PHILADELPHIA — A suspended Philadelphia priest has defended himself against allegations of child sex abuse, which he called “completely and totally a lie.’’ Joseph DiGregorio was one of three priests removed from the ministry while their cases are being reviewed by the Philadelphia archdiocese after they were named as child molestation suspects in a scathing grand jury report. “I hope I’m not being made a fall guy,’’ DiGregorio said Friday on radio station WPHT. In 2005, a woman accused DiGregorio of abusing her at Our Lady of Loreto Church around 1968, when she was 16. (AP)
WASHINGTON, D.C. Gulf bottom still oily, scientist says
A University of Georgia scientist went public yesterday with video and slides showing how oil from the BP
spill remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. At a science conference in Washington, Samantha Joye aired early results of her December submarine dives around the BP spill site. She went to places she had visited in the summer, expecting the oil and residue would be gone. It wasn’t. (AP)
Cosmic census of the galaxy Scientists have estimated the number of planets in our galaxy at 50 billion. At least 500 million of the planets in the Milky Way are in the not-too-hot, not-too-cold zone where life could exist. The numbers were extrapolated from the early results of NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler telescope. Kepler science chief William Borucki says scientists took the number of planets they found in the first year of searching a small part of the night sky and then made an estimate on how likely stars are to have planets. (AP)
Winds fell national Christmas tree Strong winds toppled the National Christmas Tree yesterday, the district Fire Department said. There were no injuries or other damage. The tree was a Colorado blue spruce that was planted on the Ellipse, near the White House, in 1978. It was 15 years old and 30 feet tall when it was planted. It stood about 42 feet when it fell. National Park Service spokesman Bill Line said a successor has already been picked and it will be planted in coming weeks. (AP)
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