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NATIONAL BRIEFS


NEW MEXICO: Gunfire kills 3 in girlfriend's factory

A gunman angry about a dispute with his girlfriend forced his way into the Albuquerque manufacturing plant where she works and killed two employees Monday before turning the gun on himself. The shooter was identified as Robert Reza, 37. Four others were wounded in a rampage police said was motivated by Reza's disgust over a domestic violence dispute. He confronted the girlfriend outside the fiber optics and solar manufacturing plant, and his rampage continued inside, police said. She was hospitalized in critical condition with gunshot wounds.


ILLINOIS: Revealing tapes of Blagojevich

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich may or may not have broken the law, but he sure did hate his job. He reviled his political enemies, mocked many of the candidates for a vacant U.S. Senate seat and disparaged voters who failed to appreciate his talents. "Only 13 percent of you all out there think I'm doing a good job. So [expletive] all of you," Blagojevich, referring to fresh poll numbers, said in a secretly taped conversation played at his federal corruption trial. By the time Barack Obama had won the White House in 2008, the two-term governor was deeply in debt and obsessed with finding a new job that paid well. Prosecutors pressing a 24-count racketeering, extortion and fraud case expect to rest their case in the next day or two, then wait to see whether Blagojevich makes good on his vow to testify in his own defense. Six weeks into the trial, prosecutors are preparing for a cross-examination that could stretch weeks more. Defense attorneys worked Monday to suggest that Blagojevich was a dim bulb, stumbling along under the guidance of smarter aides. They contend that he had neither the intent nor the follow-through to shake down businessmen or peddle Obama's former Senate seat.


NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY: Probing Lockerbie bomber's release

Their own request denied, four U.S. senators are pressing the State Department to get Britain to investigate the circumstances of the release of the man convicted of the Lockerbie airliner bombing. Abdel Baset al-Megrahi was released from a Scottish prison in September after doctors said the cancer-stricken man had three months to live. A doctor now says he could live another decade. Al-Megrahi had served eight years of a life sentence for the Dec. 21, 1988, bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York. The bombing killed 270 people, most of them American. Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer of New York and Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez of New Jersey were turned down by the British ambassador to the United States. "The decision . . . raises more suspicions as to whether there was a rotten deal between the United Kingdom and the Libya government," Schumer said.

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