FRESNO, CALIF.

Man dies after competing

in taco-eating contest

A man died shortly after competing in a taco-eating contest at a minor league baseball game in California, authorities said Wednesday.

Dana Hutchings, 41, of Fresno, died Tuesday night shortly after arriving at a hospital, Fresno Sheriff spokesman Tony Botti said.

An autopsy on Hutchings will be done Thursday to determine a cause of death, Botti said. It was not immediately known how many tacos the man had eaten or whether he had won the contest.

 

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND

Accused gunman sends

letter from prison cell

New Zealand officials admitted Wednesday that they made a mistake by allowing the man accused of killing 51 people at two Christchurch mosques to send a hand-written letter from his prison cell.

The six-page letter from Brenton Tarrant was posted this week on the website 4chan, which has become notorious as a place for white supremacists to post their views. And it comes at a sensitive time, with other alleged killers from El Paso to Norway citing Tarrant as an inspiration.

 

TORONTO

Ethics commissioner

finds Trudeau violation 

Canada's ethics commissioner said Wednesday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau improperly pressured a former attorney general to halt the criminal prosecution of a company, a development that could imperil his re-election chances.

The report comes just before the official start of campaigning for the Oct. 21 general election and it threatens to re-inflame a scandal that rocked the government earlier this year, causing a drop in poll ratings that had since abated.

 

DES MOINES, IOWA

Congressman: Rape, incest

helped populate world 

U.S. Rep. Steve King on Wednesday defended his call for a ban on all abortions by questioning whether "there would be any population of the world left" if not for births due to rape and incest.

Speaking before a conservative group in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale, the Iowa congressman reviewed legislation he has sought that would outlaw abortions without exceptions for rape and incest. King justified the lack of exceptions by questioning how many people would be alive if not for those conceived through rapes and incest.

 

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA.

Man accused of making

threats with nunchucks

Police say they've arrested a Florida man who's accused of threatening his neighbors with nunchucks and bug spray before cutting his own head when he accidentally hit himself with the weapon.

Daytona Beach police spokesman Messod Bendayan says 61-year-old Larry Adams complained about his neighbor's loud music coming from a car in the parking lot of their Daytona apartment complex.

Police say Adams sprayed four of his neighbors with roach spray and swung his nunchucks in a threatening manner and hit himself.

 

SAN FRANCISCO

School board to keep

but cover divisive mural

The San Francisco school board voted Tuesday to preserve but cover up a public high school mural depicting slavery and the killing of a Native American.

After a public outcry, the board voted 4-3 to reverse its June vote to paint over the "Life of Washington" mural at George Washington High School. Instead, staff were directed to work out alternatives to cover the mural with panels or other materials depicting "the heroism of people of color in America" and their fight against racism and poverty, said board President Stevon Cook, who made the proposal.

 

WASHINGTON

Miniature horses cleared

to fly as service animals 

The U.S. Department of Transportation has clarified which service animals can't be banned from airplanes, and miniature horses are in luck.

Service animals on planes has been a hot topic, especially when the animal is a little exotic (an emotional support peacock was famously denied entry on a United Airlines flight last year). To curb some of the debate, the U.S. Department of Transportation clarified which common service animals should almost always be allowed.

The statement clarifies that animals outside of dogs, cats and miniature horses must be accepted or denied flight on a case-by-case basis. Only snakes, reptiles, ferrets, rodents and spiders can be categorically banned by an airline.

 

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires