National briefs: Chrysler recalls 18,000 Fiats

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DETROIT -- Chrysler Group is recalling 18,092 Fiat 500L cars in the U.S. because the transmission shifter can be delayed or stop working. Fiat 500Ls from the 2014 model year are affected.

According to documents posted Saturday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, cold temperatures can affect signals sent between the car's main computer and the gear shifter. If that happens, the shifter may not shift out of park or the response may be delayed, increasing the risk of a crash. Chrysler says no accidents or injuries related to the defect have been reported.

Minivan part may cause fire

DETROIT -- Honda Motor Co. is recalling 886,815 Odyssey minivans in the U.S. because a fuel pump cover can deteriorate and cause a fuel leak. The recalled minivans were made between June 23, 2004, and September 4, 2010.

According to documents posted Saturday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the cover on the fuel pump strainer can wear down from exposure to high temperatures and acidic chemicals, like those found in fertilizers. Fuel leaks can cause a vehicle fire. Honda says no fires or injuries have been reported.

Group asks for fund return

SAN FRANCISCO -- A coalition of community organizations filed a lawsuit Friday demanding that California Gov. Jerry Brown return $350 million in funds diverted from the state's share of the national mortgage settlement.

California received $12 billion of a $25 billion agreement to help struggling homeowners through reductions in the principal or interest on their mortgages.

When the state was facing a budget deficit in May 2012, Mr. Brown, a Democrat, raided the fund to pay down debt issued to build homeless shelters and affordable housing. California law bars officials from moving money from "special funds" if it interferes with the intended use, according to the complaint filed in Sacramento.

Jury dismissed in Navy rape

WASHINGTON -- The judge presiding over the sexual assault trial of a former Navy football player sent the jury pool home Friday after the defendant asked the judge to decide the case instead.

Jury selection in the court-martial of Midshipman Joshua Tate of Nashville, Tenn., was scheduled to begin Friday morning at the Washington Navy Yard.

But before potential jurors entered the courtroom, Jason Ehrenberg, an attorney for Mr. Tate, told the judge, Col. Daniel Daugherty, that Mr. Tate had had "a change of heart" and no longer wished to have a jury hear the case. Mr. Ehrenberg later said the switch to a bench trial was prompted by what he described as the prosecution's attempt to "mislead" potential jurors about what constitutes sexual assault.

Bin Laden aide faces trial

NEW YORK -- A federal judge said Friday that the evidence that Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a top adviser to Osama bin Laden, conspired to kill Americans was "dramatically more than merely sufficient" to allow the case to go a jury.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of U.S. District Court ruled after a lawyer argued that prosecutors had not met their burden of proof, and moved for an acquittal before the case went to the jury. George Corey, an investigator for the U.S. attorney's office, testified Friday that he had viewed three speeches in which Abu Ghaith had made that or similar references. His defense case is to begin Monday.

-- Compiled from news services

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