By Todd Melby ST PAUL Minn. (Reuters) - A jury deliberated for a second day on Wednesday without reaching a verdict in a defamation lawsuit brought by former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura alleging his reputation was sullied by claims in a former Navy SEAL's book about his involvement in a bar fight. In closing arguments a day earlier, defense lawyers said Ventura, a former professional wrestler, was a publicity seeker trying to grab headlines by filing a defamation case against the estate of a fellow ex-Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle, who died after serving his country with honor. In Kyle's book, "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History," he alludes to a bar fight in which he hits someone who made disparaging comments about Navy SEALs. They said their client was defamed by the section chronicling a bar fight between the two men.
DETROIT (AP) — A suburban Detroit man who killed an unarmed woman on his porch was rocked out of sleep by a series of "boom, boom, boom" pounding sounds outside his home, causing him to grab a shotgun, open the front door and fire, a defense lawyer told jurors during opening statements Wednesday.
By Brendan O'Brien MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who is seeking re-election in November, has not seen any significant drop in his support since the release of documents on a probe into possible illegal campaign financing, a poll showed on Wednesday. The first-term Republican governor received 46 percent support, while his likely Democratic challenger, Mary Burke, got 45 percent support, the Marquette Law School Poll taken from July 17 to 20 showed. In June, a U.S. appeals court unsealed hundreds of documents that showed state prosecutors accusing Walker and others of participating in a broad plan to circumvent the state's campaign finance laws during recall elections in 2011 and 2012.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Sen. John Walsh's thesis written to earn a master's degree from the U.S. Army War College contains unattributed passages taken word-for-word from previously published papers.
By Victoria Cavaliere SEATTLE (Reuters) - Firefighters were holding the line on Wednesday against the largest wildfire in Washington state's history, as scientists warned that such blazes across the Western United States were becoming hotter, larger and more dangerous. The Carlton Complex fire burning east of the Cascade Mountains remained at 16 percent containment as crews cited progress installing lines around its 380 square mile (980 square km) perimeter, said Joni Quarnstrom, a spokeswoman for firefighting efforts. President Barack Obama has signed an emergency disaster declaration for areas ravaged by the fire, which was triggered by lightning July 14 and spread rapidly through the Methow Valley, 120 miles northeast of Seattle. Between 150 and 200 homes and dwellings have been destroyed by the fire, and two tiny communities of about a dozen homes in the Methow Valley, home to about 10,000 people, remained under highest-level evacuation orders.
(Reuters) - California state Senator Ron Calderon's trial on bribery charges has been delayed until after he leaves office this year. U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder, in a court order on Tuesday, rescheduled the suspended Democratic lawmaker's trial to May 19 from Sept. 16, finding that not pushing the case back would deny Calderon's lawyers the time they need to prepare their defense. Calderon is one of three California state senators, along with Democrats Roderick Wright and Leland Yee, who were suspended over ethics charges, costing their party a cherished two-thirds legislative majority in the Senate during an election year. Calderon, who has been in the California Senate for 12 years and who had served four years in the state Assembly, is charged in a federal grand jury indictment with taking some $100,000 in cash bribes, along with plane trips, golf outings and jobs for his children, in exchange for influencing legislation.
By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - A foreign government is paying for the criminal defense of alleged senior al Qaeda militant Anas al-Liby, his defense lawyer told a U.S. judge on Wednesday. Al-Liby, whose real name is Nazih al-Ragye, was captured in October in Libya by U.S. forces and brought to the United States to face terrorism charges in connection with the deadly 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. It was not immediately clear whether the government is Libya, which condemned the seizure as an unauthorized operation within its borders. Al-Liby’s lawyer, Bernard Kleinman, declined to disclose the identity of the governmental “entity” covering his fees during the court hearing in New York federal court.
EINDHOVEN, Netherlands (AP) — Victims of the Malaysian jetliner shot down over Ukraine returned at last Wednesday to Dutch soil in 40 wooden coffins, solemnly and gently carried to 40 identical hearses, flags at half-staff flapping in the wind.