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Nation in brief

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 18, 2002


L.A. considers limiting police car chases

LOS ANGELES -- The city's police chief has proposed a ban on most car chases after a recent series of crashes, including one in which a baby lost an arm.

The new policy would bar officers from chasing people for minor traffic violations such as missing license plates or broken taillights.

The Police Commission, the Police Department's civilian oversight board, has found that at least 60 percent of Los Angeles pursuits are for such minor offenses.

Missouri tuition violated law, judge rules

ST. LOUIS -- A judge has ruled that the University of Missouri broke the law for 15 years by charging thousands of instate undergraduates an estimated $450-million in illegal tuition.

St. Louis County Circuit Judge Kenneth Romines found that the state broke an 1872 law that required free tuition within the university system for all qualified Missouri youths over age 16.

The judge did not award any damages. A refund could cost up to $450-million, the university estimated. The plaintiffs' lawyer said he doesn't want to bankrupt the university but wants some remedy.

Antiabortion extremist faces new murder charge

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- An antiabortion extremist was indicted on a new murder charge Tuesday, almost a month after he admitted in a jail interview that he killed a doctor who provided abortions.

James Kopp, already charged with intentional second-degree murder, pleaded innocent to the new charge of reckless murder with depraved indifference to human life. If convicted, he could get 25 years to life in prison.

Prosecutor Joe Marusak would not explain the new charge, citing a gag order.

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