March 25, 2011 in Nation/World

In brief: Family mourns Taylor at funeral

 

GLENDALE, Calif. – Elizabeth Taylor’s family mourned the screen legend in a brief private funeral Thursday at a Southern California cemetery famous for being the final resting place of Hollywood celebrities, including her good friend Michael Jackson.

Inside the sprawling Forest Lawn Cemetery, barricades blocked access to the funeral, where about four dozen family members mourned the actress for about an hour, said Glendale police spokesman Tom Lorenz.

Taylor died early Wednesday of congestive heart failure.

Taylor converted to Judaism before her 1959 wedding to Eddie Fisher. Jewish customs call for a burial within 48 hours of death.

In addition to Jackson, the cemetery is the final resting place for such stars as Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, W.C. Fields, Red Skelton, Gracie Allen, Walt Disney and Nat King Cole.

Former analyst admits taking files

LAWTON, Okla. – A former U.S. Army analyst who tried to board a flight to China with electronic files containing restricted Army documents pleaded guilty Thursday to theft of government property in a case the defense insisted was about carelessness, not espionage.

Liangtian Yang entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Lawton and was sentenced to three years of probation by U.S. Magistrate Shon T. Erwin. Yang faced up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine on the misdemeanor charge.

Afterward, defense attorney John Zelbst said Yang made a mistake when he tried to take the manuals out of the country without the required permission.

“It was careless,” Zelbst said. “It’s not an espionage case. It’s a case of a really bad mistake.”

Yang, a 26-year-old former field artillery analyst at Fort Sill in southwestern Oklahoma, was detained on Aug. 24 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport prior to a Tokyo-bound flight with China as its final destination.

Yang admitted he obtained the manuals through his employment at Fort Sill and that they were still on his computer as he tried to leave the U.S. Yang lost his security clearance on Aug. 16 after Army officials learned he had not reported getting married as required. Yang’s wife is a Chinese citizen.

U.S. reports of TB at all-time low

LOS ANGELES – The number of tuberculosis cases in the United States reached an all-time low last year, with only 11,181 cases reported to public health authorities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That represented a 3.9 percent drop in the number of cases from the preceding year, but was a disappointment on two counts: the number of cases had dropped by 11.9 percent in 2009, and authorities had hoped a major decline would continue; and in 1989, health officials had set a goal of eradicating TB in the United States by 2010, a roadmark that was clearly not met.

The agency reported in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that nearly 40 percent of the cases, 4,378, were in people born in the United States. The remaining 6,707 cases were in people who were born abroad. More than half of those cases were among people born in four countries: Mexico (23 percent), the Philippines (11 percent), India (8.6 percent) and Vietnam (7.7 percent).

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