3 Punished in Iraq Drowning

FORT CARSON, Colo. -- The Army has given nonjudicial punishments to three commanders linked to the drowning of an Iraqi civilian, saying they conspired to impede a homicide investigation.

Capt. Matthew Cunningham, Maj. Robert Gwinner and Lt. Col. Nathan Sassaman were punished this spring under Article 15, which does not require a court proceeding or public record, the Army said Tuesday. The Army would not disclose the punishments, citing privacy laws, but there was no criminal conviction or prison time.

Last week, the military said three other soldiers based at Fort Carson had been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the Jan. 3 drowning of Iraqi detainee Zaidoun Fadel Hassoun, 19, in the Tigris River, allegedly for violating a curfew. A fourth soldier is charged with pushing a second man, who survived, into the river.

First Lt. Jack M. Saville, Sgt. 1st Class Tracy E. Perkins, Sgt. Reggie Martinez and Spec. Terry Bowman Jr. face a July 22 hearing. They are from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team based at Fort Carson.

3 Slain at Donaldson's Ranch

HONDO, N.M. -- The 14-year-old son of the manager of journalist Sam Donaldson's New Mexico ranch was arrested Wednesday on charges of murdering his father, stepmother and stepsister, authorities said.

The bodies were found at the ranch after Donaldson went to the manger's house Tuesday and discovered an "obvious crime scene," Sheriff Tom Sullivan said. Deputies found the bodies in a shallow grave.

The dead were identified as Delbert Paul Posey, the boy's father; stepsister Mary Lee Schmid, 14; and stepmother Tryone Posey.

* DALLAS -- Five Palestinian brothers were found guilty of falsifying documents and making illegal shipments of computer equipment to countries the United States says are sponsors of terrorism. The brothers -- Bayan Elashi, Ghassan Elashi, Basman Elashi, Hazim Elashi and Ihsan Elashyi, who spells his family name differently than his brothers -- and their Texas company called InfoCom were charged in a 25-count indictment with export violations, conspiracy and making false statements about computer equipment sent by InfoCom to Syria and Libya through an intermediary in Malta.

* DENVER -- The news media asked the Colorado Supreme Court to clear the way for publication of closed-door hearing details in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case, saying fair trial and privacy rights do not trump the First Amendment. The court fight involves transcripts from a two-day hearing that were accidentally e-mailed by a court reporter to seven news organizations.

* CHICAGO -- The commission investigating a fire that killed six people in an office building accused the Fire Department on Wednesday of a series of blunders that may have cost people their lives, including the mishandling of 911 calls about victims trapped in a smoky stairwell. Other mistakes included fighting the fire from the wrong stairwell, directing employees to the wrong place, and failing to seize control of a public-address system.

-- From News Services