Paul James Lioy, an environmental scientist known for his analysis of the health effects of the dust produced by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, died this week after collapsing at Newark Liberty International Airport. He was 68. The cause of death has not been determined, his wife Jean Lioy told the New York Times. After witnessing the dust rising from the ruins of the Twin Towers all the way from his home in Cranford, New Jersey, Lioy became one of the first scientists to gather samples and test the dust from the site. According to Lioy, three factors caused the [World Trade Center cough]. "First, cement dust was very alkaline ... that irritated the linings of the lungs. Second, glass fibers got stuck in people's upper airways ... That trapped the cement particles and enhanced the irritation. [V]ery coarse particles that comprised the vast quantity of the dust mass." read more
The Baltimore Sun shows that 26 homicides have occurred in the city limits of Baltimore since April 9.
The cause of death in one murder case was blunt force, police say. The victim in that case was two-year-old Tyleah Fenwick. Billy Vines, 59, and Jorvon Beatty, 23, died from stab wounds. Vines was killed in the wee hours of April 12 by his son at the home they shared not far from Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Beatty met his fate in a fight outside a homeless center on May 4. The body of Nicole Torain, 34, was discovered in a trash incinerator on April 22. The cause of her death is unknown, but police have ruled it a homicide. read more
The state attorney general's office is asking a federal appeals court to block a judge's order that the state immediately give a transgender inmate sex-reassignment surgery. In a motion filed Monday with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the state sought a preliminary injunction that would delay the surgery for Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, 51, born Jeffrey Bryan Norsworthy, who began identifying as a woman in the 1990s. Norsworthy was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2000. On April 27, U.S. District Court Jon Tigar denied the state's motion to stop Norsworthy's surgery. She is serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole for a second-degree murder conviction. read more
A senior United Nations aid worker has been suspended for disclosing to prosecutors an internal report on the sexual abuse of children by French peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic.
Sources close to the case said Anders Kompass passed the document to the French authorities because of the UN's failure to take action to stop the abuse. The report documented the sexual exploitation of children as young as nine by French troops stationed in the country as part of international peacekeeping efforts. read more