Daily Dispatches
A diver measures a lombard cannon adjacent to a ballast pile, off the North coast of Haiti.
Associated Press/Photo by Brandon Clifford
A diver measures a lombard cannon adjacent to a ballast pile, off the North coast of Haiti.

Midday Roundup: Could the long-lost Santa Maria finally be found?


Ship ahoy. An ocean explorer claims to have found what might be the remains of Christopher Columbus’ ship, the Santa Maria, off the coast of northern Haiti. The explorer, Barry Clifford, said the shipwreck includes ballast stones that appear to have come from Spain or Portugal. A 15th century cannon was initially found at the site but has since disappeared. Clifford said another factor that points to the ship’s identity is the location of the wreckage, in about 15 feet of water near where the crew of the Santa Maria is thought to have built a coastal settlement for crew members left behind after the sinking. Underwater archaeologist Roger C. Smith, who has searched for wrecks of Columbus’ ships in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Panama, said it’s possible the ship found by Clifford is the Santa Maria, but he noted there was at least one wreck in that area that was once mistakenly thought to the ship but turned out to be a much newer vessel.

Kinder, gentler jail. The Pentagon wants to transfer convicted national security leaker Pvt. Chelsea Manning to a civilian prison for treatment for a gender disorder. Manning, who had his name officially changed from Bradley last month, is serving a 35-year prison sentence for sending classified documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. After the conviction, Manning announced his desire to live as a woman and be called Chelsea. The Defense Department has not specified what treatment Manning could receive in civilian prison. A Pentagon spokesperson also noted the transfer has not yet been approved.

Insanity defense. A South African judge has ordered former Olympian Oscar Pistorius to undergo psychiatric tests that could delay the double-amputee athlete’s murder trial for up to two months. The decision appears to be an effort to balance the testimony of an expert defense witness, who said Pistorius had an anxiety disorder that might have influenced his judgment when he fatally shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. The prosecution requested the evaluation, which likely will take place for a period of 30 days at a government facility.

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Hitchhiking to space. A Russian leader said Tuesday that the United States can find a different ride to the International Space Station after the year 2020. The statement came amid high tensions between Washington and Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine and sanctions imposed by the West. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said “it is really alarming to us to continue developing major high-technology projects with such an unreliable partner as the U.S., which is politicizing everything,” the Interfax news agency reported. The United States relies on Russian Soyuz capsules to fly to and from the space station. NASA downplayed the threat, saying cooperation in space has been a hallmark of U.S.-Russian relations and the agency has not been notified of any changes.

Lynde Langdon
Lynde Langdon

Lynde is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.


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