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WASHINGTON: Appeal by Trayvon's dad

The father of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin told members of Congress on Wednesday that he wants his son's name on a federal law that would make it a crime to profile minors and kill them in self-defense. Tracy Martin spoke at the first meeting of the Congressional Caucus on Black Men and Boys, a group created in March by D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Illinois Rep. Danny Davis, both Democrats, to address issues facing African-American males. About 200 people filled the hearing room in the Rayburn House Office Building, with another 100 watchers in an overflow room.


LOUISIANA: Industry sued on wetlands

The board that oversees the levees in the New Orleans region filed suit in state court Wednesday against about 100 leading oil and gas companies, asking that they repair damage done by their network of access roads and pipeline canals, which has contributed to the loss of thousands of acres a year of wetlands since the 1930s. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority is asking that the companies restore the wetlands that once acted as an essential buffer against storms. Without it, the authority said too much pressure is placed on its levees, which were designed to protect against flooding of the Mississippi River. In the Gulf of Mexico, meanwhile, a blown-out natural gas well off Louisiana's coast poses fewer environmental dangers than past offshore accidents because it appears to involve gas that disperses relatively easily, scientists said. Forty-four workers were evacuated from a drilling rig before fire broke out late Tuesday.


MASSACHUSETTS: Fifth day on the stand

Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi returned to the witness stand Wednesday for a fifth day of testimony, with the defense harping on his role as an FBI informant while trying to discredit him as a liar. Flemmi, 79, claims he and James "Whitey" Bulger, 83, were secret FBI informants for years while they ran the city's murderous Irish mob known as the Winter Hill Gang.

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