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Toyota, inspectors inspect wrecked Prius

HARRISON — Investigators from Toyota and the U.S. government inspected a crashed 2005 Prius in a suburb of New York City on Wednesday to see if a black boxlike device or its wreckage could point to problems with the brakes or accelerator.

The black box, known as an event data recorder, yielded information on engine speed and pedal position, Toyota Motor Corp. spokesman Wade Hoyt said. Investigators were still downloading additional data, he said.

A housekeeper who was driving the car told police that it sped up on its own as she eased forward down her employer’s driveway on March 9 and hit a wall across the street. She was not hurt. Harrison Police Department Capt. Anthony Marraccini said driver error had not been ruled out or indicated.

Mr. Hoyt said Wednesday that Toyota will share the results of its investigation with local police.


Prosecutor cannot bring ‘sexting’ charges

ALLENTOWN | A U.S. appeals court ruled Wednesday that a northeastern Pennsylvania prosecutor may not pursue felony charges against a teenage girl who appeared in a racy cell phone photo.

In the first criminal “sexting” case to reach a federal appeals court, the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. District Court of Appeals ruled against Wyoming County District Attorney Jeff Mitchell, whose predecessor had threatened to pursue felony charges against the girl unless she agreed to participate in a diversionary program and write an essay explaining what she did and why it was wrong.

That violated the teen’s constitutional right to be free from compelled speech and infringed on her parents’ right to direct her upbringing, the court said.

The photo, which wound up on students’ cell phones, showed the girl just out of the shower and topless, with a towel wrapped around her waist. It surfaced in October 2008, when officials at Tunkhannock Area High School confiscated five cell phones and found that boys had been trading photos of scantily clad, seminude or nude teenage girls. The students with the cell phones ranged in age from 11 to 17.


Millennium plotter appeals ruling

SEATTLE — An al Qaeda-trained terrorist convicted in an attempted bombing on the millennium is appealing a federal court’s ruling that his 22-year sentence was too lenient.

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