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U.S. ranks 11th in plague cases

Updated: September 16, 2013 - 10:56 PM

U.S. ranks 11th in plague cases

The United States now ranks 11th in the world in cases of plague, according to a new survey of the disease. With 57 cases in a decade, it is far below the hardest-hit countries, Congo with 10,581 and Madagascar with 7,182. Still, it is the only wealthy country on the list; 97 percent of cases are in Africa. The survey was published Monday by the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. The Black Death killed a third of Europe in the 14th century, but cases are no longer found there, probably because cities keep rat populations down, said the author, Dr. Thomas C. Butler, a plague expert at Ross University Medical School in the West Indies. By contrast, in the American Southwest, the bacteria have shifted into rural squirrels and prairie dogs.

North Carolina

Cop shot unarmed man 10 times, police say

Investigators say an unarmed man was shot 10 times by a Charlotte police officer. Police said that officer Randall Kerrick fired 12 times at 24-year-old Jonathan A. Ferrell early Saturday while responding to a breaking and entering call. Ten of the bullets hit the former Florida A&M University football player. Officers say Ferrell had been in a car wreck and sought help at a nearby house. A woman called authorities when she didn’t recognize the man. Kerrick has been charged with voluntary manslaughter. He is out on bond and expected in court Tuesday. Ferrell’s mother says she forgives the officer accused of shooting her son and is praying for him, but also says he should have never been hired if he could act so recklessly.

EGYPT

Troops storm Morsi-held community

In what could presage a broader strike against Islamists who have been attacking Coptic Christians in the Nile Valley, Egyptian security forces swept into a community in the country’s center where supporters of deposed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi had effectively seized control. The Christian minority in the town of Dalga, about 190 miles south of Cairo, reported a harsh campaign of intimidation in recent weeks by militants who burned churches and demanded protection money in the form of a “tax” on non-Muslims. About one-sixth of the town’s 120,000 residents are Christians. An Interior Ministry official described the operation as targeting “wanted criminals,” reporting the arrests of 56 people and the seizure of several weapons caches.

Korea

North and South reopen joint factory

North and South Korea reopened their jointly run industrial complex, reviving a lone symbol of economic cooperation five months after it was shuttered amid the North’s threats of pre-emptive nuclear attack. Thousands of North Korean workers returned to the Kaesong zone, located north of the border. From the South, more than 500 trucks, vans and cars formed a bottleneck at a checkpoint at the heavily armed border, carrying supplies and company executives to the site to restart factories. More than 120 companies operate at Kaesong.

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