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World & nation briefs

Saturday, June 29, 2013 - 10:44 am

Funeral home that held alleged bomber reimbursed for costs

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Senate has allotted $47,000 to reimburse the city of Worcester for securing a funeral home that held one of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers.

The body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev was kept at Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Home for five days in May, while Tsarnaev's relatives looked for a burial site. In the meantime, police dealt with a crowd of media and protesters, some of whom held vigils.

At the time, Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme said the details were costing $10,000 per day.

Tsarnaev was eventually buried in Virginia.

Sen. Michael Moore, a Millibury Democrat, filed an amendment to a supplemental spending bill to cover Worcester's costs.

Legislators must still agree on a final bill.

Charge dropped against student who wore NRA shirt

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A criminal charge has been dismissed against a West Virginia student who refused a teacher's order to remove a National Rifle Association T-shirt he wore to school.

Logan County Circuit Judge Eric O'Briant signed an order dismissing an obstruction charge Thursday against 14-year-old Jared Marcum stemming from an April 18 incident at Logan Middle School.

Marcum's attorney, Ben White, said after a review of statements from a police officer and the school's principal during a preliminary hearing, he and a prosecutor agreed that creating a criminal record for Marcum wasn't a good idea. White said Marcum would eventually like to enlist in the military.

Texas woman indicted in Obama ricin case

TEXARKANA, Texas – A Texas woman was indicted Friday on charges that she sent ricin-laced letters to President Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an attempt to frame her estranged husband, federal prosecutors said.

Shannon Richardson, 35, is charged with two counts of mailing a threatening communication and one count of making a threat against the president of the United States, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Texas said in a news release.

Richardson, an actress from New Boston, Texas, was arrested June 7. She is accused of sending the threatening letters in May to Obama, Bloomberg and a third man who heads the mayor's gun-control group. Richardson faces up to five years in prison on each of the charges.

The government accused Richardson of mailing the letters and trying to pin the crime on Nathan Richardson, the man she married in 2011. He filed for divorce earlier this month.

Calif. wife gets life for severing penis

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A California woman who cut off her husband's penis and threw it in a garbage disposal has been sentenced to life in prison with possibility of parole.

The Orange County district attorney's office says Catherine Kieu was sentenced Friday for a July 2011 attack that mutilated her estranged spouse. Kieu, who's 50, can seek parole in seven years.

The Garden Grove woman was convicted of torture and aggravated mayhem.

Prosecutors said Kieu drugged her husband's tofu with sleeping pills and screamed “You deserve it!” before attacking him with a 10-inch kitchen knife.

Her lawyer argued that she had mental health problems stemming from childhood molestation and sexual abuse by her husband.

Phoenix, Las Vegas bake in scorching heat

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – Dan Kail was vacationing in Las Vegas when he heard that the temperature at Death Valley could approach 130 degrees this weekend. He didn't hesitate to make a trip to the desert location that is typically the hottest place on the planet.

“Coming to Death Valley in the summertime has always been on the top of my bucket list,” the 67-year-old Pittsburgh man said. “When I found out it might set a record I rented a car and drove straight over. If it goes above 130 I will have something to brag about.”

The forecast called for Death Valley to reach 128 degrees Saturday as part of a heat wave that has caused large parts of the western U.S. to suffer. Death Valley's record high of 134 degrees, set a century ago, stands as the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth.

As temperatures soared in Las Vegas on Friday, 200 people were treated for heat problems at an outdoor concert, Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa said.

UK killer Ian Brady to remain in hospital

LONDON – British child-murderer Ian Brady failed Friday to convince a court that he is not insane and should be transferred from a high-security psychiatric hospital to a prison.

Brady and his late girlfriend Myra Hindley tortured and killed five children in the 1960s, burying the bodies on moorland in northwest England. The shock of the “moors murders” lingers almost 50 years on, and the two are considered to be among the country's most notorious criminals.

This week, Brady spoke in public for the first time since his 1966 conviction, asking a mental health tribunal to rule that he was not insane. He has previously said he wants to go to prison so he can starve himself to death rather than being tube-fed in the hospital.

But the tribunal at Ashworth Hospital in northwest England heard that Brady, 75 — who claims to have been on hunger strike since 1999 — eats toast and soup and is not suicidal.

Ashworth Hospital, where he is being treated, said Brady was a severely mentally ill man with a history of the most extreme violence and deviant sexual interests.

Berlin police fatally shoot naked man wielding knife

BERLIN – Police fatally shot a naked man who brandished a knife at officers in a landmark Berlin fountain on Friday, officials said.

Passers-by reported in the morning that a man was behaving strangely and carrying a long knife in the Neptune fountain, near Berlin's city hall, police spokesman Stefan Redlich said.

Officers tried to persuade the man to put the knife away, but instead he started cutting himself. A policeman climbed into the water to try to stop him, whereupon the man advanced on the officer with the knife.

The man was shot by that officer after he ignored calls to back off. He died in an ambulance shortly afterward.

An autopsy determined that the man died as a result of being shot through the lung, Martin Steltner, a spokesman for local prosecutors, told the dpa news agency.

Police said the man was believed to be a 31-year-old Berlin resident, but didn't release his identity.

Obama to meet Mandela family

JOHANNESBURG – President Obama said he will meet with Nelson Mandela's relatives Saturday, though he has said he will not visit the hospital where Mandela is receiving treatment. Obama was in Senegal before arriving in South Africa on Friday as part of an Africa tour.

Mandela, 94, is critically ill in a Pretoria hospital, seemingly close to the end of his life. He was taken to the hospital on June 8 for what the government said was a lung infection. He is revered in South Africa as a father figure, whose jail-time sacrifice and peacemaking role in the transition from apartheid to democracy resonated worldwide.

Egypt on edge ahead of more protests

CAIRO – Thousands of supporters and opponents of Egypt's embattled Islamist president are holding rival sit-ins on the eve of what are expected to be massive opposition-led protests aimed at forcing Mohammed Morsi's ouster.

The demonstrations early Saturday follow days of deadly clashes in a string of cities across the country that left at least seven people dead, including an American, and hundreds injured.

President Obama says the United States is concerned and the top priority is making sure the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and American consulates are safe.

Obama says the U.S. has been in direct contact with Egypt's government and is planning to ensure American outposts are protected during weekend protests.

– From The Associated Press