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Fla.'s Crist vetoes abortion measure

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed a bill Friday that would have required women seeking an abortion during the first trimester to undergo an ultrasound exam and pay for it.

Crist said the measure put an inappropriate burden on women seeking an abortion.

The Republican-led Legislature tacked amendments onto a noncontroversial health-care bill that also would have required women to view the live image of the fetus or have a doctor describe it. The only exception would be if they could prove they were victims of rape, incest, or domestic violence.

Ultrasound exams can cost between a few hundred dollars and $1,500. Democrats and many female Republican senators had asked Crist, a Republican-turned-independent who is running for Senate, to veto the bill. - AP

FBI probes rights in border killing

EL PASO, Texas - The FBI has opened a civil rights probe against a Border Patrol agent who shot and killed a Mexican boy, 15, at the boundary with Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a U.S. official said Friday.

Mexican prosecutors are investigating the case as a homicide, raising the possibility the agent could also face charges in Mexico, though it is unlikely the United States would agree to extradite him.

The agent was trying to arrest illegal immigrants running into the United States on Monday when he fired his weapon from the U.S. side into Mexico, where people were throwing rocks toward him. A bullet killed Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereka, who died in Mexican territory. It is unclear whether Hernandez was throwing rocks.

The FBI formally added the civil rights element to its broader investigation, said the official, spoke on condition of anonymity. The agent's fate could range from being cleared of all wrongdoing to a charge of homicide. - AP

Ex-lawmaker: U.S. closes case on him

WASHINGTON - Former nine-term Rep. John Doolittle (R., Calif.), who retired from Congress two years ago while under investigation in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, said Friday that the Justice Department had closed its case against him and would not pursue charges.

"I have been praying for this day for years," he said.

Doolittle, 59, said a Justice Department official told his attorney of the development last week. A Justice spokeswoman declined to comment.

It comes as the years-long investigation into the dealings of Abramoff, a former top GOP lobbyist, winds down. Abramoff was released to a halfway house this week after serving nearly four years in federal prison on fraud, corruption, and conspiracy charges. Doolittle was friends with Abramoff and helped some of his clients. - AP


Public defenders for Brian David Mitchell, 56, the man charged in the 2002 abduction of Utah teenager Elizabeth Smart, asked a judge to move his trial this fall out of the state, saying he could not get a fair one in Utah. Smart's kidnapping and her 2003 recovery drew wide attention.