Daily Dispatches
Motorists survey explosion damage in East Harlem, N.Y.
Associated Press/Photo by John Minchillo
Motorists survey explosion damage in East Harlem, N.Y.

Midday Roundup: First lawsuit filed in Harlem blast

Newsworthy

Collateral damage. A New York City woman has sued utility provider Con Edison over the explosion that leveled two apartment buildings in East Harlem last week. The New York Post reported that 46-year-old Michelle Nelson of Harlem filed the civil suit Monday, becoming the first to sue over the deadly blast. Nelson’s lawsuit says she sustained “severe and permanent injuries” when the explosion caused her to fall in her apartment more than a block away. The lawsuit names Con Edison and the owner of 1646 Park Ave., one of the collapsed buildings.

Chopper down. The Seattle Fire Department said two people were killed when a KOMO-TV news helicopter crashed Tuesday morning outside its studios near the Space Needle. Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore said in addition to the deaths of the two passengers, a 37-year-old man who managed to free himself from a car at the accident scene was taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. According to KOMO, the helicopter apparently was lifting off from the station’s rooftop when it possibly hit the side of the building and went down, hitting several vehicles on Broad Street.

Chinese connection. The Chinese government has found no links to terrorist activities among its citizens who were on the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner. The plane was carrying 154 Chinese passengers out of 239 total onboard when it disappeared less than an hour into its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8. Malaysian officials now say someone onboard deliberately diverted it. A massive search operation in the Indian Ocean and beyond has yet to find any trace of the plane. China’s announcement dampens speculation that Uighur Muslim separatists in far-western Xinjiang province might have been involved with the disappearance of the Boeing 777.

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On trial. The military trial of a former U.S. Naval Academy football player accused of sexually assaulting a classmate has begun. Lawyers gave opening statements Tuesday in the court-martial of Joshua Tate of Nashville, Tenn. Prosecutors accuse Tate of sexually assaulting a female student during a 2012 party at an off-campus house in Annapolis, Md. The woman said she didn’t remember being assaulted after a night of heavy drinking, but heard from others she had had sex with multiple partners at the party. Tate faces charges of aggravated sexual assault and lying to investigators. Meanwhile, sentencing is underway for an Army general who admitted to emotionally harming a subordinate during a three-year affair. A judge on Monday accepted a plea deal in the high-profile case. The deal dropped the sexual assault charges against Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair in exchange for his admission to other, lesser violations of military law. Both cases come as the military faces pressure to address revelations of sexual misconduct in the ranks.

Talks resume. Iran and six world powers focused Tuesday on the details of a deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear program and end sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Iran’s foreign minister was more cautious as the talks opened, saying they were meant merely to exchange ideas. The two sides hope to reach an agreement by July that eases international concerns about Iran’s nuclear capacity by trimming and strictly monitoring its atomic programs. Tehran denies any interest in nuclear weapons, but is looking for a deal that will give it full relief from sanctions imposed progressively as it expanded its nuclear activities over the past decade.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lynde Langdon
Lynde Langdon

Lynde lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. She holds degrees from the University of Missouri in journalism, Russian, and business administration. She is in a long-term, committed relationship with the Lutheran church. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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