bondi: health ruling request a delay tactic
Attorney General Pam Bondi on Wednesday filed a response in Pensacola to the U.S. Department of Justice's request that U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson clarify a ruling he issued last month. Vinson concluded the entire Affordable Patient Care Act violates the Constitution because it requires people to buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty. Federal officials want Vinson to explain whether his ruling halts provisions of the act currently in effect while the case makes its way through appeals. Bondi characterized the Justice Department's request for clarification as a delay tactic. "The order clearly required a halt to implementation. Judge Vinson's order is an injunction stopping the federal government from enforcing the Affordable Care Act on the 26 states," she said in a statement. "Our memorandum states that time is of the essence in this matter, and the court should deny the defendants' motion for clarification."
Jailed sect leader retakes his church
Jailed polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs has resumed legal control over his Utah-based church even though he is jailed in Texas, and court documents recently revealed that two 12-year-old girls had been taken from Canada to marry him in 2005. Documents filed with the Utah Department of Commerce show Wendell Loy Nielsen, president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, resigned Jan. 28. Jeffs signed the documents retaking control of the church corporation Feb. 10 and filed the papers with the state five days later.
Suspect says ICE agent slain in error
A suspect in the killing of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent told soldiers the attack was carried out by a group of Zetas drug gang gunmen who mistook the agent's SUV for a vehicle used by a rival gang, the army said. Julian Zapata Espinoza — known by the nickname "El Piolin" or Tweety Bird, apparently because of his short stature — was captured along with five other suspected Zetas members during an army raid on gang safehouses in the northern city of San Luis Potosi, near where ICE agent Jaime Zapata was shot to death and fellow agent Victor Avila was wounded Feb. 15.
Tibetan activist's kin resume walk
A brother and two young sons of the Dalai Lama's nephew resumed his walk for Tibetan freedom, a trek that cost the activist his life in a roadside accident. Jigme Norbu, 45, was struck and killed Feb. 14 by an SUV about 25 miles south of St. Augustine. Kunga Norbu and Norbu's eldest sons, Tenzin, 13, and Jensen, 9, started from Fort Pierce and plan to walk about 20 miles a day until they reach West Palm Beach on Friday.
U.S. considers fate of Somali pirates
Pirates in Somalia said they are ferrying ammunition and men to the 30 hijacked vessels still under their control, and they threatened to kill more captives after the violent end to a hostage standoff that left four Americans dead. The U.S. military said that 15 pirates detained after the Americans were slain Tuesday could face trial in the United States. The Somalis are currently being held on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, which is in the waters off east Africa.