Fire damages downtown strip club area
A fire broke out Monday afternoon in a building in Baltimore's adult-entertainment district, spreading quickly, sending thick smoke throughout downtown and snarling traffic. Fire Battalion Chief Kevin Cartwright said the blaze started about 4 p.m. in a three-story building then spread to five or six others. Two were evacuated, he said, including one that houses Fire Department offices in the area known as the Block. Cartwright said no injuries were reported and by 6 p.m. firefighters were extinguishing hot spots. The Block's strip clubs include Larry Flynt's Hustler Club.
Prosecution stands mute at hearing
Prosecutors on Monday told a judge presiding over an unusual court hearing on the constitutionality of the death penalty in Texas that they won't participate in the legal proceeding and will "stand mute" during the hearing. Despite the prosecution's actions, the judge ordered the hearing to go forward, and lawyers for John Edward Green Jr., the Houston man who asked for the proceeding, began calling witnesses. The attorneys say they will try to show that the way death penalty cases are handled in Texas creates a risk that innocent people will be executed. Green faces a possible death sentence if convicted of fatally shooting a Houston woman during a June 2008 robbery.
Gates: 'Don't ask, don't tell' may last
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Monday he doubted that Congress would repeal the law that bans homosexuals from serving openly in the armed forces before lawmakers adjourn for the year. Gates' comments were the first acknowledgement since he called for action at Senate hearings last week that the effort to repeal the law this year could fall short. "I'd have to say I'm not particularly optimistic that they're going to get this done," he told sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea.
Lymphoma drug does well in test
An experimental drug developed by Seattle Genetics Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. wiped out tumors in one-third of patients with hard-to-treat Hodgkin's lymphoma and reduced the cancer by half in another 40 percent, a study has found. Overall, 94 percent of 102 patients had their tumors shrink by at least a quarter, an "unheard-of" level of improvement in people who had failed other treatments, said study leader Robert Chen, an assistant professor at City of Hope, a nonprofit cancer center in Duarte, Calif. He presented the results today at the American Society of Hematology meeting in Orlando. The drug, SGN-35, may be approved by federal regulators late next year.
Unabomber's land goes up for sale
A 1.4-acre parcel once owned by Unabomber Ted Kaczynski is on the market for $69,500. The listing by John Pistelak Realty of Lincoln doesn't say who owns the land. "This is a one of a kind property and is obviously very secluded," it says. The property doesn't include Kaczynski's cabin, which is on display at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Kaczynski is serving a life sentence for killing three people and injuring 23 in bombings between 1978 and 1995. He pleaded guilty in 1998 and is housed in a maximum security prison in Colorado.