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Aug. 17, 2010 at 5:42 PM
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Blagojevich convicted of lying

CHICAGO, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- A federal jury in Chicago Tuesday convicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich of lying to investigators but was unable to reach agreement on 23 others.

The jurors deliberated for 14 days before Blagojevich was convicted of lying to investigators in March 2005.

The jury was also deadlocked on the four counts against his brother, Robert, who worked for the former governor as a fundraiser.

Earlier in the day, the jurors asked U.S. District Judge James Zagel for a copy of their oath and instructions on how to fill out the verdict forms if they could not agree.

Zagel agreed to provide the oath and told jurors to put a statement at the top of the verdict forms for those on which they were deadlocked and to sign the forms but not indicate how they had voted.

The former governor was accused of trying to use his office for personal enrichment and campaign contributions. Among the accusations is that he tried to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama to the highest bidder.

The jury last week indicated members had agreed on two counts, were deadlocked on 11 others and had yet to consider wire fraud charges. They then took a long weekend. Apparently at least one juror changed his or her mind on one of the counts.

During Tuesday's brief court session, Zagel ordered the defendants, their lawyers and prosecutors to remain within 30 minutes of the courthouse in case a verdict is returned, WLS-TV, Chicago, reported. The defendants were not present.

Tuesday's requests were the second communication from the jury in as many days. They worked most of last week and the preceding week without making any requests. Monday they asked the judge for a copy of the transcript of former Deputy Gov. Bradley Tusk, whose testimony related to an extortion count.


Gunman wounded in Turkish Embassy

JERUSALEM, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- An armed Palestinian from Ramallah who barricaded himself inside the Turkish Embassy in Israel and took hostages was shot in the legs and injured lightly.

Nadim Injaz broke into the embassy in Tel Aviv Tuesday evening and took a number of people hostage, and threatened to kill Jews.

He was apparently shot by one of the security guards in the embassy.

Israel Radio said the consul and his wife and the hostages succeeded in fleeing the building.

Turkish embassy staff refused to permit Israeli police and medical staff to enter the embassy building to treat Injaz. Israeli media reports said Foreign Ministry officials are coordinating the situation with Turkish Embassy staff.

Channel 10, Tel Aviv, said it appears Injaz will leave the building to be treated by Israeli paramedics outside, before being handed over to the Israeli security. Discussions are under way on how to deal with Injaz, the reports said.

Shortly after Injaz entered the embassy, his lawyer told Israel Radio that his client is armed with a pistol and knife and is demanding safe passage to Ankara. The lawyer said he is in contact with his client on a mobile phone.

He said Injaz told him he is being pursued by Israeli and Palestinian intelligence officials and has information supporting the claim.

Israeli security officials told reporters it appears Injaz is mentally unstable.

Four years ago Injaz barricaded himself inside the British Embassy in Tel Aviv and threatened to commit suicide if he wasn't offered asylum. He was overpowered by security guards and arrested.


Mom wants dingo blamed for baby's death

SYDNEY, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- An Australian woman, whose infant daughter was allegedly taken by a dingo, said she wants the death certificate changed to reflect that as the cause of death.

On the 30th anniversary of her daughter's disappearance, Lindy Chamberlain of Sydney, who in 1982 was convicted of murder for the death of her baby, Azaria, and served three years in prison, said in an open letter on her Web site "to open-minded Australians" that the cause of death should be changed from "unknown" to blaming the wild dog, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. and the British Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday.

"(Azaria) deserves justice. In light of all the evidence before the commission, this should be reflected on her death certificate and not the open finding that is there now," said Chamberlain.

The 8-week-old baby had gone missing from a camp tent on Aug. 17, 1980. Although Chamberlain said the child was taken by a dingo, Chamberlain was sentenced to life in prison for murdering her daughter, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Azaria's jacket was discovered six years later near a dingo lair, and Chamberlain was exonerated, the Telegraph reported.

"Our family will always remember today as the day truth was dragged in the dirt and trampled upon. But more than that it is the day our family was torn apart forever because we lost our beautiful little Azaria," Chamberlain wrote on her Web site.


Suspect killer wrote 'Megan' in blood

BOSTON, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- The medical student who became the accused Craigslist killer wrote his ex-fiancee's name in blood before killing himself in a Boston jail, officials say.

The Boston Globe, citing four law enforcement officials, reported Philip Markoff wrote the name "Megan" and the word "pocket" on the walls of his cell. He had several photographs of Megan McAllister around his cell.

Markoff took his own life Sunday, a day after what would have been his first wedding anniversary if his marriage had taken place on schedule.

o definitive cause of death had been released Tuesday. Officials said they were awaiting the findings of tests but have said Markoff had a plastic bag fastened over his head and used a piece of razor to cut his carotid artery.

Markoff was charged with the murder of Julissa Brisman, 25, a New York masseuse and aspiring actress who apparently resisted his attempt to rob her after making an appointment with her at a Boston hotel. He is alleged to have assaulted and robbed another woman in Boston and attempted a similar crime at a Rhode Island hotel.

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