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'Angel of death' dies in prison

A former nurse sentenced to death for the killing of 12 patients at two California hospitals in 1981 died of natural causes.

Officials at San Quentin State Prison said Robert Rubane Diaz, the so-called "Angel of death", died yesterday morning in a hospital.

The 72-year-old Diaz had been on death row since June 1984. He was sentenced to death for killing 12 patients at two Riverside County hospitals by giving them lethal levels of a heart medication.



Roots producer Wolper dies

Producer David L Wolper, whose credits included 1977 TV mini-series Roots and film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, has died. He was 82.

Wolper died peacefully in his Beverly Hills home while watching television with his wife Gloria. He died of congestive heart disease and complications of Parkinson's disease.

Roots, based on the best seller by Alex Haley, was seen in whole or part by 130 million people -- more than half the US population -- when it ran for eight nights in 1977.



Astronauts fix broken pump

Spacewalking astronauts relied on brute force to remove a broken coolant pump that hampered operations at the International Space Station.

Their first attempt at emergency repairs to the cooling system was thwarted last weekend by a large ammonia leak.

This time, there was no burst of toxic ammonia, just a few frozen flakes that drifted harmlessly away.

The urgent repair job is considered one of the most challenging in the 12-year history of the space station.



Judge refuses name change

A US judge denied a man's petition to legally change his name to Boomer the Dog.

Gary Guy Mathews (44) filed for the name change because he is a fan of a 1980-1982 television series called Here's Boomer, with a dog that rescued people.

Pittsburgh's Common Pleas Judge Ronald Folino denied the request, saying it could cause "confusion in the marketplace", including in business records and public documents.


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