News Briefs

June 23, 1996
Web posted at: 12:20 a.m. EDT

Federal safety board upgrades three investigations

Ford minivan

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Friday it was intensifying three investigations into possible safety problems in some domestic vehicles.

The NHTSA is investigating 59 reports that the automatic transmission in some 1991 and 1992 Dodge Dakota trucks suddenly shifts from park into reverse, usually with the engine running. Three people have died and 14 have been injured in accidents reported to the government or to Chrysler Corp.

The other two investigations are reports of battery explosions in 1993 and 1994 Ford Mercury Villager mini-vans and complaints of faulty wheel studs on some 1995 and 1996 General Motors Corp. vehicles.

MOVE jury deadlocked, but will keep trying

PHILADELPHIA (CNN) -- The jury hearing the case against the city of Philadelphia and two former city officials in the MOVE bombing trial said Friday it was deadlocked on two of the defendants, but members agreed to continue deliberations. One juror was dismissed for unknown reasons.

Relatives of two victims and the lone adult survivor of the 1985 bombing of the anti-government group's house filed the civil suit, claiming the bombing and subsequent fire constituted excessive force. Eleven people were killed and 61 homes destroyed.

The city says officials dropped the bomb to disable a bunker with gunports on the roof and open a hole for tear gas after a standoff and gun battle with those inside the house.

Appeals court orders new hearing for Keating


SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- A federal appeals court ordered a new hearing on allegations of jury misconduct in the convictions of financier Charles Keating.

Keating's attorney has charged that jurors in his client's federal trial improperly learned of Keating's state court convictions in the collapse of Lincoln Savings & Loan. Those state court convictions have been overturned, and a new trial has been ordered.

Mitsubishi acknowledges harassment, says it punished offenders

PEORIA, Illinois (CNN) -- Mitsubishi's response to a federal sexual harassment lawsuit says that the automaker was aware of some harassment at its auto plant, but it discouraged the behavior and punished offenders.

The U.S. government filed suit, claiming the Normal, Illinois, company allowed the harassment of hundreds of female employees over several years. Mitsubishi initially denied the charges, but now says that 10 people have been fired for harassment.

Delaware bans gay marriages

DOVER, Delaware (CNN) -- Delaware became the latest state Friday to ban gay marriages when Gov. Thomas R. Carper signed a bill defining marriage as "one man and one woman being legally united."

The legislation also bars Delaware from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states, a response to a court case in Hawaii that could make the island state the first to recognize same-sex unions.

No jail for officer who shot undercover colleague

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A former police officer convicted of shooting an undercover colleague was sentenced to probation and community service Friday after his victim asked the judge for leniency.

Peter Del-Debbio was convicted of shooting Desmond Robinson five times in the back while Robinson, who was working undercover, was chasing armed teen-agers on a subway platform. Robinson said during the trial that the conviction satisfied him and that "jail time would serve no purpose."


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