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Ringleader of spy operation dies in prison

Ringleader of spy operation dies in prison

John A. Walker Jr., a former Navy officer who in 1986 pleaded guilty to recruiting his son, a brother and a friend into a spy ring that sold military documents to Soviet agents, died Thursday at the federal prison complex in Butner, N.C. He was 77. Walker was a Navy communications specialist when he began spying for the Soviets at the height of the Cold War in 1967. After his arrest in May 1985, the government said he had led one of the most damaging spy operations in U.S. history. All four members of the operation were convicted. How much each man was paid was not always clear, but one admitted in court to receiving $332,000.

Sacramento, Calif.

Statewide ban on plastic bags okayed

California lawmakers have approved a measure that would make the state the first to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.

The legislation cleared the Senate on Friday and was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown. It was approved by the Assembly a day earlier.

The measure would prohibit single-use plastic bags at grocery stores and large pharmacies in 2015 and at convenience stores in 2016. It includes $2 million in loans to help manufacturers shift to producing reusable bags and lets grocers charge 10 cents each for paper and reusable bags.

For years, a statewide plastic bag ban has been an elusive goal for lawmakers trying to reduce the buildup of plastic waste in oceans and waterways that costs millions of dollars to clean up. About 100 local jurisdictions in California already have adopted similar bans, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Elsewhere

Pakistan: Police clashed with thousands of protesters marching toward the prime minister's residence and the adjacent parliament building in Islamabad on Saturday. Nearly 125 people were injured. The demonstrators are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Afghanistan: A dozen people were killed when insurgents attacked the headquarters of the Afghan intelligence service in Jalalabad on Saturday.

Nicaragua: Rescue workers and trapped miners in a Nicaragua gold mine freed at least 20 men. Efforts to reach five miners still missing continued Saturday.

Louisville, Ky.: A sinkhole that swallowed eight sports cars won't be a permanent attraction at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. The museum decided Saturday to fill in the hole that opened up in February and became a sensation. The Corvettes were pulled out.

Times wires

Ringleader of spy operation dies in prison 08/31/14 [Last modified: Saturday, August 30, 2014 8:28pm]

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