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Workers cross wires, cause L.A. blackout

Tue., Sept. 13, 2005, midnight

Los Angeles Utility workers connected the wrong wires and caused a blackout across major portions of Los Angeles on Monday afternoon, trapping people in elevators and snarling traffic at intersections, authorities said.

About 2 million people were affected by the resulting power surge and outages, which were reported from downtown west to the Pacific Coast and north into the San Fernando Valley.

Much of the power, which failed at about 12:30 p.m., was restored within about 2 1/2 hours; all power was expected to restored by 5 p.m.

Rioting continues in Northern Ireland

Belfast, Northern Ireland Crowds of Protestant hard-liners blocked key roads in Belfast and rioted for a third straight night Monday in a long-building explosion of frustration at Northern Ireland’s peace process.

At least 50 officers were wounded over the weekend when extremists fought riot police and British troops in the worst Protestant violence in a decade. The British governor and the territory’s police chief said two outlawed Protestant paramilitary groups mounted machine-gun and grenade attacks on police.

The rampage followed British authorities’ refusal Saturday to permit the Orange Order, Northern Ireland’s major Protestant brotherhood, to parade as it usually does each year along the boundary of Catholic west Belfast.

Archbishop says gays shouldn’t be ordained

Washington The American prelate overseeing a sweeping Vatican evaluation of every seminary in the United States said Monday that most gay candidates for the priesthood struggle to remain celibate and the church must “stay on the safe side” by restricting their enrollment.

Archbishop Edwin O’Brien made the comments as Roman Catholics await word of a much-anticipated Vatican document on whether gays should be barred from the priesthood. O’Brien and several other U.S. bishops have said they expect that document to be released soon.

O’Brien, who leads the Archdiocese for the Military Services in Washington, said, “There are some priests, I don’t think there are many, some ordained people with same-sex attractions and they’ve done very well” remaining celibate.

“But generally speaking, in my experience, the pressures are strong in an all-male atmosphere,” he said. “And if there have been past failings, the church really must stay on the safe side. … The same-sex attractions have gotten us into some legal problems.”

Missile-smuggling plot nets Briton 47 years

Newark, N.J. A British businessman convicted of trying to smuggle shoulder-launched missiles into the U.S. to aid terrorists was sentenced Monday to 47 years in prison, effectively a life sentence.

Hemant Lakhani, 70, was convicted in April of attempting to sell the missiles to a group he thought would use them to shoot down commercial airliners.

During his trial, and again Monday, his lawyers said Lakhani was the victim of government entrapment because the supposed missile seller and buyer were actually government agents.

Lakhani was convicted on all five charges he faced: attempting to provide material support to terrorists, unlawful brokering of foreign defense articles and attempting to import merchandise into the U.S. by means of false statements, plus two counts of money laundering.


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