American Scene

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Christopher Bizilj’s parents approved the Westfield Sportsman’s Club’s plea deal, reached Thursday in Hampden Superior Court, where his mother’s description of their grief left the judge visibly shaken.

Christopher, a third-grader from Ashford, Conn., died after the accidental shooting during an October 2008 gun fair at the Westfield club. His father and brother were a few feet away.

Three men who arranged the gun fair and provided the weapons are scheduled to stand trial in June on charges of involuntary manslaughter, including a former police chief for Pelham, Mass.

Through its attorney, the Westfield club pleaded no contest Thursday to a charge of involuntary manslaughter and paid a $1,000 fine, the maximum it faced under state law.

NEW JERSEY

American held after al-Qaeda sweep, shootout

BUENA — Yemen counterterrorism authorities captured a U.S. citizen of Somali origin after he shot his way out of a hospital in the Middle Eastern country, where he was being held after a sweep of al Qaeda members, authorities said Thursday.

Authorities in Yemen are holding Sharif Mobley, 26, who was being treated in Republican Hospital in San’a when he got into a shootout with guards, killing one, as he attempted to escape, said Mohammed Albasha, spokesman for Yemen’s embassy in Washington.

Mr. Mobley graduated from high school in 2002 in the southern New Jersey town of Buena, and records show he previously lived in Philadelphia and Newark, Del. It wasn’t clear when he went to Yemen, though his mother told WMGM-TV in Atlantic City that he was there when she talked to him in January.

As his father, Charles Mobley, pulled out of the family’s driveway on the way to see a lawyer Thursday, he said: “I can tell you this: He’s no terrorist.”

RHODE ISLAND

Mediator to lead talks over teacher firings

PROVIDENCE — The head of a troubled Rhode Island school that fired all its teachers has agreed to use a mediator in upcoming negotiations with the teachers union.

The announcement came Thursday during a meeting that included Central Falls School Superintendent Frances Gallo and the teachers union. It was their first meeting since city leaders voted last month to fire all the teachers from Central Falls High School after the end of the school year.

President Obama has called it an example of holding failing schools accountable.

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