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Published Sep. 14, 2009


Danny Pang, an Orange County financier accused by federal regulators of defrauding investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars, died Saturday at home. He was 42. The cause of death was not immediately available, and an autopsy was scheduled for today. Pang pleaded not guilty in July to federal charges of evading currency reporting laws. Pang, a Taiwanese immigrant, is accused of bilking investors in his $4 billion firm by falsely portraying returns as coming from investments in timeshare real estate and life insurance policies of seniors. Prosecutors said he in fact he ran a Ponzi scheme, using money raised from newer investors to pay earlier ones.

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Swine flu won't stop icon kissing

The cardinal of Naples says it is okay for the faithful to kiss a flask of St. Gennaro's blood despite fears of swine flu. The Naples archdiocese posted on its Web site Saturday that Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe would allow the faithful to kiss the flask during an annual Sept. 19 ceremony in the southern city's cathedral. Sepe says he believes in the "power of prayer and of the protection" of the saint.

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Couple escape sleeping captor

Two newlyweds held hostage in their eastern Kansas home on Saturday escaped unharmed when the man holding them captive fell asleep, after they gave him pillows and a blanket, authorities and family members said. Jesse Dennis Dimmick, 23, was shot and injured when confronted by officers as they stormed the house in Dover, about 15 miles west of Topeka. Police said Dimmick - wanted in a homicide in Colorado and burglaries in three states - crashed his car into the couple's front yard after a police chase. Family members said the couple befriended Dimmick after he forced his way into their home. They offered him something to drink and gave him pillows and blankets so he could lay down in their bedroom. When he dozed off, they ran from the house, according to authorities.

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U.S. pulls visasof leadership

The de facto ruler of Honduras said Saturday that the United States had pulled his U.S. visas as punishment for failing to reinstate President Manuel Zelaya, ousted in a coup more than two months ago. Roberto Micheletti, acting as president since the June 28 coup, said on a radio program that the visas of his foreign minister, Carlos Lopez, and 14 Supreme Court justices were also revoked.

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Web sites give a groping how-to

A recent spate of gropings apparently directed and inspired by Web sites dedicated to providing tips about how to commit such crimes has prompted the Metropolitan Police Department in Tokyo to launch a crackdown on the sites and similar bulletin boards. The police will urge operators of the sites to shut them down and starting this week will deploy more officers on trains mentioned as easy hunting grounds on the sites. A 23-year-old man arrested in April on suspicion of indecently touching the lower body of a high school girl on a train in Tokyo told police that he groped the girl because he "had viewed a Web site that detailed how and when to grope people and wanted to confirm" if the hints actually worked.