Court rules for immigrants in ID theft case

WASHINGTON - A unanimous Supreme Court said Monday that undocumented workers who use phony IDs can't be considered identity thieves without proof they knew they were stealing real people's Social Security and other numbers.

The court's decision limits federal authorities' use of a 2004 law, intended to get tough on identity thieves, against immigrants who are picked up in workplace raids and found to be using false Social Security and alien registration numbers.

Advocates for immigrants had complained that federal authorities used the threat of prosecution on the identity theft charge, which carries a two-year mandatory prison term, to win guilty pleas on lesser charges and acceptance of prompt deportation.

Suspect charged with assault in Craigslist case

WARWICK, R.I. - A medical student accused in Boston of killing a masseuse he met on Craigslist has been charged in Rhode Island with pulling a gun on a stripper in a hotel, Attorney General Patrick Lynch said Monday.

An arrest warrant issued Monday accuses Philip Markoff of assault and weapons violations. Authorities previously said Markoff, 23, was the suspect in the April 16 robbery attempt at a Holiday Inn Express in Warwick.

An exotic dancer from Las Vegas who offered lap dances told Rhode Island authorities that she was bound with cord and held at gunpoint by a man she met through Craigslist, a classified advertising Web site. She said her assailant fled when her husband came up to the hotel room.

Oil tops $54 with hints of renewed Chinese demand

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Signs of increasing energy demand in China, the world's second largest consumer, pushed oil above $54 a barrel Monday, but concerns over the state of the economic recovery and the spread of the swine flu continue to hold prices in check.

Benchmark crude for June delivery gained $1.27 to settle at $54.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after settling at $53.20 on Friday.

In the summer of 2008, surging demand from China and India affected almost everyone's pocketbook, with average prices at the pump hitting $4.

'There's nothing more bullish for oil than the Chinese manufacturing sector expanding,' said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Alaron Trading Corp.

Wis. judge sets $500,000 bail in triple homicide

STEVENS POINT, Wis. - A judge in Wisconsin has set bail at $500,000 for a man accused of killing his girlfriend and two of their children at their home in Nelsonville.

Portage County Circuit Judge Frederick Fleishauer set the bail Monday after District Attorney Tom Eagon said he plans to charge 36-year-old Shane Kettner with three counts of first-degree homicide.

The prosecutor said 3-year-old Ashley Kettner and 2-year-old Griffin Kettner were each shot once in the head.

Democrats leave Gitmo closing money out of bill

WASHINGTON - Amid fears that terror suspects could be brought to the U.S., House Democrats on Monday rebuffed the Obama administration's request for $50 million to relocate prisoners from the detention facility at Guantanamo, Cuba.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., dropped the request from a $94.2 billion measure funding military in Iraq and Afghanistan through the fall.

Gunmen take 3-year-old from Calif. home

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - Investigators were searching Monday for a 3-year-old boy kidnapped by two gunmen who broke into his family's home, tied up his mother and siblings and stole property, authorities said.

The California Highway Patrol issued an Amber Alert late Sunday for Briant Rodriguez, about nine hours after the family called San Bernardino County authorities.

The men, each carrying a handgun, burst through the front door about

2:30 p.m. and tied up the boy, his four siblings and their mother. They then ransacked the house and stole money and other property, the county sheriff's department said.