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Both sides wrap up in Simpson trial

Both sides rested in the O.J. Simpson kidnapping and armed robbery case Wednesday after a last-minute dispute over testimony blurted out by a witness threatened to derail the trial.

The judge, rejecting mistrial motions, expressed concern that the trial was in jeopardy and said, “I’m trying to get this case back on track.”

“I’m surprised you haven’t seen my head spin and fire come out of my mouth at this point in this trial,” said Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass.

Simpson and a co-defendant are accused of robbing and holding two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint a year ago in a hotel room to get back mementos that once belonged to the former NFL star.

After both sides rested, Glass dismissed jurors and told everyone to return today for final arguments.

Simpson was not called as a witness in his own defense.


Engineer sent text just before crash

A commuter train engineer sent a text message 22 seconds before his commuter train crashed head-on into freight train in Southern California last month, killing 25 people, federal investigators said Wednesday.

Cell phone records of Robert Sanchez, who was among the dead, show he received a text message a minute and 20 seconds before the crash and sent one about a minute later, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a news release.

The finding led Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph H. Boardman to announce an emergency order prohibiting use of personal electronic devices by rail workers operating trains and in other key jobs. California regulators have already enacted a ban.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico

Tons of cocaine seized from ship

U.S. officials say they seized more than 2 tons of cocaine from a Panama-flagged cargo ship in international waters off Puerto Rico.

U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez said Coast Guard officers boarded the vessel as part of a multiagency investigation of South American drug traffickers operating in the Caribbean.

They found about 4,255 pounds of cocaine hidden on the ship, which was loaded with coal and had launched from Colombia.

Rodriguez-Velez said Wednesday that the ship’s 10 crew members are in federal custody.


Tests discover melamine in candy

An industrial chemical blamed for sickening thousands of infants in China was found in candy in four Connecticut stores this week, a state official said Wednesday.

Days after contaminated White Rabbit Creamy Candy was found in California, Connecticut Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell Jr. said tests found melamine in bags of the candy sold at two New Haven stores, a West Hartford market and an East Haven store.

The contamination has been blamed for the deaths of four children and kidney ailments among 54,000 others. More than 13,000 children have been hospitalized and 27 people arrested in connection with the tainting.

On Wednesday, the Chinese government identified 15 more companies as producing milk products contaminated with melamine, bringing the total to 20 companies.

From wire reports


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