Jury selection in Craigslist trial
Jury selection began under tight security Tuesday in the trial of the purported mastermind of a deadly plot to lure robbery victims with phony Craigslist job offers, a scheme that led to three deaths and the wounding of a fourth man.
Nine uniformed deputies watched as more than 200 prospective jurors for the murder trial of Richard Beasley entered the lobby of the ornate, 84-year-old Akron Civic Theater because there was no courthouse room big enough.
The White House on Tuesday sought to keep delicate immigration negotiations on track, as a key Republican senator distanced himself further from a draft bill President Barack Obama’s aides are readying in case congressional talks crumble.
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s office said Obama’s plan “injected additional partisanship into an already difficult process.” The White House, after the weekend leak of its draft legislation, insisted the president wants the bipartisan Senate group Rubio is a member of to put forward its own bill instead.
Drug-OD deaths up for 11th year in row
Drug-overdose deaths rose for the 11th-straight year, federal data show, and most of them were accidents involving addictive painkillers despite growing attention to risks from these medicines.
“The big picture is that this is a big problem that has gotten much worse quickly,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which gathered and analyzed the data.
In 2010, the CDC reported, there were 38,329 drug- overdose deaths nationwide. Medicines, mostly prescription drugs, were involved in nearly 60 percent of overdose deaths that year, overshadowing deaths from illicit narcotics.
The report appears in Tuesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association.
Belgian police were on the hunt Tuesday for a group of thieves who made off with diamonds worth millions of dollars in a spectacular robbery at the country’s main airport.
The heavily armed men, who were posing as police officers, snatched an estimated 120 parcels from a diamond shipment that was being loaded from a Brink’s security truck onto a Switzerland-bound plane Monday evening, prosecutors said.
No shots were fired and no one was injured during the robbery, which lasted only about five minutes.
The gems are said to be worth about $50 million, Antwerp World Diamond Centre spokeswoman Caroline De Wolf told the Radio 1 broadcaster, according to several Flemish newspapers.
Missile strike kills 33 in Syria
A Syrian missile strike leveled a block of buildings in an impoverished district of Aleppo on Tuesday, killing at least 33 people, almost half of them children, anti-regime activists said.
Many were trapped under the rubble of destroyed houses and piles of concrete, and the death toll could still rise further if more bodies are uncovered.
The apparent ground-to-ground missile attack struck a quiet area that has been held by anti-regime fighters for many months.
In the capital, Damascus, state-run news agency SANA said two mortars exploded near one of President Bashar Assad’s palaces.