National Briefs: Super Bowl sex trafficking

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HACKENSACK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General will sponsor assemblies statewide next month to warn students about the dangers of human trafficking during the weeks surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.

Law enforcement officials in Indianapolis and New Orleans, the two most recent Super Bowl hosts, told New Jersey authorities to expect a rise in prostitution and the recruitment of teenage boys and girls into the sex trade because of the massive crowds visiting for the game, which will take place on Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.

The attorney general and the state's Human Trafficking Task Force are offering the "Say Something Assembly" program on Jan. 31 for Grades 6-12 at nine sites, including Bergen Community College in Paramus.

The partners staging the 3-D, interactive assemblies say they have addressed more than 100,000 American teenagers since 2010 to help students spot signs of "modern-day slavery" and alert authorities to prevent it. They say traffickers may target minors through social media, telephone chat lines and after-school programs, and at shopping malls and bus depots.

Spitzer, wife to separate

NEW YORK -- Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York, and his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, are set to divorce after 26 years of marriage, the couple said Tuesday night.

"We regret that our marital relationship has come to an end," the couple wrote in a joint statement issued on Christmas Eve by Mr. Spitzer's spokeswoman, Lisa Linden.

Mr. Spitzer, 54, the scion of a wealthy real estate family, and Ms. Wall Spitzer, 55, a former corporate lawyer, had been living in separate apartments for months.

The couple, who met at Harvard Law School and have three daughters, were considered a consummate power duo until Mr. Spitzer abruptly resigned the governorship five years ago amid a prostitution scandal.

NYC transit imposter

NEW YORK -- A man arrested more than two dozen times for posing as a transit worker to steal buses and trains in New York City and drive the routes has been paroled.

Darius McCollum was released Tuesday night, after pleading guilty earlier this year to stealing a Trailways bus in 2010, when he was arrested behind the wheel on the highway that leads to Kennedy International Airport.

He had faced up to 15 years if convicted at a trial, but the Queens district attorney and his lawyer worked out a deal: Mr. McCollum will voluntarily enter a program to undergo cognitive behavioral therapy. He was diagnosed with what was until recently called Asperger's syndrome but is now referred to as an autism spectrum disorder, and his repeated arrests stem in part from it.

Death Valley curbs sports

Death Valley National Park suspended permits for running and cycling races to conduct a safety review, forcing the 135-mile annual Badwater Ultramarathon to find a new site.

Officials at the California park said there have been growing concerns about participants and visitors to the park during races, particularly due to increased car and bicycle traffic.

"We have monitored the events in recent years and there are safety concerns not just for the participants, but also for visitors to the park during these events," park spokeswoman Cheryl Chipman said in a telephone interview. Because of this, Ms. Chipman said park officials are reviewing the guidelines and criteria they use for such events.

-- Compiled from news services


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