Nation briefs 2/9/04

Monday, February 9, 2004

Report: Conn. first lady receives federal subpoena

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The wife of Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland has been subpoenaed by federal authorities investigating alleged corruption in her husband's administration, according to published reports. The subpoena requires Patricia Rowland to produce documents or records, but it does not compel her to appear before a grand jury, The Hartford Courant and the New Haven Register reported Saturday. Patricia Rowland's personal attorney, Robert M. Casale, told the Register the subpoena seeks documents relating to gifts she or the governor may have received. The governor is facing impeachment after admitting he lied about accepting gifts for his Litchfield cottage from friends, employees and a state contractor.

U.S., Australia complete free-trade pact Sunday

WASHINGTON -- The United States and Australia reached a free-trade agreement Sunday that officials say will eliminate duties from more than 99 percent of American manufacturing exports to Australia. The deal, which requires congressional approval, also will boost most agricultural trade between the two countries on products ranging from beef to fruit to macadamia nuts. One notable exception is sugar, where current rules will remain unchanged. On the Australian side, the deal removes tariffs on more than 97 percent of exports to the United States, including a 25 percent tariff on light commercial vehicles.

Inmate who escaped by using paper gun captured

OMAHA, Neb. -- A prison inmate who escaped by brandishing a fake gun made of toilet paper, tape and black ink was captured four days later after a gunfight with police on a busy Omaha street. No one was injured in the shootout Saturday, police said. Michael McGuire, 54, had been on the loose since overpowering two guards Tuesday in the state prison at Tecumseh. Authorities were led to McGuire by a tip from a man who said McGuire had held him in his apartment for three days, said police Capt. Michael Butera. Police surrounded McGuire's car, but he ran, exchanging shots with officers over about a block, said police officer Dave Volenec.

Shots fired at two more vehicles along highway

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A van and a Mercedes were shot minutes apart on an interstate Sunday in a region where a series of 21 sniper shootings have occurred, investigators said. The gunfire seems consistent with the sniper shootings along Interstate 270 south of Columbus, based on initial evidence, Franklin County sheriff's chief deputy Steve Martin. He stopped short of linking the two shootings to the serial gunfire. No injuries were reported in Sunday's shootings, which happened about 11:30 a.m. on Interstate 71 near Jeffersonville, about 40 miles southwest of Columbus.

-- From wire reports

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