TENNESSEE/Jury convicts Palin e-mail hacker
The son of a Democratic Tennessee lawmaker was convicted Friday on two charges in the hacking of Sarah Palin's e-mail account while she campaigned on the Republican presidential ticket in 2008. The federal court jury found David Kernell, 22, guilty of obstruction of justice and unauthorized access to a computer after four days of deliberation. He was acquitted of wire fraud. The jury deadlocked on a charge of identify theft. Obstructing an investigation carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence and unauthorized access to a computer is a misdemeanor with a maximum one-year sentence. The former Alaska governor said on her Facebook page: "As Watergate taught us, we rightfully reject illegally breaking into candidates' private communications for political intrigue in an attempt to derail an election."
ARKANSAS/Tornado kills three, wounds 25
Three people were killed and at least 25 injured in a tornado outbreak, authorities said late Friday night. Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Renee Preslar said that the hardest-hit areas are Scotland and Shady Grove in Van Buren County and in Cleveland in Conway County. Preslar said the deaths occurred in Scotland, about 60 miles north of Little Rock. She also said some people may be trapped in Conway County.
ARIZONA/Police find officer shot in desert
Authorities found a deputy wounded in a shootout with suspected drug smugglers after a frantic hourlong desert search. Pinal County sheriff's Lt. Tamatha Villar says the deputy suffered a superficial wound to his abdomen after being shot with an AK-47 assault rifle Friday afternoon. He was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Casa Grande, about 40 miles south of Phoenix. Villar says the deputy was doing smuggling interdiction work and found bales of marijuana in the desert. He then encountered five suspected illegal immigrants, two armed with rifles, and was shot. A search was on in the rugged desert about 50 miles south of Phoenix for the five suspects.
HAWAII/Same-sex civil unions depend on governor
Whether same-sex civil unions become law in Hawaii is now up to Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, whose office was flooded Friday with phone calls and e-mails from gay rights and religious groups after the bill won approval in the waning moments of the legislative session. She has until July 6 to make a decision. The governor was unavailable for comment Friday. The bill was unexpectedly revived and cleared the legislature Thursday, the last day of this year's session. Lingle has sent mixed signals: She wanted lawmakers not to debate the issue because the state had more pressing budget matters to deal with, but she also said the public should know how the legislature feels about the issue.
CALIFORNIA/Computer system may hinder census
The Government Accountability Office says a computer system needed to finish the 2010 census may not be up to the job. GAO Strategic Issues director Robert Goldenkoff said Friday before a congressional hearing in Los Angeles that the Paper Based Operations Control System hasn't demonstrated the ability to meet peak requirements of the census as it seeks to count residents who did not return forms by mail. Census director Robert Groves says in a statement that the problems stem from a late change from a handheld device system to the paper-based system.