Washington boys, ages 10 and 11, to stand trial for alleged murder conspiracy

A northeast Washington judge has found two boys, ages 10 and 11, competent to stand trial in juvenile court on a murder conspiracy charge. Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen says the fifth-graders had a handwritten plan listing seven steps leading up to the planned killing of a female classmate. That list was submitted as evidence at their mental capacity hearing Friday. A county judge ruled that the boys understood the nature and consequences of their actions. They pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, witness tampering and juvenile possession of a firearm. Continue Reading

China finds 1 body; 82 still buried in mudslide

Rescuers in Tibet have found one body after 83 workers were buried in a massive landslide at a gold mining site. The fate of the other victims is unknown. State media say the workers were buried early Friday when about 2.6 million cubic yards of mud, rock and debris swept through the mine and covered an area measuring around 1.5 square miles. The official Xinhua News Agency says more than 3,000 rescuers are scouring the high-altitude, mountainous area of Lhasa’s Maizhokunggar county, but that search efforts were slowed after snow started to fall at around 1 p.m. Saturday. Xinhua says the body was retrieved at 5:35 p.m. The miners worked for a subsidiary of the China National Gold Group Corp., a state-owned enterprise and the country’s largest gold producer. Continue Reading

2 Wash. boys to stand trial for murder conspiracy

A northeast Washington judge has found two boys, ages 10 and 11, competent to stand trial in juvenile court on a murder conspiracy charge. Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen says the fifth-graders had a handwritten plan listing seven steps leading up to the planned killing of a female classmate. That list was submitted as evidence at their mental capacity hearing Friday. A county judge ruled that the boys understood the nature and consequences of their actions. They pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, witness tampering and juvenile possession of a firearm. Continue Reading

Arizona man, George Sanders, 86, sentenced to probation after mercy killing of his ailing wife

There was no doubt 86-year-old George Sanders killed his ailing wife. Yet everyone in the small Arizona courtroom — the prosecutor, the judge and even the couple’s family members — agreed it was a time for compassion, not punishment. “My grandfather lived to love my grandmother, to serve and to make her feel as happy as he could every moment of their life,” Sanders’ grandson, Grant, told the judge, describing the couple’s life together as “a beautiful love story.” “I truly believe that the pain had become too much for my grandmother to bear,” he said, while Sanders looked on during the sentencing hearing Friday and occasionally wiped his eyes with a tissue as relatives pleaded tearfully for mercy. Sanders was arrested last fall after he says his wife, Virginia, 81, begged him to kill her. Continue Reading

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N.Korean President Says “State of War” Now Exists with South

 

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea says it has entered ‘a state of war’ with South Korea in the latest of a string of threats that have raised tensions on the Korean Peninsula.  

 

A statement Saturday by Pyongyang said all matters between the sides will be dealt with in a manner befitting war. Analysts say a full-scale conflict is suicidal for Pyongyang and the threats are aimed at drawing Washington into talks and building up their leader’s image. North Korea is also threatening to shut down a factory complex that’s the last major symbol of inter-Korean cooperation. A spokesman for the North’s office controlling the Kaesong industrial complex says it will close the factory park just across the border in North Korea if South Korea continues to undermine its dignity. Continue Reading

President Uses Radio Address to Spread Easter, Passover Wishes

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is wishing a joyful Easter to those who celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says the Easter and Passover holidays give millions of Christians, Jews and people of other faiths a chance to slow down and recommit themselves to loving their neighbors and seeing everyone as a child of God. Jews celebrated Passover at sundown on Monday. Easter is Sunday. In the Republican address, Rep. Terry Lee of Nebraska called for approval of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to bring oil from Canada’s tar sands to Texas Gulf Coast refineries. Continue Reading

U-S Special Ops Hand Over Nirkh base to Afghans

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A senior U.S. commander says American special operations forces have handed over their base in eastern Afghanistan’s Nirkh district to local Afghan commandos — meeting a demand by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that U.S. forces withdraw from the district after allegations that their Afghan counterparts committed human rights abuses there.  

Maj. Gen. Tony Thomas, who is the top U.S. special operations commander in Afghanistan, told the Associated Press Saturday that Afghan special forces have taken the Americans’ place and will work alongside local Afghan policemen to keep insurgents from using the area to attack the capital Kabul. Thomas says U.S. commandos will continue to operate throughout the rest of Wardak province. Afghan security officials reached Saturday were not yet aware of the change. Continue Reading

Vilsacks Buying House near Booneville, Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he and his wife, Christie, are buying a house in Iowa.  

Vilsack was in Des Moines on Friday to visit DuPont Pioneer. He says the house is near Booneville in Dallas County, about 18 miles west of Des Moines. Vilsack, a two-term Iowa governor, laughed when a reporter suggested buying a house in Iowa might be an opportunity to re-establish residency for a future run again at the governor’s office. He says he’s always been an Iowan and he’s focused now on his job as Agriculture Secretary. Continue Reading

Peoria Rivermen to Leave Civic Center After This Season

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The St. Louis Blues have told the operators of the Peoria Civic Center that the NHL club’s minor league affiliate in Peoria will leave after this season.  

The Journal Star in Peoria says the Civic Center recently received an email from the Blues saying the Rivermen will be gone when the current season ends in April. It isn’t clear what will happen to the minor league team. Continue Reading