0

NATION IN BRIEF: Dad of 3 missing boys fights return to Mich.

MORENCI, Mich. — A father charged with kidnapping his three missing boys fought extradition from Ohio to Michigan on Wednesday as an army of volunteers set off to trudge through fields, woodlands and dirt roads to search for the brothers who have not been seen since Thanksgiving.

John Skelton, a 39-year-old unemployed long-haul truck driver, sat throughout the court hearing in Toledo, Ohio, in a wheelchair covered by a green blanket, answering the judge’s yes-or-no questions in a whisper. His attorney told the judge his client would fight his return to Michigan.

Skelton was arrested Tuesday on three counts of parental kidnapping, and so far, police say, he hasn’t told investigators much about where the boys might be.

Chicago closes infamous public housing complex

CHICAGO — A federal judge has given the last two families in the last high-rise at Chicago’s Cabrini-Green public housing project 10 days to move out.

U.S. District Judge William Hibbler said Wednesday it is more dangerous to keep the 134-unit building open for two families than it is to relocate them.

The Chicago Housing Authority filed an emergency motion Tuesday seeking the closure. That came after two families refused to move out.

Amazon boots WikiLeaks off its servers

NEW YORK — Amazon.com Inc. forced WikiLeaks to stop using the U.S. company’s computers to distribute embarrassing State Department communications and other documents, WikiLeaks said Wednesday.

The ouster came after congressional staff had questioned Amazon about its relationship with WikiLeaks, said Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut.

WikiLeaks confirmed it hours after The Associated Press reported that Amazon’s servers had stopped hosting WikiLeaks’ site. The site was unavailable for several hours before it moved back to its previous Swedish host, Bahnhof.

2 cleared, 1 guilty in trial of white supremacists

HARTFORD, Conn. — A federal jury on Wednesday acquitted two men and convicted a third in what prosecutors said was a conspiracy by white supremacists to sell grenades and guns to a purported national supremacist group member, who was really a government informant.

The jury at the U.S. District Court in Bridgeport found Kenneth Zrallack, 29, of Ansonia and David Sutton, 46, of Milford not guilty of conspiracy charges. Alexander DeFelice, 33, of Milford, was convicted of several conspiracy and weapons charges.

Federal prosecutors said Zrallack is the leader of the Connecticut-based Battalion 14 white supremacist group, formerly known as the Connecticut White Wolves. Officials said DeFelice is a Battalion 14 member who knows how to make explosives, while Sutton, who is black, has known DeFelice for years but isn’t a white supremacist.

School pie fight sets world record

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. — Hundreds of students at a New Jersey prep school can now add ‘‘pie thrower in a world record pie fight’’ to their list of accomplishments on college applications.

Guinness World Records recently confirmed The Lawrenceville School in central New Jersey set the record for the biggest custard pie fight with 671 students and staff members. The record is based on the number of participants. The school needed at least 435 people to break the record.

Each participant had to have access to at least two edible pies. The 6-ounce, chocolate-custard pies were baked at the school by students and volunteers led by dining services Director Gary Giberson.

No offshore drilling in Fla. Gulf waters

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Obama administration will maintain a long-standing oil drilling ban in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida after considering loosening it before the BP spill, a senior administration official told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Just a month before the spill started in April, the Obama administration had announced plans to allow drilling in the eastern portion of the Gulf as part of the management plan for the Outer Continental Shelf.

‘‘In light of the BP spill, we’ve learned a lot and understand the need to elevate the safety and environmental standards,’’ said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision hadn’t been announced yet.