Suspected illegal aliens found in boat
OCEANSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Federal authorities say a 25-foot boat packed with suspected illegal immigrants has been intercepted off the coast of Southern California.
The Coast Guard says 23 people were taken into custody after the wooden boat was spotted about 1:40 a.m. Friday, about six and a-half miles off Oceanside. Coast Guard spokeswoman Jetta Disco says the 17 males and six females on board were all wearing life jackets and appeared to be in good health.
One man was arrested by Customs and Border Protection officers. The other 22 were taken to Shelter Island and handed over to the Department of Homeland Security's Maritime Task Force for questioning.
Judge wants Edwards sex tape locked up
PITTSBORO, N.C. (AP) — A judge wants to put a sex tape of two-time presidential candidate John Edwards "under lock and key," demanding Friday that a former aide to the pilloried politician turn over the video by next week.
Superior Court Judge Abraham Penn Jones reprimanded Andrew Young during a brief court hearing in North Carolina for not surrendering the video when deputies went to retrieve it last week. Jones declared that the estranged Edwards confidant could face jail for contempt if he does not relinquish the tape and other items by Wednesday afternoon.
"These items are to be produced and turned over to the court," Jones said. "The court will put them under lock and key — and under seal — until the lawsuit is resolved."
Edwards' former mistress, Rielle Hunter, had won a temporary restraining order against Young that sought the return of what she called a "very private and personal" video she made in 2006. She has also sued Young for invasion of privacy.
Distributors of toxic pet food get fines
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Las Vegas-based company and its owners have been sentenced to three years probation for distributing a toxic pet food ingredient.
Prosecutors in Kansas City say 43-year-old Sally Qing Miller and 57-year-old Stephen S. Miller also must pay a $5,000 fine, and their company, Chemnutra Inc., must pay $25,000.
The Millers imported over 800 metric tons of Chinese wheat gluten contaminated with melamine and sold it to pet food manufacturers. Thousands of cats and dogs reportedly became sick or died from the contaminated gluten, leading to the nationwide recall of more than 150 pet food brands in 2007.
30-year sentence in 'Alpha Dog' case
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — Jesse James Hollywood was sentenced to life in prison Friday for orchestrating the kidnap-murder of a teenager, ending a 10-year legal odyssey that included an international manhunt and a movie inspired by the high-profile crime.
Superior Court Judge Brian Hill sentenced Hollywood, 30, to life without the possibility of parole in a Santa Barbara courtroom after denying a defense motion for a new trial.
Prosecutors said Hollywood ordered the killing of 15-year-old Nicholas Markowitz in August 2000 over a $1,200 drug debt owed by the victim's half-brother.
The case drew national interest because of the brazen daylight kidnapping of Markowitz from a San Fernando Valley street, the details of his murder and Hollywood's notorious name. It also captured the attention of producers who made the 2007 movie "Alpha Dog."
'Chuckie' Tayor ordered to pay $22M
MIAMI (AP) — Former Liberian President Charles Taylor's son, who commanded a brutal paramilitary unit for his father's government, was ordered Friday by a federal judge to pay $22.4 million in damages to five Liberians who were tortured and abused during the West African nation's bloody civil war.
The Liberians sued Charles McArthur Emmanuel, also known as Charles "Chuckie" Taylor Jr., shortly after Emmanuel was sentenced to 97 years in prison for a criminal conviction under a U.S. anti-torture law. The Emmanuel criminal case was the first, and so far only, prosecution under that 1994 law, which allows U.S. charges for torture committed overseas.
The ruling on damages in the civil case by U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan will "serve as a deterrent to others who believe they could mistreat fellow humans in this manner and never be held accountable," said Piper Hendricks, an attorney with Human Rights USA who represented the Liberians along with Troy Elder, a law professor at Florida International University — whose law students did research in the case.
Army curtailing spending on bases
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Army is curtailing plans to cut what it spends on running its bases worldwide because of concerns from soldiers and Congress that services for military families might suffer.
Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey Jr. announced the step Friday in a statement. McHugh said the Army will add $500 million to its budget for base operations and will not "shortchange our soldiers and their families."
The Associated Press reported in January that the Army was planning cuts as deep as 40 percent at some bases as it sought to hold down non-war spending while escalating the fight in Afghanistan.