National Briefs: No-fly list to change

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WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is promising to change the way travelers can ask to be removed from its no-fly list of suspected terrorists banned from air travel.

The decision comes after a federal judge’s ruling that there was no meaningful way to challenge the designation. In response, the Justice Department said the U.S. will change the process during the next six months. As of late last summer, about 48,000 people were on the no-fly list.

California teens arrested

SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. — Investigators acting on a tip unraveled a plot to carry out a mass shooting at a suburban Los Angeles high school, arresting a pair of students who planned to target three school staffers and kill as many people as possible, police said Tuesday.

School officials learned of the plot on Thursday and notified detectives, who began watching the 16- and 17-year-old boys and monitoring their online activity, South Pasadena police Chief Arthur Miller said.

They were also researching automatic firearms, handguns, knives, explosives and tactical techniques, he said.

The pair didn’t have a date for an attack or weapons, but their online messaging included the names of three staffers to target and threats to randomly kill students, Chief Miller said.

Miller said police interviewed the boys and realized how cold-hearted the plot was. Officials at South Pasadena High School did not disclose details of the initial tip. The names of the teens have not been released because of their ages.

Grandson shooting

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A 7-year-old Florida boy is in critical condition after his grandmother mistakenly shot him, sheriff’s deputies say.

Linda Maddox, 63, was sleeping in her bedroom with her twin grandsons after their father had gone to work, said Cristal Bermudez Nunez of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Concerned about her safety, Ms. Maddox had placed a chair against the bedroom door handle for “extra protection” before going to bed at about 11:45 p.m., Ms. Bermudez Nunez said. A loaded .22-caliber revolver sat on the floor next to the mattress.

Believing there was an intruder in her home, Ms. Maddox grabbed the gun and fired one shot toward the door just before 1 a.m. Seconds later, deputies said, she heard her grandson, Tyler Maddox, screaming.

He had been shot once in the upper body, and was taken to a hospital, where he was listed in critical but stable condition.

Ms. Maddox gave no warning before shooting, deputies said, and she told them that the room was pitch black. Ms. Maddox has not been charged in the shooting, but detectives are actively investigating and she could face charges later, Ms. Bermudez Nunez said.

Hackers steal data

NEW YORK — Chinese hackers stole Social Security numbers, names and addresses from 4.5 million patients of Community Health Systems, the second-biggest for-profit U.S. hospital chain, according to the company.

The attacks occurred in April and June, the Franklin, Tennessee-based company said Monday in a U.S. regulatory filing. The hacker group originated from China and bypassed the company’s security system, making off with non-medical information from people who visited doctors’ offices associated with the company.

The Chinese embassy in Washington said it wasn’t aware of the attack. Community Health said it’s notifying patients and will be offering identity theft protection services to them. The company said it doesn’t believe the electronic break-in will affect its business.

Texas governor booked

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Governor Rick Perry, a possible contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, was booked on political corruption charges inside an Austin courthouse as supporters chanted his name outside.

Mr. Perry, 64, the longest serving governor in Texas history, is accused of abusing his authority by trying to force out the District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg whose office probes government corruption across Texas. After Ms. Lehmberg was convicted of drunk driving, she refused to step down, and Mr. Perry subsequently vetoed funding for her office.

Texans for Public Justice, a nonprofit group, filed the initial complaint that led to the investigation of Mr. Perry. The governor’s bid to remove Ms. Lehmberg was part of a cover-up designed to derail an investigation of a cancer-research funding program he championed, the organization said.

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas has been criticized for funneling state funds to Republican donors, and a former official was indicted last year for mishandling grant money.

Prosecutors allege Mr. Perry abused his office by misusing state funds. He also tried to coerce Ms. Lehmberg into failing to carry out her elected responsibilities by threatening to veto a measure already approved by the legislature, according to the document. The abuse of official capacity charge is a first-degree felony and carries a possible prison sentence of five to 99 years. The coercion charge is a third-degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison.

— Compiled from news services


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