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Archive for Thursday, March 13, 2003

Briefly

March 13, 2003

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Couple confess in deaths of 3 beheaded children

A woman and her common-law husband have confessed to killing three children who were found beheaded in a squalid apartment in Brownsville near the Mexican border, police said Wednesday.

The woman's daughters, ages 3 years and 2 months, were found stuffed into a garbage bag; the couple's 1-year-old son was found on a bed.

Angela Camacho, 23, and John Allen Rubio, 22, were charged early Wednesday with three counts each of capital murder, and could face the death penalty.

Police Chief Carlos Garcia said the bodies were discovered Tuesday evening when two acquaintances of the suspects found the children and flagged down a police officer.

Minneapolis

Airlines making wartime ticket changes easier

The nation's major airlines will make it easier to change tickets if the United States goes to war with Iraq, a concession meant to assure nervous travelers they can book travel with confidence.

Changes announced this month by American, United, Delta, Northwest, Continental, US Airways and others generally would allow travelers, in the event of war, to avoid paying penalties if they want to reschedule their flights or even pick new destinations.

The airlines' plan is a "wise move" that should reassure potential travelers who've been holding back, said Terry Trippler, an airline expert with CheapSeats.com.

Los Angeles

Instructor on leave for antiwar extra credit

A college speech instructor was placed on leave for giving extra credit to students who wrote letters to President Bush opposing a war with Iraq but declining any bonus to students who support war.

Louis Zellers, president of Citrus College in suburban Glendora, said adjunct speech professor Rosalyn Kahn was placed on administrative leave with pay starting this week, pending a review.

"That's inappropriate, and we're not going to tolerate it," Zellers said.

Zellers said he would send a letter of apology to the White House.

Maryland

Police review 480 cases after rape convict freed

Baltimore County police are reviewing 480 cases worked on by a department chemist who testified at a 1983 rape trial against a defendant who was later exonerated.

The review involves all blood-typing cases handled by former police chemist Concepcion Bacasnot, a department spokesman said.

"We're going to be looking for people who are still in jail and whose cases could possibly be affected," police spokesman Bill Toohey said.

A judge freed Bernard Webster in November, nearly 20 years after he was convicted of rape, because new DNA tests showed he did not commit the crime.

Florida

Confederate license plate firing brings lawsuit

A former city worker who was fired for refusing to remove a Confederate flag license plate from his truck is suing the city of Tampa.

In a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday, Larry A. Carpenter, 47, said his First Amendment right to free speech was violated when he was fired for the dispute.

Carpenter was ordered in January 2002 to remove the license plate or park his truck off city property. He refused to do either, was cited for insubordination and was fired.

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