Journalist freed from Iran at home

FARGO, N.D. - Journalist Roxana Saberi, released from prison in Iran earlier this month, is back in North Dakota.

The 32-year-old Saberi was greeted at the Fargo airport by a crowd of well-wishers and 'Welcome home, Roxana' signs.

Saberi, fighting back tears, said she was surprised at the emotions she felt.

'It's the first time I've ever really cried in public,' she said.

Gov. John Hoeven and Rep. Earl Pomeroy were among the officials who met her after she stepped off the plane Saturday afternoon.

Hoeven called it a 'happy day for the people of North Dakota.'

Conn. won't take up animal ban

HARTFORD, Conn. - The Connecticut General Assembly won't take up a bill this session banning a long list of wild and potentially dangerous animals as pets.

The legislation stems from the February attack on a Stamford resident mauled by a 200-pound chimpanzee.

Rep. Richard Roy, co-chairman of the legislature's Environment Committee, told the Connecticut Post on Friday that the bill is being abandoned because some lawmakers want to protect a family-owned elephant farm in Goshen.

Many state politicians were outraged that potentially dangerous animals were allowed as pets after learning of the chimpanzee attack on Charla Nash, who lost her hands, nose, lips and eyelids in the assault.

But Roy said Goshen-area lawmakers fought the bill.

'It's dead because there's a piece that was put into the bill that would have not allowed the Commerford family to bring in any new elephants in the years ahead, thereby, essentially closing the business down,' he said.

Hundreds march for gay marriage

FRESNO, Calif. - Hundreds of same-sex couples are marching through dusty California farm towns in the state's conservative center to kick off the latest front in the battle over gay marriage.

Paying homage to the 1965 civil rights marches in Selma, Ala., the protest began Saturday in Selma, Calif.

Just days after California's highest court upheld a ban on gay marriage, gay-rights advocates say they won't be dissuaded. They are vowing to win the hearts and minds of those who reject their unions.

The weekend-long event has attracted well-known activists and celebrities like Charlize Theron. It was organized by a lesbian mother in Fresno who was removed from her son's Catholic school parent-teacher association when she spoke out against banning gay marriage.

Suspended host back on radio

BOSTON - A Boston talk radio host suspended after he made derogatory statements about Mexican immigrants during a discussion about swine flu will return to the airwaves.

Greater Media Inc. said in a statement Saturday it has lifted the suspension of Jay Severin. He will return to the 96.9 FM WTKK airwaves on Tuesday.

During a show last month, Severin called Mexican immigrants 'criminaliens,' 'primitives,' 'leeches,' and exporters of 'women with mustaches and VD.'

The station suspended Severin after his comments.

The statement said Severin understands that the station won't allow remarks like that in the future.

Boston mayor: No police M-16s

BOSTON - The Boston Police Department wants to arm neighborhood patrol officers with high-powered military assault weapons, but the mayor doesn't think it's such a good idea.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino said Friday he will not approve a police department plan to put semiautomatic M-16 rifles in the hands of regular patrol officers. But Menino said he's open to giving them to 'specialized units.'

The police recently obtained 200 M-16s free of charge from the U.S. military and had planned to give them to dozens of officers for their patrols after training them to use the rifles.

Two murderers escape prison

GRADY, Ark. - Two convicted murderers put on corrections-officer uniforms and walked out of an Arkansas prison during a shift change, officials said Saturday as they searched for the men.

Jeffrey Grinder, 32, and Calvin Adams, 39, escaped Friday evening from the Cummins Unit prison in Grady and were gone more than three hours before officials realized they were missing, corrections department spokeswoman Dina Tyler said.