Nation, World Briefs: Sex offenders could get life terms in prison

  • Thu Sep 9th, 2010 10:35pm
  • News

SAN DIEGO — Legislation that will lock up some convicted California sex offenders for life was signed Thursday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Chelsea’s Law was named for 17-year-old Chelsea King, who was murdered in San Diego in February. A convicted child molester was sentenced to life in prison without parole less than three months after killing King. He also pleaded guilty to murdering 14-year-old Amber Dubois. Schwarzenegger signed the bill in Balboa Park alongside Chelsea’s parents, Brent and Kelly King.

Constitution protects tattoos

Tattoos and the art of tattooing are “forms of pure expression fully protected by the First Amendment,” a federal appeals court ruled Thursday in a challenge to the ban on tattoo parlors in the city of Hermosa Beach. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the city to allow tattooing in at least some of its areas zoned for business, saying a total ban was “facially unconstitutional.” The city was sued by Johnny Anderson, co-owner of Yer Cheat’n Heart Tattoo in Gardena. Anderson had been trying to open a parlor in Hermosa Beach since 2006.

Cops kill suspect with spatula

Police said officers feared for their safety when they gunned down a man who turned out to be wielding only a metal spatula when he was shot. Modesto police said the fatal shooting of 45-year-old Francisco Moran occurred after family members reported he was drunk, belligerent and armed with a knife. Police told The Modesto Bee that three officers entered the house to find an elderly man injured on the floor and family members yelling that Moran had a knife. Police said that after officers shot Moran with a Taser stun gun to no effect, the suspect lunged at them while reaching for a shiny metal object they later discovered was a spatula.

Arizona: Code talker dies

Allen Dale June, one of the 29 original Navajo Code Talkers who confounded the Japanese during World War II by transmitting messages in their native language, has died. He was 91. June died of natural causes Wednesday night at a veterans hospital in Prescott, his wife, Virginia, said Thursday. The Code Talkers took part in every assault the Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. They sent thousands of messages without error on Japanese troop movements, battlefield tactics and other communications critical to the war’s ultimate outcome.

Pennsylvania: 2 are killed

A woman who had just been suspended from her job and escorted from a Kraft Foods Inc. facility in Philadelphia on Thursday returned with a handgun and opened fire, killing two people and critically injuring a third, police said. The shooter was taken into custody inside the plant of the nation’s largest food manufacturer, whose products include Oreo cookies, Philadelphia cream cheese and Oscar Mayer bacon, Lt. Frank Vanore said.

Church may face fine for bells

A Philadelphia church could face fines because the city says its 7 a.m. bell-ringing may violate a noise ordinance. The city’s Department of Health says neighbors have complained about the bell noise at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in the Manayunk neighborhood. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the department says the church could face fines of up to $700 a day if inspectors determine the noise can be heard at the nearest residential property. City Councilman Jim Kenney says the situation is silly and he plans to draft legislation exempting churches and schools from the noise ordinance.

Belgium: Unmarried births

The European Union says the number of children born out of wedlock in the 27-nation bloc has doubled over the past two decades and now accounts for over one-third of the region’s births. Eurostat said Thursday that 35.1 percent of births in 2008 occurred outside of marriage, up from 17.4 percent in 1990 and 25.1 percent in 1998. Estonia holds the highest out-of-wedlock birth rate at 59 percent, and every EU nation except Denmark — whose rate remained flat at 46 percent — has experienced an increase.

Switzerland: Solar airplane

A team of adventurers aiming to fly a solar-powered plane around the world by 2013 say they hope to take their prototype for a spin across Switzerland this weekend. The group behind the Solar Impulse project has already demonstrated the plane can fly at night after completing a 26-hour nonstop test flight in July. The team said Thursday that pilot Andre Borschberg now hopes to fly the delicate single-seater plane with the wingspan of a Boeing 777 passenger jet from its base in Payerne to Geneva.

From Herald news services