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Weapons found in home after fire

More than 1 million rounds of ammunition, a cache of weapons and a tunnel were found at a man’s home after an explosive fire that forced a neighborhood evacuation, authorities said Friday.

The fire Thursday afternoon at the home in Norco, about 45 miles east of Los Angeles, caused some of the ammunition to explode.

On Friday, sheriff’s deputies and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives combed the house for evidence.

Dozens of metal and cardboard boxes filled with ammunition for shotguns, small handguns and assault rifles sat in a driveway. Two of the assault rifles were illegal, authorities said. The man had no permit for 75 pounds of black gunpowder that was also recovered.

No arrests had been made. The man, whose identity was not released, was taken to a hospital where he will receive a psychological evaluation.


‘Reasonable doubt’ definition sought

Jurors asked for a definition of “reasonable doubt” as they completed a shortened, eighth day of deliberations Friday in the perjury trial of ex-White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

They were to get an answer when they return Monday morning.

The written question the jurors sent to the judge offered the first real glimpse into the deliberations and suggested jurors were discussing Libby’s memory, a key element in his defense.

“We would like clarification of the term ‘reasonable doubt,’ ” jurors wrote. “Specifically, is it necessary for the government to present evidence that it is not humanly possible for someone not to recall an event in order to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”


Astronaut faces kidnapping charge

Florida prosecutors charged an astronaut Friday with trying to kidnap a romantic rival, but they declined to file an attempted murder charge recommended by police.

Lisa Nowak, 43, was formally charged almost a month after she was arrested at an Orlando airport parking lot.

Police have said Nowak had raced 900 miles in her car from Houston to Orlando on Feb. 5 to confront a woman she viewed as a rival for a space shuttle pilot’s affection. Nowak donned a wig and trench coat, then sprayed a chemical into the woman’s car when she wouldn’t let Nowak in, police said. Officers found a BB-gun, a new steel mallet, knife and rubber tubing in Nowak’s car, and they recommended she be charged with attempted murder.

Nowak pleaded not guilty last month on all counts that police recommended. Her attorney said that she denies the charges filed Friday: attempted kidnapping with intent to inflict bodily harm, burglary with an assault using a weapon and battery.


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Sen. Maria Cantwell says governments should not be on the hook for coal mine cleanups

UPDATED: 12:25 p.m.

updated  WASHINGTON – Congress should end a practice that puts the federal government and states at risk of paying for expensive coal mine cleanups when mining companies go bankrupt, according to a new finding by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. The GAO, an investigative arm of Congress, is recommending that lawmakers eliminate the ability of coal mine owners to self-certify their financial wealth, known as “self-bonding.” The controversial process lets owners avoid putting up collateral or getting third-party surety bonds – a requirement of companies in every other energy sector.