Sergeant guilty of killing troops
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Army Sgt. John Russell was found guilty Monday of the premeditated murder of five fellow servicemen in 2009 at a mental-health clinic in Iraq, a charge that carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
Col. David L. Conn, the military judge, delivered the verdict, rejecting the defense's plea to consider the severe depression and post-combat stress they said led Russell, 48, to commit the killings.
The case marked the worst incident of violence committed by a U.S. serviceman on fellow soldiers during the Iraq War. A sentencing hearing began immediately after the verdict Monday and was expected to last much of the week. The judge could decide to make Russell eligible for parole. - L.A. Times
Detroit teeters on fiscal disaster
DETROIT - The first report by Detroit's emergency manager declares that the city is broke and at risk of running completely out of money - a financial meltdown that could mean employees don't receive paychecks, retirees lose their pensions, and residents endure even deeper cuts in municipal services.
If Detroit cannot avert disaster, the only option appears to be bankruptcy, a threat that looms large over Kevyn Orr's urgent efforts to make deals with creditors and debt holders. Experts say he will have to seek concessions from those groups to keep the Motor City afloat.
In March 2012, Detroit borrowed $80 million from Bank of America to avoid running out of money. But the outlook has not improved in the last year. - AP
Minn. to allow gay marriage
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Spurring onlookers' cheers, the Minnesota Senate voted Monday to make gay marriage legal, putting the state on the brink of becoming the 12th to allow same-sex couples to marry. Gov. Mark Dayton said he would sign the legislation Tuesday.
The Senate vote of 37-30 came four days after the House passed the bill on a 75-59 vote.
Minnesota will become the first state in the Midwest to make gay marriage legal via a legislative vote. Iowa legalized same-sex marriage in 2009 by court ruling. Under the legislation, gay couples will be able to get married starting Aug. 1. - AP
A second volcano in Alaska is heating up, with seismic instruments signaling a possible eruption, scientists said Monday. Pavlof Volcano, 625 miles southwest of Anchorage, last erupted in 2007. Cleveland Volcano, in the Aleutian Islands, experienced a low-level eruption in early May.
The sun fired off a massive flare Sunday, the strongest solar eruption this year, on the side of the sun that was not facing Earth. The planet was not hit with radiation, but space weather forecasters say the solar blast briefly disrupted high-frequency radio signals.