hStreet gang plaguesstring of countries
WASHINGTON -- Robert Clifford, above, director of the MS-13 National Gang Task Force, meets with law enforcement officials from five countries who are struggling to deal with the street gang called MS-13 that is plaguing communities from the United States to Central America. A meeting at FBI headquarters Wednesday launched an unprecedented effort to make inroads against what officials called "a culture of violence." "We're trying to build networks of communication for sharing historical and current data on MS-13 members," said Deborah Strebel Pierce, deputy assistant director for the FBI criminal investigative division. Shorthand for Mara Salvatrucha, which loosely translates to guerrilla gang, MS-13 is a Latin American gang founded in Los Angeles by refugees from El Salvador. Members also come from Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.
DNA identifies rapistafter wrong man was held
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. -- A convicted rapist has been charged in a rape case that resulted in the wrongful imprisonment of another man who spent 21 years behind bars for the crime, prosecutors announced Wednesday. Joel Bill Caulk, 58, who is imprisoned in Massachusetts on rape and robbery charges, was indicted Tuesday in North Carolina on charges of rape, sexual offense and robbery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the March 31, 1981, attack, prosecutors said. Leo Waters was cleared of the same crime by a DNA test conducted in 2003. Charges against him were dismissed more than a year ago after he had served 21 years in prison. DNA testing wasn't available when Waters was convicted. Instead, authorities determined that his blood type matched that of the rapist and the victim identified him as her attacker. He was given two consecutive life sentences. Caulk was charged after the crime scene DNA sample was compared to his samples in a national registry, Jacksonville Police Detective Len Condry said.
Overloaded boat sinks,killing more than 100
BOGOTA, Colombia -- A small boat overloaded with more than 100 illegal immigrants capsized and sank in rough waters in the Pacific Ocean, and only nine survivors were found, clinging to a wooden box and buoys, officials said Wednesday. Ecuadorian Navy Capt. Armando Elizalde told Colombian RCN television most of the 113 people aboard "sank with the boat." The Colombian Navy said the immigrants' boat was meant to hold only 15 people. The disaster that hit the boat -- whose passengers were believed to be heading for the United States -- occurred Friday night more than 100 miles off the coast of southwest Colombia.
Test options limitedfor mad cow disease
WASHINGTON -- The Agriculture Department acknowledged Wednesday that its testing options for mad cow disease were limited in 9,200 cases despite its effort to expand surveillance throughout the U.S. herd. In those cases, only one type of test was used -- a test that failed to detect the disease in an infected Texas cow.
Restaurant bill insultswith ethnic slur
LOCH ARBOUR, N.J. -- The bill was a shocker, and not because of the amount. After eating at a Jersey shore restaurant, Elliott Stein and his girlfriend were handed a bill that said "Jew Couple" near the bottom, as a table identifier used by the waitstaff. The slur also turned up on Stein's credit card statement weeks later. "My grandfather went through all that in old-school Europe," Stein, a New Yorker and a regular at the restaurant, told the New York Post. "But that happened more than 50 years ago. You don't expect it to happen in 2005."
King's condition listedas 'fair' by hospital
ATLANTA -- Coretta Scott King was hospitalized in fair condition Wednesday after what two family friends described as a stroke. The 78-year-old widow of Martin Luther King Jr. was conscious and her vital signs were stable, but she likely will remain in the hospital for at least another day, Piedmont Hospital spokeswoman Diana Lewis said.