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December 7, 2008

White Bear Lake girl charged with first-degree assault

A 16-year-old White Bear Lake girl has been charged as an adult with first-degree assault for the beating of her friend with a crowbar. According to a criminal complaint filed with Ramsey County District Court, Katherine Marie Berger was smoking marijuana with her 24-year-old friend at Bellaire Beach on White Bear Lake when the assault took place early on Oct. 21. The friend, who remained unnamed in the report, said that Berger lost a marijuana pipe and after they couldn’t find it attacked her from behind with a crowbar.

The victim drover herself to St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood where she was treated for multiple cuts on the head and arm as well a her jaw, which was fractured in two places. Police found Berger hiding in a closet at home. They also found the 24-year-old’s bloody cell phone and the bloody crowbar their. Berger claimed she was bipolar and did not remember the incident taking place.


Iowa Supreme Court to hear same-sex couples' lawsuit

The Iowa Supreme Court will hear arguments in a challenge to the state’s ban on same sex marriages this week, MSNBC reported Sunday. If the high court rules in favor of the gay couples that filed the lawsuit it would become the fourth state to uphold the right for same-sex couples to legally marry. California, Massachusetts and Connecticut are the only three states that have done so thus far, although voters who amended the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage negated the California court’s ruling.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Iowa case has been moving through the courts for three years before finally making it to the Supreme Court. However, after hearing the arguments on Tuesday, the court could take a year or more to make a ruling. Lambda Legal, a gay rights organization, is representing the Iowa couples in the case.



Rioting escalates in Greece over death of 16-year-old

Anti-police rioting escalated in major cities across Greece on Sunday in response to the death of a teenager who was killed by police on Saturday, CNN reported. Most of the rioters were young self-styled anarchists. A police statement said the 16-year-old boy who was killed by was shot as he tried to throw a fuel filled bomb at police. Nonetheless, the police officer that fired the fatal shot has been charged with “manslaughter with intent.?

Police used tear gas in an attempt to abate the angry demonstrators but rioting continued well into late Sunday night. The U.S and British embassies both issued warnings to tourists and employees and discouraged them from visiting areas where rioting was occurring and downtown Athens in particular. ABC reported that demonstrators barricaded city streets in Athens and Thessaloniki and hurled petrol bombs as they conflicted with police sent to put an end to the rioting. The rioters, most of them young in age, also smashed storefronts and burned businesses.