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National news briefs — compiled March 5

DETROIT

Great Lakes forecast

Record-breaking snow, ice cover and cold temperatures this winter will mean rising Great Lakes water levels over the next six months — but don’t expect too dramatic a recovery. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ six-month forecast for the lakes, released Wednesday, predicted Lake Erie would rise 2 to 6 inches above its levels of a year ago, but remain about 2 inches below its long-term average.

CHICAGO

Three accused in thefts

A father, mother and daughter from a posh Chicago suburb stole $7 million in merchandise during a decadelong shoplifting spree — traveling to stores nationwide and targeting dolls, toys, cosmetics and other valuables — according to a federal complaint released Wednesday. The three were arrested earlier this week at their $1.3 million Northbrook home after returning from a three-day trip through Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana.

NEW YORK

Rabbi faces charges

A Brooklyn rabbi and teacher at a girls’ seminary has been arrested on a child pornography distribution charge. Prosecutors announced the arrest Wednesday of Samuel Waldman, 52. A criminal complaint in federal court in Manhattan charged Waldman with distributing child pornography over the Internet in November by enabling others to download multiple videos depicting children in sexual acts, including girls ages 4 to 11. Waldman was charged with one count of transporting or distributing child pornography.

RALEIGH, N.C.

General to admit guilt

A U.S. Army general accused of sexually assaulting a junior officer will admit guilt on three lesser charges but maintains his innocence on more serious charges stemming from her claim that he forced her to perform a sex act, his lawyer said Wednesday night. Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair is set to enter the plea today before opening statements for his court martial at Fort Bragg. The primary accuser in the case is a female captain who claims Sinclair twice forced her to perform a sex act and threatened to kill her family if she told anyone about their three-year affair.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.

Radiation risk studied

Thirteen employees who were exposed to radiation during a leak at the nation’s only underground nuclear waste dump aren’t likely to experience any health effects, federal officials said Wednesday. The U.S. Department of Energy confirmed last week that 13 workers were exposed when radiation leaked from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Testing on follow-up samples taken from the employees came back negative for plutonium and americium, the two radioactive isotopes that were detected in preliminary tests.

Compiled from wire reports.



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