National briefs: Cole hearing is recessed

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GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- An Army judge abruptly recessed the first military commission session of the year Monday because the alleged architect of al-Qaida's 2000 USS Cole bombing may want to fire his lawyer.

The waterboarded Saudi prisoner, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 49, is scheduled to face trial in September. The judge, Army Col. James Pohl, had scheduled eight days of hearings to address defense and prosecution representation questions, efforts by Mr. Nashiri's lawyers to narrow the case -- as well as postponing the trial until at least February 2015.

But Mr. Nashiri's death-penalty defender, Rick Kammen, a civilian, told the judge moments into the hearing that the prisoner wanted to fire him. He asked for two days to work with the accused on preserving the relationship. Col. Pohl agreed, recessing until Wednesday.

Football helmets faulted

SAN FRANCISCO -- Players using current football helmets aren't adequately protected against hits to the side of the head, which can lead to sometimes-lethal concussions and brain swelling, researchers said.

Ten helmets tested by researchers reduced the likelihood of traumatic brain injury by an average of 20 percent compared with no helmet in a simulation using crash test dummies. The most effective helmet cut the risk by 30 percent, according to data released by John Lloyd, the research director at San Antonio, Fla.-based Brains Inc.

Prank results in killing

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A Little Rock man shot and killed a 15-year-old girl this weekend after she and other pranksters egged a car outside his house, police said.

Willie Noble, 48, has been charged with murder in connection with the fatal shooting Saturday of Adrian Broadway, according to Lt. Sidney Allen of Little Rock police. The Broadway teen and a half-dozen others had dumped a mix of eggs, mayonnaise and leaves on a car, the officer said.

'Pipe bomb' in luggage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Transportation Security Administration agents found what Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport police have described as a "pipe bomb" in the carry-on luggage of a man ticketed on an oil worker flight to the North Slope, forcing an hour shutdown of the security checkpoint Sunday.

The man initially claimed the small explosive was an "avalanche device," said Jesse Davis, chief of the airport's police and fire department.

Police said the public was never in danger and the pipe bomb appeared to lack a triggering device.

Tourism campaign

WASHINGTON -- The nation's first coordinated campaign to promote the United States to international travelers generated $3.4 billion in additional spending last year, according to a study commissioned by Brand USA.

The campaign targeted tourists from Brazil, Japan, Australia, Germany, Britain, Mexico, Canada and South Korea. It was funded by donations and a $14 fee charged to each international visitor who registered for a visa to enter the U.S.

Also in the nation ...

Televangelist T.D. Jakes is seeking a restraining order against a former church member whom he accuses of stalking him at his Fort Worth, Texas, home. ... Jamie Coots, 42, a snake-handling pastor who appeared on the National Geographic television reality show "Snake Salvation," died Saturday night after being bitten by a snake during a church service in Middlesboro, Ky.


-- Compiled from news services


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