Archive for Wednesday, July 28, 2004


July 28, 2004



Jury inspects Scott Peterson's boat

Jurors took a brief field trip Tuesday to inspect the boat that prosecutors allege Scott Peterson used to dump his pregnant wife's body into San Francisco Bay.

Prosecutors later planned to question an employee from the company that makes the 14-foot Gamefisher that Peterson bought weeks before Laci Peterson disappeared.

The boat is important because prosecutors want to establish that Peterson could have heaved the 153-pound body overboard without the boat capsizing. The defense disputes that theory.

The judge did not let reporters accompany jurors Tuesday.


FBI revokes benefits for gay agent's partner

The FBI has rescinded health benefits that it says were mistakenly given to the same-sex partner of an agent after the couple wed in Massachusetts.

Katy Gossman, an agent with the FBI in New Haven, received an e-mail from the bureau informing her that her wife, Kristin, would be removed from her health plan.

FBI spokesman Bill Carter said Tuesday the approval had been a mistake and an oversight. The U.S. government does not allow same-sex spousal benefits, Carter said.

The couple, who live in Meriden, Conn., had been receiving spousal benefits since May 30, Katy Gossman said. They were wed after gay marriage became legal in Massachusetts in May.


Troopers allege driver made terror claims

A driver stopped on an Iowa highway this month was found with flight-training manuals, Arabic documents and night-vision goggles, and he told troopers he knew of terrorist plans to shoot up trains in San Diego, according to court papers.

Michael Wagner, 44, of San Diego, said he had knowledge of terrorist activities and people and groups tied to al-Qaida and the Taliban. Wagner also said that he knew about things in the Muslim communities in San Diego that would interest federal authorities.

Federal prosecutors declined to comment on the case, and it was not immediately known whether they were able to corroborate his claims or determine his motivation for carrying the manuals and documents.

Wagner pleaded not guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to being a felon in possession of body armor and weapons.


STDs increase 4 percent in Britain

Rates of sexually transmitted infections in Britain rose again last year despite new programs aimed at reining in a decade of increases, health experts said Tuesday.

The number of infections -- 708,083 -- was 4 percent higher than in 2002, but Britain's Health Protection Agency said the pace of the increase appeared to be slowing. The statistics do not include HIV infections, which are tracked separately.

Sexually transmitted diseases have been on the rise across Europe since the mid-1990s. Health experts partly blame complacency over condom use and casual sex as fear of HIV has eased.

Such infections are not reliably tracked globally, which makes it difficult to draw comparisons between countries. Britain is the only country that produces these statistics in a systematic way, the World Health Organization said.

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