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|By COLLEEN CURRY and SHANA DRUCKERMAN
Shortly after Jodi Arias was found guilty today of the first-degree murder of her ex-boyfriend, she told a local TV station that she would "rather get death than life" in prison.
"I said years ago I'd rather get death than life and that still is true today," Arias told KSAZ. "I believe death is the ultimate freedom, so I'd rather just have my freedom as soon as I can get it."
She told KSAZ that longevity runs in her family and she "didn't want to spent the rest of her life in one place."
She will face the possibility of the death penalty in a hearing that will begin on Thursday.
Cheers erupted from the crowds waiting outside the courtroom in Maricopa County, Ariz., as Arias was convicted of murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in a vicious attack in 2008.
17 Air Force officers stripped of authority to launch nuclear missiles
|By Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon Correspondent
Washington (CNN) -- In an unprecedented action, an Air Force commander has stripped 17 of his officers of their authority to control and launch nuclear missiles.
The 17 are being sent to undergo 60 to 90 days of intensive refresher training on how to do their jobs. The action comes after their unit performed poorly on an inspection and one officer was investigated for potential compromise of nuclear launch codes, according to Lt. Col. John Dorrian, an Air Force spokesman.
The story was first reported by The Associated Press.
The action was taken by the deputy commander of the 91st Operations Group, Lt. Col. Jay Folds, whose officers run launch control centers for the Minuteman III nuclear missiles from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
Folds announced the action in an emotionally charged April e-mail to his unit, saying in part, "Did you know that we, as an operations group, have fallen -- and its it time to stand ourselves back up?"
Do GOP's Benghazi Charges Harm Hillary Clinton In 2016?
|by Frank James
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hasn't said whether or not she's running for president in 2016. Indeed, if her husband, President Clinton, is to be believed, him of her intentions.
Polling suggests, however, that among potential Democratic candidates, Clinton is the runaway favorite — at least at this early stage.
All of which makes the stinging criticism Clinton has received from Republicans over the Benghazi attacks seem, to some Democrats, like a pre-emptive strike against her possible run for the White House in 2016.
The Sept. 11, 2012, attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Republican critics have laid those deaths at the feet of President Obama and Clinton, accusing them of everything from incompetence to a political cover-up.
by the placed an inquisitorial spotlight on, among other things, Clinton's handling of Benghazi. It was just the latest marker in GOP efforts to ding Clinton.
Home Brewing: Soon To Be Legal In All 50 States
|by Bill Chappell
The Alabama Legislature has approved a bill making it legal to brew beer at home, a practice that had been forbidden in the state. If Gov. Robert Bentley signs the bill, as is expected, home brewing will soon be legal in all 50 states.
Alabama lawmakers voted on the bill to legalize home brewing months after it was first introduced. And while it met with earlier debate and resistance, the arrival of the legislation — House Bill 9 — for a vote Tuesday night seems to have come to its supporters as a pleasant surprise.
Right to Brew, an advocacy group in Alabama, said that "after all hope seemed long lost, they brought up HB9 unexpectedly, out of the blue, and passed it 18 - 7 - 1 tonight, without a single word of debate. The Alabama Homebrew Bill has passed the Legislature!!!!"
Alabama had been in danger of becoming the only U.S. state in which it was illegal to brew beer at home. As we reported in March, Mississippi recently approved a home-brewing bill; Utah and Oklahoma enacted similar laws in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
If enacted, the new law would mean that Alabamans who make their own beer "will no longer have the fear of arrest hanging over their heads for simply participating in a hobby that is enjoyed by residents of 48 other states," a representative of Right to Brew said in an email.
Military Courts Are Called Outdated on Sex Crimes
|By JENNIFER STEINHAUER
WASHINGTON — An aviation commander for the Navy was raped by a co-worker, but there was no prosecution and the female accuser was denied re-enlistment. A noncommissioned officer was assaulted by a captain, who was found guilty but then granted clemency without explanation.
Both cases come from the victims’ accounts, and as in all military criminal cases, the person in charge of deciding whether to prosecute and whether to uphold a conviction was a senior commander — the boss — of the accused.
As Washington grows increasingly alarmed about sexual assault in the military, lawmakers of both parties and in both chambers of Congress are moving to introduce legislation seeking to prevent and to better prosecute abuses. President Obama has expressed fury over the issue and this week the administration asked lawmakers to the White House to discuss the legislation with Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama.
Embarrassed military officials have repeatedly pledged that they are working to stop the abuse; a Pentagon survey released Tuesday estimates that 26,000 people in the armed forces were sexually assaulted last year.
Seven killed in Bangladesh garment factory fire
|By Farid Ahmed, CNN
Dhaka, Bangladesh (CNN) -- At least seven people died in a fire in a clothing factory in Bangladesh's capital late Wednesday, police and the factory's general manager told CNN.
Among those killed were a police officer and the factory owner, who were meeting at the facility when the blaze erupted, officials said.
Zabidur Rahman, the general manager of the factory, said the fire broke out on the third floor of the 11-story sweater factory in Dhaka's Mirpur district.
He said a nurse at the hospital told him all seven victims suffocated.
The news comes the same day the army said the death toll in a building collapse two weeks ago had risen to 823, according to the state news agency.
The building, which housed five factories full of garment workers, caved in, burying hundreds of people in a heap of mangled concrete in Savar, another suburb of Dhaka.
Dennis Rodman asks Kim Jong Un to let U.S. citizen go
|By Holly Yan and Jethro Mullen, CNN
(CNN) -- If any American has the power of persuasion over North Korea's defiant young ruler, it might be eccentric ex-basketball star Dennis Rodman.
So when Rodman digitally called for Kim Jong Un to release U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae, he may have a shot at a response.
"I'm calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea or as I call him "Kim", to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose," Rodman tweeted.
Dennis Rodman is North Korean leader's 'friend for life'
Bae was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor last month after he was convicted of unspecified "hostile acts" against North Korea. The country's state-run Korean Central News Agency said the Korean-American was arrested November 3 after arriving as a tourist in Rason City, a northeastern port near the Chinese border.
Suspects in $50 Million Diamond Heist Arrested in Three Countries
|By DRAGANA JOVANOVIC
More than 30 suspects in a spectacular $50 million diamond heist have been rounded up in three countries and at least some of the precious stones have been recovered, Belgian and Swiss officials said today.
The sweep operation started Tuesday with an arrest of a man in France and Swiss police arrested six other people said Anja Bijnens of the state prosecutor's office in Brussels. Early today, some 250 Belgian police officers arrested 24 more people in the Brussels area, Bijnens said.
The robbery was carried out on Feb. 18 when a vehicle drove through a fence at a Brussels airport and men dressed as cops swiped 120 packages of diamonds from the belly of a Fokker-100 jetliner. The mostly uncut diamonds were being transferred from the Antwerp diamond district to Zurich, Switzerland.
Scientist Stephen Hawking To Boycott Israeli Conference
|by Krishnadev Calamur
British physicist Stephen Hawking has stepped into a political black hole.
He announced this week that he was withdrawing from a conference in Israel to protest that country's treatment of Palestinians, throwing his weight behind an academic boycott of the Jewish state. :
"Hawking, 71, the world-renowned theoretical physicist and former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, had accepted an invitation to headline the fifth annual president's conference, Facing Tomorrow, in June, which features major international personalities, attracts thousands of participants and this year will celebrate Peres's 90th birthday."Israeli President Shimon Peres is hosting the conference.
confirmed that Hawking's decision not to go to Israel was "based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there." Hawking's office verified the group's account on Wednesday. The scientist said that he'd planned to make a speech criticizing Israeli policies toward the Palestinians.
Russians monitored calls of Boston suspect's mother, U.S. says
|By Kim Murphy and Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times
BOSTON — Russian authorities secretly wiretapped a conversation between a man believed to be one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects and his mother in 2011 discussing the idea of jihad, a U.S. counter-terrorism official said Saturday.
The Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, also intercepted a second telephone call between the mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, and another man living in southern Russia who has been the subject of a separate FBI investigation, the official said.
The vague substance of the phone calls was shared only a few days ago with U.S. officials investigating the April 15 bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, which killed three people and injured more than 260.
"It was two very general conversations not shared until recently," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to share details of the investigation.