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CALIFORNIA

Latest quake related to April temblor

LOS ANGELES — An earthquake that briefly halted rides at Disneyland and toppled wine bottles at desert resorts happened on one of two faults that are under increased pressure because of the powerful Easter Sunday temblor in Mexico, seismologists said.

Wednesday’s magnitude 5.4 quake, centered in mountain wilderness 30 miles south of Palm Springs, rattled buildings more than 100 miles away in downtown Los Angeles, but no major damage or injuries were reported.

The latest quake occurred in the San Jacinto fault zone — one of two fault lines where researchers have noticed increased pressure since April’s magnitude 7.2 quake, which killed two people in Baja California. More than 5,000 aftershocks have rattled the border region since then.

LOUISIANA

ACLU: Prisoners kept in ‘squirrel cages’

NEW ORLEANS — A civil liberties group says a Louisiana jail humiliates suicidal prisoners by forcing them to wear skimpy shorts that say “Hot Stuff” on the rear and confines them in tiny cells narrower than a dog’s cage.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana says it is unconstitutional for the St. Tammany Parish Jail to confine prisoners in cages that are 3 feet wide, 3 feet long and 7 feet tall. The ACLU says guards and prisoners refer to them as “squirrel cages.”

A local code requires dogs to be kept in cages at least 6 feet wide and 6 feet deep.

The ACLU also claims suicidal prisoners are forced to wear bright-orange “short shorts” with “Hot Stuff” scrawled in pen on the rear.

MISSOURI

Person of interest in girl’s abduction dies

ST. LOUIS — A registered sex offender who shot himself as officers approached him for questioning about the disappearance of 4-year-old northeastern Missouri girl was almost certainly the man who took her, police said Thursday.

Authorities on Thursday said Paul S. Smith, 38, of Hawk Point, Mo., was the suspect in the Monday abduction of Alisa Meier, who was found alive and unharmed the following evening.

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