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News briefs: Witness tampering alleged at Casey Anthony trial

AP Photo/Joe Burbank, Pool | BDN
AP Photo/Joe Burbank, Pool | BDN
Casey Anthony smiles before the start of her sentencing hearing in Orlando, Fla.,Thursday, July 7, 2011. Judge Belvin Perry sentenced Anthony to four years for lying to investigators but says she can go free in late July or early August because she has already served nearly three years in jail and has had good behavior. While acquitted of killing and abusing her daughter, Caylee, Anthony was convicted of four counts of lying to detectives trying to find her daughter.
By From wire service reports

ORLANDO, Fla. — A Florida sheriff announced Tuesday that authorities were looking into witness tampering allegations during Casey Anthony’s murder trial, even as he held a wide-ranging news conference with his top investigators in what he said was an effort to bring closure to a case that polarized the country.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings also revealed that prosecutors were considering perjury charges against Anthony’s mother, but a spokeswoman for the state attorney’s office later said they would not be pursued.

Casey Anthony was acquitted a week ago on charges of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008. Anthony was found guilty on four charges of lying to law enforcement officers. She is to be released from jail Sunday.

New campaign says milk can help with PMS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The dairy group that created the “Got Milk?” campaign is back with a new marketing strategy that already is generating plenty of buzz.

The California Milk Processor Board is encouraging men to buy more milk for their wives and girlfriends, which the campaign says will help them fend off the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

But the statewide campaign launched this week entitled “Everything I Do Is Wrong” was drawing criticism online for ads saying men are the real PMS sufferers as their wives and girlfriends beh ave strangely every month.

The campaign’s website has a color-coded “current global PMS level,” a “video apology enhancer” and a “mistake verification system” wrapped around pictures of puzzled men.

The board’s executive director, Steve James, says the Internet, radio and billboard campaign is meant to encourage open conversations between men and women about an awkward subject.

Woman accused of slicing off husband’s penis

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — A Southern California woman is behind bars after police say she poisoned her husband, cut off his penis and threw it in the garbage disposal.

At about 9 p.m. Monday, officers went to a home in Garden Grove, Calif., after a woman called 911 and reported a medical emergency, Garden Grove police Lt. Jeff Nightengale said.

Officers found a 51-year-old man tied to the bed and bleeding from his groin, he said. The man, who has not been identified, underwent emergency surgery at University of California Irvine Medical Center in Orange and was listed in serious condition.

The 48-year-old woman, Catherine Kieu Becker, is accused of using an unknown poison or drug in her husband’s food to make him sleepy, Nightengale said. She then tied him to the bed and, as he woke up, she cut off his penis with a knife. She tossed the penis in the garbage disposal and turned it on.

She told responding officers that he “deserved it,” Nightengale said.

Karzai’s half brother gunned down in Afghanistan

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — The powerful half brother of President Hamid Karzai was gunned down in his heavily fortified home by a close associate Tuesday, setting off a power struggle in southern Afghanistan and raising doubts about stability in a critical area for the U.S.-led war effort.

The assassination of Ahmed Wali Karzai, a wheeler-dealer and the key to his half brother’s power in the south, leaves the president without an influential ally to handle the tricky job of balancing the interests of the region’s tribal and political leaders, drug runners, insurgents and militias.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, but officials immediately cast doubt that they were involved. If they were, it could undercut the president’s own effort to talk peace with insurgents as foreign forces begin their exit.

The gunman’s motive was unclear. He was identified as Sardar Mohammad, who had provided security for Wali Karzai and members of his family.

The two men met alone in a room. As Wali Karzai was signing the papers, the assassin “took out a pistol and shot him with two bullets — one in the forehead and one in the chest,” an official said.

Wali Karzai’s bodyguards then rushed into the room and gunned down Mohammad.

The assassination took place less than two hours before the president held an outdoor news conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Kabul.

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