National Roundup

 Connecticut

Dismissal of suit against ex-leader of Mexico upheld 
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit alleging former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo was partly responsible for a 1997 massacre in a Mexican village.
Three judges on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected an appeal Tuesday by 10 people who sued Zedillo for $50 million in 2011. The court says Zedillo is immune from lawsuits as a former head of state. A Connecticut judge had thrown out the suit earlier.
The unnamed plaintiffs say they survived the killings of 45 people in Acteal in the southern state of Chiapas.
Their lawyer declined to comment on the ruling
Zedillo was president of Mexico from 1994 to 2000. The lawsuit was filed in Connecticut, where Zedillo is a professor at Yale University.
 
Nevada
Judge orders DOJ to process Ensign probe documents 
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A federal judge is ordering the U.S. Justice Department to begin cataloging and releasing records of an ethics investigation of former U.S. Sen. John Ensign of Nevada.
U.S. District Judge John Bates in Washington, D.C., rejected a government request to process a 1 percent sample of more than 210,000 pages produced.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Bates’ order was issued Friday in a freedom of information lawsuit brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
The group wants to know why the government didn’t prosecute Ensign.
The Justice Department, FBI and Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys rejected CREW’s request for documents, citing broad Freedom of Information Act exemptions.
Ensign, a Republican, resigned from the Senate in May 2011. He has resumed a veterinary practice in Las Vegas.
 
Pennsylvania
Craigslist killing suspect’s dad says she’s a liar 
SUNBURY, Pa. (AP) — The father of a Pennsylvania woman who with her newlywed husband is charged with killing a man she met through Craigslist said he would support his daughter’s execution if she is found guilty and even hold the hand of the victim’s widow.
Sonny Dean also told The Daily Item newspaper on Wednesday that he believes his 19-year-old daughter, Miranda Barbour, may have been involved in one other murder besides the Nov. 11 fatal stabbing of Troy LaFerrara, 42, in Sunbury.
But he cast further doubt on Barbour’s claim in a prison interview that she had killed more than 20 other people. Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Rosini said earlier this week that investigators have so far been unable to substantiate her claim.
Police said LaFerrara met Barbour through her Craigslist ad, which offered companionship in exchange for money.
Investigators allege the young woman stabbed LaFerrara, of Port Trevorton, about 20 times in her parked car as her husband, Elytte Barbour, held a cord tight against LaFerrara’s neck from the back seat and then dumped his body in an alley.
Dean told the newspaper that his daughter was a heroin addict and is a liar and manipulator, but he doesn’t think she is a mass murderer. “Miranda lives in a fantasy world,” he said.
Miranda Barbour told The Daily Item last Friday she killed fewer than 100 people but stopped counting at 22. She said she lured a man into an alley in Alaska and watched as the leader of a satanic cult to which she belonged shot the man before telling Barbour it was her turn.
“Believe very little of what Miranda says,” said Dean, of Texas. “She has a long history of extreme manipulation and dishonesty.”
It is possible she participated in a killing in Alaska, he said. He also did not dispute her claim of being a satanist.
“The reason I think that the Alaska incident is a possibility is that Miranda ran away from home at least two times that I remember, both for over a 48-hour period,” he said. “Once was around the age of 13 and once was sometime the following year, when she was 14. I don’t know what took place during either of those 48-hour periods.”
Dean said he prays for peace and comfort each morning for LaFerrara’s family, especially the victim’s widow, Colleen LaFerrara.
In a statement to the family, he said if a jury decides his daughter should be executed, “I would stand side by side with you, take your hand, and silently pray that some good may come of this.”
 
Washington
27 liberal groups oppose Obama judicial nominee 
WASHINGTON (AP) — Twenty-seven liberal groups have united in calling on Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject one of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees.
The groups, including NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Human Rights Campaign, oppose the nomination of Michael Boggs to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
In a letter on Wednesday, the groups cited Boggs’ record as a state legislator in the Georgia Assembly on issues such as abortion, gay rights and civil rights. They cited his support for legislation on parental notification and a vote for keeping the Confederate battle emblem on the state flag.
Boggs was elected in 2000 and served until 2004.
The groups urged the committee’s 10 Democrats to oppose Boggs’ confirmation.
 
Kansas
Bill to expand spanking dies in Kansas House 
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A bill that would have eased some restrictions on spanking will not get a hearing by a Kansas House committee.
Rep. John Rubin’s office said Wednesday that the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee will not consider the bill. Rubin is the committee’s chairman.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Gail Finney, a Democrat from Wichita, spelled out the types of corporal punishment that were allowed in the state. It would have let parents, teachers and other caregivers to hit children hard enough to leave marks or bruising.
The Wichita Eagle reports Finney says on her website that she introduced the bill as a guideline for parents, law enforcement, court officials and others, and to protect children. She says current state law, which allows some spanking, is not clear.

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