National briefs: MacArthur grants awarded

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WASHINGTON -- "Hear my voice: Alexander Graham Bell."

You can listen to a ghostly 1885 recording of Bell reciting his name with a sonorous Scottish inflection thanks to a California physicist who found a way to extract sound from wax-on-cardboard discs, among other long-defunct audio formats held by the Smithsonian.

His name is Carl Haber, and today he is $625,000 richer -- a recipient of one of those envy-inspiring MacArthur fellowships, popularly dubbed genius grants. He is among two dozen scientists, scholars, artists and civic-minded people to reap the windfalls, announced early today the MacArthur Foundation.

Since 2000 the award has been a mere $500,000; it was increased this year in part to reflect inflation, the foundation said. As happens every year, some recipients are relatively well known, others obscure, and they always say they never saw it coming.

4 held in Chicago shooting

CHICAGO -- A Chicago man who was clipped in the leg by gunfire went looking for revenge, leading fellow gang members to a crowded park, where one of them unleashed more than a dozen bullets from an assault rifle in a shooting that wounded 13 people, including a 3-year-old boy, authorities say.

Thursday night's attack has again focused national attention on gang bloodshed in the nation's third-largest city.

Authorities announced Tuesday that four men have been charged, including the suspected primary shooter, a second man accused of firing a .22-caliber revolver, a lookout and the man prosecutors say supplied the assault rifle.

A judge denied bail for the group. Each is charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm, though additional charges were expected. A defense attorney said each of the four denied the charges.

Sikh professor attacked

NEW YORK -- A Columbia University professor who is Sikh was beaten and injured by a pack of men on bicycles near New York City's Central Park over the weekend, raising concerns once again about Sikhs' and Muslims' vulnerability to hate crimes in the United States.

Prabhjot Singh, 31, told reporters Monday that he heard his attackers say, "Get him!" in addition to calling him "Osama" and "terrorist," apparently mistaking him for a Muslim. Sikhism is a separate religion.

Dr. Singh is an assistant professor of international and public affairs as well as a practicing physician in East Harlem.

Boston voters go to polls

BOSTON -- City voters were taking a major step toward ushering in a new political era as they went to the polls Tuesday to whittle down a field of 12 candidates hoping to succeed longtime Mayor Thomas Menino.

The top two vote-getters in the preliminary election move on to compete in the Nov. 5 final. Mr. Menino announced earlier this year that he would retire after more than 20 years in office. The city's longest-serving mayor has battled a series of health problems in recent years.

Anti-paparazzi law signed

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed an anti-paparazzi law sought by celebrities and aimed at protecting the privacy of their children.

The legislation by Democratic state Sen. Kevin de Leon makes it a misdemeanor to attempt to photograph or videotape a child in a harassing manner if the image is being taken because the child's parent is a celebrity or public official.

The California Broadcasters Association and California Newspapers Publishers Association opposed SB 606. The newspaper group argued that the bill's penalties infringe on First Amendment-protected newsgathering in public places where public figures have no reasonable expectation of privacy.

More flood survivors found

DENVER -- The final six people who were unaccounted for after massive flooding in Colorado have been found safe and well, authorities said Tuesday, but new spills were reported in water-damaged oilfields.

Only one person remained missing and presumed dead. Eight deaths have been confirmed.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said three new spills totaling at least 7,600 gallons had been discovered as flood waters recede. Regulators are now tracking 11 notable leaks totaling at least 34,500 barrels, mostly from storage tanks that toppled or otherwise failed.

99-year-old gets diploma

WATERLOO, Iowa -- A 99-year-old Iowa woman who dropped out of a high school more than 80 years ago despite needing only one credit to graduate has finally received her diploma.

Audrey Crabtree, of Cedar Falls, smiled Monday as she received an honorary diploma for her time at Waterloo East High School.

Ms. Crabtree, who began her education at a one-room school house in northeast Iowa, left high school in 1932 due to a swimming and diving accident that forced her to miss several school days.



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