Combination briefs

***Duplication alert: Ricin brief also moved as a separate story. Check your lineups.***

TEXAS

Woman indicted in ricin case

A woman was indicted Friday on charges that she sent threatening, ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an attempt to frame her estranged husband. The federal indictment charges Shannon Richardson, 35, with two counts of mailing a threatening communication and one count of making a threat against the president of the United States. Richardson, an actress from New Boston, Texas, was arrested June 7.

ILLINOIS

Jackson’s homes could be sold

Prosecutors say they don’t intend to seize former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.’s homes as part of his conviction for misusing $750,000 in campaign funds. Government attorneys Friday filed a forfeiture motion in Washington, D.C., naming Jackson’s homes in Washington and Chicago. Later, a U.S. Attorney’s Office statement said it was only seeking “to forfeit the defendant’s interest in the two properties in the event that they are sold” not “take over the properties.” Proceeds from their sale could help pay any balance on $750,000 Jackson has agreed to repay. Jackson’s sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday.

SYRIA

Rebels capture major checkpoint

Rebels captured a major army post in the southern city of Daraa on Friday after nearly two weeks of intense fighting, as battles raged between troops and opposition forces in the province that borders Jordan. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Islamic militants led by members of the al-Qaida affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, or the Nusra Front, captured the checkpoint after a two-week siege. It said rebels blew up a car bomb Thursday, killing and wounding several soldiers, then stormed the post.

MEXICO

Leftist party leader found slain

Authorities say the leader of Mexico’s main leftist party in the southern state of Oaxaca has been found dead, a little more than a week before local elections. The Oaxaca attorney general’s office said the body of Nicolas Estrada Merino was found Thursday in a sugar cane field near the city of Tuxtepec. It said in a statement that Estrada had three gunshot wounds to the head and the circumstances of his death are under investigation. Estrada was missing for more than two weeks.

KANSAS

Judge blocks parts of abortion law

A Kansas judge has temporarily blocked parts of a sweeping state anti-abortion law set to take effect next week. Shawnee County District Judge Rebecca Crotty issued her ruling Friday. She blocked a provision that would change the definition of what constitutes a medical emergency. She also blocked a requirement that abortion providers post a statement on their websites saying the state’s materials on abortion are accurate. The judge allowed other parts of the law to effect Monday as scheduled, which includes a ban on sex-selection abortions.

IRAQ

Blasts kill 19 people across nation

Bombs in Iraq targeting a checkpoint run by government-allied Sunni militiamen, a Shiite tribal leader’s funeral and a soccer field killed at least 19 people on Friday, in the latest strikes by militants seeking to destabilize the country. The deadliest attack, which killed at least 11, struck the militia checkpoint shortly before midday in the village of Zangoura, just south of the former insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, about 70 miles west of Baghdad, police said.

NEW YORK

Mexican ex-governor sentenced

A former governor of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo who admitted to conspiring to launder money in a U.S. drug case has been sentenced to 11 years in prison but may face only three more years behind bars. Mario Ernesto Villanueva Madrid was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court. He was accused of conspiring to import hundreds of tons of cocaine and launder millions of dollars in bribe payments. He pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit money laundering. Defense attorney Richard Lind said his client will get credit for time spent in prison since 2001 and good behavior and might be freed in about three years.

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