N.Y. police say fire was deliberately set
NEW YORK (AP) — New York detectives investigating a fire that killed five Guatemalan immigrants over the weekend in a building without enough smoke detectors declared the blaze an arson Monday and urged neighborhood witnesses to come forward, regardless of their legal status.
A man who escaped the Brooklyn building hesitated coming forward because he feared he would be deported, officials said. Police detective Louis Yero said investigators were working with a pastor who is acting as a liaison between investigators and possible witnesses.
A motive remained unclear, but one theory is a personal vendetta, said Paul J. Browne, chief police spokesman. He would not elaborate.
The blaze was the city's deadliest since a 2007 fire killed 10 people, nine of them children, in the Bronx. Saturday's blaze is believed to have started near the front door.
Autopsy says FBI shot man 20 times
DETROIT (AP) — A Muslim prayer leader accused of encouraging his followers to commit violence against the U.S. government was shot 20 times during an FBI raid at a suburban warehouse last fall, according to an autopsy report released Monday.
The autopsy was completed a month after Luqman Ameen Abdullah's death, but Dearborn police were granted a delay in releasing the results while they investigate the Oct. 28 shooting, said Dr. Carl Schmidt, Wayne County's chief medical examiner.
Abdullah, 53, died instantly, he said. The FBI says agents were trying to arrest Abdullah at a Dearborn warehouse when he resisted and fired a gun.
Schmidt said Abdullah's body was handcuffed and on the floor of a semitrailer when his investigator arrived at the shooting scene.
Sex offenders can challenge residency
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California Supreme Court on Monday allowed four registered sex offenders to challenge a state law prohibiting them from living within 2,000 feet of schools, parks and other places children gather.
By a 5-2 vote, however, the court agreed that most other provisions of Jessica's Law were constitutional, including a section allowing the residency requirements to be applied retroactively to offenders convicted before the law was passed in 2006 then later paroled.
The ruling means all sex offender parolees will have to abide by Jessica's Law — at least until the residency issue is resolved.
Traffic reporter adds to gridlock
HADDONFIELD, N.J. (AP) — A traffic reporter in a small plane put himself in the thick of a rush-hour tie-up when his aircraft had to make an emergency landing Monday on the New Jersey Turnpike.
It was a little before 7 a.m., before the morning rush in the Philadelphia suburbs gets going, when a low oil pressure indicator came on in the Cessna owned by Wilmington, Del.-based Out of the Blue Inc.
The pilot, flying with traffic reporter Mike Lankford for Metro Networks, which was providing traffic reports for a number of TV and radio stations, put the plane down on the northbound lanes of the turnpike in Cherry Hill about two miles south of Exit 4.
Father charged in bomb conspiracy
NEW YORK (AP) — The father of an airport driver accused of trying to cook up bombs made from beauty supplies in a Colorado hotel for an attack on New York City was charged Monday with trying to get rid of chemicals and other evidence.
FBI agents arrested Mohammed Wali Zazi on Monday on the new charges at his home in a Denver suburb after a previous charge, lying to the government, was dropped. He had been out on bail.
A new indictment unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn accused Zazi of conspiring with others to destroy or hide "glasses, masks, liquid chemicals and containers" that were evidence in a foiled terrorism plot.
3 white officers suspended in beating
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The city of Pittsburgh has suspended three white police officers while officials investigate accusations that they beat up a black teenage arts student who was walking to his grandmother's house after dark, the mayor said Monday.
Jordan Miles, an 18-year-old violist who attends Pittsburgh's prestigious Creative and Performing Arts High School, alleges that plainclothes officers Richard Ewing, Michael Saldutte and David Sisak beat him without provocation, then concocted a story that he was acting suspiciously to justify the confrontation.
Californians rush to nab giant squid
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Giant squid weighing up to 60 pounds have invaded the California waters off Newport Beach and are being caught by sport fishermen by the hundreds.
The squid showed up last week and anglers started booking twilight fishing trips over the weekend to catch them.