Zimmerman judge weighs calls to police

Several times in six months, neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman called police to report suspicious characters in the gated townhouse community where he lived. Each time, when asked, he reported that the suspects were black males.

On Tuesday, the judge at Zimmerman’s murder trial in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin listened to those five calls and weighed whether to let the jury hear them.

Prosecutors want to use them to bolster their argument that Zimmerman was increasingly frustrated with repeated burglaries and had reached a breaking point the night he shot the unarmed teenager.

Defense attorney Mark O’Mara argued that the calls were irrelevant and that nothing matters but the seven or eight minutes before Zimmerman fired the fatal shot into Martin’s chest. Judge Debra Nelson did not immediately rule on whether to admit the recordings.

— Associated Press

$1.2 million in cash missing from flight

FBI agents were investigating a report that about $1.2 million disappeared from a shipment of cash flown from Switzerland to New York City as part of a banking transaction, authorities said Tuesday.

The U.S. currency, in $100 bills, was reported missing Monday after a count at the Federal Reserve came up short.

The shipment arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday afternoon aboard a Swiss International Air Lines flight from Zurich, an FBI spokesman said.

— Associated Press

St. Louis buildings evacuated over fire: One of the largest office buildings in downtown St. Louis was evacuated Tuesday evening amid a fire and a series of explosions in the street outside in an area where construction work has been underway. Occasional fireballs shot out from a hole in the pavement as firefighters battled flames that appeared to come from underground. The cause was not immediately known. There were no reports of injuries. The blasts happened just before 5 p.m. outside the One US Bank Plaza building, located across from the St. Louis Convention Center.