MINNEAPOLIS

Officer guilty of murder

in 911 caller's death

A Minneapolis police officer was convicted of third-degree murder Tuesday in the fatal shooting of an unarmed woman who approached his squad car minutes after calling 911 to report a possible rape behind her home, a rare instance of an officer being convicted after asserting he fired in a life-or-death situation.

Mohamed Noor was also found guilty of manslaughter in the July 2017 death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a 40-year-old dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia whose death bewildered and angered people in both countries.

 

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA

Government lifts

ban on social media

Sri Lanka on Tuesday lifted a social media ban that was imposed after the Islamic State group-claimed Easter bombings, a sign of security easing even as a Cabinet minister said he and others had received intelligence that they could be targeted by the same group in possible new attacks.

President Maithripala Sirisena ended the blocking of Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and other popular sites, but asked the public to "act in a responsible manner" on social media, according to a government statement.

 

HARRISBURG, PA.

Judge tosses conviction

of ex-Penn State leader

A federal judge threw out former Penn State President Graham Spanier's misdemeanor child endangerment conviction on Tuesday, less than a day before he was due to turn himself in to begin serving a jail sentence.

The decision by U.S. Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick in Scranton, Pennsylvania, gave state prosecutors three months to retry Spanier under the state's 1995 child endangerment law, the version in place in 2001.

Joe Grace, a spokesman for the attorney general's office, said the decision was under review.

 

OAKLAND, CALIF.

Relatives weep as trial

opens in warehouse fire

For two hours, victims' families wept and clutched one another Tuesday while a prosecutor opened a criminal trial by showing photos of and methodically naming each of the 36 partygoers who died in a Northern California warehouse fire.

Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Casey Bates then recounted for jurors the harrowing tales of two survivors who barely escaped the fast-moving fire and choking smoke while panic and indecision seized most of the victims attending an unpermitted music concert in an illegally converted Oakland warehouse.

The operators of the warehouse, Derick Almena and Max Harris, have been in jail since they were each charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter after the December 2016 inferno.

 

 

SOUTH BEND, IND.

Student says he was

asked to accuse Buttigieg

A Michigan college student says pro-Trump agitators recruited him to falsely claim he was raped by Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, then published the smear without his permission.

Hunter Kelly, a 21-year-old gay Trump supporter, said conservative activists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman sought to use him for the "despicable scheme" they concocted to blunt Buttigieg's momentum and help the president's re-election bid.

Wohl denied Kelly's accusation, saying the student had reached out to him. Burkman said on Twitter he believes Kelly's initial account of the assault was "accurate and true."

 

WASHINGTON

White House may target

Muslim Brotherhood

President Donald Trump and his national security team are weighing whether to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization, the White House said Tuesday.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump was consulting with his advisers and leaders in the region who share his concern about the Islamist movement with followers across the Middle East. "This designation is working its way through the internal process," she said.

 

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

Beluga whale so tame

people can pet its nose  

A beluga whale found in Arctic Norway wearing a harness that suggests links to a military facility in Russia is so tame that residents can pet the mammal on its nose.

The white whale found frolicking in the frigid harbor of Tufjord, a hamlet near Norway's northernmost point, has become "a huge attraction" for locals, one resident said Tuesday. The whale is so comfortable with people that it swims to the dock and retrieves plastic rings thrown into the sea.

 

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires