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Associated Press
This photo provided by Jennifer Foster shows NYPD officer Larry DePrimo giving boots to a barefoot homeless man in Times Square on Nov. 14.

Soldier accused of leaks felt ‘caged’

– An Army private charged in the biggest security breach in U.S. history testified Thursday that he felt like a caged animal after he was arrested in Baghdad accused of sending classified information to the secret-spilling website WikiLeaks.

“I remember thinking I’m going to die. I’m stuck inside this cage,” said Pfc. Bradley Manning said about the nearly two months he spent in a cell at Camp Arifjan, an Army installation in Kuwait, before he was moved stateside.

Manning is trying to avoid trial in the WikiLeaks case. He argues he was punished enough when he was locked up alone in a small cell for nearly nine months at a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., where he also had to sleep naked for several nights.

The military defends the treatment, given Manning’s classification then as a maximum-security detainee who posed a risk of injury to himself or others.

Senate panel OKs email warrant shift

Over objections from law enforcement officials, the Senate Judiciary Committee has approved legislation that would require police to obtain a search warrant from a judge before they can review a person’s emails or other electronic communications.

The bill passed Thursday makes it slightly more difficult for the government to access the content of a consumer’s emails and private files from Internet providers. Under the current law, the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, a warrant is needed only for emails less than 6 months old.

Caregiver barred for mushroom tragedy

A California woman who served poisonous mushrooms to residents of an elder-care home has been barred for life from working in such facilities after four people died, state officials said Thursday.

An investigation by the California Department of Social Services found that Lilia Tirdea, the home’s caretaker, failed to apply state standards by serving “foraged mushrooms” to five residents.

Two also fell ill, including Tirdea, after eating mushroom gravy this month, the report said. Investigators previously said it was soup.

Act of kindness by officer goes viral

A tourist’s snapshot of a New York City police officer giving new boots to a barefoot homeless man in Times Square is an online sensation.

Jennifer Foster of Florence, Ariz., was visiting New York with her boyfriend Nov. 14 when she came across the shoeless man asking for change in Times Square.

She said the officer – identified as Larry DePrimo – came up to the man with a pair of all-weather boots and thermal socks on the frigid night. She recorded his generosity on her cellphone.

Foster’s photo was posted Tuesday night to the NYPD’s official Facebook page and became an instant hit. More than 420,000 users “liked” it as of Thursday evening, and more than 140,000 shared it.

Maid settles lawsuit with Strauss-Kahn

Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and a hotel maid who accused him of trying to rape her have reached an agreement to settle her lawsuit, likely ending a legal saga that forced the onetime French presidential contender to quit and opened a floodgate of accusations against him, a person familiar with the case said Thursday.

A confidentiality agreement will likely shield details of the May 2011 encounter, which she called a brutally sudden attack and he termed a consensual “moral failing.”

Food stamps for a week for N.J. mayor

Newark Mayor Cory Booker said he will live on food stamps for a week starting Tuesday.

Booker will honor the challenge he made to a Twitter follower this month and try living on the monetary equivalent of food stamps for at least a week. He said he will be limited to $1.40 for each meal.

The average monthly food stamp benefit was $133.26 a person in New Jersey in fiscal year 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As mayor, Booker makes about 100 times that amount, $13,400 a month.