Death by stoning is called off
The case of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning drew international outrage after her lawyer's blog posts sparked a global campaign to save her life, and British media reported late Thursday that the stoning would not occur. The Iranian Embassy in London said Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani would no longer face death by stoning, according to Channel 4 News and the Guardian newspaper. Under Iran's Islamic laws, adultery is the only capital offense punishable by stoning.
Police look into Grim Sleeper links
Detectives are re-examining at least 30 unsolved killings of women in South Los Angeles, seeing if they can link any of the homicides to the man accused of being the Grim Sleeper serial killer. The Los Angeles Times reported 30 cases share similarities to the slayings linked to Lonnie David Franklin Jr., 57, who was arrested Wednesday and appeared briefly in court Thursday, where he was charged with 10 counts of murder involving women killed over three decades. He was ordered held without bail, and his arraignment was postponed to Aug. 9.
Activist ends hunger strike
Opposition activist Guillermo Farinas ended his 134-day hunger strike, following signs the communist government is making good on its promise to release 52 political prisoners. Farinas a 48-year old psychiatrist and independent journalist, has refused to eat and drink since Feb. 24 but has received nourishment intravenously in a Santa Clara hospital since March 11.
Special election for Byrd's seat okayed
The state's attorney general said in a legal opinion that Gov. Joe Manchin has the authority to call a special election in November to fill the seat of the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd, clearing the way for Manchin to appoint a temporary replacement. The ruling, by Attorney General Darrell McGraw, also enables Manchin, a Democrat, to declare his own candidacy for the seat. Byrd died June 28 and was the longest-serving member of Congress in history.
Florida widow charged in killing
The wife of a Florida travel executive who was beaten to death in a hotel let the killers into the room and handed them a pillow to put over his face, according to an indictment. The victim was Ben Novack Jr., 53, son of the founder of the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. Narcy Novack, 53, of Fort Lauderdale, her brother and two others were indicted in the July 12, 2009, slaying at the Hilton Rye Town in Rye Brook, 20 miles north of Manhattan.
Ex-transit officer guilty in shooting
A former transit police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man on an Oakland, Calif., train station platform was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, capping a racially charged case. Johannes Mehserle, who is white, testified he mistakenly used his firearm instead of an electric Taser weapon in shooting 22-year-old Oscar Grant in the back as he lay face-down. Involuntary manslaughter carries 2-4 years in prison, but a sentencing enhancement for using a gun means Mehserle faces an additional 3-10 years.