The Recorder

National news in brief

Cuba again denies role in ‘health attacks’ on US diplomats

NEW YORK (AP) — The Cuban government has again denied any involvement in or any knowledge of a mysterious series of health incidents that have affected American diplomats in Havana.

At a meeting on law enforcement cooperation in Washington on Tuesday, Cuba’s top diplomat for the Americas said Cuba has never and would never commit or allow what Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has described as “health attacks.”

In a statement, the Cuban embassy in Washington says the government has ordered investigations into the incidents and asked for cooperation from U.S. authorities.

At least 21 members of the American diplomatic community in Havana have suffered from symptoms, including brain damage, believed to have come from some sort of sonic attack since late last year. The most recent incident was in August.

Washington state school shooting suspect pleads not guilty

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy accused of killing a student at his rural Washington state high school and wounding three others has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder, according to court documents made public Tuesday.

Caleb Sharpe, a sophomore at Freeman High School near the small town of Rockford, Washington, entered the pleas last Friday, the documents said.

He made the appearance in juvenile court but authorities have the option of seeking to have him tried as an adult and Spokane County Sheriff Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich has said Sharpe should face adult charges.

Prosecutors filed a subpoena asking the high school to release Sharpe’s transcripts, details of any disciplinary actions he has faced, any history of violent or disruptive behavior, truancy or drug or alcohol abuse.

Hepatitis A outbreak seen in Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Public health authorities on Tuesday declared an outbreak of the highly contagious liver disease hepatitis A in Los Angeles County, the third California region to see significant infections this year.

Health officials reported the outbreak to the county Board of Supervisors, which requested a briefing due to the proximity of LA to San Diego, which has had more than 420 cases and 16 deaths since early this year.

The Los Angeles County outbreak was declared because two of 10 confirmed cases could not be traced back to either San Diego or to Santa Cruz County, some 300 miles (480 kilometers) to the north, where there have been 69 hepatitis A cases since April, the Department of Public Health said.

The two apparently locally acquired infections were the most recent.

Of the other cases, four had been in San Diego and one had been in Santa Cruz during their exposure period. Three secondary cases occurred in a health care facility in Los Angeles County.

Official: Bus in deadly crash going twice the speed limit

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal safety investigators say a charter bus that blew through a red light in New York City and caused a horrific crash that killed three people was traveling at nearly double the posted speed limit.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Robert Accetta said in a briefing Tuesday that a preliminary analysis determined that the bus was moving at between 54 mph and 62 mph (87 kmh to 100 kmh) at the time of the wreck.

The speed limit on the street in the congested city neighborhood where the crash took place was 30 mph (48 kmh).

A security camera captured video of the bus flying through an intersection, slamming into another bus and then plowing into a building.

The bus driver was killed along with two other people.