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In brief: Boston University students die in New Zealand minivan crash

Boston – With graduation approaching, a time for celebration turned somber at Boston University on Saturday as students who were packing up at the end of the school year learned that three classmates studying in New Zealand were killed when their minivan crashed during a weekend trip.

At least five other students were injured in the accident early Saturday, including one who was in critical condition.

Boston University spokesman Colin Riley said those killed in the accident were Daniela Lekhno, 20, of Manalapan, N.J.; Austin Brashears, 21, of Huntington Beach, Calif.; and Roch Jauberty, 21, whose parents live in Paris.

The students were traveling in a minivan near the North Island vacation town of Taupo when the van drifted to the side of the road and then rolled when the driver tried to correct course, New Zealand police said. None of the eight students in a second van was injured.

About 250 students, faculty members and well-wishers gathered in Boston on Saturday evening for a candlelight vigil for the victims.

NYC street stops increase; critics say practice is unfair

New York – The latest numbers show the New York Police Department’s skyrocketing street stops increased to more than 200,000 stops during the first three months of 2012.

The NYPD said officers stopped people on New York City’s streets 203,500 times from January through March. That’s up from 183,326 during the same quarter last year.

The policy allows an officer to stop a person based on reasonable suspicion, which is lower than that of probable cause needed to justify an arrest.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the practice has gotten guns off the streets and saved lives. The city’s number of murders is expected to be a record low of less than 500 this year.

Critics say police are unfairly targeting minorities.

UCSB gets $50 million gift for energy efficiency programs

Santa Barbara, Calif. – University of California, Santa Barbara, according to old stereotypes, may still conjure up the image of a lush campus by the beach, where students can squeeze in a few hours of surfing after class and live in a nearby neighborhood that is one of the nation’s best-known party zones.

But in reality, UC Santa Barbara over the last three decades increasingly has become a center of scientific research, and its move in that direction was strengthened Saturday with the announcement of a $50 million private donation to energy efficiency research and engineering programs.

The gift is the largest in the history of UC Santa Barbara and is from Jeffrey Henley, who is chairman of the board of software giant Oracle and graduated from the college in 1966.

About half the money will help construct a building to house the Institute for Energy Efficiency, an interdisciplinary research center that looks at such things as light bulbs that use less electricity and how to transmit Internet data with less heat. The rest will support engineering programs in other ways.


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