WASHINGTON: Tricky issue for high court

Karen Capato used her deceased husband's frozen sperm to conceive twins, but the government denied them Social Security benefits as their father's survivors. Her situation, more common as reproductive technology advances, had a mostly unsympathetic Supreme Court grappling Monday with the definition of "child,' inheritance law and artificial insemination. The case had justices trying to shoehorn a 1930s law that gave Social Security survivor benefits to the dependent "child or legally adopted child" of a person into a modern situation involving artificial insemination. The twins were born 18 months after Robert Capato died of esophageal cancer. Karen Capato's application for survivor benefits for the twins was rejected by the Social Security Administration, which said that for them to qualify, the father needed to be alive during their conception. The justices will rule this summer.

MASSACHUSETTS: Mom held in slashing kids

A mother accused of slashing her children's throats and setting the family's apartment on fire with lighter fluid was ordered held without bail. Tanicia Goodwin, 25, was arraigned Monday in Salem District Court on two counts of assault with intent to murder, two of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and arson. Her daughter, Erica, 3, and son, Jamal, 8, were discovered Sunday night by firefighters responding to their apartment. Jamal was in critical condition and Erica in stable condition.

CALIFORNIA: Sheriff sentenced

A San Francisco sheriff apologized Monday for a domestic violence incident with his wife after a judge sentenced him to three years' probation and ordered him to attend an anti-domestic violence program. Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi stated emotionally that he longed to reunite with his wife and 3-year-old son. He was sentenced for bruising the bicep of his wife Eliana Lopez, a former telenovela star in Venezuela.

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