National / World News

Posted: February 14, 2008

Police hunting for madman who butchered N.Y. therapist

NEW YORK - Police were hunting last night for a man who entered a psychologist's office with a bag of knives and a meat cleaver and hacked her to death.

A colleague who responded to the victim's screams was badly wounded, and investigators were trying to determine whether the attacker was a patient at the clinic. Three knives were recovered at the scene, including the cleaver, which was apparently bent from the attack, police said.

Kathryn Faughey's office was in shambles: Furniture was overturned, shades torn and blood was on the walls and pooled on the floor. She suffered 15 stab wounds, including a gash to her head believed to be from the cleaver, police said.

Authorities released a sketch of a middle-aged man believed to be the killer, along with surveillance videotapes of the attacker entering and leaving the building.

He left behind two bags that contained bizarre clues, authorities said.

A roller suitcase was filled with adult diapers and women's clothing, including blouses and slippers, and a smaller second bag was filled with eight knives, rope and duct tape, tools apparently not used in the attack.

Believing the killer might have been injured in the attack, authorities issued alerts to area hospitals and looked through the 56-year-old Faughey's computer files for clues.

The attack rattled residents of the affluent Upper East Side neighborhood and raised questions about safety protections at therapist's offices.

Hospital: Eighth-grader, shot by classmate, is brain dead

OXNARD, Calif. - A 15-year-old boy who was shot in the head at school was declared brain dead yesterday but was kept on a ventilator for possible organ donation, a medical examiner said.

Eighth-grader Lawrence King, who was shot Tuesday, was pronounced brain dead at 2 p.m. at St. John's Regional Medical Center after two neurosurgeons examined him, said Craig Stevens, senior deputy medical examiner in Ventura County.

King was clinically dead but was kept on a ventilator pending a family decision on organ donation, Stevens said.

An unidentified 14-year-old classmate arrested near E.O. Green Junior High after the shooting Tuesday was booked for investigation of attempted murder and the charges could be upgraded, prosecutors said.

Evangelist Billy Graham

responds well after surgery

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Evangelist Billy Graham underwent successful surgery yesterday to update a shunt that controls excess fluid in his brain, and was expected to remain in the hospital for several days.

The Southern Baptist minister was listed in fair condition at Asheville's Mission Hospitals after the 28-minute procedure. "He's on a soft diet tonight, will be on a regular diet tomorrow and should be up and walking around," said Larry Ross, Graham's spokesman.

Dr. Ralph C. Loomis installed a new valve in the shunt on Wednesday that can be programmed externally to maintain desired fluid levels and pressure.

"He was bright and alert and conscious immediately after surgery and called me by name," Loomis said in a statement.

Mental-hospital aide accused of involvement in bombings

BAGHDAD - When twin blasts ravaged crowded pet markets earlier this month, Iraqi authorities offered a chilling account: Mentally disabled women carried the hidden explosives perhaps as unwitting bombers for al Qaeda in Iraq.

The U.S. military yesterday brought another stunning twist to the plot - that the acting director of a psychiatric hospital could have betrayed his ethics and turned over patient details to insurgents blamed for the attack, which killed nearly 100 people.

The questioning of the hospital administrator fits into a wider campaign to confront insurgents' changing tactics - such as using women as suicide bombers - as they seek to bypass stepped-up security measures and bounce back from losses in recent U.S.-led offensives.

Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a military spokesman, said the hospital official was detained "in connection with the possible exploitation of mentally impaired women to al Qaeda."

Also yesterday, parliament cleared the way for provincial elections this year that could give Sunnis a stronger voice and usher in vast changes to Iraq's power structure.

The new law - which set the vote for Oct. 1 - is one of the most sweeping reforms pushed by the Bush administration and signals that Iraq's politicians finally, if grudgingly, may be ready for small steps toward reconciliation.

Passage of benchmark reforms on healing the country's sectarian and ethnic rifts - along with a reduction in violence - were the primary goals of the 30,000-strong U.S. troop increase that President Bush ordered early last year.

Paraguans demand vaccine after yellow fever emerges

ASUNCION, Paraguay - Some 4,000 people demanding vaccinations against yellow fever blockaded a highway near the capital yesterday, a week after the disease made its first appearance in Paraguay in 34 years.

The blockade snarled traffic for hours on a major route near Asuncion before authorities negotiated a peaceful end to the demonstration, police officer Francisco Monges said. There were no reports of violence.

Paraguayan health officials last week announced five confirmed cases of yellow fever that originated in a remote farm community, but no deaths.

The World Health Organization says an estimated 30,000 people worldwide die annually from the disease. *

Wok & a hard place

The Israeli government says it will send foreign restaurant workers packing by next January, and Asian-food businesses and eateries warn that consumers will be hurt.

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