Carbon Monoxide Kills

Albanian Singer, 2 Others

NEW YORK -- Albanian pop singer Anita Bitri Prapaniku, 36, who came to the United States in search of stardom, was found dead of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning Tuesday along with her mother, Hazabije Bitri, 60, and daughter, Sibora, 7.

Chief Fire Marshal Louis Garcia said carbon monoxide filled the home after a plastic bag was stuffed in a boiler flue during construction of a brick deck behind the home and then was not removed. The deck was built over the flue, and the bag was used to keep concrete from falling in.

A spokeswoman for the city Department of Buildings said the deck apparently was built by family friends, not a licensed contractor.

* GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The government filed three terrorism-related counts against a Turkish immigrant already being detained on immigration charges. The new charges accuse Ibrahim Parlak of committing, inciting or supporting terrorist activities, an official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. The government has said Parlak, 42, once had ties to the former Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, a group now known as the People's Congress of Kurdistan, or Kongra-Gel, and considered a terrorist organization by the United States.

* SANTA FE, N.M. -- Two fired Los Alamos National Laboratory employees -- Peter Bussolini, 66, and Scott Alexander, 42 -- implicated in a purchasing scandal at the nuclear weapons lab pleaded guilty to mail fraud and conspiracy charges in exchange for having 26 other charges dropped, authorities said.

* SAN FRANCISCO -- Heavy rains in northern California knocked out power to at least 144,000 customers and forced 200 residents to evacuate, many in areas where wildfires burned hillside vegetation a week ago. The storm was concentrated over Napa and Sonoma counties north of San Francisco, where winds gusted to nearly 60 mph and some hilly and mountainous regions received more than a half-inch of rain per hour.

* RALEIGH -- North Carolina's State Bar scheduled an unusual public meeting Wednesday to discuss a decision to give written reprimands to two former prosecutors, David Hoke and Debra Graves, accused of withholding evidence that could have spared Alan Gell nine years in prison for a murder he was acquitted of this year after winning the right to a new trial. Critics of the reprimands said the open meeting could lead to an independent investigation of the matter.

* MINNEAPOLIS -- The Mayo Clinic will name a new cardiovascular treatment center for the president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Nahayan, who has given $25 million to the institution since he had neck surgery there in 1996. The Mayo Clinic Zayed Cardiovascular Center in Rochester, Minn., will be dedicated next year.

* CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Strong storms across the South dumped more than five inches of rain in Tennessee, causing floods and at least one death. Tornadoes killed three people in Missouri on Monday; rain was blamed for a Tennessee driver's death.

* OAKLAND, Calif. -- Sausage maker Stuart Alexander, 43, who fatally shot three government meat inspectors at his Santos Linguisa factory in 2000, was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. A fourth inspector escaped and testified against Alexander.

-- From News Services