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Police arrest suspect in deaths of family

Sunday, January 5, 2003

Police arrest suspectin deaths of family
BAKER CITY, Ore. -- A fugitive charged with killing his wife and three children and dumping their bodies in a forest was captured Saturday after a two week manhunt, prosecutors said.
Edward Morris, 37, was arrested without incident in a drug store parking lot here, said Baker County District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff.
The bodies of Renee Morris, 31, Bryant, 10, Alexis, 8 and Jonathan, 4, were found by hunters Dec. 21 on an isolated road in the Tillamook State Forest. The area, in mountainous forest about 70 miles west of Portland, is covered with second growth timber and underbrush; it is popular with dirt bikers, all-terrain vehicle riders and hunters.
Authorities have not specified how the victims were killed, but autopsies completed late last month showed the four victims died of "homicidal violence," according to court documents.
Prosecutors charged Morris, who had lived in Portland with his family, with murder while he was still a fugitive.
Two witnesses spotted Morris's gray 1993 Dodge Caravan near the town of Durkee, called police and followed him about 20 miles to Baker City.
Radical group claimsresponsibility for fire
PITTSBURGH -- In the latest in a string of vandalism carried out in the name of the Earth Liberation Front, members of the radical environmental group are claiming responsibility for a fire at a Pennsylvania auto dealership.
A posting on the group's Web site said the "attack" targeted SUVs in a fight "to remove the profit motive from the killing of the natural environment."
Jugs of gasoline were set ablaze under three vehicles, engulfing them and a nearby car in flames Wednesday at a dealership in Girard, about 110 miles north of Pittsburgh, FBI Special Agent Bob Rudge said. Three other vehicles also had jugs of gasoline set under them but failed to ignite.
"I have no reason to doubt that it's an individual who committed the acts on behalf of the Earth Liberation Front," Rudge said.
The FBI considers the Earth Liberation Front one of the nation's most prolific domestic terrorist organizations. It is thought to be responsible for the 1998 torching of a ski resort in Vail, Colo., an arson that caused $12 million in damage and is considered the most destructive act of eco-terrorism in U.S. history.
Spanish court keepstanker captain in jail
MADRID, Spain -- A court upheld an order Saturday jailing the captain of the sunken oil tanker Prestige, whose spilled cargo caused what could be Spain's worst ecological disaster.
Globs of oil from the massive spill, which have already tarred Spain's coastline, began soiling the French coast last week, frustrating efforts by cleanup crews Saturday to contain the spreading pollution.
Even as French workers in white protective suits scooped up balls of oil with gloved hands, larger black clumps -- some as wide as 18 inches -- washed ashore. Local authorities appealed for more help.
The Prestige's hull cracked in a storm Nov. 13. The ship broke in two and sank six days later after being towed out to sea. It spilled at least a quarter of its cargo, tarring hundreds of miles of Spanish coast and forcing thousands of fishermen and other workers to live off government handouts.
The provincial court of A Coruna rejected an appeal of the jailing of the ship's Greek captain, Apostolous Mangouras, saying there was "solid and conclusive" evidence he disobeyed Spanish authorities in refusing to have the stricken tanker towed away from the coast.
The court, in the coastal region where the oil spill has devastated the local fishing industry, set the captain's bail at $3.1 million. Mangouras has been in prison since Nov. 17.
Cyclone survivors
SYDNEY, Australia -- When their solar-powered radio told them a huge cyclone was barreling toward their Pacific paradise, the residents of Tikopia headed for shelter in the hills.
For 12 hours last Sunday, cyclone Zoe lashed their tiny volcanic outcrop, one of the southernmost of the Solomon Islands. The storm, the most powerful Pacific cyclone ever recorded, uprooted trees, destroyed houses and flooded entire villages under 33-foot waves.
The first foreigner to visit the island since the storm said Saturday that though the island "looks like Hiroshima," none of the more than 1,000 islanders was hurt.
"These people used common sense that has come with centuries of dealing with these things," New Zealand cameraman Geoff Mackley told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Saturday after visiting Tikopia. Still, it was "a miracle" no one was killed, he said.
Associated Press