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Archive for Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Briefly

November 19, 2003

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California

Murder trial ordered in Laci Peterson killing

Scott Peterson will stand trial on murder charges that could bring the death penalty in the slaying of his pregnant wife, Laci, and her unborn son, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Superior Court judge Al Girolami said prosecutors presented enough evidence to show probable cause that Peterson killed his wife and dumped her body in San Francisco Bay.

The judge set an arraignment for Dec. 3 in Modesto.

During the preliminary hearing, Laci Peterson's sister had testified that Scott Peterson said he had golf plans on Christmas Eve, throwing into question his story about going fishing the day his wife vanished. And a detective also testified that officers found a loaded gun in Peterson's truck and that he initially denied having an affair.

New York City

Victims' families preview 9-11 memorial designs

Eight design proposals for the World Trade Center memorial were reviewed Tuesday night by victims' families.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. plans to make the finalists' proposals public this morning at a news conference, along with videotaped interviews of the finalists explaining their visions.

A 13-member jury chose the eight finalists from 5,200 submissions to commemorate the attacks in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania, and the 1993 bombing at the trade center. The jury will choose a winning design by the end of the year.

Nikki Stern, who lost her husband, Jim Potorti, said each design offered a sanctuary of some sort and that one design featured a vast lawn area to be accessed only by family members for the next 20 years.

Afghanistan

U.N. to withdraw staff

Unable to protect its staff from Afghanistan's cascade of violence, the U.N. refugee agency on Tuesday pulled international workers out of the volatile south and east and suspended all aid to refugees returning from Pakistan.

The decision, taken after the weekend slaying of a 29-year-old French refugee worker, could affect tens of thousands of Afghans. A group of international aid organizations also said Tuesday it was considering a pullout from the south, raising fears the desperately poor region could become even more isolated.

Some 30 U.N. foreign staff members were being withdrawn, and refugee centers in the provinces of Nangarhar, Paktia, Khost and Kandahar were being closed. The United Nations will review the situation in two weeks.

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