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KID SEX CRIMES AT HOSPITAL NET 45-YEAR TERM

SAN DIEGO

A former respiratory therapist was sentenced to more than 45 years in prison Wednesday for sexually preying upon some of the most defenseless patients at the hospital where he worked: children so sick they couldn't speak out. Wayne Albert Bleyle pleaded guilty to molesting five disabled children and taking pornographic photographs of others. Prosecutors said he targeted patients who were comatose, brain-damaged or too disabled to talk. He allegedly told investigators that he molested as many as half the children he treated in 10 years working in the convalescent ward at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego.

NORFOLK, VA.

Sudan told to pay $8M in 'Cole' bomb

A federal judge Wednesday ordered Sudan to pay nearly $8-million to the families of the 17 sailors killed in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. The amount falls far short of the $105-million the families had originally sought when they sued Sudan in federal court in Norfolk, where the Cole is based. U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar said in his ruling that he was bound by law to limit damages. Doumar found after a two-day trial in March that Sudan provided support, guidance, passports and other resources to al-Qaida operatives that enabled the terrorists to carry out the attack at the Port of Aden, Yemen.

SALT LAKE CITY

Air base threat leads to arrest

An aircraft mechanic sent e-mails claiming he would detonate explosives at a Utah Air Force base and kill six hostages if the United States did not remove all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, authorities said Wednesday. Five buildings at Hill Air Force Base were evacuated Tuesday after the e-mails surfaced, but the threat turned out to be false and no hostages were taken, FBI Agent Tim Fuhrman said. William Stiffler, 39, was unarmed when he was arrested Tuesday in Malad, Idaho, as he prepared to board an employee shuttle to the base, Fuhrman said.

NEW ORLEANS

Official again targets doctor

Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti, denied an indictment against a doctor he alleged murdered patients at a New Orleans hospital days after Hurricane Katrina hit, asked a judge Wednesday to unseal documents that he says back up his claims. Legal experts said Foti's request was an unusual move aimed at justifying his pursuit of charges against Dr. Anna Pou, whom a grand jury refused to indict Tuesday.

Elsewhere

PROFESSOR SUES: Professor Ward Churchill, who was fired after comparing some Sept. 11 victims to a Nazi, sued the University of Colorado on Wednesday, saying officials retaliated against him for exercising his right to free speech and calling the academic investigation a "fraud."

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