Nation, World Briefs: Judges’ panel rejects plan to trim inmates

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judicial panel has rejected California’s plan for reducing the state’s prison population because it failed to meet the terms of an earlier court order. In August, the panel ordered California to reduce its inmate population by roughly 27 percent, or 40,000, over two years. The courts have found that prison overcrowding is the main cause of negligent medical and mental health care. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration subsequently submitted a plan calling for a reduction of 23,000 inmates.

Georgia: Inaccurate landing

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating why a Delta jet landed this week on a taxiway at Atlanta’s airport. The NTSB says none of the 182 passengers or 11 crew members were injured in the incident. The NTSB reports Flight 60 from Rio de Janeiro to Atlanta landed on Monday at 6:05 a.m. on a taxiway that ran parallel to the runway where it was assigned to land. Taxiways are lanes that planes use to get to and from runways. The pilots involved have been relieved from flying until the investigations are done.

D.C.: Medical victims’ site

The Florida congressman who said Republicans want the uninsured to “die quickly” if they get sick has set up a Web site,, where people can post names of loved ones who have died for lack of health coverage. Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando titled the site “Names of the Dead.” He said it is intended to honor people who die without health care. Grayson cited research showing that 44,000 such people die each year. Several names had already been posted to the Web site Wednesday afternoon.

New Jersey: Obama threat

A private security guard at Newark Liberty International Airport was arrested on charges of threatening Barack Obama the night before the president was to fly there. A Continental Airlines employee reported overhearing John Brek, 55, make threatening comments at an airport coffee cart Tuesday afternoon. Brek allowed police to search his Linden home and officers found 43 firearms, an official said.

Arizona: Daughter run over

Police in a Phoenix suburb are looking for a father suspected of running down his daughter because she was becoming too “Westernized” and was not living according to their traditional Iraqi values. Police said 48-year-old Faleh Hassan Almaleki of Glendale allegedly ran his daughter down Tuesday at an Arizona Department of Economic Security parking lot in Peoria. The victim, Noor Faleh Almaleki, 20, of Surprise, remains hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

Alabama: Judge’s charges

Some charges have been dropped against a former Alabama judge accused of paddling and sexually abusing male inmates. Circuit Judge Claud Neilson tossed out extortion and kidnapping charges Wednesday against former Judge Herman Thomas. But Neilson left assault, sexual abuse and sodomy charges for the jury to consider when deliberations begin Thursday afternoon. The former Mobile County circuit judge has been accused of paddling and sexual abuse by 11 young men.

U.A.E.: 707 crash kills six

A Sudanese cargo plane crashed shortly after takeoff Wednesday from Sharjah airport near Dubai, killing at least six crew members. The four-engine Boeing 707 operated by Sudan Airways went down in unpopulated desert about two miles north of the airport, the director of civil aviation said. He said there were no survivors among at least six crew members aboard. Witnesses described seeing the plane swing sharply to the right shortly after takeoff as it struggled to gain altitude.

Egypt: Hijacking thwarted

Security guards thwarted an attempted hijacking Wednesday on an EgyptAir flight from Istanbul to Cairo by overpowering a man who threatened crew with a knife, an airline security official said. A Sudanese man used a knife from the in-flight meal to threaten crew members after the plane left Turkish airspace and demanded that the flight be diverted to Jerusalem, the official said. Guards on the flight were able to detain the man and no one was hurt, he said.

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