Nation digest 12/03/03

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Court: Police can enter 20 seconds after knocking

WASHINGTON -- After knocking, police don't have to wait longer than 20 seconds before breaking into the home of a drug suspect, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a case involving a man who said he needed more time to get from the shower to the door. The court didn't set a specific standard but said the brief delay in LaShawn Banks' case was long enough. Any more time would give drug suspects an opportunity to flush evidence down the toilet.

Ohio police: 12 highway shootings connected

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Authorities have linked 12 shootings along a five-mile stretch of Interstate 270 around Columbus, including one that killed a woman. Four of the shootings were from the same gun, Franklin County Sheriff's chief deputy Steve Martin said Tuesday, and investigators "are comfortable" saying all 12 are connected. He would not elaborate.

Witness: Sniper suspect tried to escape 'situation'

CHESAPEAKE, Va. -- A few months before the Washington-area sniper attacks for which he and John Allen Muhammad were arrested, a teenage Lee Boyd Malvo sought a way out of his "situation," Muhammad's first wife testified Tuesday. The letter in which he asked for help was not read to the jury, and it was unclear what situation Malvo wanted to escape. Malvo's attorneys contend Muhammad brainwashed him.

Military will send troops all the way home for R&R

WASHINGTON -- In an effort to bolster military morale, the Pentagon soon will begin paying travel expenses for troops to get all the way home on leave from Iraq and Afghanistan. Until now, the R&R program has flown soldiers only to three cities in the United States and two in Germany, leaving soldiers to pay airfare if they want to go farther. The cost is expected to be about $55 million.

Pancreas transplants cut survival rate of diabetics

CHICAGO -- Diabetics who stick with insulin injections and blood-sugar monitoring have better odds of survival than those who undergo a pancreas transplant, according to a study in today's Journal of the American Medical Association. Transplant patients had a one-year survival rate of 97 percent and a four-year rate of 85 percent, compared with 98 percent and 92 percent of those who controlled diabetes by conventional means.

Man arrested in case of missing N.D. student

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Police arrested a convicted rapist in the disappearance of a University of North Dakota student but have yet to find Dru Sjodin, 22, who has been missing since Nov. 22. Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., 50, was arrested Monday in Minnesota and charged with kidnapping. Authorities would not say how they connected Rodriguez to the case.

-- From wire reports

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