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Archive for Monday, August 9, 2004

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August 9, 2004

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Florida

Investigators say Xbox was motive for six slayings

An ex-convict who blamed a young woman for taking his video-game system and clothes recruited three teenagers to stab and beat her and five others to death, investigators said Sunday.

The 22-year-old woman was singled out for an attack so vicious that even dental records were useless in trying to identify her. Some of the victims were attacked in their sleep, according to authorities.

The victims' bodies were found Friday.

All four suspects have been charged with first-degree murder and armed burglary, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said.

"Officials struggling to come up with a motive for the crime believe the killings were committed over the theft of some clothes and an Xbox game system owned by Victorino," a statement from the Sheriff's Office said.

Egypt

Arabs seek more time to resolve Darfur crisis

Arab countries on Sunday said the Sudanese government needed more time to end the crisis in its troubled Darfur region, where purportedly state-backed Arab militias are accused of killing thousands of African villagers.

The 22-member Arab League, which had an emergency meeting Sunday on Darfur, also rejected "threats of military intervention in the region or imposing any sanctions on Sudan."

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo offered to have peace talks to resolve what has been called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Obasanjo invited the Sudanese government and rebel negotiators to start talks Aug. 23, a spokesman for the African Union said.

For 18 months, Arab militias have gone on a rampage, destroying villages, killing and raping. As many as 30,000 people have been killed, and 1 million people have been forced to flee their homes.

Atlanta

Poll shows Americans don't mind jury duty

People want to serve on juries and would prefer to have jury trials if ever in court, according to a poll that surprised some leaders of the nation's largest lawyers' organization.

Three-quarters of the people surveyed for the American Bar Assn. disagreed with the notion that jury service was a hardship to be dodged.

Robert Grey Jr., a Richmond, Va., attorney who becomes the 400,000-member group's president on Tuesday, said that despite the positive findings, courts report low response rates for people called to jury duty.

He named a commission to promote jury service and a separate panel to work on standards that would make service easier.

"Juries are a vital aspect of the American justice system. They are the third leg -- lawyers and judges being the other two -- that make our trial system stable," he said.

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