August 22, 2011 in Nation/World

In brief: Strauss-Kahn trial looking unlikely

From wire reports
 

A person familiar with the case says New York prosecutors are likely to drop their sexual assault case against former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

The person says prosecutors probably will tell his accuser today that they won’t pursue the case because of doubts about her credibility and a lack of evidence proving a forced sexual encounter. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters not yet made public.

A Strauss-Kahn lawyer didn’t immediately respond to an email message Sunday, after the New York Post first reported prosecutors’ likely decision. The Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to comment.

Strauss-Kahn has been accused of trying to rape the woman, a hotel maid. He denies the charges.

Wing walker dies after 200-foot fall

DETROIT – A stunt wing walker died Sunday after falling about 200 feet at an air show in southeastern Michigan, officials said.

Tech. Sgt. Dan Heaton, a spokesman at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, said wing walker Todd Green was trying to move from a plane to a helicopter when he fell at the base in Harrison Township, about 20 miles northeast of Detroit.

Heaton said in a news release that the accident happened about 1:30 p.m. while Green was flying on a Stearman aircraft during a stunt. He said an ambulance rushed Green to Mount Clemens Regional Medical Center.

Hospital spokeswoman Diane Kish told the Associated Press that Green died from his injuries. Authorities did not give Green’s age or hometown.

The air show began Friday and ended Sunday.

Air show resumes after fatal crash

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City’s annual air show took to the skies again Sunday, a day after spectators were sent home when a stunt pilot crashed to the ground while performing loops and spirals in his small plane.

Sunday’s performance opened with a tribute to pilot Bryan Jensen, including a rendition of taps and planes flying in missing man formation. The day’s show was dedicated to him.

The Minnesota native was killed Saturday afternoon when his biplane named “The Beast” failed to pull out of a dive and crashed into a fiery ball on the grass next to a runway at Wheeler Downtown Airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash, but show director Ed Novallis said there’s nothing to indicate that weather or other outside factors contributed to the crash.

Grocery workers reject contract offer

LOS ANGELES – Thousands of Southern California grocery workers have voted overwhelmingly to reject a health care proposal from major supermarket chains and authorize their union leaders to call a strike, a spokesman said Sunday.

More than 90 percent of voters from the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770, which has about 62,000 members, rejected the proposal from Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons stores.

The rejection automatically authorizes union officials to call a strike after 72 hours

“We’re willing to come back to the table and stay there,” union spokesman Mike Shimpock said. “Our goal here is not to go on strike – we don’t want to go on strike, but unfortunately we’ve been pushed into a corner by these corporations.”

A four-month strike and lockout that began in 2003 cost Ralphs and other grocery chains an estimated $2 billion.

In a written statement Sunday, Vons stressed the fact that negotiations were ongoing.

“The employers intend to stay focused and engaged in the bargaining process,” the Vons release said. “We remain hopeful that we can peacefully reach a settlement that works for both sides. We would urge the union leadership to do the same.”

To prepare for a possible strike, Albertsons has started to advertise for temporary replacement workers to make sure its stores can stay open, chain spokesman Fred Muir said Sunday.

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