Baby snatcher sentenced

A woman who snatched a newborn from a hospital more than two decades ago and raised the child as her own was sentenced Monday to 12 years in prison by a judge who called it a “crime of selfishness” that enhanced parents’ fears and forced hospitals to boost security. Ann Pettway, of Raleigh, N.C., was sentenced in front of the true parents of Carlina White, who was stolen from Harlem Hospital when she was only 19 days old.

Little chivalry on ships

“Women and children first” was never the social norm on sinking ships, nor was the self-sacrificing captain who gives the order before going down with his vessel, a study of maritime disasters shows. Crew members had the highest survival rates in shipwrecks, followed by captains and male passengers, according to the report Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research found that women’s survival rate on 16 maritime disasters from 1852 to 2011 was half that of men’s, and children had the worst chance of getting off the boat alive.


Gun views unchanged

A new national poll finds that public opinion on gun control remains unchanged since the July 20 massacre that killed a dozen people and wounded 58 others at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater. As on other political questions, the nation remains evenly divided, with 47 percent saying it’s more important to control gun ownership and 46 percent putting a higher priority on guarding the right of Americans to own them. The numbers are from a new Pew Research Center opinion survey completed over the weekend.

Support for gay marriage

The Democratic Party is moving to include support for gay marriage in the official party platform for the first time, a Democratic official said Monday. The party’s platform drafting committee voted to include language backing gay marriage during a weekend meeting in Minneapolis. Democratic delegates will formally approve the platform during the party convention in early September.

Compiled from wire reports.