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Archive for Friday, April 6, 2001

Nation briefs

April 6, 2001

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Alaska

Search call off for missing anglers

The search for a fishing boat that sank with 15 people aboard has been suspended by the Coast Guard, which said Thursday that a panel of experts will investigate the cause. Authorities acknowledged they may never know exactly why the Arctic Rose went down in the Bering Sea. But they plan to interview the boat's owner, previous owners and workers, naval architects and others.

"Basically, anyone who may be able to shed some light or insight into the incident," Capt. John Bingaman said.

The 92-foot boat sank early Monday about 775 miles southwest of Anchorage. The only sign of trouble was a signal from the vessel's automatic emergency locator beacon. Only the body of the skipper, David Rundall, 34, has been recovered.

Texas

Convicts given access to DNA testing

Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday signed a law giving convicts in the nation's No. 1 death penalty state access to state-paid DNA testing that could exonerate them. "DNA technology is an important tool. It must be utilized to shed light on cases where there is cause for doubt," said Perry, who had declared the issue an emergency and urged lawmakers to pass the bill right away. The new law also requires that certain biological evidence be entered into a statewide DNA database to help solve crimes.

Texas is the 12th state to enact a post-conviction genetic testing law. The post-conviction DNA testing measures applies in cases where biological evidence exists and can be subjected to genetic testing and where identity was an issue at trial. The law requires the state to preserve biological evidence that can undergo genetic testing.

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