James Marcello, Chicago's reputed organized crime boss, was among 14 alleged mob figures, including two ex-police officers, indicted Monday in what prosecutors described as one of the most far-reaching racketeering crackdowns in the city's history. Most of the accused were rounded up by federal agents in Illinois, Arizona, and Florida. A manhunt for two of the defendants was continuing. Yet another, Frank Saladino, was found dead, apparently of natural causes, in an Illinois hotel room as FBI agents arrived to arrest him. Eleven of the alleged mob figures were indicted on a conspiracy charge claiming that they plotted 18 murders since the 1970s.
Saying San Diego "needs a fresh start," Mayor Dick Murphy (R) announced Monday that he would resign July 15, only months after prevailing in a much-disputed and protracted reelection contest decided by 2,108 votes. Murphy, who has served 4-1/2 years, is at the center of a controversy over San Diego's deficit-ridden pension fund. The city could call a special vote to elect a successor to finish Murphy's term, which ends in 2008, or it can appoint someone until the next general election in June 2006.
Bashir Noorzai, a reputed Afghan drug lord who was captured in New York over the weekend, was arrested and ordered held without bail Monday. The White House has identified Noorzai as a heroin smuggler, with Taliban connections, who did business in the US and Europe.
In a 5-to-3 vote, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that people convicted of crimes overseas are entitled to own a gun in the US. The decision came in the case of a Pennsylvania man who was paroled from a Japanese prison for violating weapons laws in that country in 1998.
Terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who is believed to have orchestrated a series of car bombings, kidnappings, assassinations, and beheadings in Iraq, may have come close to capture by US forces in February, a senior official told journalists on condition of anonymity. Al-Zarqawi was traveling between Fallujah and Ramadi in the "Sunni triangle" when he reportedly escaped as a covert military unit was closing in. His computer was seized, however.
In a meeting with Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia Monday, President Bush underscored the challenges that skyrocketing oil prices present for the US economy. But he came away with no indications that prices will change in the short term, despite long-range plans by the Saudis to increase production capacity. Other issues covered at Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch were terrorism, democratic change in the Middle East, and efforts to bring Saudi Arabia into the World Trade Organization.