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Cindy Sheehan buys lot near Bush ranch

War protesters will have a new and bigger gathering place when they return in August to President Bush’s adopted hometown: a 5-acre lot bought with insurance money Cindy Sheehan received after her son was killed in Iraq.

Gerry Fonseca, a fellow war protester who acted as Sheehan’s agent, said he recently bought the vacant lot about a mile from downtown Crawford – and about 7 miles from Bush’s ranch – for $52,500. About half the land is pasture, and the other half is woods, he said.

“If Cindy Sheehan came to town, I don’t think anybody would have sold her any property,” Fonseca, of Eagle Rock, Mo., told the Associated Press on Thursday.

Sheehan, of Berkeley, Calif., reinvigorated the anti-war movement last summer with her peace vigil, which started in ditches off the road to Bush’s ranch. As it grew, the group also set up its protests on a private, one-acre lot closer to the ranch.

Nogales, Ariz.

Immigrants rescued from border tunnel

Nearly three dozen illegal immigrants clinging to the sides of a flooded drainage tunnel were rescued Thursday morning by U.S. Border Patrol agents and police, but four others were apparently swept away.

Authorities rescued 34 immigrants. A search for the other four was called off by Thursday afternoon.

The immigrants were trying to enter the U.S. through the Grand Tunnel, which runs from Nogales, Mexico, into Nogales, Ariz., when they were discovered at 5:30 a.m.

The water flow at that point is north into the U.S., and the area was being hit by a rainstorm. During times of heavy rains the drainage water can reach several feet high.

New York

Astor denies abuse accusations

The son of philanthropist Brooke Astor on Thursday denied accusations from his own son that he has abused his ailing 104-year-old mother by penny-pinching on her health care and allowing the millionaire socialite to live in squalor.

“I love my mother, and no one cares more about her than I do,” Anthony Marshall, 82, said in a statement.

In court papers filed last week, Marshall’s son accused him of denying Astor the usual luxuries of a wealthy woman “while enriching himself with millions of dollars” as her legal guardian.

Astor has been admitted to Lenox Hill Hospital, the Daily News reported in Thursday’s editions. Dr. Sandra Gelbard, a specialist at the hospital’s internal medicine and critical care unit, told the paper that Astor’s “condition has improved, and we are hopeful that she is going to go home in the very near future.”

Maywood, Ill.

Cardinal of Chicago undergoes surgery

Cardinal Francis George, spiritual leader to 2.4 million Roman Catholics as head of the Archdiocese of Chicago, had his cancerous bladder removed Thursday and came through the surgery “very well,” doctors said.

“Things went very, very smoothly,” Dr. Robert Flanigan said after the five-hour operation at Loyola University Medical Center.

Doctors said tests would be conducted to determine how far advanced the cancer was.


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