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Apr 6, 2014

Frigate nearing sailboat with sick baby in Pacific Ocean

April 5 (Reuters) – A U.S. Navy frigate was expected to
reach an American family and their seriously ill infant on a
faltering sailboat in the Pacific Ocean shortly after dark on
Saturday, a Coast Guard official said.

The frigate Vandegrift, carrying a helicopter and a crew of
200, left San Diego on Friday, bound for the sailboat of Eric
and Charlotte Kaufman.

Apr 5, 2014

U.S. military rescuing sick baby on family’s boat in Pacific Ocean

By Jonathan Allen

(Reuters) – An American family that had been sailing across the Pacific Ocean for several weeks was the focus of a U.S. military rescue mission on Saturday after their 1-year-old daughter became severely ill, officials said.

Eric and Charlotte Kaufman, along with their daughters Cora, 3, and 1-year-old Lyra sailed from Mexico on March 19 toward islands in the South Pacific and eventually New Zealand, according to, where they have been writing about their sometimes stormy voyage.

Apr 2, 2014

N.Y. restaurant’s fragile Picasso fate hangs in court

NEW YORK, April 2 (Reuters) – The question of whether a
fragile Picasso painting that covers a wall in New York City’s
Four Seasons Restaurant will crumble if taken down to allow
repairs went before a state court judge on Wednesday.

The dispute between the restaurant’s landlord and the
painting’s owner takes place in a grand setting: Midtown
Manhattan’s Seagram Building, the landmark International Style
tower designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe that opened in 1958.

Apr 2, 2014

Fate of New York restaurant’s fragile Picasso heads to court

NEW YORK, April 2 (Reuters) – The question of whether a
fragile Picasso painting in New York City’s Four Seasons
restaurant will crumble if taken down to allow repairs to the
wall it hangs on will go to a state court judge on Wednesday.

The dispute between the restaurant’s landlord and the
painting’s owner takes place in a grand setting: The Seagram
Building, the influential masterpiece of International Style
corporate architecture designed by Mies van der Rohe.

Mar 25, 2014

CNN journalists arrested trying to sneak into World Trade Center

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two CNN journalists were arrested for trying to sneak past security at the World Trade Center in New York City on Tuesday in an attempt to report on recent security lapses at the site, police said.

Yon Pomrenze, 35, and Connor Fieldman Boals, 26, first tried to talk their way in through the main gate to the center in lower Manhattan, much of which is still a construction site, according to the police account. One was holding a video camera, the other had a video camera strapped to his head.

Mar 24, 2014

NYC jail guard charged in death of inmate who ate disinfectant

By Jonathan Allen

(Reuters) – A former senior guard at New York City’s main jail complex was arrested on Monday on a federal charge that he deprived a mentally ill inmate of medical aid after he swallowed a corrosive disinfectant.

Terrence Pendergrass, 49, was a captain on duty at Rikers Island last August when an inmate in the mental health assessment unit swallowed a so-called “soap ball,” according to a criminal complaint.

Mar 19, 2014

New York jail probing death of inmate in unusually hot cell

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The death of a mentally ill, homeless man who was being held in a New York City jail cell is under investigation, and there are indications that the cell was overheated, the city’s Department of Correction said on Wednesday.

Jerome Murdough, 56, was found dead in his cell at Rikers Island, the city’s main jail complex, on February 15, according to Ivan Vogel, the public defender handling his case. Vogel said jail officials told him of Murdough’s death three days after it happened.

Mar 14, 2014

Two men found guilty in New York kidnap fetish case

By Jonathan Allen

(Reuters) – A federal jury in New York found a mechanic and a former high-school librarian guilty on Friday of conspiring to kidnap women to satisfy their sexual fetishes for rape and murder that they had originally nursed online via Internet message boards.

Michael Van Hise, 23, and Christopher Asch, 61, were found guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan of planning to abduct Van Hise’s wife, sister-in-law, and nieces in a case that hinged on whether it was possible to define the exact point at which fantasy slips into reality.

Mar 12, 2014

NY jury to decide: bizarre sex fantasy or real murder-kidnap plot?

NEW YORK (Reuters) – For the two men charged with hatching a kidnap conspiracy on a website catering to violent sexual fetishes, their own Internet musings about abducting and brutalizing women are so outlandish, they only bolster their defense, their lawyers argued in a New York courtroom on Tuesday.

Michael Van Hise, 23, and Christopher Asch, 61, were clearly engaged in sheer fantasies, and even their most graphic online ruminations betray an obvious lack of intent to act them out, the attorneys told jurors in closing arguments at their trial.

Mar 5, 2014

New Jersey archbishop comes under fire for pricey retirement home plans

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Roman Catholic archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, is facing mounting criticism over his plan to spend $500,000, mostly from the sale of church assets, on a extension to a countryside house where he will soon spend his retirement.

Some local Catholics are refusing to contribute to church collections in protest at Archbishop John Myers’ planned 3,000-square-foot (280-square-meter) extension, saying he is failing to follow the austerity of both Pope Francis and Jesus Christ.