HOUSTON – Two Russian cosmonauts began to get crucial computers up and running Friday, four days after they crashed at the international space station and curbed the outpost’s ability to orient itself and produce oxygen. “They’re up and operational and this is good news for all,” a NASA spokeswoman in Houston said. Cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov pulled off the feat by bypassing a power switch with a cable to get four out of six processors on two computers running. They planned to watch the computers for the next several hours to make sure they were functioning properly.
MySpace.com offenders arrested
Seven convicted sex offenders with profiles on MySpace.com have been arrested in what Texas officials said was the first large-scale crackdown of registered offenders who use the Web site. The men were arrested in Houston, Austin, Round Rock and Glenn Heights during a two-week operation by the Texas Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes and Fugitive units. They were picked up after MySpace.com released the names of offenders with online profiles to the state Attorney General’s Office.
North Carolina: Nifong resigns
Breaking down in tears at his ethics trial, Mike Nifong abruptly said Friday he would quit as district attorney and admitted he got “carried away” during his rape prosecution of three Duke University lacrosse players. Catching even his attorneys by surprise, Nifong said he would resign and regretted making improper statements about the players. Nifong started in the Durham County prosecutor’s office nearly three decades ago as a volunteer attorney. If convicted by the disciplinary committee, he could lose his license to practice law in the state.
California: More ethanol in gas
Gasoline sold in the state will include up to 10 percent ethanol, California air managers decided Thursday, a move the renewable fuels industry says will shift the burgeoning ethanol market into high gear. All California refineries making gas sold in the state will have to blend 10 percent ethanol into their gas to meet new fuel standards set by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger starting Dec. 31, 2009, under the resolution adopted by the California Air Resources Board.
Illinois: Lost girl finds rescuers
A 5-year-old girl who was feared drowned with her grandfather on a boating trip startled searchers Friday when she emerged from the woods – naked, scratched and holding raspberries. Crews had pulled her grandfather’s body from the Kankakee River just hours earlier. When authorities told Hannah Klamecki’s family – already grieving the loss of her grandfather – that she was alive, the home erupted in screaming. The girl had poison ivy rashes on her legs and splinters and thorns in her feet.
New Mexico: Cockfighting ban
Some cockfighters might take their roosters south of the border. Others are likely to go underground. Under a new law, which took effect Friday, it is no longer legal to fight roosters in New Mexico. That leaves Louisiana as the only state where cockfighting is legal – though a ban is under consideration there. During a cockfight, two roosters fitted with blades or gaffs on their legs are placed into a pit and left to fight until one is dead or badly wounded. Although gambling on the fights is illegal, spectators openly wager on the outcome.
Connecticut: Killer gets 20 years
A lawyer who fatally stabbed a neighbor he thought had molested his 2-year-old daughter pleaded guilty in Bridgeport to first-degree manslaughter Friday, attorneys said. Jonathon Edington, 29, was originally charged with murder. The prosecutor said he will recommend Edington serve 20 years in prison at sentencing Aug. 17. “I think it’s an appropriate disposition,” he said. “It was inexcusable but for the fact of the extreme emotional disturbance.”