Charges in case of hidden corpse
Officials in Wilmington, N.C., say that Amy Stewart hid the corpse of her mother, Blanche Matilda Roth, for six months, continuing to receive her benefits after Roth died. Roth, 87, died in June. Her body was found by police last week in a bed covered by blankets in a room filled with air fresheners. Stewart lived in the house with her husband and three children. Police initially thought it was a homicide case, but for now have charged Stewart with concealing a corpse while they investigate fraud charges.
Mom calls cops on shoplifting kid
An Ohio woman who asked that police be called after she caught her 6-year-old daughter shoplifting a package of stickers said Wednesday that she was just trying to teach the girl a lesson. Diane Lyons said she doesn't believe she overreacted when she discovered the girl, Shiane, had taken the $3.11 package of stickers used to make temporary tattoos. Police arrived and drove her to the station before releasing her to her mother's custody. Lyons initially asked about collecting a $30 reward offered for turning in shoplifters, then realized how bad that would look and dropped it. Good move.
To keep license, casino reopens
The closed Silver Club casino in Sparks, Nev., opened its doors for eight hours Tuesday to hold onto its gaming license. The casino operated one slot machine and a blackjack table from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. to comply with a state law that requires eight hours of operation each quarter to maintain a license. At least one customer played. The Silver Club closed Jan. 10 and was to go up for auction Wednesday.
Judge: Condoms optional in porn
A Los Angeles judge has denied a request from an AIDS advocacy group calling for mandatory use of condoms on porn sets. Judge David Yaffe on Tuesday rejected a petition from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation that contended county health officials hadn't done enough to prevent sexually transmitted diseases in the porn industry. The group sued the county in July after data showed there were more than 3,700 STD cases over the past five years reported by a clinic that serves porn actors. The group plans to appeal the decision.
An apology, an explanation for Jews
Former President Jimmy Carter is offering the Jewish community an apology for any of his "words and deeds" that may have upset them.
Carter writes in an open letter to the Jewish community this week that he hopes the new year will bring peace between Israel and its neighbors. "We must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel," he says.
He adds: "I offer an Al Het for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so."
Al Het is a prayer said on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. It signifies a plea for forgiveness.
Some in the Jewish community contend Carter's 2006 book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid unfairly compared Israeli treatment of Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza to the legalized racial oppression that once existed in South Africa.
The Vatican sought Wednesday to quell its latest public dispute with Jewish groups, saying the pope's decision to move Pope Pius XII closer to sainthood isn't an act of hostility against those who say he failed to sufficiently denounce the Holocaust.
A statement said the German-born Benedict feels great respect and friendship toward Jews, despite renewed outrage he sparked Saturday by signing a decree on Pius' heroic virtues, paving the way for him to be beatified.
Some Jews and historians have argued Pius, pope from 1939-58, should have done more to prevent the deaths of 6 million Jews at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II.
The Vatican insists Pius used quiet diplomacy to try to save Jews and that speaking out more forcefully would have resulted in more deaths.