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Archive for Thursday, February 21, 2002

Briefly

February 21, 2002

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Los Angeles: Dog's dangerous nature raised at mauling trial

A woman who raised the dogs that killed Diane Whipple depicted one as "a big clown" Wednesday, but she said the other animal was so unpredictable it should have been put down.

Janet Coumbs, the first witness in the trial of the San Francisco couple charged in Whipple's death, told of the presa canario dogs, Bane and Hera, ransacking her home, pulling down fences, killing her livestock and eating a doghouse.

The defense sought to establish through cross-examination that Marjorie Knoller, who is charged with second-degree murder, was unaware of any danger.

But Coumbs said she warned Knoller and Robert Noel about the dogs when they came to pick them up.

"I told them Hera should never have been taken off my property," she testified. "... I was very concerned about it."

Houston: Jurors to see crime photos in child drowning deaths

Jurors in the Andrea Yates child-killing case will be allowed to see more than two dozen photos taken at the crime scene, a judge ruled Wednesday.

State District Judge Belinda Hill admitted 29 of the photos after the state agreed to withdraw 10 others. Hill said the photos' relevance outweighed any prejudice they might cause the jury.

One of the photos showed 7-year-old Noah Yates floating face down in the bathtub with his arms outstretched, submerged beneath the water. Others detailed bruising on the children and how the bodies of Noah's four younger siblings  John, 5; Paul, 3; Luke, 2; and Mary, 6 months  were laid out on a bed in the back bedroom.

Yates, 37, could face the death penalty. She has pleaded innocent by reason of insanity.

Israel: Soldiers, tanks enter Gaza City for first time

Mideast violence raged on with 22 Palestinians killed in a day of clashes that continued into today.

Israeli strikes claimed 18 Palestinians lives on Wednesday. With hardly a pause, Israeli tanks rolled into Gaza City early today for the first time in the conflict and blew up a local radio station, witnesses said.

The past week has been one of the bloodiest since Israeli-Palestinian fighting began in September 2000. Seventeen Israelis and 51 Palestinians were killed.

Afghanistan: Gunmen fire on peacekeepers

Gunmen opened fire on a British patrol in Kabul and the British returned fire, a spokesman for the peacekeepers said Thursday.

There were no immediate reports of casualties on either side as a result of the brief exchange of gunfire Wednesday night, said press officer Jonathan Turner.

Last Saturday, members of the same British regiment opened fire on an Afghan car that witnesses say was carrying a pregnant woman.

The peacekeepers said they heard gunfire and fired in response. Afghan witnesses say that the shooting, which left a local man dead, was unprovoked.

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