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Probe under way after plane crash

New York Investigators on Sunday were examining the wreckage of a single-engine plane that crashed on a beach in Coney Island, killing all four people on board including two high school students set to graduate Tuesday.

The Cessna 172S plummeted to the ground Saturday after its engine apparently stalled while circling above the beach, witnesses said. No one on the ground was injured.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known. Authorities were looking at the plane’s systems and whether the pilot was at fault, an official said.

The teens and their parents were on a trip celebrating the end of final exams and Tuesday’s graduation at Bishop Donahue High School in McMechen. The flight was part of a sightseeing tour for aspiring pilots.

Ex-factory staff said implants were unsafe

Washington Two former employees of a breast-implant manufacturer alleged the company covered up high rupture rates and that workers were so fearful of bosses finding defective implant parts that they hid the parts in the ceiling.

The allegations are contained in a 2003 lawsuit against Mentor Corp., which recently won a recommendation from federal scientific advisers that the government let the company resume widespread sales of its devices under certain conditions. The suit was dismissed.

Sworn depositions by the two ex-employees were first reported in the New York Times on Sunday.

Excerpts were distributed by the woman who filed the lawsuit and a group for women with breast implants.

Medicaid has paid for abusers’ Viagra

Albany, N.Y. Scores of convicted rapists and other high-risk sex offenders in New York have been getting Viagra paid by Medicaid for the last five years, the state’s comptroller said Sunday.

Audits by Comptroller Alan Hevesi’s office showed that between January 2000 and March 2005, 198 sex offenders in New York received Medicaid-reimbursed Viagra after their convictions. Those included crimes against children as young as 2 years old, he said.

Hevesi asked Michael Leavitt, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in a letter Sunday to “take immediate action to ensure that sex offenders do not receive erectile dysfunction medication paid for by taxpayers.”

New York auditors are reviewing whether other prescription drugs for sexual dysfunction are being reimbursed by Medicaid for convicted sex offenders, an official said.


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Zimbabwe leader calls assassination attempt ‘cowardly act’

UPDATED: 6:41 p.m.

updated  Zimbabwe’s president was unscathed Saturday by an explosion at a campaign rally that state media called an attempt to assassinate him, later visiting his two injured vice presidents and declaring the “cowardly act” will not disrupt next month’s historic elections.