tampabay.com

Train carrying space shuttle parts derails

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 3, 2007


MYRTLEWOOD, ALA.

A freight train carrying segments of the space shuttle's solid rocket boosters derailed Wednesday after a bridge sank over boggy ground, authorities said. Six people aboard the train were reported injured, one critically. NASA said that it was not immediately known whether the equipment was damaged but that the accident should not delay any shuttle launches. One of the eight 150-foot-tall boosters on the train overturned. It was the second time in less than a week that the train jumped the tracks while carrying the booster segments across the country from the manufacturer, ATK Launch Systems Group of Promontory, Utah, to Cape Canaveral, officials said.

LOS ANGELES

Police to review tactics at rally

Police Chief William J. Bratton on Wednesday said he was "gravely concerned" about tactics his officers used in dispersing a crowd at an immigration rights rally, where police wielded batons and fired 240 "less-than-lethal" rounds at demonstrators and reporters. Bratton promised an aggressive investigation as public outrage grew over the police actions to disperse a largely peaceful crowd. At least 10 people were left with minor injuries. LAPD officials acknowledged Wednesday that there may be significant problems with how police handled the incident.

SANTA ANA, CALIF.

Engineer denies spying for China

A Chinese-born engineer accused of conspiring to export U.S. defense technology denied Wednesday in federal court that he ever worked as a spy for the Chinese government. "Are you a spy for the People's Republic of China?" defense attorney Ronald Kaye asked defendant Chi Mak, 66. "No, " Mak replied. Authorities believe Mak, a naturalized U.S. citizen, took thousands of pages of documents from his defense contractor employer, Power Paragon of Anaheim, and gave them to his brother, who passed them along to Chinese authorities. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to export defense material to China and other crimes.

OAKLAND, CALIF.

Highway repairs expected to be fast

A highway ramp shut down by the collapse of an overpass near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge won't have to be rebuilt from scratch and could reopen within 10 days, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Wednesday. The ramp connecting two interstate highways was blocked Sunday morning when a burning tanker truck brought down the overpass. Crews finished clearing debris from the collapse Tuesday.