National briefs: New York gun seizure exposes route

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NEW YORK -- In a 264-page indictment announced Monday, prosecutors in New York City said 19 people in two separate but loosely connected rings brought the guns to the city from North and South Carolina for one simple reason: They could buy low where regulations were loose and sell high on the city streets.

The details of the indictment provided a glimpse into the routine specifics of the "iron pipeline" that smuggles thousands of out-of-state firearms into New York yearly and that Mayor Michael Bloomberg has struggled to close.

Officials said two men -- Earl Campbell of Rock Hill, S.C., and Walter Walker of Sanford, N.C. -- bought stolen guns from associates or used straw purchasers at legitimate stores, then simply loaded them into suitcases and boarded cheap buses to Chinatown or occasionally drove in private cars. Most of the deals were for several weapons; one sale, for $9,700, included 14 weapons.

Many of the deals with an undercover officer took place at a music studio in Brooklyn.

Prosecutors seek 60 years

FORT MEADE, Md. -- Military prosecutors in the court-martial of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning asked the judge Monday to sentence him to at least 60 years in prison, arguing that his leaks of classified documents severely damaged U.S. intelligence operations and made a mockery of the nation's diplomatic missions.

The soldier's defense attorney didn't recommend a specific punishment, but suggested any prison term shouldn't exceed 25 years because the classification of some of the documents Manning leaked expires in 25 years. The judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, said she would begin considering the sentence this morning.

Motive evidence barred

FORT HOOD, Texas -- A military judge blocked several key pieces of evidence Monday that prosecutors said would explain the mind-set of Maj. Nidal Hasan, the soldier accused in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, including his belief that he had a "jihad duty" to carry out the attack.

The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, barred any reference to Hasan Akbar, a Muslim soldier sentenced to death for attacking fellow soldiers in Kuwait during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, saying introducing such material would "only open the door to a mini-trial" of Akbar and result in a "confusion of issues, unfair prejudice, waste of time and undue delay."

Mayor in settlement talks

SAN DIEGO -- Gloria Allred, an attorney for a woman suing San Diego's embattled mayor for sexual harassment, says the two sides are in settlement talks mediated by a retired federal judge.

Mayor Bob Filner, 70, faces a recall effort prompted by 16 sexual harassment allegations that led to calls by the City Council to resign. Mr. Filner has been out of the public's eye for the past two weeks while undergoing therapy. He was spotted Monday entering an office building, followed by Ms. Allred.

Also in the nation ...

Detroit's biggest employee union, retirees and even a few dozen residents filed objections Monday to the city's request for bankruptcy protection, the largest municipal filing in U.S. history and a move aimed at wiping away billions of dollars in debt. ... Alexander Kinyua, 22, a former Maryland college student who told authorities he killed a man and ate his heart and parts of his brain, pleaded guilty but not criminally responsible Monday.

nation


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