Archive for Saturday, June 26, 2004

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June 26, 2004

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California

Suspect hit by police won't be charged yet

Prosecutors declined to file charges Friday against a suspected car thief who was pummeled with a flashlight by a Los Angeles police officer -- an arrest that has drawn comparisons to the Rodney King beating.

The District Attorney's Office said charges would not be filed for now because there were questions about whether the arresting officers would be able to testify against the suspect. But prosecutors did not rule out possible charges in the future.

Stanley Miller, 36, remained in jail, where he was held on a parole violation, said defense attorney Mark Werksman.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

U.S., Mexico launch study of monsoons

U.S. and Mexican weather researchers are launching a study of the monsoons that can bring summer storms to parts of the two countries.

The North American Monsoon Experiment, announced Friday, is getting under way this month to help better understand the weather in northwest Mexico and the southwestern United States.

When the region warms in the hot summer months rising air can help draw in moisture from the ocean, bringing rain and storms to the region. A better known, and stronger, monsoon occurs in India and Asia.

Nevada

Reason sought for lack of species protection

A federal judge has ordered the Bush administration to explain what prevents it from listing rare species in four Western states as endangered or threatened.

The ruling by Judge Ann Aiken in Portland, Ore., was hailed Friday by environmental groups as a victory in efforts to protect the Tahoe yellow cress plant, the southern Idaho ground squirrel (above) and the sand dune lizard.

Aiken ordered the government to comply within six months in a ruling Monday.

"We're glad the court rejected the Bush administration's continued foot-dragging and ordered them to consider these species for protection," said Noah Greenwald, a conservation biologist with Center for Biological Diversity.

The center last year joined the Western Watersheds Project and Committee for the High Desert in suing Interior Secretary Gale Norton.

Tennessee

FBI: Flight attendant admits leaving threat

A flight attendant apologized for leaving a bomb threat aboard an airplane that forced it to make an emergency landing, an FBI agent testified Friday.

The threatening note was left on an American Airlines flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Boston on May 27, forcing the plane to be diverted to Nashville.

"I'm sorry," Gay Wilson wrote in a confession, according to FBI agent Greg Franklin. "I take full responsibility for my problems. I've never been in trouble in all my life until now."

Wilson, 37, initially said she found the note in the bathroom and showed it to another flight attendant. It read: "There is a bomb on board this flight to Boston in cargo. Live Saddam."

The judge agreed Friday to send the case to a grand jury.

DETROIT

Suspect charged in fireworks shootings

A man was charged Friday in a shooting that injured nine people during a fireworks show, and police were looking for a second man who they said had "some involvement."

Daron T. Caldwell, 32, of Detroit, was charged with assault with intent to murder, use of a firearm in a felony and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Caldwell pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday. He was held on $100 million bond. If convicted of assault with intent to murder, he faces up to life in prison.

Police said the shootings apparently followed an argument, and innocent people were caught in the crossfire. Five victims remained hospitalized Friday, including one who was in critical condition.

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