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NATION IN BRIEF: Band arrested after blocking LA freeway

Band arrested after blocking LA freeway

LOS ANGELES — A rock band will have to face the music after blocking a Los Angeles freeway and performing atop its trailer.

California Highway Patrol spokesman Rick Quintero says a big box van decorated with Imperial Stars’ logo stopped on the southbound U.S. 101 near Sunset Boulevard at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, blocking four of the five lanes. The driver took the keys and fled in another car, then three musicians climbed on top of the van and began to perform.

Quintero says they were arrested and the truck was finally towed away around noon after causing a mile-long traffic jam.

Trial starting in bizarre Pa. collar-bomb case

PITTSBURGH — All but anonymous in life, Brian Wells now has his own Wikipedia entry, and bootleg TV news video of his grisly demise by a time bomb strapped to his neck is available online.

On Tuesday, jury selection began in Erie in the federal trial of the woman accused of masterminding the bizarre 2003 bank robbery plot that ended with the death of the 46-year-old pizza deliveryman.

Prosecutors say Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong needed money from the robbery to pay a hit man to kill her estranged father. She’s accused of arranging for someone else to order pizzas, rig Wells with the bomb, force him to rob a bank and, afterward, stop the time bomb.

Wells got $8,702 from a PNC bank teller — far less than the $250,000 he demanded according to the nine pages of handwritten instructions he was allegedly forced to follow to commit the robbery and get free of the bomb. Shortly after leaving the bank, state police caught up with him. He died sitting handcuffed in a parking lot, waiting for a bomb squad and shouting to troopers taking cover nearby: ‘‘I’m not lying! I’m not doing this! This isn’t me!’’

Police: Son kills dad after fight over dishes

MESA, Ariz. — Police said a 21-year-old Arizona man fatally shot his father then turned the gun on himself after they argued about the son doing the dishes.

Mesa police found Aaron Farinacci blocks from his parent’s house with a gunshot wound to his chest. He was in critical condition Tuesday.

Police say the incident began just after 6 p.m. Monday when Aaron Farinacci argued with his father, Jeffrey Farinacci, then ran into his parent’s bedroom and locked the door. Jeffrey Farinacci got a key and unlocked the door, and his wife then heard two shots. She told police her son pointed the gun at her as she went to investigate.

Police say Aaron Farinacci had gotten his father’s handgun from the nightstand. Jeffrey Farinacci died at the hospital.

Judge orders ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ injunction

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A federal judge has issued a worldwide injunction stopping enforcement of the ‘‘don’t ask, don’t tell’’ policy, ending the military’s 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips’ landmark ruling Tuesday was widely cheered by gay rights organizations that credited her with getting accomplished what President Obama and Washington politics could not.

Heating costs cool, giving some relief

NEW YORK — Most U.S. homeowners should get some relief on their heating bills this winter.

The price of natural gas, the fuel that supplies 70 percent of the nation’s heat, is relatively low for the second year in a row, and falling. Also, forecasters predict a warmer winter across much of the country — especially in the Southeast, which suffered through a historically cold winter last year.

Defense seeks delay in Texas shooting hearing

FORT HOOD, Texas — A military hearing to determine whether an Army psychiatrist should go to trial for last year’s deadly Fort Hood shootings was unexpectedly stalled Tuesday, without testimony from any of the dozens of survivors, after defense attorneys requested a monthlong delay.

Col. James L. Pohl, a military judge acting as the investigating officer in the case of Maj. Nidal Hasan, said he would rule today on the defense request to start the Article 32 hearing Nov. 8.

Lt. Col. Kris Poppe said the delay was necessary because of certain issues but did not elaborate. He said attorneys needed a day to prepare the request in writing, and Pohl adjourned the hearing until today.