SELMA, Calif.

Ex-officer in Indian Army kills three relatives, himself

A former Indian Army officer wanted in a 1996 killing in the disputed Kashmir region killed his wife and two of their children in their California home Saturday before apparently taking his own life, authorities said.

Avtar Singh called Selma police about 6:15 a.m. and told them that he had just killed four people, Fresno County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Curtice said.

Selma police asked for assistance from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office because Singh was known to have a military background and was wanted by authorities in India for allegedly killing a human rights lawyer, Curtice said.

When a sheriff’s SWAT team entered the home they found the bodies of Singh, a woman believed to be his wife and two children, ages 3 and 15, Curtice said. All four appeared to have died from gunshot wounds.

A 17-year-old boy also found in the home was suffering from severe head trauma and was “barely alive,” Curtice said. The teenager was taken to a hospital. His condition wasn’t known.


Girl Scouts gather to mark group’s 100th anniversary

Girl Scouts from across the country gathered on the National Mall to celebrate the organization’s 100th anniversary with celebrities including Mandy Moore.

Organizers say they expected 200,000 participants Saturday for what would be the largest gathering of Girl Scouts in history. They were hoping to set a Guinness World Record. Girls from every state were expected to attend.

The crowd was also contending with high temperatures. Authorities say dozens were treated for heat-related illnesses, and at least 15 people were taken to hospitals.

The “Girl Scouts Rock the Mall” event featured performers including Erin Willett, a finalist on TV’s “The Voice,” and “American Idol” finalist Thia Megia.

Other activities included yoga, a fashion show and a news quiz game show from the Newseum.

Anna Maria Chavez, chief executive of Girl Scouts of the USA, said that although the organization has come a long way in developing leaders, there are still “glass ceilings” and other hurdles limiting girls and women, which the organization can help break.


Report: China planning manned space launch

China will launch three astronauts this month to dock with an orbiting experimental module, and the crew might include its first female space traveler, a government news agency said Saturday.

A rocket carrying the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft was moved to a launch pad in China’s desert northwest Saturday for the mid-June flight, the Xinhua News Agency said, citing an space program spokesman.

The three-member crew will dock with and live in the Tiangong 1 orbital module launched last year, Xinhua said. The government has not said how long the mission will last.

Xinhua cited Niu Hongguang, deputy commander in chief of the manned space program, as saying the crew “might include female astronauts.”

The government said in 2010 that two female air force pilots had joined the astronaut program but has disclosed no other details.


Prince Philip released from private hospital

Britain’s Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was released from the hospital Saturday, one day before his 91st birthday.

The prince had spent five nights in hospital after being admitted with a bladder infection on Monday, and missed part of the queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration as a result.

As he left London’s private King Edward VII hospital, Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, appeared in good spirits, waving at the cameras after shaking hands with hospital staff.

He nodded to reporters who asked if he was feeling better, before being escorted home by the police.

It was unclear when the prince would resume official duties.

— From news service reports