By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - Lawyers for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect sparred with federal prosecutors on Monday over how early in the trial they may discuss his older brother's role in the attack, suggesting the defendant's life may well hang on that question. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, is charged with killing three people and injuring 264 in the April 15, 2013, attack as well as shooting dead a university police officer as he and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, prepared to flee the city three days later. Tamerlan died that night following a gunbattle with police but defense attorneys described him as the driving force behind the largest mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001. "The lead conspirator, the person who started all this and without whom the Boston Marathon bombing would never have occurred, the older brother, is dead ... That presents a problem for the government's request for the death penalty," defense attorney David Bruck told U.S. District Judge George O'Toole.
By Steve Gorman and Daina Beth Solomon LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles police shot and killed a homeless man who grabbed at an officer's gun during a videotaped scuffle, authorities said on Monday, in an incident highlighting the often volatile interactions between law enforcement and mentally ill residents of the city's skid row. The man, known by the street name Africa, had been living for weeks in a tent outside the Union Rescue Mission building where Sunday's shooting occurred and had a history of violent, erratic behavior, the mission's director said. Local civil rights activists called on the city police commission to hold a hearing on the police use of force on skid row, a square-mile area downtown that ranks as one of the largest concentrations of homeless people in United States. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said officers responding to a robbery call outside the rescue mission "acted compassionately" toward the man who was identified as the suspect "up until the time that force was required." He said the man fought with officers when they tried to take him into custody, then kept resisting as they tried to subdue him with a stun gun.
Italian ski tourist killed by falling glacier ice in Alaska
By Steve Quinn JUNEAU (Reuters) - A 28-year-old Italian man on a back-country skiing vacation in the mountains of Alaska died after being crushed by falling glacier ice, officials said on Monday. Alexander Hellweger, from Sand in Taufers in northeast Italy, and a group of friends spent Sunday back-country skiing in an area of the rugged Chugach Mountains, in the southern part of the state, which they accessed by helicopter. Hellweger and friends from Italy and Belgium then decided to view Lake George Glacier before returning to Girdwood, a year-round resort community within the Municipality of Anchorage. "As the group was viewing the glacier up close, a large piece of ice calved off the glacier and crushed (Hellweger)," according to a report by Alaska State Troopers.
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