hIn India, monsoon hits,leaving at least 200 dead
BOMBAY, India -- Chunnezhath Babu and his wife sit near their ruined house after heavy rains and winds hit the coastal area of Vypin in Cochin, India. That area was hit Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, India's financial capital was paralyzed by the strongest rains ever recorded in the nation, with torrential downpours marooning drivers, snapping communication lines and leaving at least 200 people dead statewide. Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil told The Associated Press that an additional 100 deaths were feared across Maharashtra state, where Bombay is the capital. Across Bombay, traffic was backed up all night and into Wednesday, with drivers abandoning their vehicles on roads turned into waist-high rivers. At one point, according to state-run All India Radio, about 150,000 people were stranded in railway stations.
Dems: Limited documentscould delay Roberts vote
WASHINGTON -- Democrats gave no ground Wednesday on their demands for more of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' legal documents, saying the limited release by the White House could delay a vote to put him on the bench. "The Senate will need the White House's full cooperation to expedite the scheduling," said Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who also said he would vote against Roberts if he found the nominee to have an "activist" agenda for the high court. Republicans say the minority Democrats are stalling in hopes they can find something in Roberts' documents that can be used against him in the confirmation hearings to be held by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The 50-year-old appellate judge is doing well in his face-to-face meetings with senators in the Capitol. "They don't have anything on him now, but they're still digging and hoping," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.
Judge sentences manin millennium bomb plot
SEATTLE -- An Algerian who plotted to bomb the Los Angeles airport on the eve of the millennium was sentenced to 22 years in prison Wednesday by a judge who used the opportunity to sternly criticize the Bush administration's anti-terrorism tactics. "We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant or deny the defendant the right to counsel," U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said. "The message to the world from today's sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart." The sentence against Ahmed Ressam was significantly lower than the 35 years recommended by prosecutors, but it could have been even shorter had Ressam agreed to testify against two of his alleged co-conspirators. Ressam, 38, cooperated with the government for about two years, but had quit by 2003, claiming the many months of solitary confinement had taken their toll on his mental state.
Maggot-infested man diesat hospital in New York
YONKERS, N.Y. -- A 63-year-old man died a day after emergency workers found him at his home in such squalid conditions that maggots were eating his flesh, a fire official said Wednesday. Paramedics went to Michael Link's home Sunday night after his 66-year-old brother and roommate, Adam Link, said the victim was having trouble breathing, fire department surgeon Roger Chirurgi said. Michael Link was lying in his own feces on a pile of debris and "had open wounds with maggots eating on the flesh," Chirurgi said. Link was taken to a hospital, where he died Monday, the surgeon said. His brother was undergoing psychiatric evaluation. Firefighters wore hazardous-materials suits to investigate the house after the brothers were taken out. Chirurgi said several veteran firefighters were sickened by the scene and stench.