---- — Navy removes ship’s command after boozy port visit
SAN DIEGO — The commander and top officers of a San Diego-based Navy frigate have been relieved of duty after a rowdy, booze-fueled port visit to Vladivostok, Russia.
Cmdr. Joseph E. Darlak, skipper of the USS Vandegrift, was removed Friday by Capt. John L. Schultz after an investigation “due to loss of confidence after demonstrating poor leadership and failure to ensure the proper conduct of his wardroom officers” during the three-day September stop, the Navy said in a statement.
Executive officer Lt. Cmdr. Ivan A. Jimenez and the ship’s chief engineer and operations officer were also relieved “for personal conduct involving use of alcohol and not adhering to established liberty policies,” the statement said.
Alleged murder accomplice freed over error
ELKHART, Ind. — An Indiana woman who spent eight years behind bars for the killing of a blind 94-year-old woman has been freed, after a fingerprint that was prosecutors’ crucial piece of evidence against her was found not to be hers, after all.
Lana Canen, 53, was released Friday from the Elkhart County Jail after a judge who overturned her 2005 murder conviction in the Thanksgiving Day 2002 slaying of Helen Sailor ordered her freed, WSBT-TV and WNDU-TV reported.
Canen maintains that she had nothing to do with killing Sailor. At her trial, prosecutors said she conspired with her co-defendant, Andrew Royer, to rob Sailor, and that Royer strangled the woman. Both were convicted and given 55-year prison sentences.
Canen appealed her conviction and earlier this year, an Arizona fingerprint expert discovered that an Elkhart County sheriff’s detective, Dennis Chapman, had misidentified a fingerprint found on a pill bottle in Sailor’s apartment as Canen’s.
Princess’s tomb found near Cairo
CAIRO — Czech archaeologists have unearthed the 4,500-year-old tomb of a Pharaonic princess south of Cairo, in a finding that suggests other undiscovered tombs may be in the area, an official from Egypt’s antiquities ministry said yesterday.
Mohammed El-Bialy, who heads the Egyptian and Greco-Roman Antiquities department at the Antiquities Ministry, said that Princess Shert Nebti’s burial site is surrounded by the tombs of four high officials from the Fifth Dynasty dating to around 2,500 BC in the Abu Sir complex near the famed step pyramid of Saqqara.
“Discoveries are ongoing” at Abu Sir, El-Bialy said, adding that the excavation was in a “very early stage” and that the site was closed to the public.
Inscriptions on the four limestone pillars of the Princess’ tomb indicate that she is the daughter of King Men Salbo.
On Friday, Antiquities Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said that the antechamber to the princess’ tomb includes four limestone columns and hieroglyphic inscriptions. The current excavation has also unearthed an antechamber containing the sarcophagi of the four officials and statues of men, women, and a child, he said in a statement.
— Associated Press
Belgian Crown Prince at heart of royal scandal
BRUSSELS — This time, Belgium’s royal family came out swinging.
Crown Prince Philippe, 52, had been depicted in a book as less of a man than is needed to become the next king of Belgium. Again.
So, in an exceptional move, the royal palace struck back this week with an official complaint to a media ethics body against a journalist who published “Royal Questions,” a new book that includes damaging allegations about the crown prince’s character and marriage.
The royal household almost never deigns to answer allegations but the crown prince himself also made an equally rare public denial to the book’s allegations last week.
Journalists on Friday also questioned the significance of author Frederic Deborsu’s probing into the life of Philippe, who is expected to take over from King Albert.
Allegations about “ his ‘forced marriage,’ the birth of his children in a hospital specializing in artificial procreation,” the journalist group AJP said, “are they really in the public interest?”
For most of his life, the crown prince has been seen as a less-than-credible successor for his father, who is now 78.