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Arlington mix up may affect 6,600 graves

WASHINGTON

Up to 6,600 Arlington graves mixed up

Estimates of the number of graves that might be affected by mix-ups at Arlington National Cemetery grew from hundreds to as many as 6,600 on Thursday, as the cemetery's former superintendent blamed his staff and a lack of resources for the scandal that forced his ouster. John Metzler, who ran the historic military burial ground for 19 years, told a Senate panel he accepts "full responsibility" for the problems. Metzler and his deputy, Thurman Higginbotham, were forced to retire after Army investigators found that as many as 211 graves were unmarked or misidentified. Democrat Claire McCaskill, chairwoman of an oversight panel on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Reform Committee, said she believes that between 4,900 and 6,600 graves may be unmarked or mislabeled on cemetery maps.

NEW YORK

Life insurance firms attract investigation

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that his office has opened a fraud investigation into the life insurance industry. Cuomo said subpoenas were served on Prudential Financial, Inc. and MetLife, Inc. as part of the inquiry. The attorney general is investigating whether insurers are profiting from grieving families by placing funds from life insurance policies into potentially risky accounts controlled by the companies. Cuomo's office said it appears companies are earning interest from the accounts while paying out low yields to beneficiaries. MetLife said it had not received the subpoena but defended its policies. Prudential Financial spokesman Bob DeFillippo said the company would cooperate fully.

LOS ANGELES

Use of walkers, canes rises with obesity rate

The rising rate of obesity means more people are using mobility devices, such as canes and grab bars, and at younger ages than ever before, according to a Purdue University study published Wednesday in the journal Gerontologist. Mobility devices have, traditionally, been used by frail elderly people or individuals recovering from an illness or injury. In those cases, people usually receive some instruction on how to use the devices. But more people appear to be using mobility devices in order to cope with obesity. Those individuals may not receive instructions and run the risk of using the devices incorrectly, the authors said. The most popular devices were shower seats, tub stools, grab or handle bars for bathing, walkers, canes and raised toilet seats.

Elsewhere

Washington: A criminal investigation into the leak of tens of thousands of secret Afghanistan war logs could go beyond the military, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday. He did not rule out that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could be a target.

New York: Chelsea Clinton's wedding to investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, to be held along the Hudson River, will be under a no-fly zone. The Federal Aviation Administration said local airspace will be restricted from 3 p.m. Saturday to 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

New York: Single mom Leisa James apparently slit the throats of her three children, then sat with them and her toddler in their burning Staten Island home until she died from smoke inhalation last week, according to police and autopsy results released Thursday.

Times wires

Arlington mix up may affect 6,600 graves 07/30/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 30, 2010 12:16am]

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