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Slain Texas DA had armed himself

Monday, April 01, 2013 - Updated: 4:11 PM

Slain Texas DA

had armed himself

KAUFMAN, Texas (AP) -- Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland took no chances after one of his assistant prosecutors was gunned down two months ago. McLelland said he carried a gun everywhere he went and was extra careful when answering the door at his home.

"I'm ahead of everybody else because, basically, I'm a soldier," the 23-year Army veteran said in an interview less than two weeks ago.

On Saturday, he and his wife were found shot to death in their rural home just outside the town of Forney, about 20 miles from Dallas.

While investigators gave no motive for the killings, Forney Mayor Darren Rozell said: "It appears this was not a random act."

"Everybody's a little on edge and a little shocked," he said.

3 killed, 25 injured in 95-vehicle pileup

GALAX, Va. (AP) -- Police are now saying 95 vehicles were involved in 17 separate crashes along a mountainous, foggy stretch of interstate near the Virginia-North Carolina border.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corrine Geller says three people were killed Sunday and 25 people were taken to hospitals with injuries ranging from serious to minor.

The wrecks occurred on Interstate 77 in southwest Virginia in the Fancy Gap Mountain area. Geller says message boards along the interstate warned drivers of severe fog in the area. She says the crashes happened about 1:15 p.m., mostly because drivers were going too fast for conditions.

Traffic backed up for about 8 miles in the southbound lanes, which is where the wrecks occurred. Authorities also closed the northbound lanes so that emergency vehicles could get there.

'Obamacare' a course in marketing

WASHINGTON (AP) -- How do you convince millions of average Americans that one of the most complex and controversial programs devised by government may actually be a good deal for them?

With the nation still split over President Barack Obama's health care law, the administration has turned to the science of mass marketing for help in understanding the lives of uninsured people, hoping to craft winning pitches for a surprisingly varied group in society.

The law's supporters will have to make the sale in the run-up to an election -- the 2014 midterms. Already Republicans are hoping for an "Obamacare" flop that helps them gain control of the Senate, while Democrats are eager for the public to finally embrace the Affordable Care Act, bringing political deliverance.

It turns out America's more than 48 million uninsured people are no monolithic mass. A marketing analysis posted online by the federal Health and Human Services Department reveals six distinct groups, three of which appear critical to the success or failure of the program.

They're the "Healthy & Young," comprising 48 percent of the uninsured, the "Sick, Active & Worried," (29 percent of the uninsured), and the "Passive & Unengaged" (15 percent).

LAPD searching for kidnapping suspect

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A transient with a long criminal record is being sought in the kidnapping of a 10-year-old girl who was snatched from her San Fernando Valley home before dawn last week and abandoned hours later in front of a hospital.

Police identified Tobias Dustin Summers, 30, as a suspect Saturday, but they couldn't elaborate on the motive or what led them to him. They also don't know if the girl was targeted.

"We have no information that the family knew this individual or that the individual knew any members of the family," Los Angeles Police Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese said.

About 40 detectives have been investigating since the girl was abducted from her home at around 3 a.m. Wednesday.

"They're working around the clock until this guy gets captured," Officer Norma Eisenman, a police spokeswoman, said Sunday. "As of right now, there are no new developments on the case."

Abbas clamping down on critics

HUSSAN, West Bank (AP) -- Mahmoud Abbas' government in the West Bank is getting tougher with critics, interrogating, prosecuting and even jailing several journalists and bloggers in recent months for allegedly "defaming" the Western-backed Palestinian leader.

Rights activists say the legal hassles are meant to silence dissent and that the campaign is intensifying despite promises to the contrary by Abbas. Targets of the crackdown include supporters of Abbas' political rival -- the Islamic militant Hamas -- and political independents who have written about alleged nepotism and abuse of power in Abbas' Palestinian Authority.

Abbas' aides insist the Palestinian leader opposes any curb on expression. They blame overzealous prosecutors and security officials, but government critics say Abbas could easily halt the clampdown.

"It's a good cop, bad cop routine. The bad cops are the security services, and the good cop is the benevolent president," said Diana Buttu, a former Palestinian Authority insider. They want to send a chilling message, she said, "and it works."

Abbas' foreign backers, who view him as key to delivering any future peace deal with Israel and maintaining quiet in the West Bank, have said little in public about the issue. Instead, during a visit to the West Bank in late March, President Barack Obama showered Abbas and his security forces with praise for their efforts to prevent militant attacks on Israel.

     

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