PASADENA POLICE ARREST 911 CALLER IN STUDENT DEATH: PASADENA (AP) — Pasadena police say they've arrested a 911 caller whose false crime report led officers to shoot and kill a 19-year-old college student thought to be a robbery suspect.
Chief Philip Sanchez says a man's 911 call claiming his laptop had been stolen by two armed men set off a deadly chain of events.
Sanchez says the phone call put officers on alert and led them to believe Kendrec McDade was armed when they saw him in an alley Saturday night.
Lt. Phlunte Riddle says McDade allegedly made a motion at his waistband and an officer opened fire.
Riddle says police concluded that the caller lied to police about the gun and detectives now believe neither McDade nor the other person was armed.
GOP-RUN HOUSE EASILY REJECTS BIPARTISAN BUDGET: WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has voted to decisively reject a bipartisan budget mixing tax increases with spending cuts to wring $4 trillion from federal deficits over the coming decade.
The 382-38 roll call paved the way for Republicans to muscle through their own, stringent budget on Thursday that blends big cuts to safety-net programs for the poor with a plan to dramatically overhaul Medicare.
The bipartisan measure rejected late Wednesday was patterned on a plan by President Barack Obama's 2010 deficit commission and was written by moderate Reps. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, and Jim Cooper, D-Tenn. They said it offered the only bipartisan approach to tackling Washington's massive deficits in an election year in which the two parties are polarized on the budget and virtually every other issue.
COURT: MAN CAN'T SUE GOV'T OVER RECORDS SHARING: WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the federal government cannot be sued for emotional distress after two agencies improperly shared a man's medical records detailing his HIV status.
"We hold that the Privacy Act does not unequivocally authorize an award of damages for mental or emotional distress," said Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the 5-3 opinion throwing out Stanmore Cooper's lawsuit. "Accordingly, the act does not waive the federal government's sovereign immunity from liability for such harms."
The San Francisco man, who is HIV-positive, disclosed that information to Social Security officials to receive medical benefits, but withheld it from the Federal Aviation Administration. During a criminal investigation involving pilots' medical fitness to fly, the Social Security Administration gave the FAA the medical records of some 45,000 Northern California residents who applied for licenses.
FLA. TEEN GETS LIFE FOR MURDERING BRITISH TOURISTS: SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida teenager received a life sentence Wednesday after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of two young British tourists last April, a case that generated blaring tabloid headlines in the U.K. press.
Shawn Tyson, 17, sat stone-faced as the jury's verdict was read and as two friends of the victims spoke angrily about the crime. When Judge Rick De Furia asked Tyson if he wanted to say anything before being sentenced, Tyson mumbled, "No."
During the trial, witnesses testified that Tyson shot James Cooper, 25, and James Kouzaris, 24, last April 16. The two men were vacationing in Sarasota and spent an evening drinking when they got lost and walked into a housing project where Tyson lived. Details of their deaths have gripped the British news media. Tabloids there have written stories saying the men were "slaughtered" in a Florida "ghetto."
BLUEGRASS LEGEND EARL SCRUGGS DIES AT AGE 88: NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Bluegrass legend and banjo pioneer Earl Scruggs, who helped profoundly change country music with Bill Monroe in the 1940s and later with guitarist Lester Flatt, has died. He was 88.
Scruggs' son Gary said his father died of natural causes Wednesday morning at a Nashville, Tenn., hospital.
Earl Scruggs was an innovator who pioneered the modern banjo sound. His use of three fingers rather than the clawhammer style elevated the banjo from a part of the rhythm section — or a comedian's prop — to a lead instrument.
His string-bending and lead runs became known worldwide as "the Scruggs picking style" and the versatility it allowed has helped popularize the banjo in almost every genre of music.
ARPAIO RESPONDS TO RULING CRITICAL OF PINK BOXERS: PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona sheriff known for making prisoners wear pink underwear asked an appeals court Wednesday to reconsider its ruling that criticized jail officers' decision to force the colorful boxer shorts onto a mentally ill inmate who erroneously believed the officers were trying to rape him.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled in a case brought by the estate of inmate Eric Vogel against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio that the mandatory pink undergarments were a form of "punishment without legal justification." The court also said it was fair to infer that the selection of pink as the color was meant to symbolize the loss of prisoners' masculinity.
An Arpaio lawyer who asked the court to reconsider its March 7 ruling had argued its statement about the underwear appearing to be punishment without justification was improper and that no one had an opportunity to present evidence on that issue.
WOMEN'S GROUP PROTESTS LIMBAUGH HONOR IN MISSOURI : JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri House Speaker Steven Tilley has been getting a lot of deliveries from women's rights groups since his decision to commission a bronze bust of Rush Limbaugh to be placed among other honorees inside the state Capitol's Hall of Famous Missourians.
Two weeks ago, one group wheeled 600 rolls of toilet paper into the middle of his Capitol office, waving signs and telling the speaker to "Flush Rush!"
On Wednesday, another round of protesters marched around the Capitol's north side before piling up pages with about 35,000 petition signatures outside Tilley's third-floor corner office.
The Perryville Republican announced the honor for the conservative radio host days after Limbaugh described a Georgetown law student as a "slut" and a "prostitute" for her testimony about birth control before congressional Democrats. Limbaugh has since apologized for his language.