Supreme Court backs students in speech cases
School officials were put on notice they can be sued for violating the First Amendment if they discipline students for vulgar and malicious postings on home computers. The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down appeals from two Pennsylvania school districts that were successfully sued by students who were suspended for creating mock profiles of their principals as sex addicts or drug users. The students contended their MySpace postings were off-limits to school authorities. In ruling for the students last year, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said school officials cannot police "off-campus speech" unless they can show it caused a major disruption at school. In a third case from West Virginia, a girl sued but lost after she was suspended for creating an online site that made fun of another girl as a "slut" who had herpes.
Fuel transfer runs smoothly in Nome
A Russian tanker that went on an ocean odyssey of 5,000 miles to deliver fuel to the iced-in city of Nome was offloading the gasoline and diesel in what officials said Tuesday was smooth sailing. The tanker Renda is delivering 1.3 million gallons of fuel to storage tanks near the harbor of the iced-in city.
SANTA ANA, Calif.
Veteran charged in homeless slayings
The Iraq war veteran accused of killing four homeless men in the past month stalked his victims before striking, enjoyed the media coverage of his crimes and had a list of future victims at the time of his arrest, according to Orange County prosecutors. Itzcoatl Ocampo, 23, was charged Tuesday with four counts of murder. If convicted, he will face a minimum sentence of life in prison and could face the death penalty.
School bus crash leaves 32 injured
A semitrailer truck clipped a school bus full of students Tuesday morning, flipping the bus onto its side and sending 32 people — 29 of them children — to a central Texas hospital. The hospital said three of the 29 children being treated were admitted, one in critical condition. The bus was carrying about 38 children from all grade levels, officials said.
Officer accused of sharing secrets
A Canadian naval officer who worked in some of the country's key military intelligence centers has been charged with breach of trust and passing government secrets to a "foreign entity." The officer, Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Paul Delisle, 40, remained in jail Tuesday in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Canadian television network CTV said the foreign entity was Russia.
Britain: The European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday that Abu Qatada, an Islamic preacher regarded as one of al-Qaida's top inspirational leaders in Europe, cannot be deported from Britain to his native Jordan because his trial there would be tainted by evidence obtained by torture. He has been convicted in his absence in Jordan of planning two bombing attacks.
India: Organizers of a literary festival in the city of Jaipur said Tuesday they hope Salman Rushdie will attend, despite calls by Muslim clerics to ban the British-Indian author from the event. Some Muslims consider his 1988 book The Satanic Verses blasphemous.