Briefs, September 27, 2012

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 September, 2012, 3:57am

UK judge sets date for phone hacking trial

LONDON - Ex-News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson were told yesterday they will go on trial for phone hacking at the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid in September 2013. The decision leaves the scandal hanging over British Prime Minister David Cameron for another year because he is a close friend of Brooks and he employed Coulson as his director of communications. A judge set the date after several defendants appeared at the Old Bailey court in London. AFP


Philanthropist's luxury life sold for millions

NEW YORK - An auction of the contents of philanthropist Brooke Astor's two homes has brought in more than US$18.8 million. Sotheby's offered 901 objects, including European and Asian furnishings, Old Masters, Qing Dynasty paintings, tea sets, silverware, jewellery, a porcelain menagerie, more than 100 dog paintings and even the uniforms of Astor's domestic staff at a two-day auction. AP


Court upholds ban on detaining 'immigrants'

PHOENIX, Arizona - A federal appeals court denied an Arizona sheriff's request to reverse a lower-court decision barring his deputies from detaining people solely on the suspicion that they are illegal immigrants. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco issued a 23-page ruling after considering the question of a preliminary injunction while a Phoenix trial court considers the merits of the entire lawsuit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. AP


Protester jailed for ripping king's picture

DUBAI - The daughter of an imprisoned Bahraini activist was jailed for two months for tearing up a picture of the Gulf Arab state's king. Zainab al-Khawaja, daughter of leading Shiite activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, was arrested at a protest in August that was dispersed by security forces using tear gas and birdshot. Her defence lawyer called the sentence harsh. "Usually sentences for such crimes are just fines," Mohammed al-Jishi said. Reuters


California law paves way for driverless cars

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California - Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will pave the way for driverless cars in California. The bill by state senator Alex Padilla will establish safety and performance regulations to test and operate autonomous vehicles on state roads and highways. Internet search giant Google has been developing autonomous car technology and lobbying for the regulations in the state. AP