National Briefs / $1M art vandal issues apology

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MIAMI -- A day after the art world reacted in shock to a South Florida artist's act of protest at the Perez Art Museum Miami, Maximo Caminero is apologizing to Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei for smashing one of his vases. The green vase, one of 16 on display at the "Ai Weiwei: According to What?" exhibit, has been valued by the museum at $1 million.

On Sunday, Mr. Caminero attended the exhibit, a politically charged showcase into Chinese culture and history.

According to the police report, Mr. Caminero told the arresting officer that he smashed the artwork in protest on behalf of local artists that he felt were slighted in favor of international artists at the new $131 million complex on Biscayne Bay.

Christie request rebuffed

NEWARK, N.J. -- Mark Sokolich, the mayor of Fort Lee, turned down a request by lawyers for the office of Gov. Chris Christie to ask him about deliberate traffic jams near the George Washington Bridge that paralyzed the town.

Mr. Sokolich's lawyer, Timothy Donohue, denied Christie office attorney Randy Mastro's request in a letter Monday, saying his client "fully intends" to cooperate in investigations by the state legislature and U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in Newark. They are probing who ordered the lane closures and why. Approval ratings for Mr. Christie, 51, have dropped during the scandal. He is weighing a White House run in 2016. Mr. Mastro's firm is doing its own internal investigation for Mr. Christie's office.

Turbulence injures 5

CHICAGO -- A flight attendant remained hospitalized Tuesday after a United Airlines flight experienced turbulence so severe that passengers, including a baby, were tossed about the cabin of the plane as it began its descent into Billings, Mont.

Five people were hospitalized following the incident, including three crew members and two passengers.

Police sued over drone

HARTFORD, Conn. -- A Hartford television news photographer whose use of a drone at a fatal car accident recently came under question filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Hartford Police Department on Tuesday.

The lawsuit says Pedro Rivera was not breaking any state or federal laws when he flew his "drone," a remote-controlled aircraft, over the crash site in Hartford on Feb. 1. But Hartford police officers detained him and demanded he stop what he was doing and leave the area, the lawsuit states.

Also in the nation ...

Steven Dale Green, a former American soldier sentenced to life for raping and killing a teenage Iraqi girl and using a shotgun to gun down her family died in an Arizona prison over the weekend in what officials suspect was a suicide. ... On Tuesday, demolition began at Building 42003 in Fort Hood, Texas; officials say the building will be replaced with trees, a gazebo and a plaque memorializing the victims of Nidal Hasan's Nov. 5, 2009, mass shooting, which left 13 dead and more than 30 wounded.



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