EL PASO, TEXAS

Briton’s court date set

A retired British businessman accused of trying to sell missile batteries to Iran in 2006 made his first appearance in a U.S. court Tuesday. Christopher Tappin, 65, faces charges in El Paso that he tried to buy specialized batteries for Hawk missiles for $25,000 from undercover American agents with the intention of exporting them to Iran. Two other men have already been convicted in the case. The retired British businessman was informed of the charges against him and the legal rights he has under U.S. law. His detention hearing is scheduled for Friday.

SACRAMENTO, CALIF.

Abortion bill proposed

A California state senator is proposing to expand access to abortion in the state by allowing licensed nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurse midwives to perform nonsurgical versions of the procedure in the first trimester of pregnancy. Democratic state Sen. Christine Kehoe late last week introduced SB1501, which would allow medical professionals who are not doctors to perform aspiration abortions, which is the procedure most often used to terminate a pregnancy in the first trimester.

PEORIA, ARIZ.

Sergeant suspended

A Peoria, Ariz., police sergeant has been demoted and suspended for two weeks without pay for posting a photo of a bullet-riddled image of President Barack Obama on Facebook. Officials in the Phoenix suburb said Tuesday that Pat Shearer will be demoted to the rank of officer, which means a reduction in pay. Shearer has 10 days to appeal. The 25-year veteran had been reassigned to administrative duties during the investigation.

PORTLAND, Maine

Senator won’t run again

Moderate GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe, 65, of Maine, said Tuesday she would abandon her campaign for a fourth term — a contest she was expected to win easily — because she is frustrated by a polarized atmosphere in Washington. The move dealt an immediate blow to Republicans hoping to take control of the Senate in November by giving Democrats new hope of winning the longtime GOP-held seat.

Compiled from wire reports.