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CALIFORNIA

Marine charged in Fallujah case

RIVERSIDE — A former Marine sergeant has been charged with voluntary manslaughter in the killings of two captured Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah in 2004.

Wearing a black suit with an American flag pin on the lapel, Jose Nazario, 27, answered procedural questions before U.S. Magistrate Judge Oswald Parada. Bail was set at $50,000.

“I would just like to say, I’m a United States Marine who fought honorably for this country, and I’m innocent of these charges,” Mr. Nazario said outside court.

Defense attorney Emery Ledger said before the hearing that Mr. Nazario was charged last week and will enter a not guilty plea.

Mr. Nazario faces 10 years in prison if convicted of voluntary manslaughter, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry Behnke. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Sept. 5.

INDIANA

Assemblies of God elects new leader

INDIANAPOLIS — The Assemblies of God, one of the nation’s largest Pentecostal denominations, has elected a seasoned church leader as its new chief executive.

George O. Wood, who has served as general secretary since 1993, was elected to the top post of general superintendent at the denomination’s 52nd General Council meeting here.

Thomas Trask, who was elected to the top spot in 1993, is stepping down two years before his term expires. Mr. Wood will fill the remainder of that term.

The denomination also elected a black person to its executive leadership team for the first time. Zollie L. Smith Jr., president of the National Black Fellowship of the Assemblies of God, was elected executive director of U.S. missions.

LOUISIANA

Blame deflected in Katrina deaths

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