Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nation Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nation Digest

Article excerpt

Letters with ricin spur search

Authorities in hazardous materials suits searched a downtown Spokane, Wash., apartment Saturday, investigating the recent discovery of a pair of letters containing the deadly poison ricin. Few details have been released in the case, and no arrests have been made. Federal investigators have been searching for the person who sent the letters, which were postmarked Tuesday in Spokane.

The letters were addressed to the downtown Spokane post office and the adjacent federal building, but authorities have not released a potential motive. They also have not said whether the letters targeted anyone in particular.

N.Y. lawmaker accused of harassment quits * A New York assemblyman accused of sexually harassing young female staffers for years says he will resign before he's expelled from the Legislature. Assemblyman Vito Lopez informed leaders on Saturday he would resign effective Monday morning.

Volcano in Alaska slowing down * Alaska's remote Pavlof Volcano was shooting lava hundreds of feet into the air, but its ash plume was thinning Saturday and no longer making it dangerous for airplanes to fly nearby. A narrow ash plume extends a couple hundred miles southeast from the volcano, which is 625 miles southwest of Anchorage, said Geologist Chris Waythomas of the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Ex-hero police officer is charged * A former Philadelphia police officer once hailed as a hero and given a seat next to the first lady at a speech by President Barack Obama has been arrested and charged with rape and other crimes. Authorities allege that former officer Richard DeCoatsworth, 27, left a party with two women early Thursday and took them to another location, where they allege that he produced a handgun and "forced the two females to engage in the use of narcotics and sexual acts. …

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