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MARYLAND BRIEFING

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

ENVIRONMENT

Cardin Seeks Caps on Greenhouse Gases

Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) called for caps on greenhouse emissions yesterday after returning from Greenland, where he witnessed what he said were the alarming effects of rapidly accelerating global warming.

Cardin was one of 10 senators who traveled to Greenland during the weekend to observe retreating glaciers, the loss of ice and other environmental changes commonly attributed to a warming climate caused by rising carbon dioxide emissions.

"There is absolutely no disagreement that the greenhouse gas emissions are adding to climate change and global warming," Cardin said. "No one disagrees that it would be a healthy thing for our world to have less greenhouse gas."

Cardin, a member of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee, and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) have sponsored legislation to cap U.S. greenhouse emissions at current levels in an effort to control global warming. It would revise emission standards for such greenhouse gas producers as automobiles and power plants.

-- Associated Press

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY

MS-13 Member Given Life Term

A federal judge in Greenbelt yesterday sentenced a leader of the violent street gang MS-13 to life in prison, Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said.

U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow imposed the sentence on Henry S. "Homeboy" Zelaya, 21. On April 27, after a seven-week trial, a federal jury convicted Zelaya and two other MS-13 members of conspiring to engage in a racketeering enterprise in which they participated in four murders and obstructed justice by threatening witnesses.

According to evidence presented by federal prosecutors, Zelaya fatally shot a gang rival, Noel B. Gudiel, in Langley Park on April 20, 2003.

Zelaya was prosecuted as part of a broad legal assault by federal and local authorities against MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha. To date, 30 defendants have been charged with racketeering, and 14 defendants have pleaded guilty or been convicted by juries.

-- Ruben Castaneda

MONTGOMeRY COUNTY

Man Sentenced in Deadly Baseball Bat Attack

A Silver Spring man was sentenced to life in prison yesterday for bludgeoning a man to death with a baseball bat in Takoma Park, Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy said.

Circuit Court Judge DeLawrence Beard sentenced Jose Denis Ramos, 29, after a four-day trial that ended in his conviction on charges of killing Luis R. Jovel, 27, of Silver Spring. The crime occurred Sept. 6, 2006, in the 1000 block of University Boulevard.

An accomplice, Nelson N. Ventura, was convicted of first-degree murder July 3 and awaits sentencing.

"Mr. Ramos took the victim's life in the most brutal fashion," McCarthy said in a statement.

-- Ernesto LondoƱo

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