Archive for Tuesday, April 15, 2003

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April 15, 2003

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California: Police check whether bodies are of missing woman, infant

The bodies of a petite young woman and a newborn boy washed up on the muddy shores of San Francisco Bay, and authorities were investigating late Monday to see whether the grisly finds could be the remains of Laci Denise Peterson and her son.

Peterson disappeared Christmas Eve while walking her dog in the Central Valley farm city of Modesto.

The grim discovery of a woman's remains Monday just before noon came one day after police found a tiny body they identified as a "full-term" fetus near the Richmond Marina, about a mile away.

The Contra Costa Times cited an anonymous source in reporting that the female body showed signs of a recent pregnancy. The woman's head and legs were missing, the newspaper said. The infant was so decomposed that the coroner could determine only that it was a boy.

New York City: AOL sues e-mail spammers

America Online has filed five federal lawsuits targeting spammers it accuses of sending some 1 billion junk e-mail messages promoting mortgages, steroids and pornography to its subscribers.

The case resulted from about 8 million individual spam complaints from subscribers, most of whom used a "Report Spam" feature AOL introduced last fall, the company said.

The lawsuits, one filed Friday and the rest Monday in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., are the first antispam cases AOL launched since May 2001. They seek damages of more than $10 million plus an end to the messages.

Seattle: Plea entered in Taliban case

James Ujaama, the American Muslim accused of backing al-Qaida, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to provide cash, computers and fighters to the Taliban, the former Afghan rulers who sheltered Osama bin Laden.

Under the plea bargain, Ujaama has agreed to help federal prosecutors in their investigation of radical London cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, according to a government official speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official said this could lead to an indictment against the cleric, who is considered a top terrorist recruiter in Europe and who has praised bin Laden and the Sept. 11 attacks.

Ujaama, 37, pleaded guilty to a single felony count. Other charges were dropped, including one accusing Ujaama of plotting to set up a terrorist camp in Oregon.

Quebec City: Separatist party loses power

The party created to bring independence to Quebec lost its bid for a third straight term in provincial elections Monday, halting for now any chance for another vote on separation.

Voters chose the Quebec Liberal Party led by Jean Charest to form a new government instead of the separatist Parti Quebecois. With most races decided, official results show Liberal candidates won 65 races and led in eight others in the 125-member National Assembly legislature.

The Liberal victory was a triumph for Prime Minister Jean Chretien, head of the federal Liberal Party, who has battled against Quebec's secession throughout his political career.

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