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BOY'S MACHINE GUN DEATH GETS SECOND INQUIRY

BOSTON

A prosecutor said Tuesday he is investigating whether criminal charges should be filed after an 8-year-old boy accidentally killed himself while firing an Uzi submachine gun at a gun fair in western Massachusetts. Christopher Bizilj of Ashford, Conn., shot himself in the head when he lost control of the 9mm micro submachine gun as it recoiled while he was firing at a pumpkin. Police have said the shooting Sunday was an accident. Hampden County District Attorney William Bennett said he is investigating whether the gun fair violated the state's firearms law by allowing the boy to fire the machine gun.

WASHINGTON

Another solar system found

For the first time, astronomers think that they have found evidence of an alien solar system around a star close enough to Earth to be visible to the naked eye. They say that at least one and probably three or more planets are orbiting the star Epsilon Eridani, 10.5 light-years - about 63-trillion miles - from Earth. The host star, slightly smaller and cooler than our sun, is in the constellation Eridanus, near Orion in the northern sky. Epsilon Eridani is much younger than the sun, about 850-million years old compared with 4.5-billion years. "This really is a system like our solar system was when it was five times younger than it is now," said one of the discoverers, Massimo Marengo. Epsilon Eridani was chosen as an early targets in a long search for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.

MALE, MALDIVES

President is afirst for the nation

Election officials say opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed has won the Maldives' first democratic presidential election. The nation's elections commission said Wednesday that Nasheed won 54 percent of the votes cast in Tuesday's election. President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom won 46 percent of the votes. The results mean the end of Gayoom's 30-year reign over this Indian Ocean archipelago. Turnout among the nation's 209,000 registered voters was nearly 87 percent.

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