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N.Y. murders at 40-year low

By wire services
Published June 28, 2005

New York City is on track to record fewer than 500 murders in 2005, the lowest toll in more than 40 years. There were 215 homicides through June 19, the Daily News reported, for a pace of 465 for the year. The last year that the city logged fewer than 500 slayings was 1961, when 482 people were killed. In 1990, New York had 2,245 homicides.

Grizzly bear kills campers in Alaska

Two people camping in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge were killed by a grizzly bear, officials said Sunday. The bodies and an unused firearm were found in a tent Saturday at a campsite near the Hulahula River. Officials shot and killed the animal. The couple, whose names were not released, were believed to be in their late 50s or early 60s. The campsite was clean, with food stored in bear-proof containers. "The initial scene indicates that it was a predatory act by the bear," said Tim DeSpain, an Alaska State Troopers spokesman.

Italy tries to prevent deaths from heat

Italy's health minister said Monday a heat wave linked to at least seven deaths is putting the lives of 1-million elderly Italians at risk and announced steps to protect people over 80 who live alone. The measures include house calls on those at risk, TV and radio spots reminding people to drink lots of water and stay inside, and a toll-free number offering advice. Temperatures in Milan, Florence and Turin rose above 95 degrees.


Mistress cashes in on Picasso affair

A former mistress of Pablo Picasso sold 20 of his sketches of her at a Paris auction Monday for a total of $1.87-million, officials said. A sketch titled Odalisque went for the highest price at $575,357, more than three times the estimated price, Artcurial auction house said. Genevieve Laporte had a two-year secret affair with the artist in the 1950s. Now 79 years old, she told the Associated Press that she kept the sketches Picasso gave her in a safe because she was worried about thieves. But now she wants to part with them. "I'm at the end of my road," she said.


Miss. killings

A judge in Philadelphia, Miss., on Monday denied a new trial for Edgar Ray Killen, convicted last week of manslaughter for the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers. Killen attorney James McIntyre told Circuit Judge Marcus Gordon that the defense had not expected prosecutors to ask that jurors in the murder trial be given the option of a manslaughter conviction. District Attorney Mark Duncan said other courts have ruled that jury instructions allowing the option of manslaughter are proper in murder cases. Defense lawyers also plan to request a bond to allow Killen to be free on appeal.

[Last modified June 28, 2005, 01:47:08]

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