Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Aging Mobster Acquitted in 1978 Heist Retold in 'Goodfellas'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Aging Mobster Acquitted in 1978 Heist Retold in 'Goodfellas'

Article excerpt

San Diego Zoo aims to help save white rhinos

An ambitious, scientifically complex plan aimed at saving one of the world's most endangered species the northern white rhino was announced Thursday by the San Diego Zoo and the Ol Pejeta Sanctuary in Kenya.

Only four northern white rhinos remain in the world: one aging female at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and one male and two females at the sanctuary.

In a news conference at the Safari Park, officials explained that several options may be tried, including in-vitro fertilization in Africa, with the resulting embryo then implanted in a female southern white rhino acting as a surrogate.

The plan could involve using the DNA on file at the Institute for Conservation Research's Frozen Zoo to create a stem cell line and then an embryo that would be implanted in a female southern white rhino.

"It's been done in cattle, horse and humans it's doable," said Richard Vigne, the sanctuary's chief executive.

Mobster acquitted in 'Goodfellas' heist * An aging mobster who stayed mostly in the shadows for decades by adhering to the Mafia's strict code of silence was acquitted Thursday of charges he helped plan a legendary 1978 Lufthansa heist retold in the hit film "Goodfellas."

A federal jury reached the verdict at a Brooklyn racketeering trial where it heard testimony that portrayed Vincent Asaro, 80, as a throwback to an era when New York's five organized crime families comprised a secret society that committed brazen crimes and settled scores with bloodshed.

The defense accused prosecutors of relying on shady paid cooperators, including Asaro's cousin Gaspare Valenti. They argued that the witnesses had incentive to frame Asaro to escape lengthy prison terms of their own.

Florida officials call bear hunt a success * The largest bear killed was a 547-pound male. The total number shot reached 304, counting late reports and illegally taken bears.

And the dead included 38 mother bears, whose bodies showed evidence of milk production, indicating the hunt left behind orphaned cubs. …

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