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Deadly force questioned after bystanders shot in NYC

NEW YORK — It began as just another bizarre Times Square scene, a disoriented man lurching amid traffic, seemingly throwing himself into the path of oncoming cars.

Police arrived and the crowd grew. The hulking man ignored officers’ commands while eluding capture. Then he reached into his pants pocket, withdrawing his hand as if it were a gun, police said.

Two officers opened fire, discharging three bullets. They missed the man, but struck two women. Other officers rushed toward the suspect; a sergeant used a Taser on the man, and he was quickly subdued.

The shooting Saturday night raised questions about the police’s use of deadly force, especially in a crowded area where bystanders could be in the line of fire. On Sunday, police officials, including Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, refused to say if the shooting appeared justified, saying the circumstances were being investigated.

“From what I saw, he had nothing in his arms that was a weapon,” said Kerri-Ann Nesbeth, who was standing by a subway entrance when the episode unfolded.

The man, identified as Glenn Broadnax, 35, of Brooklyn, did not have a gun, police said.

—Michael Schwirtz and J. David Goodman
The New York Times

United States ranks 11th in plague cases worldwide

The United States now ranks 11th in the world in cases of plague, according to a new survey of the disease.

With 57 cases in a decade, it is far below the hardest-hit countries, Congo with 10,581 and Madagascar with 7,182. Still, it is the only wealthy country on the list; 97 percent of cases are in Africa.

Most cases come from flea bites, but in the U.S. a national parks biologist died after inhaling the bacteria while doing a necropsy of a mountain lion, and a 60-year-old geneticist in Chicago died, apparently after being careless with a research strain he believed was safe.

—Donald G. Mcneil Jr, The New York Times

Good options scarce if deal on Syria fails

WASHINGTON — The Russian-American deal to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal gives President Barack Obama some breathing space after a politically damaging few weeks. But the list of things that could still go wrong is extensive and daunting.

The two sides could deadlock over the text of a U.N. Security Council resolution codifying the agreement. Syria could insist on deal-breaking conditions or fail to turn over a complete accounting of its weapons within a week, as mandated. International inspectors could be obstructed on the ground or chemical stocks could be hidden from them.

Given all that, Obama has decided to leave U.S. destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea to preserve the possibility of a military strike. But as the president and his team look ahead several steps, they are struggling to come up with a viable Plan B in case the agreement does not work, finding that they have few if any appealing options.

“Ronald Reagan says, ‘trust but verify,’ and I think that’s always been the experience of U.S. presidents when we’re interacting with, first, Soviet leaders and, now, Russian leaders,” Obama said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. But he offered little insight into what he would do if he could not verify Syria’s compliance with the Russian-brokered deal to turn its chemical weapons over to international inspectors for destruction.

—Peter Baker, The New York Times