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Asteroid to pass near the Earth

Compiled from Times wires
Published July 1, 2006


LOS ANGELES - A huge asteroid will have a close encounter with Earth this weekend, but astronomers say there is no danger of an impact.

The asteroid, known as 2004 XP14, will whiz by about 269,000 miles from the Earth, slightly farther away than the moon.

U.S. sky watchers with good telescopes should be able see the asteroid as a small moving dot in the sky.

The closest approach will occur on the West Coast about 12:25 a.m. Eastern time Sunday.

Astronomers know little about the asteroid, which was discovered in 2004. But it is estimated to be as wide as a half-mile based on its brightness.

Report: Wife shot minister after argument over money

SELMER, Tenn. - A minister's wife accused of killing her husband told police she shot him after they argued over family finances and then told him "I'm sorry" as he lay dying in their bedroom, according to testimony at a bail hearing Friday.

Mary Winkler, 32, has been jailed without bail since March 23, accused of killing her husband, Matthew Winkler, 31, at their Church of Christ parsonage in Selmer, Tenn.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Agent Brian Booth read a statement Mary Winkler gave authorities in Alabama, where she was arrested.

Prosecutor Walter Freeland said Matthew Winkler was shot in the back from close range with a 12-gauge shotgun as he lay in bed, with the blast breaking his spine and tearing into internal organs.

Winkler said she and her husband had argued throughout the evening about several things, including family finances. The problems were "mostly my fault," she said, because she was in charge of keeping the family books.

Booth said shortly before the killing, Mary Winkler had shifted money between at least two banks in what he described as a "check kiting" scam.

Elsewhere...

HELICOPTER CRASH: In Walford, Iowa, a helicopter being used to film scenes for a movie crashed in eastern Iowa on Friday, killing one person and critically injuring two others, authorities said. The helicopter was filming a scene for the movie The Final Season. The victims' names were not released

EX-OFFICIAL GUILTY: Former New York police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, whose rise from beat cop to nominee for Homeland Security head was derailed by ethics questions, dodged prison Friday in a plea bargain by admitting he took $165,000 in gifts from a company attempting to do business with the city. Kerik pleaded guilty to a pair of misdemeanors under a deal that allows him to avoid jail time.

[Last modified June 30, 2006, 23:30:32]


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