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Briefs

Officer’s shots killed NY student, intruder

– A New York college student being held by an armed home intruder was shot and killed by a Nassau County police officer who had responded to a report of a home invasion at an off-campus home, police said Saturday.

Andrea Rebello was shot once in the head Friday morning by an officer who opened fire after the masked intruder, Dalton Smith, pointed a gun at the officer while holding the 21-year-old junior in a headlock, Nassau County homicide squad Lt. John Azzata said.

The Nassau County police officer fired eight shots at Smith, 30, who had what police have described as an “extensive” criminal background, Azzata said. Smith was hit by seven bullets and died. Rebello was shot once in the head, Azzata said.

The shooting came just days before the school’s commencement ceremonies, which are scheduled to take place today.

Nation

Arrest follows brash hate killing in NYC

A gunman used homophobic slurs before firing a fatal shot point-blank into a man’s face on a Manhattan street alive with a weekend midnight crowd, a killing New York’s police commissioner called an “anti-gay” hate crime.

New York City police say 33-year-old Elliot Morales, who fled and was arrested soon after, used anti-gay slurs before fatally shooting 32-year-old Marc Carson early Saturday in Greenwich Village.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says the suspect shot Carson in the face after apparently asking him whether he wanted to die. He says Carson and a companion were walking along Sixth Avenue when they were confronted.

Ricin letters prompt search in Spokane

Authorities in hazardous materials suits searched a downtown Spokane, Wash., apartment Saturday, investigating the recent discovery of a pair of letters containing the deadly poison ricin.

Federal investigators have been searching for the person who sent the letters, which were postmarked Tuesday in Spokane.

The letters were addressed to the downtown post office and the adjacent federal building, but authorities have not released a potential motive. They also have not said whether the letters targeted anyone in particular.

Officer called hero charged with rape

A former Philadelphia police officer once hailed as a hero and given a seat next to the first lady at a speech by President Obama has been arrested and charged with rape and other crimes.

Authorities allege that Richard DeCoatsworth left a party with two females early Thursday and took them to another location, where they allege that he produced a handgun and “forced the two females to engage in the use of narcotics and sexual acts.”

DeCoatsworth, 27, was hailed as a hero after he was shot in the face during a traffic stop in September 2007 but still managed to chase after his attacker, who was later sentenced to 36 to 72 years in prison.

Plane’s belly landing causes no injuries

An airline official says a US Airways Express flight with 34 people aboard was forced to make a belly landing at Newark, N.J., International Airport after experiencing landing gear trouble. No injuries were reported.

US Airways spokesman Davien Anderson says a turboprop plane that left Philadelphia shortly before 11 p.m. Friday landed safely at Newark with its landing gear retracted at about 1 a.m. Saturday. Anderson says the flight, operated by Piedmont Airlines, was carrying 31 passengers and three crew members.

World

Pope exhorts throng to revive morality

Pope Francis lamented that investment losses by banks trigger more alarm in the economic crisis than the struggle of people to feed their families, as he led a huge rally Saturday to invigorate the church’s moral conscience, hours after he held talks at the Vatican on the economic crisis with Germany’s leader.

Some 200,000 people, from Europe, Asia and the pope’s native South America, filled St. Peter’s Square and nearby streets to join Francis in hours of prayer, music and speeches aimed at encouraging Catholics to strengthen their faith and making morality play a greater role in everyday life.

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