Hospital: Alleged shooter was treated, released

PARKERSBURG, Iowa - An Iowa hospital said it treated a 24-year-old man brought in by law enforcement officials and released him shortly before he allegedly gunned down his former football coach.

Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo said in a statement Thursday that its staff was not asked to notify authorities before releasing Mark Becker.

Becker was arrested Saturday after allegedly threatening a Cedar Falls homeowner with a bat and leading police on a high-speed car chase. Cedar Falls police said they asked to be notified when Becker could leave the hospital.

The hospital did not say what days it treated Becker, but state officials have said he was released Tuesday.

Becker is charged with murdering Aplington-Parkersburg High School football coach Ed Thomas on Wednesday.

Obama, Dems pushing move on climate bill

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama pushed urgently Thursday for passage of legislation to confront global warming, billing it as a job-creating machine rather than the costly 'job killer' Republicans denounced and telephoning wavering Democrats on the eve of what could be a historic House vote.

Speaking in the Rose Garden at the White House, Obama said Washington must not miss the opportunity to work on cleaning the air, creating new 'green' energy jobs and moving the nation away from its reliance on fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas.

No bail for man accused of threat against judges

NEWARK, N.J. - A judge denied bail Thursday to a New Jersey blogger charged with threatening to assault or murder three Chicago-based federal judges.

U.S. Magistrate Michael Shipp ordered Harold 'Hal' Turner transferred to Illinois to face the charge, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

According to a federal complaint, the 47-year-old Turner threatened three Chicago appellate judges who refused to overturn handgun bans.

'These judges deserve to be killed,' Turner wrote on his blog,, according to the complaint, and he also provided a map showing the Chicago courthouse where the judges are based and said a map showing their homes would be added.

Oil rises above $70 on economic turnaround news

NEW YORK - Oil prices jumped above $70 a barrel Thursday after the government said that the economy may be faring better than previously thought.

In a revised reading on gross domestic product in the first quarter, the Commerce Department reported a 5.5 percent annualized decline from January to March, rather than the 5.7 percent it reported a month ago.

The slowing economy has slashed demand for energy as factories shut down and fewer people drive to work or take leisure trips by car or plane. But it's thought to be shrinking at a slower pace this quarter, and refinery closures combined with ongoing political turmoil in oil producers Iran and Nigeria helped boost crude prices throughout the day.

Off-duty officer shoots two in stadium lot

ANAHEIM, Calif. - An off-duty police officer shot and wounded two men who had assaulted him in the crowded Angel Stadium parking lot after Wednesday night's Colorado Rockies-Los Angeles Angels game, authorities said.

The officer, who was walking to his car with his wife and two small children about 25 minutes after the game, was hit in the head with beer bottles, police Sgt. Tim Schmidt said.

'We think he was the victim of a crime,' Schmidt said.

SoCal immigrant activist charged with vote fraud

LOS ANGELES - An outspoken immigrant rights activist has been charged with election fraud for allegedly registering to vote in Los Angeles County when he did not live there.

District attorney's office spokeswoman Jane Robison said Thursday that Nativo Lopez has been charged with voter registration fraud, filing false documents, perjury and fraudulent voting.

Lopez is national director of Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana. He declined to comment on the charges Thursday.