Tsarnaev left note in boat

NEW YORK - Dzhokhar Tsarnaev left a "deathbed" note inside the hull of the boat where he was captured, claiming he and his older brother set off bombs at the Boston Marathon as retribution for U.S. attacks on Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, a law enforcement source said Thursday.

The note said the victims of the April 15 attack were essentially collateral damage, the source said.

He referred to his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who died in a shootout with police, as a martyr whom he wouldn't miss because he would join him in the afterlife, the source said.

The existence of the note was made public on the day FBI Director Robert Mueller defended the bureau's handling of a Russian warning about Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the months before the attack. - Newsday

Tough gun laws signed in Md.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Gov. Martin O'Malley on Thursday signed a gun-control bill that is among the country's most sweeping legislative responses to the December shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The law bans the sale of assault-style rifles, including the AR-15 used in the Newtown killing of 26 people. The law bars the sale of high-capacity magazines, and establishes the nation's first new handgun licensing plan in two decades.

A petition drive is underway to stop the law from taking effect Oct. 1, though it is unclear whether opponents can gather enough signatures in time. If they do, the law would go before voters in 2014. - Baltimore Sun

Killer convicted in 'blink' case

CINCINNATI - An Ohio man was found guilty Thursday in the death of a man who authorities say identified his assailant by blinking while paralyzed.

Ricardo Woods, 35, was convicted of fatally shooting David Chandler in Cincinnati in 2010 by a Hamilton County Common Pleas jury that began deliberations Tuesday. He could be sentenced to life in prison.

Police interviewed Chandler, 35, while he was hooked up to a ventilator, paralyzed after being shot in the head Oct. 28, 2010. He was able to communicate only with his eyes and died about two weeks later.

Prosecutors showed jurors a taped police interview in which they say Chandler blinked three times for "yes" to identify a photo of Woods. - AP

Elsewhere:

House Republicans voted for a 37th time Thursday to repeal all or part of President Obama's health law.