Boy dies after he, mom are stranded in Death Valley

Las Vegas

Stranded boy dies in Death Valley park

An 11-year-old boy died in the intense heat of Death Valley National Park after he and his mother became stranded in one of the world's most inhospitable areas and survived for several days on bottled water, Pop-Tarts and cheese sandwiches, authorities said Friday. Alicia Sanchez, 28, was found severely dehydrated and remained hospitalized in Las Vegas a day after being found with her dog, her dead son and a Jeep Cherokee buried up to its axles in sand. She told rescuers in California's San Bernardino County that her son Carlos died Wednesday, days after she fixed a flat tire and continued into Death Valley, relying on directions from a GPS device in the vehicle. Summer temperatures run above 120 degrees in Death Valley, with the average daytime August temperature about 113. The high Tuesday and Wednesday was 111, with a low of 96 early Tuesday.

WASHINGTON

Airspeed systems failed on U.S. jets

On at least a dozen recent flights by U.S. jetliners, malfunctioning equipment made it impossible for pilots to know how fast they were flying, federal investigators have discovered. A similar breakdown is believed to have played a role in the crash of an Air France jet into the Atlantic that killed all 228 people aboard in June. The discovery suggests the equipment problems are more widespread than previously believed. The equipment failures, all involving Northwest Airlines Airbus A330s, were brief and were noticed only after safety officials began investigating the Air France crash — on a Rio de Janeiro to Paris flight — and two other recent in-flight malfunctions.

Houston

Plot to join Taliban earns sentence

A Houston man apologized for his actions before being sentenced Friday to 4 ½ years in prison for conspiring to join the Taliban and fight against U.S. forces. Kobie Diallo Williams, a U.S. citizen, was one of four men arrested in 2006 for taking part in paramilitary training exercises around the Houston area and surrounding counties. Williams, 36, also known as Abdul Kabir, had pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge right after his arrest. He was a student at the University of Houston-Downtown when he was arrested by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Syracuse, N.Y.

Sick people were swindler's victims

A man accused of swindling desperately ill patients out of $400,000 by making false promises of organ transplants pleaded guilty in New York to five federal wire fraud charges. Jerome Feldman pleaded guilty Friday before a U.S. district judge in Utica. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each of the five counts. Prosecutors say Feldman's victims traveled to the Philippines hoping to receive organ transplants there. Feldman never arranged for the transplants and pocketed the money.

Elsewhere

Los Angeles: The City Council voted Friday to prohibit new digital billboards, multistory supergraphics and certain signs that face freeways from being installed throughout the city.

Miami: Hurricane Felicia remains a Category 2 storm far out in the Pacific and is expected to weaken as it nears Hawaii, the National Hurricane Center said.

Times wires

Boy dies after he, mom are stranded in Death Valley 08/08/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 8, 2009 12:27am]

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