old Anders Hogstrom was detained in Stockholm on a European arrest warrant. She said Hogstrom will be appointed a defense lawyer and questioned by Swedish investigators before authorities can decide on extraditing him to Poland. Polish officials have said Hogstrom is suspected of incitement to commit theft of a cultural treasure.

From Herald news services