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In brief: Pet python kills 2-year-old girl


Oxford, Fla. – A pet Burmese python measuring more than 8 feet long broke out of a terrarium and strangled a 2-year-old girl in her bedroom Wednesday at a central Florida home, authorities said.

Shaiunna Hare was already dead when paramedics arrived at about 10 a.m., Lt. Bobby Caruthers of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said.

Charles Jason Darnell, the snake’s owner and the boyfriend of Shaiunna’s mother, discovered the snake missing from its terrarium and went to the girl’s room, where he found it on the girl and bite marks on her head, Caruthers said. Darnell, 32, stabbed the snake until he was able to pry the child away.

“The baby’s dead!” a sobbing caller from the house screamed to a 911 dispatcher in a recording. “Our stupid snake got out in the middle of the night and strangled the baby.”

Circuitry replaced prior to crash

Washington – Five days before last week’s deadly Red Line accident, a Metro crew replaced a key piece of equipment designed to prevent crashes, but the circuitry malfunctioned and no one at Metro detected the problem, investigators and transit officials said Wednesday.

The findings raise new questions about whether Metro officials should have discovered the hazard before one train rammed into another June 22, killing nine and injuring 80. It also puts a spotlight on Metro’s maintenance crews and the design of a highly automated subway system that is supposed to be “fail-safe.”

Plane diverts when passenger disrobes

Albuquerque, N.M. – A US Airways flight to Los Angeles was diverted to Albuquerque after a passenger removed all of his clothing midflight, forcing flight attendants to cover him with a blanket before he was arrested.

Keith Wright, 50, of the Bronx in New York, was taken into custody by airport authorities after he allegedly disrobed while sitting in his seat in the back of Flight 705 on Tuesday evening, authorities said.

The plane carrying about 148 passengers from Charlotte to Los Angeles landed in Albuquerque about 6:45 p.m.

Two off-duty law officers who were passengers on the flight helped the flight attendants subdue and handcuff Wright before the flight landed.

Authorities suspect Wright may have been drunk or on prescription drugs.


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