ARMY GENERAL FACING SEX CHARGES HAD PORN ON LAPTOP; FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — An expert in Afghan culture has testified that pornography found on the computer of a U.S. Army general then deployed to the Muslim country would be highly offensive to local residents.
Former Defense Intelligence Agency adviser Morwari Zafar testified Wednesday at a pre-trial hearing for Brig. Gen. Jeffery Sinclair. A court-martial for the former deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne is set to begin June 25 on charges that include forcible sodomy, indecent acts, violating orders and adultery.
Among the orders Sinclair is accused of violating is a prohibition against possessing pornography for U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Lawyers for Sinclair want the charge dropped, arguing the porn ban violates First Amendment protections of free speech. The defense has not provided an explanation for how pornography got on Sinclair's personal computer.
NJ GOV.: FRUSTRATION FUELED WEIGHT-LOSS SURGERY: PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he underwent secret weight-loss surgery because he had been feeling frustrated and angry over his inability to slim down.
The governor told people attending an event at a Princeton bookstore on Tuesday that he got upset with himself when his clothing wouldn't fit.
The Record newspaper reports Christie appeared at the shop with MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski to promote Brzezinski's new book "Obsessed," which includes an interview with Christie about his weight.
The governor says he often hears from people who don't understand the struggle.
Christie says "It's not as simple as, 'Push yourself away from the table and you'll be fine.'?"
In February, he had a band surgically placed around his stomach to restrict how much food he could eat.
NH CITY SUES PARKING METER 'ROBIN HOOD' GROUP: KEENE, N.H. (AP) — The city of Keene, N.H., has sued a group that feeds change into parking meters that are about to expire, saying members are harassing enforcement officers.
The group calls itself "Robin Hood of Keene." Members walk city streets with rolls and dimes of quarters to feed the meters.
WMUR-TV reports (http://bit.ly/10Gn9VW) the city accuses the group of interfering with officers' work. It asks them to stay at least 50 feet away.
The group records its time outside and posts videos online, sometimes showing members following the officers.
The city says one officer suffered stress, anxiety and heart palpitations from the group's actions.
Group member Garret Ean says he's not trying to cause any medical problems. He says he tries to keep a good demeanor with all the parking meter enforcers.
INFANT IN STROLLER FALLS ONTO PHILLY TRAIN TRACKS: pHILADELPHIA (AP) — A stroller carrying a 14-month-old girl rolled off a slanted train station platform and fell onto the tracks Wednesday, but the girl's mother leaped onto the tracks to rescue her with the help other passengers, transit officials said.
"What it looks like to us is that the mother became distracted by something, didn't apply the brake on the stroller and the stroller was able to move off the platform and onto the tracks," said Scott Sauer, director of system safety for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.
The accident happened Wednesday afternoon at the 56th Street station of the Market-Frankford Line in west Philadelphia. The platform at the station is slanted slightly for drainage purposes, Sauer said.
Surveillance video shows a woman on the eastbound platform with the girl in a jogging stroller, which slowly rolls forward and topples over onto the tracks about 5 feet below. What initially appears to be the girl flying out of the stroller apparently was just a towel or a bag. The stroller comes to rest on the outer rail, which carries no charge. The woman is seen jumping down and lifting the girl to a man waiting on the platform.
Other passengers ran to help, and one used an emergency call box to alert SEPTA police, who held an incoming train at the preceding stop.
NO CHARGES FOR TEEN AFTER EXPLOSION AT FLA. SCHOOL: MIAMI (AP) - A central Florida teenager who was accused of igniting a chemical explosion on school grounds — and who became the subject of a grassroots social media campaign on her behalf — will not face criminal charges, authorities said Wednesday.
Polk County State Attorney Jerry Hill wrote in a statement that the case against 16-year-old Kiera Wilmot has been dismissed, but that she must complete a diversion program.
The teen was arrested April 22 and faced possible felony charges after school administrators reported she combined toilet bowl cleaner and aluminum foil in a bottle, and the resulting gas blew the cap off the plastic bottle, according to the police report. The explosion happened outside, before school started, and no one was injured.
Kiera told Bartow police she was doing a science experiment, but science teachers said they had no knowledge of an experiment.
COLUMBIA U. SEEKS TO ALTER WHITES-ONLY BEQUEST: NEW YORK (AP) — Columbia University is seeking to change the terms of a 93-year-old trust earmarked for white students from Iowa.
The Lydia C. Roberts Graduate Fellowship stipulates that money be given only to "a person of the Caucasian race" from Iowa.
Roberts left Columbia most of her $509,000 estate when she died in 1920 and created the highly restrictive fellowship. It also stipulates that students must not study law, medicine, dentistry, veterinary surgery or theology. They also must move back to Iowa for a minimum of two years after graduating.
Lucy Drotning, the university's associate provost, filed an affidavit in Manhattan state Supreme Court last week in support of a legal action initiated by the fund's administrator, JPMorgan Chase Bank, seeking to change the terms of the trust. Columbia hasn't awarded the fellowship since 1997 — but the school said it's impossible to know when exactly Columbia stopped adhering to the race-related terms of the gift.