In Brief | Nation & World 1-6-13


Some gun shows limiting displays, canceling

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Several gun shows, all about an hour’s drive from Newtown, Conn., have been canceled.

A show in White Plains, N.Y. — brought back a few years ago after being called off for a decade because of the Columbine shooting — is off because officials decided it didn’t seem appropriate now, either. In Danbury, Conn. — about 10 miles west of Newtown — the venue backed out. Same with three other shows in New York’s Hudson Valley, according to the organizer.

Gun advocates aren’t backing down from their insistence on the right to keep and bear arms. But heightened sensitivities and raw nerves since the Newtown shooting have led to toned-down displays at gun shows and prompted some officials and sponsors to cancel the well-attended exhibitions altogether.

Some of the most popular guns will be missing from next weekend’s gun show in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., after show organizers agreed to bar the display and sale of AR-15 military-style semiautomatic weapons and their large-clip magazines.

“The majority of people wanted these guns out of the city,” said Chris Mathiesen, Saratoga Springs’ public safety commissioner. “They don’t want them sold in our city, and I agree. Newtown, Conn., is not that far away.”

Crews attempt to move grounded Shell drill ship

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Responders on Saturday prepared to hook a main tow line to an oil-drilling ship grounded on rocks near a remote Alaska island.

Officials overseeing the response to the grounding of Royal Dutch Shell’s Kulluk barge said they could use the line to “test capabilities” as they prepare to recover the ship.

But the plans were subject to tides and weather, which can be fierce in the North Pacific during winter.

Officials also hoped to deploy oil-soaking booms around nearby Kodiak Island, especially near any salmon streams. They say there’s no sign the hull has been breached or that oil has spilled from the vessel.

The Kulluk ran aground during a fierce year-end storm, and more than 600 people are working on its recovery.

4 dead after police standoff at a Colorado townhome

AURORA, Colo. — A gunman barricaded inside his Colorado home fired shots at police from a second-story window before he was killed as SWAT officers stormed the home Saturday. Once inside, they found the bodies of three other adults, authorities said.

The suspect, whose name was withheld by police, held officers at bay for nearly six hours after neighbors reported gunfire at 3 a.m. inside the modest townhome in the Denver suburb of Aurora, said police Sgt. Cassidee Carlson. It wasn’t known if officers shot the suspect or if he shot himself.

Investigators said two men and a woman appeared to have been killed before officers arrived.

The suspect shot at police who approached the front of the home with an armored vehicle and who fired tear gas around 8:15 a.m. He was killed when he fired at officers from the second-story window about 45 minutes later, Carlson said.

Cat tries to smuggle cell phone, saws and charger into Brazilian prison

SAO PAULO — Guards thought there was something suspicious about a little white cat slipping through a prison gate in northeastern Brazil. A prison official says that when they caught the animal, they found a cellphone, drills, small saws and other contraband taped to its body.

Alagoas state prisons spokeswoman Cinthya Moreno says the cat was caught New Year’s Eve at the medium-security prison in the city of Arapiraca.

The O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported Saturday that all of the prison’s 263 inmates are suspects in the smuggling attempt, though it says a prison spokesman said “It will be hard to discover who is responsible since the cat does not speak.”

Chavez’s allies re-elect legislative chief

CARACAS, Venezuela — Allies of cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez on Saturday chose to keep the same National Assembly president — a man who could be in line to step in as a caretaker leader in some circumstances.

The vote to retain Diosdado Cabello as legislative leader signaled the ruling party’s desire to stress unity and continuity amid growing signs the government plans to postpone Chavez’s inauguration for a new term while he fights a severe respiratory infection nearly a month after cancer surgery in Cuba.

By wire sources