Most marijuana possession will be decriminalized

Thousands of people carrying small amounts of marijuana may no longer be arrested or face criminal charges, city officials announced Monday, marking a significant shift in how the nation’s biggest city approaches policing pot.

Instead of being arrested on misdemeanor charges that carry potential punishments of up to three months in jail, many people will get court summonses and face non-criminal violations punishable by fines starting at $100, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton said.

While state law makes it a misdemeanor to have up to 25 grams of marijuana in “public view,” the mayor characterized stopping such arrests as an enforcement choice. He said it would give police officers time to pursue more serious crime and spare people from the consequences of arrest records for cases that often end up getting dismissed.


Student who made ricin sentenced to year and day

A Georgetown University student who was arrested for manufacturing the deadly chemical ricin in his dormitory room in March was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to a year and a day in prison.

In issuing her sentence, Judge Ketanji B. Jackson said Daniel H. Milzman’s intentions for manufacturing the chemical were “ambiguous at best” but that Milzman put numerous people, including his classmates and dormitory roommate, at risk.

Jackson also ordered Milzman, 20, to undergo a mental health evaluation, serve two years of supervised probation and perform 400 hours of community service. Milzman has been in an isolation cell in D.C. jail since his arrest. He pleaded guilty in September to unregistered possession of a biological agent or toxin.

ly vegetation in its path.

Firefighters will basically let a structure burn, but they will fight wildfires, Oliveira said.


Earthquake experts cleared of failure to warn of disaster

An appeals court has cleared seven experts charged with failing to adequately warn residents of the risk before an earthquake struck central Italy in 2009, killing more than 300 people.

The court in L’Aquila, the city struck by the quake, on Monday overturned guilty verdicts against the seven saying no crime had been committed.

The convictions two years ago sent shockwaves through the scientific community, which argued that the charges represented a complete misunderstanding about the science behind earthquake probabilities.

The defendants, all prominent scientists or geological or disaster experts, were accused of giving “inexact, incomplete and contradictory information” about whether small tremors felt by L’Aquila residents in the weeks and months before the 6.3-magnitude quake should have been grounds for a warning.

–From news service reports