Wednesday, January 24, 2018
News Roundup

Search for missing U.S. student in Israel

Israel

Search for missing U.S. student

Israeli police said Tuesday they are searching for a U.S. religious student who disappeared while on a hike in a forest outside Jerusalem last week. Aharon Sofer, 23, of Lakewood, N.J., was last seen Friday, said Jerusalem police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. He said the police were pursuing all avenues in their investigation, including the possibility that Sofer may have fallen victim to an attack by Palestinian militants. Rosenfeld said that police have launched an extensive search for Sofer, who is an ultra-Orthodox student at a yeshiva, a Jewish religious school named for its founder, Rabbi Tzvi Kaplan. Sofer's parents have flown to Israel. Rosenfeld said Sofer was with a friend when he disappeared during a hike in the Jerusalem Forest. He said authorities have interviewed the friend and "are looking in all different directions" for Sofer.

Puerto Rico

Cristobal gains and heads to Bermuda

Hurricane Cristobal hurled heavy rains across Atlantic and Caribbean islands on Tuesday as it headed toward Bermuda, and officials said the storm had caused at least five deaths.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the hurricane would likely avoid a collision with the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, but it was generating life-threatening surf and rip current conditions from central Florida to North Carolina.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, and it was expected pass northwest of Bermuda today, and strengthen slightly by Thursday. On Tuesday night, it was centered 435 miles west-southwest of Bermuda and was moving north at 16 mph. Hurricane force winds extended outward up to 60 miles from the center.

Canton Township, Mich.

Storms with 60 mph winds hit Detroit area

Severe thunderstorms hit parts of southern Michigan on Tuesday, bringing 60 mph wind gusts that knocked down trees and power lines and blacked out about 169,000 electricity customers.

The National Weather Service said winds reached 60 mph in Wayne County's Canton Township near Detroit and in Wash­tenaw County's Pittsfield Township. It said a 2-foot-diameter tree fell in Redford, near Detroit.

DTE Energy Co. said 120,000 of 160,000 affected customers remained powerless Tuesday night. CMS. Energy Corp. said 3,000 of 9,000 affected customers remained out.

Britain

Report says 1,400 children abused

A report released on Tuesday on accusations of widespread sexual abuse in the northern England city of Rotherham found that about 1,400 minors — some as young as 11 years old — were beaten, raped and trafficked from 1997 to 2013 as the police and local authorities ignored a series of red flags.

Some children were doused in gasoline and threatened with being set on fire if they reported their abusers, the report said, and others were forced to watch violent rapes and threatened with the same fate. In more than a third of the cases, the victims appear to have been known to child protection agencies.

Within hours of the report's publication, the leader of the local government council quit.

Barnard, Vt.

Former FBI director is injured in crash

Drugs and alcohol are not believed to be factors in the single-car crash in Vermont that seriously injured former FBI director Louis Freeh, state police said Tuesday.

Freeh, who led an investigation into the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State and issued a scathing report, was alone in his SUV and wearing a seat belt when he drove off the road shortly after noon Monday, striking a mailbox and a row of shrubs before coming to a stop on the side of a tree, according to state police. A preliminary investigation found no indication that drugs or alcohol were involved, they said.

Times wires

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