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Jacksons hold party; Michael a no-show

Sunday, June 19, 2005

SANTA YNEZ, Calif. -- Michael Jackson's family and fans -- and at least one of the jurors who acquitted him of child molestation -- gathered Friday night for a huge party that was billed as a celebration of thanks. The pop star himself, who has not ap-peared in public since his 14-week trial ended Monday, was nowhere in sight. Approx-imately 400 people attended the party at the Chumash Indian Casino. Reporters were kept out of the showroom. Casino officials said they had orders from the Jackson family to keep all journalists out.

MasterCard says only 68,000 at high risk

ATLANTA -- Only a small fraction of the 13.9 million credit card accounts at MasterCard exposed to possible fraud were considered at high risk, the company said Saturday. MasterCard International Inc. spokeswoman Jessica Antle said only about 68,000 of its card holders are at "higher levels of risk." The incident appears to be the largest yet involving financial data in a series of security breaches affecting valuable consumer data at major financial institutions and data brokers.

Abusive clergy barred from church work

CHICAGO -- America's Roman Catholic bishops have voted overwhelmingly to continue permanently barring abusive priests from church work, despite deep misgivings about the policy written at the height of the clergy sex abuse scandal. Friday's vote by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops means the American church will stick with the main points of the discipline plan it adopted in 2002 for the next five years. The Vatican is expected to approve the extension. Hundreds of accused clergy have been removed from ministry in the last three years alone.

Defense opens in 1964 civil rights murder case

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. -- Oscar Kenneth Killen, 74, brother of the man accused in the 1964 deaths of three civil rights workers, took the stand Saturday in his defense, saying the defendant was at a Father's Day gathering that day and never indicated he was in the Ku Klux Klan. Oscar Killen's brother, Edgar Ray Killen, 80, is being tried on the first-ever state murder charges in the killings of Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney. He faces life in prison if convicted. The defense called four witnesses Saturday. Defense attorneys said they would call two more witnesses Monday before closing arguments. They said earlier that they had not decided whether to put Edgar Killen on the stand.

Child support reduces single parenthood

SEATTLE -- Tough child support laws may dissuade men from becoming unwed fathers, as states with the most stringent laws and strict enforcement have up to 20 percent fewer out-of-wedlock births, a new study shows. Researchers at the University of Washington and Columbia University said Friday that child support laws' power to reduce single parenthood is an unintended consequence of a policy designed to help children and cut public welfare costs. Researchers said their study recognizes the father's responsibility.

--From wire reports

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