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In brief: Police say arrestees planned to kill cops

Las Vegas – A sting operation stopped a plot to abduct, torture and kill police officers to bring attention to the antiauthority sovereign citizen movement, Las Vegas police said Thursday.

David Allen Brutsche and Devon Campbell Newman were arrested at an apartment a few miles off the Vegas Strip before they could carry out a plan to snatch officers, “put them on trial” and execute them in a vacant house, Las Vegas police Lt. James Seebock said.

Brutsche, 42, and Newman, 67, wanted to draw attention to the group’s rejection of governmental authority, making the case a domestic terror plot, Seebock said.

Hasan opts out of closing statement

Fort Hood, Texas – The Army psychiatrist on trial for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood passed on his final chance to address jurors before they started deliberating Thursday, even after prosecutors insisted they hand down a verdict that would allow the death penalty.

Maj. Nidal Hasan is acting as his own attorney but declined to plead his case after prosecutors finished their closing argument. When the judge told Hasan he could begin, he said: “The defense chooses not to make a closing statement.”

The Army psychiatrist is facing numerous counts of premeditated murder and attempted premeditated murder for the attack, which killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others at the Army post on Nov. 5, 2009.

Koch brothers drop plans to buy papers

Wichita, Kan. – Billionaire industrialists David and Charles Koch have scrapped their efforts to buy the Los Angeles Times and other Tribune Co. newspapers, a Koch Industries spokeswoman said.

The Kochs’ decision to not pursue the newspapers was first reported by the Daily Caller, a news website.

The website, citing unidentified sources with knowledge of the proceedings, said the Kochs conducted due diligence and determined that the newspapers were “not economically viable.”

Melissa Cohlmia, a spokeswoman for Wichita, Kan.-based Koch Industries, confirmed that the company is no longer interested in the newspapers.


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Early exit polls show strong support to lift Ireland ban on abortion

UPDATED: 3:05 p.m.

Ireland’s referendum Friday represented more than a vote on whether to end the country’s strict abortion ban. It was a battle for the very soul of a traditionally conservative Roman Catholic nation that has seen a wave of liberalization in recent years.