Nation & World Briefs 12-05-12 N.H. police find plenty of honest shoppers in sting

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MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Police have been leaving a cash-filled purse and a bag with a DVD player in unattended shopping carts outside stores in Manchester, N.H.

They have been glad to find that most holiday shoppers do the right thing.

Officers have been running the sting for about a week at shopping centers. So far, Manchester police Lt. Maureen Tessier says, most people notice the bag and purse and take steps to return them.

Just two people have been arrested after taking the items and putting them in their cars.

Under the law, a person who obtains lost or mislaid property must try to return it.

Asked if officers were surprised that most people have been honest, Tessier said: "I think we should all have that expectation that everyone's going to do the right thing."

Sandy fund should last until spring: Craig Fugate, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said there's enough money in the government's disaster relief fund for Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts until early spring. Fugate told the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday that the fund still has about $4.8 billion that it can disperse. So far, the government has distributed about $2 billion in aid to the 11 states struck by the late October storm. Fugate's testimony somewhat undercuts appeals by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut for more aid immediately. Those three states alone want another $83 billion. President Obama can request up to another $5.4 billion without hitting a spending ceiling. Several Republicans say more than that should be matched by spending cuts in other federal programs.

Border Patrol agent arrested: Aaron Anaya, a U.S. Border Patrol agent, has been arrested after authorities say he used his patrol vehicle to smuggle drugs while on duty in southwest Arizona, according to a federal complaint. Anaya was on patrol Sunday evening when he stopped along the international border, then loaded up several bundles of marijuana that had been dropped over the fence from Mexico, according to the complaint filed this week in federal court in Arizona.

Removed from plum House committees: House Speaker John Boehner's decision to take plum committee assignments away from four Republican lawmakers after they bucked party leaders on key votes isn't going over well with conservative advocacy groups. Reps. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas and Justin Amash of Michigan will lose their seats on the House Budget Committee chaired by Rep. Paul Ryan next year. And Reps. Walter Jones of North Carolina and David Schweikert of Arizona are losing their seats on the House Financial Services Committee. Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, said Tuesday that the party's steering committee made the decision "based on a range of factors." All four had voted against the agreement in the summer of 2011 to raise the government's debt ceiling, and three of them opposed the budget blueprint Ryan wrote.

Deputies kill hatchet-throwing man: Vanderburgh (Ind.) County Sheriff Eric Williams said two of his deputies fatally shot Lindal M. Johnson , 55, a rural Evansville man, after he threw a hatchet and other items at them. Williams saids the deputies tried to subdue the man with stun guns early Tuesday before he threw a hatchet at them and they immediately opened fire and killed him. The Evansville Courier & Press reports (http://bit.ly/VuBmb4 ) Johnson also threw a pipe at the deputies in a confrontation that lasted less than 20 minutes outside Johnson's home.

Serbia ambassador leaps to death: Officials say Serbia's ambassador to NATO committed suicide by leaping from a busy parking garage platform at Brussels Airport. A Serbian government statement said today that the envoy, Branislav Milinkovic, 52, died instantly on Tuesday night. A diplomat who could not be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media said Milinkovic suddenly jumped from the 26- to 33-foot-high platform while waiting with the Serbian delegation for foreign ministry officials due to hold talks with NATO officials. Serbia is not a member of the military alliance, but has a mission in the headquarters complex. Milinkovic, a former journalist, previously served as Serbia's ambassador to Austria.

More than 270 killed: Mud-stained bodies covered with banana leaves were laid out in a row and survivors dried their soiled belongings on the roadside under a bright sun today, a day after a typhoon killed more than 270 people in the southern Philippines. Officials feared many more bodies could be found as rescuers reach hard-hit areas that had been isolated by landslides, floods and downed communications. At least 151 people have died in the worst-hit province of Compostela Valley since Typhoon Bopha began lashing the region early Tuesday, including 66 villagers and soldiers who perished in a flash flood that swamped two emergency shelters and a military camp in New Bataan town, provincial spokesman Fe Maestre told Associated Press.

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