Nation/World

In brief: Two die as Houston birthday party erupts in gunfire

HOUSTON – A house party in suburban Houston to celebrate a girl’s 18th birthday erupted into gunfire that killed two teens, wounded many others, and caused some partygoers to flee for their lives through second-story windows, authorities said Sunday.

Saturday’s party in Cypress, an unincorporated area about 25 miles northwest of Houston, was promoted openly on several social media sites and drew more than 100 people, most of them 17- to 19-year-olds, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said. The birthday girl’s mother attended the party at her home.

He said people were apparently dancing in the home at about 11 p.m. when someone fired a pistol in the air in celebration. In the ensuing confusion, someone else began firing into the crowd, causing people to stream into the narrow street, Garcia said.

After giving varying reports of how many people were injured, authorities clarified Sunday that 20 people were hurt, including 16 who were wounded by gunfire – two critically – and four others who suffered injuries while trying to flee.

The two people killed, one an 18-year-old boy and the other a 16-year-old girl, were students at Cypress Springs High School, Garcia said.

He said investigators were seeking two suspected gunmen, one of whom is believed to be about 17 years old and the other who is thought to be about 22.

Robbery attempt ends in shooting at rink

NEW YORK – A teenager opened fired at a crowded Manhattan ice-skating rink, leaving two people wounded and blood splattered across the ice, after attempting to rob one of the victims of his coat, police said Sunday as they took the 16-year-old into custody for questioning.

The violence late Saturday at the Bryant Park rink sent skaters stampeding in all directions to safety. Authorities said a 14-year-old boy was struck in the back and a 20-year-old man was hit in the arm as the shooter opened fire in the popular park in midtown Manhattan, behind the main building of the New York Public Library. Neither injury was believed to be life-threatening.

Charges were pending against the 16-year-old, whose name authorities did not release.

Olympic torch back from space station

MOSCOW – A Russian space capsule carrying the Sochi Olympic torch and three astronauts returned to Earth today from the International Space Station in a flawless landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan.

The Soyuz capsule landed at 8:49 a.m. local time, about three and a half hours after undocking from the station with Russian Fyodor Yurchikhin, American Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano of Italy aboard.

The unlit Olympic torch was brought to the ISS on Thursday when three new crew members arrived. Two Russian crew members took it on a spacewalk Saturday.

Satellite expected to crash in remote area

BERLIN – The European Space Agency said that one of its research satellites that ran out of fuel will most likely crash to Earth into the ocean or polar regions.

The agency said Sunday the crash is expected to occur between 4:30 p.m. PST on Sunday and 10:30 p.m. PST today.

It said “with a very high probability, a re-entry over Europe can be excluded.”

Spokeswoman Jocelyne Landeau said the satellite, GOCE, will mostly disintegrate as it comes down and “we will have only a few pieces which could be 90 kilograms at the most.”

GOCE was launched in 2009 to map the Earth’s gravitational field.

Five killed in Ontario plane crash

RED LAKE, Ontario – Five people have died in a plane crash in northwestern Ontario, Provincial Police said.

Two people survived the crash, police said.

The plane was operated by Bearskin Airlines, according to Winnipeg radio station CJOB.



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