- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 26, 2010

CALIFORNIA

Conditions imposed on ticket-sellers

LOS ANGELES | The U.S. Justice Department cleared the way Monday for concert promoter Live Nation and ticket-seller Ticketmaster to combine after imposing major conditions meant to create stronger competitors and lower ticket prices for consumers.

Shares in both companies rose sharply in trading after reports surfaced that the merger would be approved. The rally continued after the afternoon announcement.

Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney said Ticketmaster would have to license its ticketing software to competitor Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc. and sell its subsidiary Paciolan to Comcast Corp. subsidiary Comcast-Spectacor. Paciolan sells tens of millions of tickets every year, she said.

The conditions would result in two large, vertically integrated competitors — AEG and Comcast-Spectacor — that would vie for ticketing contracts with the merged entity of Live Nation Inc. and Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc.

The merged entity would also be under a 10-year court order prohibiting it from retaliating against venues that choose to sign ticket-selling contracts with competitors.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Panda to leave U.S. next month

Officials at the Smithsonian Institution said a popular young giant panda will leave Washington’s National Zoo on Feb. 4 for China.

Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough said Monday that the panda would travel by FedEx to China, along with a 2-year-old female panda from Zoo Atlanta.

Zoo officials announced in December that Tai Shan would be sent to China for breeding.

Tai Shan has been one of the biggest attractions at the zoo. He was born at the zoo in 2005, but belongs to China.

FLORIDA

Girl’s mom gets time served for check fraud

ORLANDO | Casey Anthony, the Florida mother charged with killing her toddler daughter, was found guilty of check fraud Monday and sentenced to time served in jail.

Anthony, 23, was accused of going on a spending spree during the summer of 2008 — around the time her daughter disappeared — after she found the checks while borrowing a former friend’s car. Anthony started to cry as she apologized for using the checks.

Anthony remains jailed on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. She has pleaded not guilty to that charge and claims a baby sitter kidnapped Caylee, whose body was found near the Anthonys’ home in Orlando after a months-long search.

ILLINOIS

Not guilty plea in terrorism cases

CHICAGO | A Chicago businessman accused of leading a double life as an international terrorist pleaded not guilty Monday to making plans for an attack on a Danish newspaper and helping arrange the rampage in 2008 that killed 166 people in the Indian city of Mumbai.

Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 49, a Canadian national born in Pakistan, intends to fight the charges, his attorney, Patrick Blegen, said after the arraignment.

MARYLAND

Charles Mathias, ex-senator, dies

ANNAPOLIS | Former Sen. Charles McC. Mathias, a liberal Republican from Maryland who championed civil rights and protection of the Chesapeake Bay during his 26 years in Washington, died Monday. He was 87.

His sons Charles and Robert said Mr. Mathias died from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He lived in Chevy Chase.

Mr. Mathias’ career spanned the turbulent years of the Vietnam War and the civil rights revolution, and he often found himself at odds with his party on those and other issues.

He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1960 from a western Maryland district and quickly gained a reputation as a Republican Party maverick.

MASSACHUSETTS

Kerrigan’s dad dies; son denies assault

WOBURN | Daniel Kerrigan, who rushed to his sobbing daughter Nancy and carried her into the locker room after an attack at a skating competition nearly derailed her Olympic dreams, died after what authorities said was a violent struggle with his son in their home.

Mark Kerrigan, 45, pleaded not guilty Monday to assaulting his 70-year-old father at the home in the Boston suburb of Stoneham, where he had been living with his parents. He did not speak at his arraignment, but at one point put his head in his hands and wept.

Nancy Kerrigan, a two-time Olympic medal winner, arrived at the family home shortly before 2 p.m. Monday without saying anything to reporters and photographers waiting outside.

Family members said Daniel Kerrigan’s death was not related to the argument with his son early Sunday.

NEW YORK

Ex-Guatemalan leader charged in U.S.

NEW YORK | Former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo was charged in the U.S. on Monday with using foreign banks to launder millions of dollars plundered from charity and government coffers.

Mr. Portillo, 58, is still being sought in Guatemala, where he’s been the target of a corruption investigation. A judge there approved his extradition last week.

The disgraced politician is accused of “converting the office of the Guatemalan presidency into his personal ATM,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of New York said.

TEXAS

Fort Hood suspect’s attorney fights exam

FORT WORTH | The attorney for the man accused of going on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood wants to challenge the Army’s plan to have three military health professionals determine whether his client is competent to stand trial.

Lawyer John Galligan said Monday he has requested a delay in Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s mental evaluation set to start next week.

Mr. Galligan said the board should be made up of civilian doctors because recent government reviews of the shooting have cited numerous problems in the military health care system.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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