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TEXAS: Day care operator flees country

A Houston home day care operator left the kids she was caring for without adult supervision, while a stovetop burner was on, before a blaze that killed four children and injured three others, according to an arrest affidavit made public Monday. Fire department officials announced that day care operator Jessica Tata had fled the United States and they had asked the U.S. Marshals Service to help track her down. Officials believe Tata has fled to Nigeria, where she is originally from. Tata, 22, was charged Sunday with reckless injury to a child involving serious bodily injury in the death of Shomari Dickerson, 3. Two of the injured children remained hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

FLORIDA: Software glitch hampers spacewalk

A robotic system shutdown interrupted Monday's spacewalk outside the International Space Station, leaving an astronaut stuck with an 800-pound pump in his hands for nearly a half-hour. Spacewalker Stephen Bowen was in no danger, perched on a small platform at the end of the 58-foot robotic arm used to carry spacewalking astronauts where they need to go. Finally, the operation resumed and Bowen carried the pump to its new location on the exterior of the space station. He got help from fellow spacewalker Alvin Drew in latching the pump down. NASA officials later blamed a computer software glitch and said it had been corrected. Despite the snag, Bowen and Drew managed to complete all their major chores, including prep work for installing a new storage room at the station.

WASHINGTON: Adventures of a young Ted Kennedy

An FBI file contends that a young Edward M. Kennedy arranged to rent a brothel for a night while visiting Chile in 1961, a year before he was elected to the U.S. Senate. The previously edited State Department memo, dated Dec. 28, 1961, was released by Judicial Watch, a Washington-based organization that said it obtained it through a Freedom of Information lawsuit. One State Department official described Kennedy as "pompous and a spoiled brat," according to the memo. Kennedy was a 29-year-old assistant district attorney in Boston at the time.

PENNSYLVANIA: Life sentence in odd bank plot

A woman was sentenced Monday to spend the rest of her life in prison for a bank robbery plot in which a pizza delivery driver was killed by a bomb locked around his neck. Both she and the victim's family claim she's innocent and the real killers went free. It was a strange coda to a bizarre case with a defendant to match: Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, 62, the mentally ill Erie woman sentenced to life plus 30 in prison in the bank robbery plot that killed Brian Wells, 46, on Aug. 28, 2003.


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