1 $750G bid for unwanted Alaska ferry worth $80M

An unwanted, $80 million ice-breaking ferry owned by an Alaska borough has only one bid to buy it, and it’s for $751,000. The bid was the only entered by Friday’s deadline set up by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, which has been trying to get rid of the 200-foot ferry. The borough doesn’t have to accept the offer, The Anchorage Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/Zuh2SN). The vessel was completed in 2011 and born out of a partnership between the borough, which wanted a ferry, and the Navy, which wanted a fast military landing craft. Named the Susitna, the ferry was built as a Navy prototype that would be owned and operated by the borough. Continue Reading

LA police ID suspect in girl's abduction case

Police said Saturday they are looking for a transient in the kidnapping of a 10-year-old girl who was snatched from her San Fernando Valley home before dawn last week and abandoned hours later in front of a hospital. Investigators identified 30-year-old Tobias Dustin Summers as a suspect in the case but couldn’t elaborate on the motive or what led them to him. Police don’t know if the girl was targeted but said they don’t believe Summers had a connection to her family. “We have no information that the family knew this individual or that the individual knew any members of the family,” Los Angeles Police Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese said. About 40 detectives have been working around the clock looking for clues since the girl was abducted from her home Wednesday. Continue Reading

Los Angeles police release suspect's name in abduction case

Police on Saturday released the name of a man suspected in the abduction of a 10-year-old girl who was snatched from her San Fernando Valley home before dawn last week and abandoned hours later in front of a hospital. Tobias Dustin Summers, a 30-year-old man who was recently released from prison, was identified as a “child-kidnapping suspect,” Los Angeles police said. Summers has a lengthy criminal record, having been arrested in the past for robbery, grand theft auto and kidnapping, according to authorities. Dozens of detectives worked around the clock looking for clues since the girl was abducted from her home on Wednesday. She was found hours later, wandering near a Starbucks several miles from her home. Continue Reading

Elite law schools step in to help war veterans

As veterans look to build lives beyond the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, those opting for a career in law now have a chance to attend a growing number of the nation’s elite private law schools without paying a dime in tuition. Federal education aid for people who served in the military after the 2001 terrorist attacks covers the full cost of tuition and fees at public schools. But payments for those who attend private institutions are capped and only cover about 35% to 45% of tuition at the top private law schools, which can cost as much as $55,000 per year. To help close the gap, this fall Stanford Law School, New York University School of Law and Columbia Law School are maxing out their contributions to a government matching plan known as the Yellow Ribbon program that provides qualifying veterans with additional money to supplement the benefits offered under the GI Bill. Essentially, the schools have pledged to cover half the remaining tuition and fees, and the Department of Veterans Affairs will pay the rest. Continue Reading

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