'Mission: Space' Ride Reopened at

Disney World After Death of Boy, 4

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Agnes Bamuwamye knew something was wrong after she and son Daudi, 4, strapped into the "Mission: Space" ride at Walt Disney World. The boy's body was rigid and his legs stretched out, so she took his hand to reassure him as the rocket-ship ride spun them around, submitting them to twice the normal force of gravity.

When the ride ended, the boy was limp and unresponsive. She carried him off the ride, and paramedics and a theme park worker tried to revive him, but he died at a hospital. An autopsy found no trauma, but more tests will be needed to determine the cause of death, officials said.

The $100 million Epcot ride, one of Disney World's most popular, reopened Tuesday after company engineers concluded that it was operating normally. The ride re-creates a rocket launch and a trip to Mars.

An audio recording and a video warn of the risks. Signs advise pregnant women not to go on the ride. Motion-sickness bags are offered to riders. One warning sign posted last year read: "For safety you should be in good health, and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness or other conditions that can be aggravated by this adventure."

Since the attraction opened in 2003, seven people have been taken to the hospital for chest pains, fainting or nausea.

* PHILADELPHIA -- Shamsud-din Ali, 67, leader of a Philadelphia mosque, was convicted of using political connections to obtain illegal loans, donations and municipal contracts. Ali was accused of leading a criminal enterprise that generated tens of thousands of dollars through extortion, bribery and political connections. Authorities said his victims included the city, a community college, a bank, a car dealership and two waste-hauling companies that were seeking city contracts.

* NEW YORK -- A helicopter on a sightseeing trip above Manhattan crashed into the East River minutes after takeoff. One passenger was in a coma after being pulled from the water, but the six others on board were not seriously hurt, authorities said.

* SAVANNAH, Ga. -- A soldier who refused to go to Iraq will be court-martialed for accepting $2,922 in unearned combat pay, although an Army investigator concluded that an accounting error was to blame. Larceny charges were added against Sgt. Kevin Benderman, 40, awaiting trial on charges that included desertion. The larceny charges raise the possible penalty from seven years to 17. Benderman, an Army mechanic, refused to go to Iraq with his 3rd Infantry Division unit for a second tour of duty Jan. 8, days after he told commanders he was seeking a discharge as a conscientious objector.

* COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Somali immigrant Nuradin Abdi, 33, who is accused of conspiring to help terrorists blow up a shopping mall, asked that his statements to investigators -- including what he knew about a member of al Qaeda -- be barred from his trial. Authorities told Abdi last November they were arresting him for violating immigration laws but did not specify which laws and did not show him a warrant until three days later, Abdi's lawyer said, alleging that agents used his statements to build a case against him.

-- From News Services