***DUPLICATION ALERTS, CHECK YOUR LINEUPS:***
***PBP: Note Zimmerman briefs.***
***BUSINESS EDS: Note Clear Channel brief.***
U.S. envoy to seek prisoner’s freedom
Senior U.S. envoy Bob King will travel to North Korea this week to seek the release of an American sentenced to 15 years of hard labor, the State Department said Tuesday. King’s visit will be the first public trip to North Korea by an administration official in more than two years. King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, will request a pardon and amnesty for Kenneth Bae, 45, on humanitarian grounds. Bae, a tour operator and Christian missionary, was arrested in November and accused of committing “hostile acts” against North Korea. He suffers multiple health problems and was recently hospitalized.
Teacher gets 30 days for student rape
A former Billings Senior High School teacher who pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year-old student who later killed herself has been sentenced to 30 days in jail by a judge who said the victim was “older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” as the teacher. District Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced Stacey Dean Rambold to 15 years in prison for sexual intercourse without consent, with all but 31 days suspended. Rambold, 54, was charged in October 2008 with three counts of sexual intercourse without consent alleging that he had an ongoing sexual relationship with the girl, starting the previous year when she was 14. She committed suicide in February 2010 while the case was pending.
Vigilantes attack police, take weapons
Vigilantes in the southern Mexico state of Guerrero attacked local police in the town of Tixtla, beat them and stole their rifles, officials said Tuesday. The “self defense” group armed with hunting rifles mobbed police armed with assault rifles, and stole their guns Monday. The town’s chief of police was wounded, apparently with a machete. Self-defense groups were formed to fight organized crime.
Zimmerman seeks state’s help with bills
The attorney for the neighborhood watch volunteer acquitted in the shooting death of a Miami teenager said Tuesday that he is going to ask the state to pay for some of his client’s non-lawyer legal bills, including for experts, printing and court reporters, and that the price tag could reach $300,000. George Zimmerman was acquitted last month of all charges in the 2012 fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. Because he was found not guilty, Zimmerman is entitled under a Florida law to recoup the defense costs, minus private attorney fees, said his lawyer Mark O’Mara.
Police apologize for dog wedding
Sri Lankan police apologized Tuesday for holding a group wedding for dogs trained to detect explosives and drugs after the country’s culture minister condemned the event and demanded an investigation. Nine pairs of police sniffer dogs dressed in shawls, hats and socks were placed on a decorated platform like those used in traditional Buddhist weddings in the ceremony Monday in the central town of Kandy. Culture and Arts Minister T.B. Ekananayake said it undermined traditional wedding rituals and should be strongly condemned. He called for an investigation.
Body found in jilted girlfriend’s freezer
A woman beat her boyfriend to death, wrapped his body in plastic and duct tape, then hid it in a freezer because he was trying to break up with her, prosecutors said. Jetaun Wheeler, 29, was charged Monday with second-degree murder in the killing of the 58-year-old man at their Shorewood home around Aug. 1. Authorities have not identified the victim. Wheeler told investigators looking into the man’s disappearance that he had taken the bus to Chicago. Detectives said when they searched the couple’s house Aug. 21, they found bloody carpet under Wheeler’s mattress. Blood spatter led them to the garage where they found the body.
Media company lifts abortion clinic ad ban
Media conglomerate Clear Channel lifted its ban Tuesday on radio ads purchased by Wichita’s first abortion clinic to open since Dr. George Tiller was killed in 2009. The broadcaster reversed course as supporters of the South Wind Women’s Center prepared to deliver a petition today with 68,000 signatures, asking the broadcaster to reconsider last month’s decision that yanked the ads, which promoted health care services. Based on a “thoughtful discussion” with the clinic, Clear Channel said it made sense to take a closer look at the criteria it uses to determine whether an advertisement should air. The company said the petition did not play into its decision.
Scientists confirm existence of new element
Scientists say they have confirmed the existence of a new chemical element. Researchers at Lund University said Tuesday their find backs up claims by teams in Russia and the United States a decade ago that had remained unverified until now. The Swedish scientists said they conducted experiments that allowed them to detect the “fingerprint” of the short-lived but super-heavy element that’s been dubbed ununpentium. The name, which refers to the element’s 115th place in the periodic table, is only provisional.
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