National briefs: Facebook lifts curbs on teens

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook Inc. is lifting restrictions on teens to let them share more information publicly in a bid to regain the popularity it has lost to Twitter, Snapchat and other social networks.

Before the change, teens ages 13 to 17 could share information only with friends or friends of friends. Now Facebook is giving them more control over what information they share publicly.

With the new policy, teens' privacy settings will automatically share information only with friends -- but they will have the ability to change those settings.

Privacy watchdogs immediately cried foul. Facebook says its updated teen privacy policy now mirrors its competitors'. The changes were to begin rolling out Wednesday.

Naval Academy rape case

WASHINGTON -- One of two midshipman facing court-martial in the alleged sexual assault of a classmate asked a federal judge Wednesday to remove the U.S. Naval Academy's superintendent from the case, saying he is biased against the defendants.

Joshua Tate, 21, of Nashville, Tenn., filed a motion in federal court in Baltimore asking U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Hollander to take the case away from Vice Adm. Michael Miller, the academy's superintendent. It is the second time Judge Hollander has been asked to intervene in the case.

Protection for stowaway, 9

MINNEAPOLIS -- A 9-year-old who eluded airport security and stowed away on a flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas should live away from his parents for now while he and his family get therapy and other services, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Hennepin County District Judge Joseph Klein granted the county's petition to declare the boy a "child in need of protection or services," starting the protection process under court supervision. He also ordered individual therapy for the boy and family therapy for his parents while county and school officials work with them to determine what kind of help the boy needs. Judge Klein also granted the parents liberal visitation privileges.

Exactly where the boy is staying was left unclear.

LAX bombs called prank

LOS ANGELES -- The ground service employee arrested in connection with a string of dry ice bombs found at Los Angeles International Airport was a prankster who had no deep motive for his alleged acts, an LAPD official said Wednesday.

But Dicarlo Bennett, 28, is still expected to face serious charges because the devices were found in close proximity to an aircraft, said Los Angeles police Deputy Chief Michael Downing, who oversees the department's counterterrorism and special operations bureau.

Pot industry rules adopted

SEATTLE -- Washington adopted rules Wednesday for the recreational sale of marijuana, creating what advocates hope will be a template for the drug's legalization around the world.

The state will tax pot highly and cap total production at 80 metric tons.

Also in the nation ...

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel apologized Wednesday to Medal of Honor recipient William Swenson for the Army's mishandling of his award nomination, which had been delayed for 19 months due to what officials called a bureaucratic oversight. ... Four women died Wednesday when a boat carrying 15 migrants capsized off Miami Beach, Fla., according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The boaters are believed to be from Haiti and Jamaica.


First Published October 16, 2013 8:01 PM


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