CALIFORNIA

Abuse charges for 18 linked to jail system

Federal officials on Monday unsealed five criminal cases filed against 18 current and former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies as part of an FBI investigation into allegations of civil-rights abuses and corruption in the nation's largest jail system.

The charges were announced at a news conference after 16 of 18 defendants were arrested.

"These incidents did not take place in a vacuum," said U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. "In fact, they demonstrated behavior that had become institutionalized."

Four grand jury indictments and a criminal complaint allege unjustified beatings of inmates and visitors at Los Angeles jail facilities, unjustified detentions, and a conspiracy to obstruct a federal probe into misconduct at the Men's Central Jail. - AP

FLORIDA

Whales died hungry

Necropsies performed on the 11 whales found dead in the Florida Keys show that they were emaciated and suffering from malnutrition, federal officials said Monday.

A fisherman found the 11 whales lying near each other Sunday in Snipe Point, on an island chain near Key West. Samples will help researchers discover illnesses or anything else leading them understand why the whales beached. - AP

WASHINGTON

Honor WWII group?

Legislation has been introduced to award Congress' highest civilian honor, the Gold Medal, to a lesser-known World War II-era group, the Monuments Men, charged with tracking down and sending Nazi art loot back to the countries from which it was taken. Of the original 350 men - and women - only five survive. - AP