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In brief: D.C. museum reopens after protest

Mon., Oct. 10, 2011

WASHINGTON – The National Air and Space Museum was open for business and crowded with visitors a day after demonstrators swarmed the building to protest a drone exhibit.

Museum spokeswoman Isabel Lara said Sunday there were no changes to its security procedures.

The museum closed early Saturday afternoon after security guards used pepper spray to repel more than 100 demonstrators who were told they could not enter the building carrying signs. The spray sickened some.

The group that arrived at the museum Saturday included those taking part in the October 2011 Stop the Machine demonstration in the city’s Freedom Plaza, which has an anti-war and anti-corporate greed message.

Civil rights icon Lowery, 90, lauded

ATLANTA – The Rev. Joseph Lowery was one of the first believers that a black senator from Illinois could become president, and Barack Obama was among those adding his thanks to the civil rights icon Sunday night during a tribute to the 90-year-old’s legacy.

Lowery was praised for his continued fight against hunger, poverty, racism and injustice. He has lived to see an end to segregation and the rise of the nation’s first black president, and says there is still work for him to do on issues of social justice and equality.

In a brief video tribute for the hundreds in attendance, Obama thanked Lowery for his friendship and counsel.

“I don’t know where I’d be without your support and advice,” Obama said. “I don’t know where this country would be without your leadership.”

Obama awarded Lowery, who turned 90 on Thursday, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010.

Seven tread water for 20 hours

MARATHON, Fla. – The U.S. Coast Guard said one woman died and seven people not wearing life vests treaded water in choppy seas for 20 hours before being rescued off the Florida Keys.

Petty Officer Nick Ameen said a person who rescued three of the boaters called the Coast Guard about 8 a.m. Sunday and told them others were still in the water. He said about an hour later a Coast Guard crew found the four who had drifted about four miles from the boat that capsized and sank Saturday afternoon off Marathon.

He said the group was not able to stay together and an 80-year-old woman never resurfaced. Among those rescued was a 4-year-old girl.

Two wayward orcas found dead

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Federal biologists have confirmed that two of the three killer whales that swam far up a river in southwestern Alaska have died.

NOAA Fisheries spokeswoman Julie Speegle said the carcasses were spotted during a flight over the Nushagak River on Saturday.

The two dead whales appeared to be adults. A necropsy is planned for early this week. The third, a juvenile, was seen downriver from the carcasses, and biologists were going to assess its health on Sunday in deciding whether to try to force it out to sea.

The whales were first spotted in the river about three weeks ago, and had been in danger of starvation.

University buys Coetzee archive

AUSTIN, Texas – The Ransom Center at the University of Texas is acquiring the archive of Nobel-prize winning writer J.M. Coetzee.

The South Africa native won the Nobel prize for literature in 2003. He is considered a master storyteller of the South African experience and the private consequences of public injustice. He has published 13 books, including “Life & Times of Michael K” and “Disgrace.”

The Ransom Center bought the archive – which includes manuscripts, notebooks, essays, speeches and letters dating back to 1956 – for $1.5 million.

The 71-year-old Coetzee earned his doctorate from Texas in 1965. He lives in Australia.


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