National Briefs / EPA to unveil new air regs

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WASHINGTON -- The Environmental Protection Agency plans to unveil new regulations on Monday to reduce smog from automobiles, including cutting by two-thirds the level of sulfur in gasoline, people familiar with the agency's deliberations said.

The EPA is expected to stick to the broad targets included in a proposed rule published last year that would lower sulfur in gasoline to 10 parts per million from the current 30 parts, the three people said. New limits will also be imposed on tailpipe emissions.

Supporters of the rules say they could be one of President Barack Obama's most significant environmental initiatives. Smog has been linked to asthma, lung cancer and heart disease.

Bin Laden kin faces trial

WASHINGTON -- A federal judge Friday refused to halt or dismiss the case against Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, saying that suggestions the government had charged the wrong man were "utterly meritless" and ruling that the first Sept. 11-related trial to be held in New York will open with jury selection on Monday.

Defense lawyers for Sulaiman abu Ghaith had filed a last-minute request for a delay in the trial or dismissal of the case altogether, claiming they had uncovered evidence that another man, a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, is the actual person who was the top al-Qaida propagandist.

But prosecutors in a memo filed Friday morning told Judge Lewis A. Kaplan that they had a secret "cooperating witness" who was with Mr. Abu Ghaith during and after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that their witness also identified the defendant from videos.

Man guilty in deaths of 4

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. -- A Macomb County jury on Friday convicted James C. Brown of first-degree murder in the killings of four Detroit women he met through Backpage.com in 2011.

Mr. Brown, 25, was found guilty of a total of 10 charges including first-degree murder, disinterment and mutilation of a dead body and arson. He faces mandatory life in prison when he is sentenced April 15.

Mr. Brown of Sterling Heights is charged in the deaths of Vernithea McCrary, Natasha Curtis, Demesha Hunt and Renisha Landers, whom he met through the classified advertising website Backpage.com, which is geared toward adults.

Toxic mix killed Hoffman

NEW YORK -- Philip Seymour Hoffman was killed by a poisonous mix of drugs that included not only heroin but also cocaine, amphetamines and sedatives, the New York City medical examiner announced Friday.

The medical examiner ruled his death an accident.

Mr. Hoffman's body was found on the bathroom floor of his West Village apartment on Feb. 2. A heroin overdose was immediately suspected. Investigators found a needle in his arm and dozens of small packets containing heroin, some with labels like Ace of Spades.

Kerry Kennedy acquitted

WHITE PLAINS, New York -- It took a suburban New York jury less than two hours Friday to acquit human rights activist Kerry Kennedy of a misdemeanor charge of drugged driving after she accidentally took a sleeping pill instead of her thyroid medicine.

Ms. Kennedy, the former wife of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the daughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and niece of President John F. Kennedy, maintained she had taken the wrong medication, then drove her Lexus SUV erratically on July 13, 2012.


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