National briefs: Calif. shooting leaves 4 dead
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TUSTIN, Calif. -- A 20-year-old part-time college student was responsible for an hourlong early-morning shooting and carjacking rampage in Orange County on Tuesday that left four dead, including the gunman, the police said.
The man, Ali Syed, began shooting around 4:45 a.m. at the home where he lived with his parents in Ladera Ranch, officials said. He fired multiple times at a young woman in the house, killing her, and fled in his parents' sport utility vehicle, they said.
Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department, said the relationship between Mr. Syed and the victim, who was identified only as a woman in her 20s, had not been determined, nor was Mr. Syed's motive in the killing clear.
But after leaving his parents' home, Mr. Syed dispensed death and mercy with a baffling randomness, executing some victims with his shotgun while sparing others.
WASHINGTON -- Police don't have to extensively document the work of drug-sniffing dogs in the field to be able to use the results of their work in court, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
Instead, Justice Elena Kagan wrote for a unanimous court, courts should apply the same tests to dog sniffs they do when they look at other issues of whether police have probable cause to take an action.
The court's ruling overturns a decision by the Florida Supreme Court in the case of Aldo, a drug-sniffing police dog used by the Liberty County sheriff.
Detroit's failing finances
DETROIT -- A review team appointed by the state of Michigan has concluded that Detroit is mired in serious financial problems, a step that draws the city ever closer to emergency oversight by a state-assigned financial manager.
If Gov. Rick Snyder concurs with the findings in the coming days, state officials will appoint an emergency financial manager who would attempt to solve the city's financial woes, and if that fails could ultimately urge Detroit to enter into bankruptcy proceedings.
In a way, the review team's conclusion, announced Tuesday, seemed inevitable in a city that has wrestled with more than $14 billion in long-term liabilities, nearly annual projections of imminent cash shortfalls and a population -- and accompanying tax base -- that has plunged to 713,000 residents from 1.8 million decades ago.
Probe target found dead
BALTIMORE -- Police want to identify women seen over two decades by a Johns Hopkins gynecologist who was found dead on Monday amid a police investigation that he was surreptitiously photographing and videotaping his patients.
The doctor, identified as Nikita A. Levy, 54, was let go by Johns Hopkins Medicine earlier this month after a colleague alerted security staff to the allegations, hospital officials said. They said Dr. Levy had been capturing images of patients with personal photo and video equipment.
Mystery writer wins case
The best-selling mystery author Patricia Cornwell on Tuesday was awarded $50.9 million in a federal lawsuit, according to The Boston Globe.
Ms. Cornwell, best known for her series of books starring the medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, sued her former financial manager, the firm Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP, and the firm's former principal, Evan Snapper, for negligence. The suit, filed in 2009, claimed that the company cost Ms. Cornwell and her company millions of dollars in losses and unaccounted revenue.
First Published February 20, 2013 12:00 am