US plans to join global land mine treaty
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House says the United States will no longer produce or acquire anti-personnel land mines and plans to join an international treaty banning their use.
The National Security Council says the U.S. is "diligently pursuing solutions" to join the Ottawa Convention that bans the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of the mines.
The council says the announcement was made today at a conference in Mozambique to review the treaty.
The White House statement does not indicate when the U.S. will join the treaty or specify the size of the U.S. stockpile.
Verdict reached in Hawaii death penalty case
HONOLULU (AP) -- A former Hawaii-based soldier will finally learn his fate for killing his 5-year-old daughter: death or spend the remainder of his life in prison.
Jurors convicted Naeem Williams in April of murder in the first death penalty case to go to trial in the history of Hawaii's statehood. After hearing testimony from his family asking jurors to spare his life and hearing arguments from prosecutors that the 2005 beating death was especially heinous, the same jury began deliberating earlier this month on what his sentence should be.
On Thursday afternoon, the jury sent a note to the judge saying they reached a verdict but asked to delay reading it until this morning because some jurors felt emotionally drained.
Williams' death penalty trial is the first in the history of Hawaii's statehood.
In April, the same 12 jurors found Williams guilty of capital murder in his daughter Talia's 2005 beating death. He said he beat the child often to discipline her for bathroom accidents.
Hawaii's territorial government abolished capital punishment in 1957. But because his crimes took place in military housing, Williams was tried in the federal justice system, which allows the death penalty.
Golden Gate Bridge suicide barrier up for vote
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A board is scheduled to decide if it should fund a long-debated suicide barrier for San Francisco's iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
The Golden Gate Bridge Board of Directors will vote today whether to approve a $76 million package to build a suicide net.
An approval would be a major victory for families of suicide victims and other supporters of a suicide net. Critics of the idea argue it will not prevent people from finding other ways to take their lives on the majestic span.
Officials say about 1,400 people have plunged to their deaths since the bridge opened in 1937. This total includes a record 46 suicides last year.
US seeks to resume cyber talks with China
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. next month will urge China to resume discussions on cybersecurity suspended after the U.S. charged five Chinese military officers with hacking into U.S. companies to steal trade secrets.
Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel told The Associated Press on Thursday that the U.S. would push for a resumption of the cyber working group when officials meet at the annual U.S.-China Security and Economic Dialogue in Beijing in July.
After the indictments against the five officers were unsealed in May, Beijing pulled the plug on the group, which had been set up a year ago in what Washington viewed as a diplomatic coup.
Ex-cop suspect in deaths of two women
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- An ex-police officer suspected in the deaths of two women whose bodies were found stuffed into suitcases is scheduled to appear Friday in court in Wisconsin.
Steven M. Zelich of West Allis, Wisconsin, is charged with two counts of hiding a corpse.
A criminal complaint says Zelich told investigators he killed one woman in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, and the second in Rochester, Minnesota. He hasn't yet been charged in their deaths.
Authorities say the 52-year-old Zelich met his victims online, bound and killed them and kept their bodies for months.