National briefs


Copper site found in Jordan that dates to days of Solomon

The fictional King Solomon's Mines held a treasure of gold and diamonds, but archaeologists say the real mines may have supplied copper.

Researchers led by Thomas Levy of the University of California, San Diego, and Mohammad Najjar of Jordan's Friends of Archaeology, discovered a copper-production center in southern Jordan that dates to the 10th century B.C., the time of Solomon's reign.

The discovery south of the Dead Sea occurred at Khirbat en-Nahas, which means “ruins of copper” in Arabic. Research at the site in the 1970s and 1980s indicated that metalworking began there in the 7th-century B.C., long after Solomon. But Levy and Najjar were able to date materials such as seeds and sticks to the 10th-century B.C.

“We can't believe everything ancient writings tell us,” Levy said in a statement. “But this research represents a confluence between the archaeological and scientific data and the Bible.”

Their findings are reported in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Associated Press

Maryland Towson

A Maryland teen pleaded guilty Monday to fatally shooting his sleeping father, mother and two younger brothers, then going back to a friend's house to play video games.

Nicholas Browning, 16, of Cockeysville pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree murder. In exchange, prosecutors will seek a maximum of two consecutive and two concurrent life sentences, meaning Browning could eventually be paroled. He would serve at least 23 years behind bars. Associated Press

New Jersey Atlantic City

Atlantic City's less-than-two-week-old ban on smoking in casinos will soon end for at least a year under a change-of-heart measure narrowly approved Monday by the City Council and quickly signed by the mayor. Casinos said the ban cut into their business, while their workers were deeply divided whether its health benefits outweighed the potential economic harm. Some at Monday's meeting shouted “Save Our Jobs!” while others chanted “Save Our Lives!” Associated Press


25 Kurdish rebels reportedly killed in northern Iraq

Turkey's military says 25 Kurdish rebels were killed in cross-border air strikes on rebel positions in the Qandil mountains of northern Iraq last week. That's where the Kurdish rebel leadership is believed to be in hiding, and where the rebels are said to train. The Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, has been fighting for self-rule in Turkey's southeast since 1984. Associated Press

Guantanamo Bay

A Yemeni man accused of being Al-Qaida's former media director and his Pentagon-appointed lawyer refused to talk Monday, but their boycott didn't stop a military judge from beginning Guantanamo's second war crimes trial. Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, facing a possible life sentence, sat silently at his defense table. His lawyer said al-Bahlul rejects using a military attorney and wants to represent himself. Associated Press