NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Six months after being driven from office by scandal, former Gov. John G. Rowland pleaded guilty to a corruption charge Thursday, admitting he traded his office for more than $100,000 in flights to Las Vegas, Vermont vacations and repairs to his vacation cottage. Rowland, 47, probably will get 15 to 21 months in federal prison, lawyers said. The once popular three-term Republican had maintained for months that the businessmen and cronies who lavished gifts on him had received nothing in exchange. With a single word Thursday, he changed all that: "Guilty," he told the court, his attorney's hand on his back as he spoke.
WASHINGTON -- The threat of a terrorist attack on the United States still exists, but counterterrorism officials say there is a conspicuous lack of intelligence "chatter" being picked up. It's a stark contrast to last year's holiday season, when there was chatter indicating a plot could be in the works. The nation was under heightened alert and a number of foreign flights to America were canceled because of specific threats. U.S. and foreign intelligence and law enforcement services report a continuing stream of vague, lower-level threats from al-Qaida and other Islamic extremist groups against U.S. interests.
HOUSTON -- Two men were convicted Thursday for their roles in the nation's deadliest human smuggling attempt -- a journey that ended in the deaths of 19 illegal immigrants crammed in a sweltering tractor-trailer. Victor Jesus Rodriguez and Fredy Giovanni Garcia-Tobar each faced 58 identical counts. They were found guilty of the most serious charge, conspiracy, and 19 counts of aiding in the transport of immigrants that results in death. They could face life in prison when sentenced in March.
NEW YORK -- The owner of a popular bowling alley in Greenwich Village said Thursday his company is was severing ties with a group tied to the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and is returning its $1.3 million investment. Arafat invested the money in New York-based Strike Holdings, owner of Bowlmor Lanes, through a holding company he created called Onyx Funds, according to Bloomberg Markets Magazine. News of the investment upset some at the alley, which advertises itself on a website as an ideal location for bar and bat mitzvahs for Jewish teens.