July 30, 2011 in Nation/World

In brief: Post braces as scandal widens

 

New York – New York Post staffers have been told to preserve any documents that may relate to phone hacking or payoffs to officials, as News Corp. prepares for a probe into its U.K. operations to reach across the Atlantic.

Post editor Col Allan sent a memo to staff Friday asking them to comply with the request from company lawyers.

Allan wrote that as the scandal at News Corp.’s News of the World tabloid unfolded in the U.K. “we knew that as a News Corporation tabloid, we would be looked at more closely.”

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder plans to meet on Aug. 24 with some 9/11 family members about an FBI inquiry into allegations that News of the World journalists attempted to bribe a former New York City policeman to get phone records of Sept. 11 victims.

‘Electric Daisy’ showings canceled

Los Angeles – Two major theater chains have decided not show the documentary “Electric Daisy Carnival Experience” in the wake of a near-riot outside the film’s Hollywood premiere earlier this week.

In canceling the screenings Friday, Regal and AMC theaters cited “the incident in Los Angeles.” Violence erupted after a popular DJ known as Kaskade, who was attending the invitation-only premiere, tweeted about a block party.

The Los Angeles Police Department had to be called in when some fans became unruly, throwing rocks and bottles and damaging three police cruisers. So far, three people have been arrested.

Wednesday’s premiere of “Electric Daisy Carnival Experience” at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre was to be followed by a nationwide showing in theaters for only a single night: Thursday at 9 o’clock local time.

The movie showcases the Electric Daisy Carnival, an all-night dance party, or rave, that has been held for 15 years across the country.

Polygamist leader defends himself

San Angelo, Texas – A polygamist sect leader defending himself against sexual assault charges broke his silence Friday with a 55-minute sermon defending plural marriages as divine and later said God would visit “sickness and death” on those involved if his trial wasn’t immediately stopped.

Warren Jeffs, 55, could face life in prison if he’s convicted of sexually assaulting two underage girls. He has been representing himself since he fired his high-powered lawyers Thursday, but he made no opening statement and spent hours sitting alone at the defense table staring into space in silence while prosecutors made their case.

On Friday, however, the ecclesiastical head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints suddenly cried “I object!” as FBI agent John Broadway testified about seizing eight desktop computers and 120 boxes and large folders of documents from the church’s remote compound in West Texas in 2008.

“There is sacred trust given to religious leadership not to be touched by government agencies,” said Jeffs.

Jeffs then launched into a lengthy defense of polygamy, but Judge Barbara Walther eventually overruled his objection. She said court rules prohibited him from testifying while objecting but she let him go on at length because he hadn’t offered an opening statement.

Jeffs then said he had no choice but to read a statement from God. Walther dismissed the jury and allowed him to read it.


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