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NATION IN BRIEF: Japan crisis puts financial markets on edge

Japan crisis puts financial markets on edge

NEW YORK — Fears over the escalating nuclear crisis in Japan overtook financial markets around the globe Tuesday, pushing stocks and other investments lower. The Japanese stock market lost 10 percent of its value, and Wall Street dropped steeply before bouncing back.

The Japanese Nikkei average fell to its lowest level in nearly two years after the country’s prime minister said four crippled reactors at a nuclear power plant on the country’s devastated coast were leaking dangerous amounts of radiation.

In the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average fell almost 300 points at the opening bell. The futures market, which can indicate how stocks will perform, looked so ugly before trading began that the New York Stock Exchange invoked a special rule to smooth volatility.

Arizona man gets probation in bloodsucking

PHOENIX — An Arizona man was sentenced to three years of probation for stabbing a man who refused to let him suck his blood.

Maricopa County Superior Court said 24-year-old Aaron Homer, of Chandler, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced Monday.

The Arizona Republic reports 25-year-old Robert Maley once let his roommates suck his blood. But when Maley refused a second time on Oct. 4, he was stabbed.

Spree suspect told cops: I had ‘doozy of a day’

NEW YORK — A man accused of killing four people and wounding four others in a 28-hour rampage told police he had cancer, lamented his family life, said he wished police had shot him and declared he had experienced “a doozy of a day,” authorities said in a court document released Tuesday.

As Maksim Gelman appeared for a court date via video link from a hospital, Manhattan prosecutors filed an account of his remarks to officers after his Feb. 12 arrest. Meanwhile, a lawyer entered Gelman’s not-guilty plea for him in a subway stabbing.

State cites Notre Dame violations in student death

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Indiana regulators fined Notre Dame $77,500 on Tuesday for six safety violations in the October death of a 20-year-old student who was killed when the hydraulic lift he was on toppled over in high winds while he was filming football practice.

The school failed to maintain safe working conditions or heed National Weather Service warnings on a day wind speeds in the area reached 53 mph, the Indiana Department of Labor said.

“The evidence overwhelmingly demonstrated that the university made a decision to utilize its scissor lifts in known adverse weather conditions,” agency Commissioner Lori Torres said.

Police examine wreck in NJ turnpike crash

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Police on Tuesday were examining the wreckage of a bus to try to figure out why it crashed as it traveled from New York City’s Chinatown to Philadelphia, killing the driver and a passenger and injuring several others.

The one-vehicle crash Monday night on the New Jersey Turnpike — one of the nation’s most heavily trafficked highways — happened just days after a bus from a Connecticut casino crashed as it was returning to New York City’s Chinatown neighborhood, killing 15 people.

Judge: Ex-nurse guilty of aiding suicides online

FARIBAULT, Minn. — A former nurse accused of seeking out depressed people online and encouraging two to kill themselves was found guilty Tuesday of aiding the suicides of an English man and Canadian woman.

William Melchert-Dinkel, 48, was charged in April with two counts of aiding suicide for allegedly advising and encouraging two people to take their own lives. Mark Drybrough, 32, of Coventry, England, hanged himself in 2005, and 18-year-old Nadia Kajouji of Brampton, Ontario, jumped into a frozen river in 2008. Melchert-Dinkel declined a jury trial and left his fate to a judge, who issued his verdict Tuesday.

Rice County District Judge Thomas Neuville rejected Melchert-Dinkel’s argument that his actions amounted to free speech. Melchert-Dinkel was not merely advocating ideas about suicide, Neuville said, but engaging in “lethal advocacy.”