Around the world
BOMB INDICTMENTS: Imprisoned Mafia bosses were among 30 people indicted Saturday for a wave of car bombings that killed 10 people and injured 94 others three years ago. Prosecutors contend that the blasts at the Uffizi Museum in Florence, an art gallery in Milan and two Rome churches were ordered by the Mafia leadership in response to a government crackdown and to show the mob's anger at stern Mafia condemnations by Pope John Paul II. They are charged with massacre, weapons violations and damaging Italy's artistic treasures.ROCKET LAUNCHED: The European space agency successfully launched an Ariane rocket in Kourou, French Guiana, Saturday, less than two weeks after a more advanced model exploded after liftoff. The Ariane 4 rocket blasted off without a hitch at 2:55 a.m. EDT, placing a U.S. telecommunications satellite into orbit. It was the 87th in a series of commercial launches by Ariane 4, the company's more conventional rocket, and the sixth this year.
NO LOVE BIRD: The last known specimen in the wild of a rare breed of Brazilian parrot flew the coop in Brasilia just as scientists were hoping it might mate with a female raised in captivity, a newspaper said Saturday. Biologist Marcos Da-Re told Correio Braziliense the so-called small blue parrot disappeared along with a female from a different breed, known as the maracana parrot, which had been its partner for several years. The maracana had prevented a small blue female, raised in a zoo and introduced as a potential mate, from approaching its possible partner. Now cattle-handlers and hunters were on the lookout for the flyaway birds in the remote Raso da Catarina area of Bahia state, northeastern Brazil.
Across the nation
LESSER CHARGE: An Aurora, Colo., man who almost severed his ex-girlfriend's hand with a samurai sword has been acquitted of attempted first-degree murder charges. An Arapahoe County jury instead convicted 22-year-old Larry Ray Fitch of second-degree reckless assault and reckless endangerment. Martilynn Checots, 18, was impaled in the abdomen and her hands were nearly severed by the sword after an argument at her family's house. The jury began deliberating before noon on Friday and a verdict was read by Judge Robert Tobias nearly 12 hours later.
AWARD TRIMMED: A jury awarded $500,000 to the family of a 13-year-old girl who collapsed from heart failure and died after riding in a roller coaster, saying the amusement park in Tampa, Fla., lacked essential medical equipment. But Circuit Judge Daniel Gallagher on Friday reduced the amount to $350,000 because the jury also found Lacey Ingram's mother partially responsible for her death at the Busch Gardens ride. Jurors did not give a reason why Robyn Ingram was responsible and declined to comment afterward. She sued Busch Gardens for $1 million. Shortly after her daughter died last June, Mrs. Ingram said Lacey had suffered heart seizures as recently as January.