Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
NYC soda decision 'temporary setback' Plea entered for Colo. suspect Colo. lawmakers OK civil unions Officer guilty in cannibalism plot
NEW YORK -- Eateries from corner delis to movie concession stands have gotten a last-minute reprieve from the nation's first ban on big sugary drinks. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging them to shrink their cups and bottles anyway.
A judge on Monday struck down the 16-ounce size limit for sodas and some other sweet drinks as arbitrary and outside city health regulators' purview.
"Despite yesterday's temporary setback, I don't think there's any doubt that momentum is moving in our direction," Bloomberg said during a visit to a Manhattan diner that is now voluntarily complying with the policy, ditching 20-ounce bottles of soda and reserving 24-ounce to-go cups for iced coffee.
A few hours later, the city filed formal notice of its plan to appeal.
CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- A bearded and bushy-haired James Holmes sat quietly as a packed courtroom waited Tuesday for a plea that could help shed light on a deadly shooting rampage he is accused of going on in a crowded Colorado movie theater last summer.
Instead, his lawyers told the judge they weren't ready to enter a plea -- despite numerous delays since the July 20 attack that killed 12 people and injured 70 at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises."
Judge William Sylvester entered a not guilty plea on Holmes behalf.
DENVER -- Colorado lawmakers took a historic vote to approve civil unions for gay couples Tuesday in a state where voters banned same-sex marriage.
The bill on its way to the desk of Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to be signed into law within two weeks. Once the measure is signed, Colorado will join eight states that have civil unions or laws to grant gay couples rights similar to marriage. Nine states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage.
NEW YORK -- Police Officer Gilberto Valle's lawyers said he was just spinning sick and twisted fantasies for his own pleasure when he chatted online about abducting, roasting and eating women. A jury, though, decided he was deadly serious.
Valle, 28, was convicted Tuesday.
His lawyers branded the outcome a "thought prosecution" that sets a dangerous precedent.
Prosecutors said Valle plotted in detail to abduct, torture and cannibalize six women he knew, including his wife. While none of the women were ever harmed -- and only his wife discovered his schemes -- prosecutors said he took concrete steps to carry out his plot.
They said the New York City police officer looked up potential targets on a restricted law enforcement database; searched the Internet for how to knock someone out with chloroform and where to get torture devices and other tools; and showed up on a woman's block after striking an agreement to kidnap her for $5,000 for a New Jersey man who wanted to rape and kill her. That man was also arrested and is awaiting trial.