Nation and World briefs for February 13

Top German shepherd is a no-go at Westminster dog show

NEW YORK — A German shepherd that survived a brutal highway accident a few years is out of Westminster, and his show career might be over.

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Fanucci was unable to walk into the ring Monday, the first day of two days of America’s most prestigious dog show.

His owners think he might have been nipped by a playful puppy recently, or perhaps he shook his ear too hard and broke a blood vessel.

The 5-year-old was considered by many the nation’s top German shepherd. But his left ear, the one closest to the judge, bubbled up and knocked him out of the competition.

Fanucci’s right rear leg was shattered in 2014 when he jumped out of a van that was being towed. He was injured so badly his owners considered euthanizing him.

Workers comb snowy field for clues to Russian plane crash

MOSCOW — Wading through knee-deep snow, hundreds of emergency workers searched a vast field near Moscow on Monday for remains of the 71 victims from the crash of a Russian airliner, and aviation experts began deciphering the jet’s two flight recorders.

Investigators quickly ruled out a terrorist attack in Sunday’s crash of the An-148 regional jet bound for Orsk in the southern Urals. The air disaster has reignited questions, however, about the twin-engine plane that was developed jointly by Russia and Ukraine but phased out of production amid the political crisis between the neighbors.

The model has a spotty safety record, with one previous crash and a string of major incidents in which pilots struggled to land safely. The carrier, Saratov Airlines, has grounded several other An-148s in its fleet pending the crash investigation.

The plane crashed several minutes after taking off from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, and all 65 passengers and the crew of six were killed when the aircraft hit the ground and exploded in a giant fireball.

The Investigative Committee, Russia’s top agency for looking into such disasters, said that before the crash, the plane was intact and there had been no fire on board. Officials would not speculate on possible causes.

Vanessa Trump taken to hospital after white powder scare

NEW YORK — Donald Trump Jr.’s wife was taken to a New York City hospital on Monday as a precaution after she opened an envelope addressed to her husband that contained an unidentified white powder, though police later said the substance wasn’t dangerous, authorities said.

The frightening episode happened after 10 a.m. when Trump, 40, opened the letter addressed to the president’s son at her mother’s midtown Manhattan apartment, investigators said. She called 911 and said she was coughing and felt nauseous, police said.

“Thankful that Vanessa & my children are safe and unharmed after the incredibly scary situation that occurred this morning,” Donald Trump Jr. wrote on Twitter. “Truly disgusting that certain individuals choose to express their opposing views with such disturbing behavior.”

The New York Fire Department said it treated three patients who were then taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Police said the envelope contained a letter but provided no other details.

Olympic swimmer who alleges abuse: Ex-coach ‘stole so much’

NEW YORK — Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors said in an emotional interview Monday that her former coach “stole so much” from her in the decade she alleges he sexually abused her starting when she was a minor.

Kukors, 28, told the Associated Press that she can’t get the time back but she can speak out so others recognize the signs of people grooming others for abuse or similar misconduct.

“If I save one person who’s currently being groomed. If I have a dialogue with one parent about something that they think is alarming with their child and their coach. If I could do that, this is worth it — as painful as it is,” Kukors said through tears in New York.

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Kukors alleges Sean Hutchison, who began coaching her at a swim club near Seattle, groomed her for sexual abuse when she was 13 and started it when she was 16. The Seattle-area native also told authorities that he took thousands of sexually explicit photos of her as a minor.

Hutchison, 46, a former Olympic assistant coach, has denied the allegations and has not been charged with a crime. Federal and local investigators searched his Seattle apartment last week for computers and other devices.