Salvadoran Colonel

Guilty of Murder, Torture

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A federal jury held a former Salvadoran army colonel responsible for murder and torture during El Salvador's civil war in the 1980s and ordered him to pay $6 million in damages.

The verdict came Friday in a lawsuit filed by five current or former Salvadorans who said that they were tortured or that their family members were killed by soldiers under the command of Nicolas Carranza.

The jury agreed with four of Carranza's accusers and ordered compensatory damages of $500,000 for each, plus $4 million in punitive damages -- $1 million per accuser.

* BOSTON -- There will be no last-minute shopping for turkeys or trimmings on Thanksgiving Day in Massachusetts. The state has warned Whole Foods supermarket chain that it will risk criminal charges under the state's centuries-old blue laws if it goes ahead with plans to open on the holiday. David Lannon, president of Whole Foods Market's North Atlantic region, said the chain has scrapped the Thanksgiving openings at its 14 state stores.

* PHILADELPHIA -- A city health official has apologized to the relatives of a woman whose body sat unidentified in the medical examiner's office for more than two years. Health Commissioner Joanne Godley said what happened to the remains of Unisha "Niecey" Jefferson, who was 38 when she went missing, was an "aberration" and that the city would conduct an extensive review to prevent similar mishaps in the future, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Saturday. Jefferson's sister, Katrina Johnson, 35, questioned the sincerity of the apology.

* SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. -- The seven winners of a $315 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot have emerged after three days of anonymity to talk about their plans for all that money. "We wanted to stay out of the limelight so we could get our thoughts together," Kate Juergens, a 25-year-old receptionist, said. The jackpot in Tuesday's drawing for the multistate game was the second-richest prize won with a single ticket in the history of lotteries in the United States.

* MIAMI -- Tropical Storm Gamma drifted north along the coasts of Belize and Honduras on Saturday and was likely to turn onto a path that could threaten South Florida this coming week, but it was not expected to gain much strength. The storm already had caused flooding and landslides in Honduras that killed at least two people and prompted the government to evacuate hundreds from coastal towns. Gamma, the 24th named storm of the busiest hurricane season on record, had top sustained winds near 45 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in Miami.

* PHILADELPHIA -- An 18-year-old gunned down on his way home from work had been honored by People magazine this summer as an outstanding father. Terrell Pough, a single parent who worked to support his 2-year-old daughter while finishing school, was shot in the head Thursday night in front of his home, police said. He later died at a hospital. The night manager at a fast-food restaurant was not robbed and has no record of violence, police said.

-- From News Services