Supreme Court asked to review Klansman's case

JACKSON, Miss. - The U.S. Supreme Court should decide whether a reputed Ku Klux Klansman should have been tried on a kidnapping charge 43 years after two black men were abducted and slain in rural Mississippi, a federal appeals court said Thursday.

A majority of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said other Civil Rights Era cold cases could be affected by a Supreme Court ruling on whether time had run out for prosecutors to charge James Ford Seale.

Seale, now 73, was convicted in 2007 of abducting two 19-year-old friends who authorities said were beaten, weighted down and thrown, possibly still alive, into a Mississippi River backwater in 1964.

Crow war chief to receive medal from president

BILLINGS, Mont. - A 95-year-old Crow Indian chief who wore war paint beneath his World War II uniform and went on to become an acclaimed Native American historian will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom next month.

President Obama will give the nation's highest civilian honor to Joe Medicine Crow and 15 other recipients on Aug. 12. Obama met Medicine Crow during a campaign stop last year, when the then-candidate became an honorary member of the Crow tribe.

In 1939, Medicine Crow became the first of his tribe to receive a master's degree, in anthropology. He is the Crow's sole surviving war chief, an honor bestowed for a series of accomplishments during World War II.

Boston officer apologizes for Gates remarks

BOSTON - A Boston police officer who was suspended for using a racial slur to describe black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., apologized for his comments and declared he is not a racist.

Boston police put Justin Barrett on administrative leave Tuesday, pending a termination hearing. Barrett's Boston-based lawyer, Peter Marano, told reporters his client will fight the department if he is fired.

Health bill inches forward in House; Senate sputters

WASHINGTON - House Democrats pushed ahead with a compromise health overhaul Thursday over liberals' complaints, intent on achieving tangible - if modest - success on President Barack Obama's top domestic priority ahead of a monthlong summer recess.

'We've got to pass the bill. Not only do we have to, but we're going to,' said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

In the Senate, which breaks for recess a week later than the House, talks on a bipartisan compromise sputtered with mixed signals emerging from negotiators.

97 illegals found in trailer chilled to 34 degrees

PHOENIX - An Arizona officer who stopped a refrigerated trailer found nearly 100 illegal immigrants crammed inside in near-freezing temperatures.

A tip from federal agents led the Department of Public Safety officer to make the stop to check for faulty equipment Wednesday night near the Mexico border. The trailer was carrying fruit and chilled to 34 degrees.

Alleged shooter at Holocaust museum indicted

WASHINGTON - A federal grand jury indicted an elderly white supremacist Wednesday on charges that could earn him the death penalty in the fatal shooting of a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

Hate crimes charges were added to the case against James von Brunn, who has been in a hospital since the shooting last month.