No Court-Martial

Urged for Navy SEAL

SAN DIEGO -- A military hearing officer recommended that a Navy SEAL not be court-martialed for allegedly abusing prisoners in Iraq, including one at the Abu Ghraib prison who died after a beating, the commando's defense attorney said.

Problems with evidence presented at a pretrial hearing that concluded Monday led Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Henderson to recommend the unnamed sailor receive a lesser nonjudicial or administrative punishment, lawyer John Tranberg said Wednesday.

Under military law, a hearing officer serves much the same function as a civilian grand jury, recommending whether there is enough evidence in a case to prosecute.

The Abu Ghraib prison scandal broke worldwide in April with the publication of photos that showed U.S. soldiers abusing naked Iraqis in the prison. Three of eight U.S. soldiers of the Cumberland, Md.-based 372nd Military Police Company charged in the scandal have pleaded guilty to charges.

The accused SEAL faces charges of aggravated assault, making a false official statement and maltreatment. Together, they carry a potential sentence of up to 11 years in prison.

Rudolph Attorneys

Question Evidence

BIRMINGHAM -- Attorneys for serial bombing suspect Eric Rudolph tried to show that federal agents -- not Rudolph -- may have spread traces of explosives from a deadly abortion clinic bombing in Alabama to his North Carolina home.

Prosecutors have said that eyewitness accounts and traces of explosives found in Rudolph's home, including on a towel and chair, link him to the 1998 Birmingham bombing that killed a police officer and critically injured a nurse.

But under defense questioning during an evidentiary hearing , agents Richard Strobel and Gregory P. Czarnopys of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said they did not swab their hands to check for traces before searching Rudolph's trailer.

* ATLANTIC CITY -- Thousands of cocktail waitresses, housekeepers, bellhops and other workers returned to their jobs, ending a month-long strike that hit them in the pocketbook and cost this gambling town visitors.

* SEATTLE -- The U.S. government's "no-fly" list barring thousands of airline passengers from flights is unconstitutional and should be scrapped, the American Civil Liberties Union argued in federal court in Seattle. The list, adopted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, identifies people who may pose a threat to air travel. The ACLU filed a suit in April in U.S. District Court for western Washington on behalf of John Shaw, 75, a retired minister from Washington state, and eight others who said they had been repeatedly detained and interrogated at airports, causing humiliation and travel delays.

* TRENTON, N.J. -- Pia Awal, whose desperate search for a bone marrow transplant to cure her leukemia, led to a nationwide campaign to recruit more donors of South Asian descent has found a perfect match. A donor in Britain has been identified, and Awal is to have surgery soon in Seattle.

* REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- The judge in Scott Peterson's murder trial ruled against allowing video or still cameras in the courtroom for the verdict, citing concern for the families of both the defendant and his slain wife. Jurors, meanwhile, deliberated Peterson's fate for a second day before breaking up about 4 p.m.

-- From News Services