National briefs: Freed Cleveland women speak in video

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LOS ANGELES -- Three Cleveland women who were held captive for up to 11 years released a YouTube video thanking people for their help and for respecting their privacy.

In the new video, Amanda Berry says, "I want everyone to know how happy I am to be home with my family and my friends. ... I'm getting stronger each day, and having my privacy has helped immensely. I ask that everyone continue to respect our privacy and give us time to have a normal life."

"I want everyone to know I'm doing just fine," Michelle Knight said. "I may have been through hell and back, but I'm strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face and with my head held high. ... I will not let the situation define who I am."

Ariel Castro, 52, faces more than 300 charges, including kidnapping and rape, and could face the death penalty.

Asiana pilots interviewed

SAN FRANCISCO -- An Asiana Airlines pilot told investigators he noticed Flight 214 was coming in too low to San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, and tried to correct the plane's landing path just before it crashed, officials said Tuesday.

National Transportation Safety Board Deborah A.P. Hersman said during a news conference that at impact, two flight attendants were ejected from the plane and were not present to help with evacuation.

In addition to the flight marking the first time the pilot at the controls had tried to land a 777 in San Francisco, it was the first time the instructor had flown in that role and the first time the two had flown together, she said, citing completed interviews with three of the four pilots.

Defense nearly done

SANFORD, Fla. -- With the defense a day away from wrapping up its case, a widely known expert in forensic pathology, Vincent Di Maio, testified Tuesday that Trayvon Martin was on top of and leaning over George Zimmerman when Zimmerman fired his gun last year.

"This is consistent with Mr. Zimmerman's account," said Dr. Di Maio, the retired chief medical examiner for Bexar County, Texas. At this juncture, Mr. Zimmerman appears unlikely to testify, a sign of confidence on the part of the defense.

New charges for Bonannos

NEW YORK -- A state racketeering indictment unsealed late Monday that charges eight men as members and associates of the Bonanno crime family suggests that the mob, despite its waning power and the government's considerable efforts to dismantle it, can still penetrate and control unions.

The six-count indictment, which charges mob staples like crimes of extortion, gambling and loan-sharking, accuses a Bonanno soldier and an associate of assisting in the 2010 election of another crime family associate as the president of a 1,900-member Teamsters union local on Long Island.

Buffet reveals donations

SAN FRANCISCO - Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., gave a record $2 billion to the foundation created by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates after telling billionaires to commit half their wealth to charity because $500 million is plenty to live on.

The Omaha, Neb.-based firm announced the gift in a statement. Mr. Buffett said last month that he gives away shares because they have more "utility in the hands of others" and reiterated his plea for other billionaires to follow suit.

-- Compiled from news services



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