News Bits

  • Scotland’s justice minister on Monday defended his much-criticized decision to free the Lockerbie bomber, as the U.S. State Department said that it disagreed “passionately.”
  • A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that the Los Angeles County coroner has ruled Michael Jackson’s death a homicide.  Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson’s personal physician, is the target of a manslaughter probe headed by Los Angeles police.
  • The Iranian-backed Shiite parties that helped propel Iraq’s prime minister Nouri al- Maliki into power three years ago dumped him Monday as their candidate for re-election.  The move set the stage for a showdown within the Shiite coalition that has dominated Iraq’s government since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Information from AP exchange