DOVER, Del. — Gov. Jack Markell on Friday signed legislation making Delaware the 16th state to allow the use of medical marijuana.
The bill received final legislative approval Wednesday. A spokesman said Markell wanted to sign the measure as quickly as possible because of the lengthy time that will be needed to get a state-run system for distributing medical marijuana up and running.
The new law allows people 18 and older with certain serious or debilitating conditions that could be alleviated by marijuana to possess up to six ounces of the drug. Qualifying patients would be referred to state-licensed and regulated “compassion centers,” which would be located in each of Delaware’s three counties. The centers would grow, cultivate and dispense the marijuana.
NASA counting down again for next-to-last launch
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s countdown clocks began ticking again Friday for the next-to-last space shuttle launch, delayed two weeks ago by an electrical problem aboard Endeavour.
Forecasters put the odds of good weather for Monday morning’s launch at 70 percent: the main concerns are stiff crosswind and low clouds.
NASA test director Jeff Spaulding said everything was on track this time around, and that the most likely culprit for last month’s failed launch attempt was an exposed conductor on a thermostat.
The thermostat was replaced last week, along with a switch box containing a blown fuse.
Jury convicts Ohio mom in microwave baby case
DAYTON, Ohio — Jurors in a woman’s third trial found her guilty Friday of burning her baby daughter to death in a microwave oven.
China Arnold, 31, was convicted of aggravated murder in the death of 28-day-old Paris Talley in August 2005. Arnold could receive the death penalty. The sentencing phase will begin Monday.
Arnold’s first trial ended in a mistrial. She was found guilty in the second trial, but that conviction was reversed last year. An appeals court found there was misconduct by prosecutors and that the trial court made an error by not allowing a material witness to testify in Arnold’s defense.
Crew finds body of man stuck in snow for months
PORTLAND, Ore. — The body of a man was found in his pickup truck on a mountain road, along with a calendar he kept of his ordeal for nearly 70 days, authorities said Friday.
The Linn County sheriff’s office said the log kept by Jerry McDonald showed he became stranded on Feb. 14.
The entry read: “Heavy snow. Snowed in.”
His first log entry was Feb. 7, indicating he had been in the area for a week before he became stuck. The last entry was on April 15, about 60 days later.
A U.S. Forest Service survey crew found his body Thursday in a sleeping bag in the back of his 1997 GMC pickup truck on a one-lane dirt road about four miles from Marion Forks. The forest service road is in the remote foothills of the Cascade Range, about 70 miles east of Salem.
By late February, McDonald was detailing the weather and repeating his location, “Horn Rd.,” daily.
“The road Mr. McDonald was on is in a mountainous area of east Linn County and the way in or out would have been impassable once it snowed,” said Sheriff Tim Mueller. “There were no indications that he had attempted to walk out of the area.”
McDonald was carrying $5,000 in cash. There were no signs of foul play and he had not been reported missing.
Taliban attack kills 66 in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD — A double Taliban suicide attack Friday that killed 66 paramilitary police recruits represented the deadliest terrorist strike in Pakistan since the killing of Osama bin Laden. It sent a strong signal that militants mean to fight on and to try to avenge the al-Qaida leader.
The attack came as both the Pakistani and Afghan wings of the Taliban have been carrying out attacks to prove they remain a potent force and bolster their profiles in case peace talks prevail in Afghanistan.
U.S. and Afghan officials have said they hope the Afghan Taliban will use bin Laden’s death as an opportunity to break their link with al-Qaida — an alliance the U.S. says must be severed if the insurgents want peace in Afghanistan. But Afghan officials and Pakistani experts say any severing of ties would not happen anytime soon, if at all.