Alaska high court rebuffs Joe Miller

JUNEAU, Alaska - The Alaska Supreme Court delivered another stinging setback to Republican Joe Miller, refusing Wednesday to overturn election results that favor his GOP rival, incumbent Lisa Murkowski, in the state's U.S. Senate race.

The high court upheld a lower court's ruling dismissing Miller's claims of impropriety in the state's handling of the election and the ballots for Murkowski, who waged a write-in campaign after losing in the primary to Miller. It found "no remaining issues raised by Miller that prevent this election from being certified."

A federal judge, who had put a hold on certification to give the state courts time to rule on Miller's claims, said he would give Miller 48 hours to plead any outstanding issues once the high court had ruled.

Miller spokesman Randy DeSoto said Miller's team was weighing its options and chances of prevailing in the federal courts. - AP

U.N. looking into suspect's treatment

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - The United Nations' top anti-torture envoy is looking into a complaint that the Army private suspected of giving classified documents to WikiLeaks has been mistreated in custody, a representative said Wednesday.

The office of Manfred Nowak, special rapporteur on torture in Geneva, Switzerland, received a complaint from a supporter of Pfc. Bradley Manning alleging that conditions in a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., amount to torture, said representative Xabier Celaya. Visitors say Manning spends at least 23 hours a day alone in a cell.

The United Nations could ask the United States to stop any violations it finds. The Pentagon has denied mistreating Manning.

Manning was charged in July with leaking classified material, including video posted by WikiLeaks of a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed a news photographer and his driver. He is suspected of leaking troves of other material to the site. - AP

Jury: Give father, son death penalty

SALEM, Ore. - A jury recommended Wednesday that a father and son be sentenced to death for planting a bomb that exploded inside a Woodburn, Ore., bank two years ago, killing two police officers and maiming a third.

In a three-month trial, prosecutors portrayed Bruce Turnidge, 59, and his son Joshua, 34, as bigoted men who hated authorities, were desperate for money, and feared that newly elected President Obama would take away their guns.

Both men will remain jailed until they are formally sentenced Jan. 24. The judge is bound by the jury's death sentence and cannot impose a lesser penalty. However, because the case involves capital punishment, it will automatically be appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court.

At trial, the Turnidges each pointed the finger at the other for building and planting the bomb, which prosecutors said was part of a plan to rob the bank. - AP

Elsewhere:

Two Chicago firefighters were killed and 17 injured Wednesday when the roof and one wall of a burning South Side building collapsed.