SARATOGA, Calif.

Three teens originally cited for misdemeanors in suicide

Three boys arrested last week on suspicion of sexually abusing a 15-year-old Northern California girl who later took her own life were initially cited on misdemeanor allegations in the case, authorities said.

The investigation in September turned up only enough evidence to support citations for misdemeanor sexual battery, Santa Clara County sheriff’s Lt. Jose Cardoza told the San Jose Mercury News on Saturday.

Deputies arrested three 16-year-old boys last week on suspicion of sexual battery against Audrie Pott, a Saratoga High School sophomore who hanged herself last fall after an explicit photo was circulated of the alleged assault.

MOGADISHU, Somalia

Nine extremists killed after two-hour attack on court

A barrage of bullets and two car bomb blasts rattled Mogadishu on Sunday when nine al-Shabab Islamic extremists stormed Somalia’s main court complex, officials said, in a two-hour attack that shows the country’s most dangerous militant group may be down but not defeated.

A preliminary death toll stood at 16, including all nine attackers. The government didn’t immediately publicize the number of security forces, government employees and civilians who died during the attack.

The assault was the most serious in Mogadishu since al-Shabab was forced out of the capital in August 2011. Al-Shabab controls far less territory today than in recent years, and its influence appears to be on the decline, but Sunday’s attack proved the extremists are still capable of pulling off well-planned, audacious assaults.

CAIRO

Muslim Brotherhood officials face trial over kidnappings

Two Muslim Brotherhood officials have been sent to trial on charges of kidnapping and torturing three men during protests in November following Islamist President Mohammed Morsi’s decrees, since rescinded, that granted him near absolute powers.

The case in the Nile Delta city of Damanhour north of Cairo is the first of its kind against Morsi’s Brotherhood and is likely to embarrass the group at a time it is trying to fend off opposition charges of monopolizing power in the deeply polarized country.

Mohammed Bahnasy, a lawyer for the three victims, told The Associated Press on Sunday that the case was referred to trial a day earlier. The two Brotherhood local officials — Mustafa el-Khouli and Mohammed Abdel-Radi — have not been detained.

An arrest warrant has been issued for el-Khouli, who has failed to respond to a summons for questioning, according to Bahnasy. Abdel-Radi was questioned and released pending the start of the trial, according to him and another lawyer involved in the case, Mohammed Abdel-Aziz.

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y.

Two siblings found dead in next-door neighbor’s pool

Two young siblings reported missing on New York’s Long Island died Sunday after their fully clothed bodies were pulled from the black waters of a neighbor’s pool in 50-degree temperatures, police said.

Police received a 911 call at about 3:30 p.m. from a mother reporting that her 5-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter disappeared from their home in Central Islip, said Detective Sgt. Edward Fandrey of the Suffolk County police homicide squad. While searching the neighborhood, an officer spotted a shoe floating in a next-door neighbor’s pool, which was uncovered and contained blackish water, Fandrey said.

Officers jumped into the 4-foot-deep pool and discovered the unconscious bodies of Ralph Knowles and Sharon Knowles. The brother and sister were taken to Southside Hospital, where efforts to resuscitate them failed, Fandrey said.

The pool is surrounded by a deck. Both are sunken into the ground and surrounded by a low, wooden fence.

Fandrey said the pool’s owner had been cited by the town for improper fencing.

WASHINGTON

GOP lawmakers criticize Labor secretary nominee

GOP lawmakers are criticizing Labor secretary nominee Thomas Perez over what they call a questionable deal he brokered while serving as the nation’s top civil rights enforcer.

Three top Republicans issued a report Sunday accusing Perez of misusing his power to persuade the city of St. Paul, Minn., to withdraw a case from the Supreme Court.

In exchange, the Justice Department agreed not to intervene in two whistleblower cases against St. Paul that could have won up to $200 million for the government.

Republicans call the deal inappropriate and say Perez misled senior officials. But Democrats say Perez was up front about the strategy. The Justice Department says the decision was cleared with senior officials and was in the best interests of the nation.

Perez’s Senate confirmation hearing is Thursday.

– From news service reports