for Blagojevich kin
Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich (D) will go back on trial in January, but this time he will stand alone as a defendant, after prosecutors dismissed charges against his brother Thursday.
U.S. District Judge James Zagel said Blagojevich's retrial will start the week of Jan. 4. Jurors deadlocked last week on all but one of 23 charges against the former governor and four charges against his brother.
Federal prosecutors said their decision was based on Robert Blagojevich's less central role in alleged schemes to sell or trade an appointment to President Obama's old Senate seat.
- Associated Press
in Iraq killing case
Lawyers for a Marine sergeant whose squad killed 24 Iraqis told a military judge Thursday at Camp Pendleton, Calif., that they will present a motion asking for his case to be dismissed because the Marine Corps retired his military attorney.
Lawyer Neal Puckett says the 2008 retirement of Marine Lt. Col. Colby Vokey violated Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich's client-attorney rights and compromised his defense. Vokey wanted to extend his active duty to remain Wuterich's military lawyer through the Sept. 13 trial.
Wuterich, of Meriden, Conn., faces reduced charges of voluntary manslaughter. He is accused of leading his men on a rampage that killed two dozen civilians in Haditha, Iraq, in November 2005.
- Associated Press
Housing official on leave: Philadelphia Housing Authority director Carl Greene was placed on leave Thursday amid revelations the agency quietly agreed to pay nearly $900,000 to settle four sexual harassment complaints filed against him, and U.S housing officials pledged an immediate audit.
Cab driver appears with Bloomberg: Ahmed H. Sharif, a Muslim cab driver whose face and throat were slashed in a suspected hate-crime attack, appeared with New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) on Thursday as officials sought to ease tensions in the debate over a plan to put a mosque near the site of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Police sought to unravel contradictions in the life of the suspect, Michael Enright, a student who had traveled to Afghanistan with a group that seeks to promote interfaith understanding.
Swearing kid off YouTube: A Connecticut man arrested on allegations he coached his 8-year-old neighbor to swear and posted a video of it on YouTube said he's shocked the child's family turned him in to police. Josh Eastman, 34, of Bridgeport said Thursday he didn't encourage the boy to swear. A police spokesman said the video had been removed.
- From news services