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In brief


August 20. 2013 11:11PM


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FORT HOOD, Texas


Hasan to mount


defense, maybe


Military prosecutors rested their case Tuesday against the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people during the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood.


After calling nearly 90 witnesses in 11 days, prosecutors said they had completed their case during Maj. Nidal Hasan’s trial. Hasan also is accused of wounding more than 30 people at the Texas Army post during the attack, which was the worst mass shooting ever on a U.S. military base.


The judge adjourned the hearing after prosecutors rested, meaning Hasan could begin his defense today — but whether he will seize the opportunity remains to be seen.


Hasan is acting as his own defense attorney, but he questioned only three of prosecutors’ witnesses and has raised few objections. Even the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, seemed skeptical.


RAWALPINDI, Pakistan


Ex-leader pleads


not guilty of murder


In an unprecedented ruling that tests the military’s aura of inviolability, a court indicted former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf Tuesday on murder charges stemming from the 2007 assassination of ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.


Musharraf, who became a key U.S. ally in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, pleaded not guilty.


The decision by the court in Rawalpindi marked the first time a current or former army chief in Pakistan has been charged with a crime.


Musharraf, a 70-year-old former commando who took power in a 1999 coup and stepped down from office in disgrace nearly a decade later, now faces a string of legal problems that in many ways challenge the military’s sacrosanct status in Pakistani society.


MIDDLETOWN TWP., N.J.


Blast injures 8


at naval base


An explosion during boat maintenance at a New Jersey Naval base injured eight sailors and civilian employees Tuesday morning, one of them seriously.


The blast happened at the Earle Naval Weapons Station in Middletown at around 9 a.m. and was confined to a boathouse where the routine maintenance was being done, Navy spokeswoman Beth Baker said. She did not have details on the nature of the work that was being conducted.


One sailor was hospitalized with serious injuries. Seven other sailors and civilian employees sustained minor injuries.


There was no immediate word on what caused the explosion.


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.


Spacewalker details


panicked moments


The Italian astronaut who nearly drowned in his helmet during a spacewalk last month is sharing more details about the terrifying experience, revealing how he felt all alone and frantically tried to come up with a plan to save himself.


Luca Parmitano wrote in his online blog, posted Tuesday, that he could no longer see as the water sloshed around in his helmet outside the International Space Station.


“But worse than that, the water covers my nose — a really awful sensation that I make worse by my vain attempts to move the water by shaking my head,” the former test pilot wrote. “By now, the upper part of the helmet is full of water and I can’t even be sure that the next time I breathe I will fill my lungs with air and not liquid.”


Parmitano, 36, a major in the Italian Air Force making only his second spacewalk, wasn’t sure which direction to head to reach the station’s hatch. He tried to contact his spacewalking partner, American Christopher Cassidy, and Mission Control. Their voices grew faint, and no one could hear him.


“I’m alone. I frantically think of a plan. It’s vital that I get inside as quickly as possible,” he wrote.




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