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Nation in brief

Calif. case gets extra coroners

By wire services
Published March 15, 2004

FRESNO, Calif. - Six coroners, triple the typical weekend staff, worked in shifts Sunday to identify the nine victims of a mass killing, believed to all be family members of a man who lived a bizarre life of polygamy and incest.

Marcus Wesson, who may have fathered two of the victims with his own daughters, was charged Saturday with nine counts of murder, with bail at $9-million.

"It's just very complicated," Deputy Fresno County Coroner Amy Hance said Sunday. "Who do you make notification to if eventually some of the victims are other victims' relatives?"

Wesson, 57, covered with blood but described by police as "very calm," was arrested Friday when he emerged from his home, where authorities found the nine bodies in a back room.

Two bodies recovered from water taxi incident

BALTIMORE - The bodies of two of the three passengers missing since a water taxi capsized eight days ago were pulled Sunday from the murky waters of the city's Inner Harbor, officials said.

Crews searched for the remaining missing passenger until dark.

The bodies of Andrew Roccella, 26, of Virginia, and 6-year-old Daniel Bentrem, of Harrisonburg, Va., were recovered Sunday afternoon. Corinne Schillings, 26, of Alexandria, Va., who planned to marry Roccella, remained missing.

Attorney general home after gall bladder surgery

WASHINGTON - Attorney General John Ashcroft was released from the hospital Sunday, less than a week after undergoing surgery to remove his gallbladder.

Ashcroft, 61, left George Washington University Hospital shortly after noon, Justice Department officials said. Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey, who has acted in Ashcroft's place since the attorney general entered the hospital March 4, will continue to run the agency while Ashcroft recuperates at home.

Powell challenges Kerry to name foreign fans

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., ran into some tough questioning Sunday - from, among others, Secretary of State Colin Powell - about his assertion last week that he had met with foreign leaders who support his candidacy. Powell, who rarely makes overtly partisan comments, challenged Kerry to name one such official.

"I don't know what foreign leaders Sen. Kerry is talking about," Powell said on Fox News Sunday. "It's an easy charge, an easy assertion to make."

Kerry refused to disclose which foreign dignitaries he had met with, or when.

[Last modified March 15, 2004, 01:10:13]

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