Suicide attacker kills five at bus stop; motive unclear

A suicide attacker in the Belgian city of Liege tossed grenades into a crowd and then sprayed it with bullets, leaving at least five people dead, including a 17-month-old toddler.

At least 132 were wounded in Tuesday’s assault at a bus stop, according to preliminary figures. The dead included “a 15-year-old — a young boy who died on the spot — a 17-year-old and a 75-year-old woman,” city prosecutor Daniele Reynders said in a televised news conference.

A fifth fatality, a 17-month-old toddler, was confirmed by Eddy Lambert, spokesman for CHC hospital in Liege.

The 33-year-old assailant, Nordine Amrani, had been convicted on arms and drugs charges, Reynders said, adding that he had never been charged with terrorism. An inquiry will determine if the attack was premeditated, Reynders said.

The attacker, who lived in Liege, arrived at Saint Lambert Square, a busy shopping district, in a van with his weapons — a pistol, a rifle and grenades — in a bag. He had been summoned for questioning by police.


Scientists find hints that ‘God particle’ really exists

Physicists are closing in on an elusive subatomic particle that, if found, would confirm a long-held understanding about why matter has mass and how the universe’s fundamental building blocks behave.

Few people outside physics can fully comprehend the search for the Higgs boson, which was first hypothesized 40 years ago.

But proving that the “God particle” actually exists would be “a vindication of the equations we’ve been using all these years,” said one Nobel laureate.

Scientists announced Tuesday that they had found hints but no definitive proof of the particle that is believed to be a basic component of the universe. They hope to determine whether it exists by next year.


Remains believed to be those of missing prostitute

After a yearlong search, police on New York’s Long Island said Tuesday they believe they have discovered the skeletal remains of a New Jersey prostitute whose disappearance sparked an investigation into a possible serial killing spree.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said searchers found the bones at around 9:15 a.m. in a dense wetland thicket, about a half mile from where 24-year-old Shannan Gilbert disappeared after meeting a client for an early-morning sexual encounter.

Dormer said the medical examiner’s office would confirm whether the remains were Gilbert’s, but the commissioner left little doubt that officers had found the object of their search.

“It’s certainly a sad day for the Gilbert family,” he said. “And our condolences to that family on the death of their daughter.”

Later, Gilbert’s mother called it a “sad, but happy moment,” and said she still had doubts about whether the search was really over.


Early recording by Bell intones, ‘To be or not to be’

Early sound recordings by Alexander Graham Bell that were packed away at the Smithsonian Institution for more than a century were played publicly for the first time Tuesday using new technology that reads the sound with light and a 3-D camera.

“To be, or not to be…” a man’s voice can be heard saying in one recording, the speaker reciting a portion of Hamlet’s soliloquy as a green wax disc crackles to life from computer speakers. Another recording on a copper negative disc that was played back at the Library of Congress reveals a trill of the tongue and someone reciting the numbers 1-2-3-4-5-6.

The recordings date to the 1880s. Bell had moved from Boston to Washington after inventing the telephone and joined a growing group of scientists who made the nation’s capital a hotbed for innovations.

During this time, Bell sent the first wireless telephone message on a beam of light from the roof of a downtown building.

He and other inventors also were scrambling to record sound on anything they could find. One early sound record looks like a smashed soup can.

Bell partnered with his cousin Chichester Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter at a lab in Washington in the early 1880s.

Their group was known as Volta Laboratory Associates.