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NATION IN BRIEF: Times Square bomb suspect appears in New York court

Photo by Anonymous

Photo by Anonymous

NEW YORK -- A Pakistani-American man accused of driving a homemade car bomb into Times Square appeared in a court Tuesday for the first time since his arrest two weeks ago.

Faisal Shahzad, of Bridgeport, Conn., was arrested May 3 on a Dubai-bound plane at John F. Kennedy International Airport on charges he drove an SUV rigged with a homemade car bomb into Times Square two nights earlier, sending thousands of tourists into a panic on a busy Saturday night. The bomb didn't explode, and no one was hurt.

Authorities said he had waived his rights to an initial court appearance while he cooperated with authorities. An initial appearance in court typically happens within a day or two of a suspect's arrest.

The U.S. attorney's office said Tuesday that Shahzad is charged with attempted use of weapons of mass destruction and attempting acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries, each carrying a maximum life term.

Astronauts give space station new compartment

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The Atlantis astronauts attached a new Russian chamber to the International Space Station on Tuesday, using a robot arm to drive in the 20-foot-long room that will double as a closet and mini-lab.

This was the first time NASA delivered a Russian compartment to the 12-year-old space station and required two astronauts working a big robot arm.

Normally, Russian space station modules dock automatically. That's how a similar compartment got to the space station last November.

Astronaut Garrett Reisman operated the space station's robot arm, driving in the module with such precision that the first capture sensor didn't even go off.

Neb. GOP primary for sheriff decided by playing cards

BRIDGEPORT, Neb. -- A deck of cards and a bit of luck helped decide who will likely be the next sheriff of Morrill County.

The nine of hearts Milo Cardenas drew Monday beat Travis Petersen's six of spades, giving Cardenas the Republican nomination for sheriff. Since no Democrats ran for sheriff, Cardenas, the police chief in Bridgeport, is likely to win in November's election.

''I knew it was going to be close, but I didn't expect to be this close,'' Cardenas said.

The two men agreed to cut a deck of cards after Monday's recount confirmed that both finished at the top of a four-man race with 379 votes after balloting ended last Tuesday. State law requires tied elections to be settled by a game of chance.

3 members of Hutaree militia released from jail

DETROIT -- Three members of the Hutaree militia who are accused of conspiring to overthrow the government were released from jail Tuesday until trial after prosecutors withdrew their efforts to keep them in custody.

David Stone Jr., Jacob Ward and Tina Stone were released to family members after appearing in federal court in Detroit. They must wear electronic monitors and follow strict conditions set by a judge.

The nine members of the group are charged with conspiring to commit sedition, or rebellion, against the government and attempting to use weapons of mass destruction. Prosecutors had argued that all nine should remain in jail pending trial because they were a danger to the public.

Beau Biden out of hospital after mild stroke

DOVER, Del. -- Vice President Joe Biden's son left the hospital Tuesday, a week after suffering what doctors said was a mild stroke.

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, 41, walked out of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia about 1 p.m., accompanied by his father-in-law and carrying his 4-year-old son, Hunter.

''Good to be headed home,'' Biden told media gathered outside the hospital before getting into the front passenger seat of a sport utility vehicle.

Biden will continue recuperating at his Wilmington home, and it is unclear when he might return to work.

Source: Toyota pays record $16.4M gov't fine

WASHINGTON -- Toyota Motor Corp. paid a record $16.4 million fine on Tuesday for a slow response to its accelerator pedal recall.

A Transportation Department official said the Japanese automaker paid the fine after reaching an agreement with the government on April 19. Toyota had 30 days to pay it. The official was not authorized to speak publicly before an announcement was made.