National Desk

This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.

The New York Sun

Runway Alteration May Have Confused Pilots In Kentucky Crash

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The taxiway at Lexington’s airport was altered during a repaving project just a week before a Comair jet tried to take off on the wrong runway and crashed, killing 49 people, the airport’s director said yesterday. Federal investigators said they were looking at such things as lights, markings, and signs that may have confused the pilots, as well as anything that changed the configuration or appearance of the airport. Both the old and new taxiway routes cross over the short runway where Flight 5191 tried to take off before crashing into a grassy field and bursting into flames, the airport’s executive director, Michael Gobb, told the Associated Press. The repaving was finished one week before the crash, Mr. Gobb said. A flight instructor who flies almost every day out Lexington, Lowell Wiley, said in an interview that he was confused by the redirected taxi route when he was with a student Friday taking off from the main runway.

— Associated Press

Drug Aimed at Preventing Premature Births May Increase Miscarriages

WASHINGTON — A drug to help women carry their babies to term that is awaiting federal approval does not appear to delay the earliest preterm births most often linked to death and serious health problems, according to federal documents released yesterday. The results of a single clinical trial were not “statistically persuasive” in suggesting that the injectable drug, Gestiva, reduced births before either 32 or 35 weeks’ gestation, Food and Drug Administration documents show. However, the drug does appear to reduce births before the 37th week, considered the cutoff point for a newborn to be considered premature, study results suggest. Adeza Biomedical Corp. said in FDA filings that weekly injections of Gestiva lead to a “substantial reduction” in preterm births among women most at risk. One concern is that the drug may increase the miscarriage and stillborn rate, the FDA said. The FDA originally approved the drug in 1956 to prevent miscarriages.

— Associated Press

Shuttle Takeoff Delayed Due to Storm

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.— With Tropical Storm Ernesto closing in, NASA gave up on a shuttle launch scheduled for today and prepared to roll Atlantis back to the hangar unless the storm changed course. The shuttle’s 12-hour trip back to the Vehicle Assembly Building would mean a delay of at least eight days, complicating the space agency’s plans to get on with construction of the international space station. Such a delay would also interfere with Russia’s plans in mid-September to send a Soyuz spacecraft with two crewmembers and a space tourist to the orbiting space lab. If the storm changed direction, a liftoff could be attempted this weekend, the launch’s director, Mike Leinbach, said, but that seems unlikely.

— Associated Press

Magazine Claims Britain Is a Threat to America

WASHINGTON — A well-known American magazine claimed yesterday that Britain now presents a greater security threat to America than Iran or Iraq. In an article on Islamists headlined “Kashmir on the Thames,” the New Republic painted Britain’s Islamic communities as a breeding ground for violent extremism. Citing recent opinion poll evidence suggesting that one in four British Muslims believed that last year’s London Tube bombings were justified, the magazine said: “In the wake of this month’s high-profile arrests, it can now be argued that the biggest threat to U.S. security emanates not from Iran or Iraq or Afghanistan, but rather from Great Britain, our closest ally. “The magazine, with a circulation of 60,000-a-week, has its roots on the Democratic left, but in recent years, it has backed much of President Bush’s foreign policy. The claim is the latest in a series of hostile reassessments of Britain by Americans in the wake of the alleged plot to bring down trans-Atlantic airliners.

— The Daily Telegraph

Court Overturns Mother’s Conviction in Son’s Suicide

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Connecticut Supreme Court yesterday overturned a mother’s conviction on charges that she contributed to her 12-year-old son’s suicide by keeping a filthy house. In ordering the trial court to acquit Judith Scruggs of Meriden, the court said the law used to convict her was unconstitutionally vague. Ms. Scruggs was convicted of risk of injury to a minor in 2003, a year and a half after her son, J. Daniel, hanged himself with a necktie in his closet. Legal experts said it was thought to be the first time a parent had been convicted over a child’s suicide. Prosecutors said the boy was miserable because his schoolmates ridiculed his body odor and bad breath, caused by Ms. Scruggs’s filthy home and her lack of attention to the boy’s hygiene.

— Associated Press

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