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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Police Review Video From Wal-Mart Death

NEW YORK -- Police were reviewing video from surveillance cameras in an attempt to identify who trampled to death a Wal-Mart worker after a crowd of holiday shoppers burst through the doors at a suburban store and knocked him down.

Criminal charges were possible, but identifying individual shoppers in the video from Friday may prove difficult, said Detective Lt. Michael Fleming, a Nassau County police spokesman.

Other workers were trampled as they tried to rescue the man, and customers stepped over him and became irate when officials said the store was closing because of the death, police and witnesses said.

At least four other people, including a woman who was eight months pregnant, were taken to hospitals for observation or minor injuries. The store in Valley Stream on Long Island closed for several hours before reopening.

Police said about 2,000 people were gathered outside the Wal-Mart doors before its 5 a.m. opening at a mall about 20 miles east of Manhattan. The impatient crowd knocked the employee, identified by police as Jdimytai Damour, to the ground as he opened the doors.

Shuttle Astronauts Face 'Iffy' Weather

CAPE CANAVERAL -- Their work in orbit accomplished, space shuttle Endeavour's astronauts got the green light Saturday to return to Earth, but they were warned that "pretty iffy" weather at the main landing site could send them across the country or keep them in orbit an extra day.

On Saturday afternoon -- 24 hours before the planned landing -- Mission Control informed the seven astronauts that Endeavour had been cleared for reentry following analysis of data beamed down from a final thermal survey of their ship. The space shuttle was found to be free of any serious defects caused by space junk that could jeopardize the descent.

The astronauts noticed a small strip of material floating away as they checked out their flight systems, but Mission Control told them not to worry: It was merely a three-inch label.

Astronaut Gregory Chamitoff was especially eager to come back: He has been off the planet, away from his wife and 3-year-old twins, since the end of May.

"My watch is telling me that it will be 182 days for me today away from home," Chamitoff said Saturday. "A lot of people have to spend time away from home, but I've been lucky to have a really spectacular place to live for the last half-year.

"I'm very proud that all of us here are leaving the space station a better, more spectacular place than it was when we arrived."

A cold front was expected to bring stiff wind and possibly thunderstorms to Kennedy Space Center on Sunday and even worse conditions on Monday.


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