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News Briefs

Diallo Case Prosecutor Says Cops Should Resign


Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson Monday called for the resignation of the four officers acquitted last week in the fatal shooting of Amadou Diallo.

“Their mistakes, their misjudgment, led to the violent and horrible death of an innocent person,” Johnson said. “There have been some who said Robert Johnson should resign. I think someone who policed in the way these four officers policed that night, they should resign.”

Johnson’s remarks came during a wide-ranging discussion with reporters in which, buffeted by criticism of the case his office presented and calls for his resignation, he insisted his office handled the prosecution properly.

On the day of the verdict, police union President Patrick Lynch said the four officers -- Kenneth Boss, Sean Carroll, Edward McMellon and Richard Murphy -- should be reinstated.

Attorneys for the four officers could not be reached for comment Monday. The Police Department is reviewing the case.

Gunmen Ambush, Kill Tijuana’s Police Chief


In the latest example of the murderous violence that has gripped this border town, the municipal police chief was assassinated Sunday morning by gunmen who sprayed his car with more than 100 bullets, authorities said.

Municipal Police Chief Alfredo de la Torre Marquez, 49, was driving alone to his office after attending Mass when three cars came alongside his GMC Suburban and gunmen opened fire with at least one AK-47 assault rifle and a 9 mm handgun.

Dozens of police, judges, prosecutors and others have been slain in Tijuana and its suburbs in recent years, a violence spiral linked to wars between competing drug cartels. A presidential candidate of the ruling PRI party was assassinated in Tijuana in March 1994 .

Police said they have no suspects although three suspicious cars were seized in two nearby neighborhoods. One of the cars had been reported stolen in Chula Vista, Calif.

In recent months, officers under de la Torre’s command have been conducting a crackdown on illegal-immigrant smugglers and small-time drug users and pushers, particularly in the Zona Norte, an area near the border known for prostitution, drugs and other criminal activities.

Researchers Report Success With Cancer Vaccine


An experimental cancer vaccine, made by fusing a patient’s tumor cells with specialized cells of the immune system, has produced dramatic shrinkage of tumors in a small study of patients with advanced kidney cancer, researchers reported Monday.

Although the results must be confirmed in larger studies, they are encouraging enough that doctors in several countries are launching experiments using the same approach to treat other malignancies, including skin cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

The effort to enlist the immune system to fight cancer is a booming research field, but most trials of cancer vaccines in human patients have had no more than modest success, and no vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The results of the new study led by the University of Gottingen, Germany, in which more than one-third of patients responded favorably to the vaccine, are among the most promising to date, researchers said.