hRemembering Waco

hRemembering Waco
WACO, Texas -- David Hull rings a replica of the Liberty Bell for each of the victims who died in the Mount Carmel compound fire 12 years ago. About 50 friends and remaining Davidians attended a memorial service Tuesday at the one-room chapel on the grounds of the compound near Waco.
BTK suspect waives right
WICHITA, Kan. -- The man accused of the BTK serial killings waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday, an acknowledgment that the state has enough evidence to go to trial. During the hearing, which lasted only a few minutes, Dennis Rader calmly answered "Yes, sir" to questions from Sedgwick County District Judge Gregory Waller about whether he wanted to waive the hearing and whether he understood his rights. Prosecutors presented no evidence against Rader, who was neatly dressed in a gray suit and wearing leg restraints.
Rice: Putin is a concern
MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin's efforts to amass power and control television broadcasts are "very worrying" trends that have undermined Russian democracy, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday. Rice said she saw some bright signs, including nascent efforts to form political parties to vie for the presidency when Putin's term runs out in three years, and said she understood that it was a "very complicated task" to govern Russia. But "there is no doubt that when we talk about the trends, the trends have not been positive," she said. Rice's comments, made to reporters as she traveled here for consultations with Putin and other officials, reflect the growing unease of U.S. officials about Russia's increasingly fragile democracy. President Bush pledged in his inaugural address this year to confront "every ruler and every nation" about internal repression.
Spanish court convictsofficer over 'dirty war'
MADRID, Spain -- A Spanish court convicted a former Argentine naval officer of crimes against humanity Tuesday and sentenced him to 640 years in prison for throwing 30 naked, drugged prisoners from planes during his country's "dirty war" more than two decades ago. Argentines who lost loved ones in the campaign against dissent -- some wore clothes bearing stickers with photos of victims -- hugged one another and cried with relief after the landmark ruling was read out against 58-year-old Adolfo Scilingo. The verdict closes Spain's first trial under a law that says crimes against humanity can be tried in the country even if they are alleged to have been committed elsewhere -- part of a growing body of international legislation that also has been applied for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.
Earthquake rocks Japan
TOKYO -- An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 struck southern Japan early today, swaying buildings and shattering windows. Six people were reported injured, but there was no danger of a tsunami.
Lunsford Act set in Fla.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The state House on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill named after a 9-year-old girl who was abducted and killed last month that would bolster punishments for sex offenders. The Jessica Lunsford Act would set a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life in prison for people convicted of molesting children under 12. If offenders serve less than life, they would be required to wear a global positioning system device after their release so authorities could monitor their whereabouts. The Senate is expected to take up its version of the legislation today. Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday that he supports the bills' general intent. Jessica, a third-grader, disappeared from her Homosassa home Feb. 23. John Evander Couey, a sex offender who was staying nearby, admitted kidnapping and killing her, then burying her body, police said. He is charged with murder and other crimes.
Combined dispatches

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