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Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:00 PM   |   Comments

Fugitive Dorner may be in Big Bear, Calif.

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Police said Thursday a fugitive former Los Angeles police officer suspected of killing three people may be in Big Bear, a mountain resort east of Los Angeles.

Big Bear Fire Department Assistant Chief Mark Mills told the Los Angeles Times fresh tracks at the resort town are believed to have been left by Christopher Jordan Dorner. Mills said a burning pickup truck found on a forest road has been linked to Dorner, 33, who posted a manifesto online in which he threatened to harm police officials and their families, the newspaper reported.

A manhunt was under way in Southern California for Dorner, suspected of killing a young Irvine couple last weekend and killing a Riverside police officer and wounding another Thursday. He is also suspected of wounding an LAPD officer near Corona Thursday.

San Diego police Capt. Terry McManus told a news conference there is evidence "that is clear to us indicates Dorner was in the San Diego area."

Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck told reporters Thursday the situation was "extremely worrisome and scary" and said Dorner, a former U.S. Naval Reserve lieutenant, was "armed and extremely dangerous," the Los Angeles Times reported.

"Of course he knows what he's doing -- we trained him," Beck said.

Asked if he had a message for Dorner, Beck said: "I would tell him to turn himself in. This has gone far enough. No one else needs to die."


Obama calls for humility, open mind

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- President Obama called for a more humble approach to leadership in an address Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

"In a democracy as big and as diverse as ours, we will encounter every opinion," Obama said in his address. "And our task as citizens -- whether we are leaders in government or business or spreading the word -- is to spend our days with open hearts and open minds; to seek out the truth that exists in an opposing view and to find the common ground that allows for us as a nation, as a people, to take real and meaningful action. And we have to do that humbly, for no one can know the full and encompassing mind of God. And we have to do it every day, not just at a prayer breakfast."

The bipartisan event, held at the Washington Hilton, was hosted by Sens. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Mark Pryor, D-Ark.

Obama called for attendees to "summon the common resolve that comes from our faith."

"Let us pray to God that we may be worthy of the many blessings He has bestowed upon our nation. Let us retain that humility not just during this hour but for every hour. And let me suggest that those of us with the most power and influence need to be the most humble. And let us promise Him and to each other, every day as the sun rises over America that it will rise over a people who are striving to make this a more perfect union."


Fraternity suspended for Asia-themed party

DURHAM, N.C., Feb. 7 (UPI) -- A national fraternity has suspended its chapter at Duke University in North Carolina for throwing an "Asia Prime" party.

While Kappa Sigma responded to complaints before the party by changing the name to "International Relations," an Asian student group says many of those who showed up last Friday showed up in sumo wrestler costumes or with hairdos featuring chopsticks, The Raleigh News and Observer reported. Photos suggest most of the party-goers were of European descent.

The Duke Asian Students Association held a demonstration Wednesday.

Ting-Ting Zhou said the fraternity members "can pretend to be Asian for this one night, for this one party."

"But I have to be Asian my whole life. It trivializes me! It makes me feel like less than a human being," she said.

Mic Wilson, executive director of Kappa Sigma's national organization, said the chapter has been suspended while the incident is investigated. He said the investigation will take about two weeks.


Uptick in rat infestations since Sandy

NEW YORK, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Exterminators in New York City said they have seen an uptick in rat complaints, especially inland, since Hurricane Sandy.

The specialists speculated many of the area's rats were driven inland by storm swells and flooding along coastal areas during the storm, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The problem was compounded by homes left vacant, piles of garbage from cleaning up storm damage, even more garbage from the winter holidays and the frigid weather driving rats indoors.

"They became so bad I couldn't even take all the jobs," said Jonathan Vargas, a partner with All Day Exterminating.

Vargas said his rat complaint calls have doubled since Hurricane Sandy.

Timothy Wong, a managing partner with M&M Environmental pest control company said the disruption of the subway and sewer didn't help. He said the current rat problem is the worst he's seen in 10 years.

"There's so much garbage out in the streets these days. Renovations because of the flood. Christmas trees. These things make it worse. For them, it's restaurant week," Wong said.

Meanwhile, citations for rat infestations are down with only 1,996 issued since the story, compared to 2,750 issued during the same period last year, the Times reported.

Since Hurricane Sandy, the Health Department said it has stopped issuing violations for Zone A, which includes parts of all five boroughs.


Girl, 9, baby leave Mexican hospital

ZOQUIPAN, Mexico, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- A 9-year-old girl and her baby were in good health after they were discharged from a hospital in Zoquipan, Mexico, officials said.

Law enforcement officials in Jalisco state said they were investigating reports that the father was a 17-year-old youth and said they were uncertain whether the pregnancy resulted from rape, Univision reported Wednesday.

The teenage father has fled, the girl's mother said.

The baby was born Jan. 27, weighing 5.9 pounds and measuring about 19 1/2 inches long. Medical officials said the baby was conceived when the girl was 8.

The hospital said the baby's condition would be closely monitored because of the age of the mother.


Quake, tsunami in Solomons kills 9

KIRA KIRA, Solomon Islands, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- At least nine people died in a tsunami generated by an earthquake that swamped the Ndende Island coast in the eastern Solomon Islands Thursday, officials said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said an earthquake measuring 6.1-magnitude rumbled off the Santa Cruz islands, following an 8-magnitude quake that struck the same region Wednesday.

Damage at a key airport in the area is preventing aircraft from landing and hindering aid efforts, officials said.

Thursday's earthquake, at a depth of about 6.2 miles, occurred off the Santa Cruz islands, about 195 miles east-southeast of Kira Kira and about 344 miles east-southeast of Honiara in the Solomons.

The three-foot wave surge inundated Lata township, dumping debris on its airstrip and forcing aid to be sent to the affected areas by boat, officials told Radio New Zealand.

Officials said they feared the death toll could rise as reports from the isolated region become available.

World Vision estimated 3,500 people were displaced by the tsunami. The organization also said some houses in the town of Venga were moved nearly 3 feet by the surge and nearly all the homes in the village of Nela were washed away.

The Solomon Times Online reported several people, including a child, were unaccounted-for and hundreds of houses have been destroyed.

A tsunami warning for New Zealand, Australia and other Pacific island nations was issued then lifted.

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