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Nation in brief: Feds investigating Google-Yahoo deal

The Justice Department has opened a formal antitrust investigation into a deal struck last month that would allow Internet titan Google to provide some search advertising for Yahoo, according to sources familiar with the inquiry.

Investigators are planning to demand documents not only from Google and Yahoo, but also from other large companies in the Internet and media industries, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Google and Yahoo officials have said since the deal’s announcement that they would delay its implementation for a voluntary Justice Department review. But a formal investigation signals that the department may have found some cause for concern.

Starke, Fla.

Execution is first in 18 months

Convicted child rapist and murderer Mark Dean Schwab was put to death at the Florida State Prison on Tuesday, the state’s first execution since a botched lethal injection 18 months ago raised concern that a condemned man had endured a “cruel and unusual” ordeal.

Schwab, 39, was executed for the rape and murder of 11-year-old Junny Rios-Martinez, of Cocoa Beach. He killed the boy in April 1991, just a month after early release from a previous prison term for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy.

Attorneys for Schwab made a fruitless appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court late Monday, arguing that the last execution at the state prison near Starke in December 2006 was bungled, inflicting severe and prolonged pain in the death of 55-year-old Angel Nieves Diaz.

Upper Marlboro, Md.

Suspect found strangled in cell

A man arrested in the hit-and-run death of a police officer was found strangled in his cell, and investigators focused Tuesday on guards at the suburban Maryland jail, which has a history of security lapses.

As state police took over the investigation, an attorney for inmate Ronnie L. White’s family said the young man’s attackers “took it upon themselves to be both the judge, the jury and the executioner.”

White’s death shocked and angered officials in Prince George’s County, including County Executive Jack Johnson, who likened it to “vigilante justice.”

Investigators from the FBI and state police joined the case Monday after the state medical examiner concluded that White had been strangled Sunday morning.

White, 19, was arrested early Saturday on charges of ramming a stolen pickup truck into police Cpl. Richard Findley. Findley had gotten out of his police cruiser Friday while trying to conduct a traffic stop on the truck. White allegedly struck him and dragged him for a short distance.


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