Nation digest 5/16/02

Thursday, May 16, 2002

Iceberg as large as Chesapeake Bay breaks

WASHINGTON -- A new iceberg nearly as large as Chesapeake Bay has broken away from Antarctica.

The National Ice Center reported Wednesday that the berg, named C-19, had split off and was afloat next to Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf.

C-19 measures 124 miles long and 19.5 miles wide, or 2,428 square miles. Chesapeake Bay is 2,747 square miles.

The iceberg is named C-19 because it's the 19th new berg reported in that section of Antarctica since records were first kept in 1976.

The report of C-19 comes less than a week after C-18 broke free in the same general area. C-18 was 47 miles long and 4.6 miles across.

In March, another giant berg broke free in an adjacent area. It is bigger than Delaware.

Cyclist falls off bridge, waits hours for rescue

SANDPOINT, Idaho -- A bicyclist who fell off a pedestrian bridge clung to its girder and yelled for five hours before he was rescued -- ignored by two boys who walked away laughing, police said.

Christopher Blair apparently tipped over a guardrail on an unlit bridge over Lake Pend Oreille at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

The cyclist managed to scramble to safety on the bridge's concrete piling, and screamed for help.

A nearby resident finally heard Blair's screams at 2:20 a.m. Sunday. A search by flashlight found Blair perched on the beams, suffering from early signs of hypothermia.

Rescuers lowered Blair by basket into a rescue raft and took him to Bonner General Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries.

Cloning company audit says money misspent

BOSTON -- A company involved in human cloning allegedly misspent nearly $150,000 in federal grants and appears to be in poor financial health, a government audit charged.

Advanced Cell Technology of Worcester allegedly misused some of three grants worth $1.9 million on unaccounted-for salaries and equipment that should not have been funded by taxpayers, the Department of Health and Human Services found.

The money was used for cloning research in cattle, mice and other mammals.

The company has cloned the first stages of a human embryo, viewing the practice as a way to yield stem cell tissue that could speed medical research on cures for many diseases. Congress is considering whether to restrict or ban human cloning.

Company president and CEO Dr. Michael West did not return a call for comment Wednesday.

Three killed when car hits McDonald's

MOUNT EPHRAIM, N.J. -- A car careened out of control and smashed into a McDonald's restaurant early Wednesday, killing three workers inside and injuring a fourth worker and the driver, authorities said.

The crash happened at 4:20 a.m. while six workers were inside the 24-hour restaurant in a quiet residential area of this Camden County town, about 10 miles southeast of Philadelphia.

No customers were in the restaurant at the time, said Jim Lynch, first assistant Camden County prosecutor.

The car, driven by Frank Nastasi, sped through an intersection and jumped a curb, narrowly missing a utility pole, then crashed through the restaurant's front window, Lynch said.

The car plowed through an unoccupied children's play area and seating areas, then smashed through the counter and came to rest in the food preparation area, where it burst into flames, Lynch said.

--From wire reports

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