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Two men recorded in abuse of disabled women are identified

MONTEREY PARK, Calif.

Two identified in disabled abuse case

Two of the suspects recorded in sexual assaults of physically and mentally disabled women have been identified, officials said Friday. Los Angeles police officers recognized the men after detectives went public with artist sketches and photos of four men on Thursday, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. Dan Scott said. As many as 10 suspects could have been involved in the assaults. The second suspect's identity was not immediately released.

One of the suspects, Bert Hicks, was a worker at a Los Angeles care facility and had already been prosecuted by police for two felony sex counts and two abuse counts. He is currently in Tehachapi State Prison and scheduled for release in 2012, Scott said. The second suspect's identity was not immediately released.

The images were gleaned from over 100 hours of video delivered to sheriff's headquarters in suburban Monterey Park in March. It took months for investigators to digitally enhance the footage and produce pictures and artist sketches of the suspects.

Washington

U.S. backs sources outed by WikiLeaks

The State Department on Friday warned foreign governments not to retaliate against human rights activists or others whose dealings with American officials were disclosed in secret diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters that certain governments have been told that if they take "adverse actions" against sources cited in the cables, it would harm relations with the United States. He declined to say which governments have been warned, or to provide more details.

Former Sen. Bob Dole readmitted to hospital

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole was readmitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Heather Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence, Kan., said Friday. She had no additional details. Dole, 87, spent 10 months at Walter Reed last year after suffering pneumonia three times following knee surgery in February. He left the facility in mid-November. Dole was first elected to the U.S. House in 1960 and to the Senate in 1968. He was President Gerald Ford's running mate in 1976 and was the Republican nominee for president in 1996, losing to Bill Clinton.

Federal employees get around pay freeze

Just because they will labor under a two-year pay freeze doesn't mean federal government employees won't see fatter paychecks. The Office of Personnel Management says assorted laws, regulations, agency policies and union contracts that must be followed mean the nation's 2 million civilian workers are still eligible for a host of performance awards, recruitment payments, relocation reimbursement and retention incentives that could be added on top of their frozen base pay. Those working under current collective bargaining agreements that include raises will also skip the pay freeze.

U.S. might reject Haiti election results

The Obama administration on Friday didn't reject tossing out the results of Haiti's disputed presidential election if a soon-to-be-released review calls for it. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, said the agency is waiting for the findings from a team of election experts convened by the Organization of American States to determine its course. Twelve of the 19 candidates on the Nov. 28 presidential ballot have pressed for the elections to be canceled, citing massive fraud.

SANAA, Yemen

17 Yemeni soldiers killed in ambushes

Suspected al-Qaida fighters killed at least 17 Yemeni soldiers in a pair of ambushes in the country's restive south on Friday, officials said. Both attacks took place near the town of Lawder in Abyan province, about 155 miles southeast of the capital of Sanaa. In the deadliest strike, gunmen killed 13 soldiers escorting a convoy of water tankers, said the province's deputy governor, Salih al-Shamsi. In the second attack, gunmen ambushed a convoy carrying the army's brigade commander in Lawder, killing four soldiers and wounding two more.

HEBRON, West Bank

Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian at home

Israeli soldiers shot and killed an unarmed 65-year-old Palestinian man in his bedroom early Friday in what appeared to be a case of mistaken identity. Omar al-Qawasmeh's wife said he was sleeping and she was praying when soldiers burst into the apartment before dawn, entered the bedroom and immediately opened fire. The Israeli military expressed regret and said the West Bank division commander had been ordered to carry out a speedy investigation. The soldiers were apparently looking for the dead man's nephew, a Hamas militant who was staying in an apartment on the floor below the slain man's and was arrested soon after the killing.

Elsewhere

Sydney: A former inmate at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay has dropped a lawsuit against the Australian government claiming compensation for failing to protect his rights. Mamdouh Habib agreed on an out-of-court settlement with the government for an undisclosed sum, both parties said today.

Vancouver, British Columbia: Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only person convicted in the 1985 Air India bombing that killed 329 people off the coast of Ireland, was sentenced to nine years in prison Friday for perjury in his testimony at the trial of two men acquitted in the attacks.

Santiago, Chile: Chile formally recognized an independent state of Palestine on Friday, becoming the seventh South American country to take such a step in the past month. The government of President Sebastian Pinera had been under growing pressure from the nation's large Palestinian population, more than 300,000, to recognize a Palestinian state.

Niamey, Niger: Two Westerners believed to be French nationals were kidnapped late Friday by men who burst into an upscale bar and took them away at gunpoint, officials said.

Times wires

Two men recorded in abuse of disabled women are identified 01/07/11 [Last modified: Friday, January 7, 2011 11:02pm]

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