National briefs: Cell use pushed for air flights

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WASHINGTON -- Rules against making cell phone calls during airline flights are "outdated," and it's time to change them, federal regulators said Thursday, drawing immediate howls of protest from flight attendants, airline officials and others.

Tom Wheeler, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said Thursday that the commission was proposing greater in-flight access to mobile broadband. The proposal will be considered at the commission's Dec. 12 meeting.

Early reaction was skeptical. Flight attendants and others have worried that a plane full of chattering passengers could lead to arguments and undermine safety.

Theater rampage trial

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The judge in the Colorado theater shootings case on Thursday indefinitely postponed the trial of James Holmes so attorneys can argue whether he should undergo further psychiatric evaluation.

Mr. Holmes' trial had been scheduled to begin with jury selection in February. Mr. Holmes, 25, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 during a packed midnight showing of a Batman film at a suburban Denver theater in July 2012. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Navy bribery scandal

SAN DIEGO -- A third high-ranking Navy officer has been suspended from his duties in connection with an investigation into a multimillion-dollar bribery case involving Navy ships in Asia-Pacific ports.

Capt. David Haas has been suspended as deputy commander of Coastal Riverine Group 1, based in San Diego, the Navy announced Thursday. The unit provides security and combat operations in rivers, harbors and coastal waterways.

Cybermurder plot

NEW YORK -- Ross Ulbricht, the man accused by the FBI of running Silk Road, a billion-dollar online market that sold drugs and hacking services, was denied bail Thursday after prosecutors accused him of trying to have six people murdered.

Mr. Ulbricht, 29, was accused by prosecutors of spending $730,000 to kill the six people in an effort to protect his business. He was officially charged by a federal grand jury in Maryland for one of the attempted murders. Prosecutors said they found no evidence that any murders took place.

Cyberbullying case ends

MIAMI -- Prosecutors in Polk County, Fla., have dropped the charges against two girls in a cyberbullying case that the police said led to the death of 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick, who jumped from a cement plant tower two months ago.

After weeks of investigation and an analysis of thousands of Facebook chats, the Polk County state attorney's office Wednesday dropped the charges of aggravated stalking against the girls, one 14 and one 12, their lawyers said. One girl, Katelyn Roman, now 13, said in an interview on the NBC's "Today" show Thursday that she had done nothing wrong.

Also in the nation ...

Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel was freed on $1,2 million bail Thursday in Stamford, Conn., while prosecutors in Connecticut appeal a ruling giving him a new trial in the 1975 slaying of neighbor Martha Moxley. ... Florida Republican Rep. Henry "Trey" Radel, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession and received a year's probation, said Thursday he has checked himself into a rehabilitation center.


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