Judge’s nondisclosure taints gay nuptials case
SAN FRANCISCO | The sponsors of California’s same-sex marriage ban said Monday that the recent disclosure by the federal judge who struck down Proposition 8 that he is in a long-term relationship with another man has given them new grounds to have his historic ruling overturned.
Lawyers for the ban’s backers filed a motion in San Francisco’s U.S. District Court, arguing that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker should have removed himself from the case or at least disclosed his relationship status because his “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”
They are now asking the judge who inherited the case when Judge Walker retired at the end of February to vacate Judge Walker’s August 2010 decision.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals already is reviewing the legal merits of Judge Walker’s ruling at the request of Proposition 8’s proponents.
Blacks more willing to spend all for cancer care
ATLANTA | Blacks and other minorities with cancer are more likely than whites to say they would spend everything they have on aggressive treatments that might prolong their lives, a study found.
Researchers don’t know why this is so and didn’t ask, but some think it may reflect differences in beliefs about miracles, distrust of doctors among minorities, and a misunderstanding of just how ugly and painful end-of-life care can be.
About 80 percent of blacks said they were willing to use up all their money to extend their lives, compared with 72 percent of Asians, 69 percent of Hispanics and 54 percent of whites.
The findings, published online Tuesday by the journal Cancer, were based on telephone surveys of more than 4,100 people newly diagnosed with lung and colon cancer. About 17 percent of the colon cancer patients and 31 percent of the lung cancer patients were in the most advanced stages of their disease.
Four more charged in 2008 Mumbai attack
CHICAGO | Federal prosecutors in Chicago have charged four Pakistani men in connection with the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, that killed 166 people, including six Americans.
Sajid Mir, Abu Qahafa, Mazhar Iqubal and a fourth defendant known only by the alias “Major Iqbal” were charged Monday in U.S. District Court with aiding and abetting the murder of U.S. citizens and conspiracy to bomb public places in India. None is in U.S. custody.
Three other men were charged in a previous indictment, including Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana, who is scheduled to stand trial next month. Terrorist leader Ilyas Kashmiri and retired Pakistani military man Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed also were charged, but their whereabouts are not known.
American David Coleman Headley pleaded guilty to charges that included scouting locations for the attacks.
Residents are helpless as river tops levee
POPLAR BLUFF | Thousands of southeastern Missouri residents watched helplessly Monday as water from the Black River crept toward their homes after flowing over the levee protecting their town and trapping some who had to be rescued by boat.
Several homes in and around Poplar Bluff were partially submerged, while water filled the front yards of other houses. The river topped the levee in multiple spots, raising concerns that it would give way under the weight of inch after inch of rain that had been falling since the weekend.
A levee break would send water flowing into the city’s south side and likely displace about 7,000 people.
Heavy rain pelted communities from Arkansas to Kentucky.
Cocaine found floating in lake where plane crashed
ALBUQUERQUE | Authorities pulled bundles of cocaine from a lake near Chama where a small plane crashed, but they haven’t found any survivors or bodies.
State police divers continued searching Heron Lake on Monday for the craft. Witnesses reported it crashed at about 10:30 a.m. Sunday into Heron Lake in Rio Arriba County, said New Mexico State Police spokesman Lt. Eric Garcia.
State police were using sophisticated sonar equipment to help them locate the plane.
Lake patrol officers found several packages of cocaine that are about 2 pounds floating at the lake about 100 miles north of Santa Fe.
The type of aircraft and the number of people on board was not known, Lt. Garcia said.
State police have blocked the road to Heron Lake and are not allowing people into the area while the search continues.
Federal authorities will investigate the cause of the crash.
Pastor free on bond in lesbian-custody case
BURLINGTON | A Christian missionary is free on a $25,000 bond after being charged with helping a woman leave the country with her child in a custody dispute.
Timothy David Miller, 34, was released to the custody of a friend Monday by a federal judge in Burlington. Mr. Miller has been charged with helping in a parental kidnapping and obstructing parental visiting rights. The Amish-Mennonite pastor from Tennessee is allowed to remain free on unsecured bond until a May 10 court date.
The FBI says Mr. Miller helped arrange travel to Central American for Lisa Miller and 9-year-old Isabella Miller-Jenkins in 2009. Ms. Miller has refused to obey court rulings to allow Janet Jenkins, the girl’s other legal parent, parental visitation.
Ms. Miller and Ms. Jenkins have been in a custody battle since they ended their Vermont civil union in 2003 and Ms. Miller became a Christian and renounced her homosexuality.