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5 men charged in slayings of 2 women

DETROIT (AP) -- Five men have been charged in the abduction and slayings of two Michigan women who were kidnapped and stuffed in a car trunk at gunpoint, a prosecutor said Saturday.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said the men face charges in the deaths of friends and roommates Abreeya Brown, 18, and Ashley Conaway, 22, who were abducted Feb. 28. Their bodies were discovered March 25 in shallow graves in a wooded area on Detroit's west side, not far from their home in Hamtramck. They had been bound and shot in the head.

Brandon Cain, 26, Miguel Rodriguez, 24, Reginald Brown, 24, Jeremy Brown, 19, and Brian Lee, 25, all of Detroit, are charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of torture and two counts of unlawful imprisonment.

Authorities said Conaway may have been targeted for telling police that Lee and Cain shot at her nearly three weeks before the abduction.


Official warns that L.A. could go bankrupt

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Los Angeles' top budget official says the city could go bankrupt if it doesn't overhaul its finances with new taxes, possible layoffs and the privatization of some city services.

Chief Administrative Officer Miguel Santana told the Los Angeles Times that a $222 million budget gap has the city in "crisis mode." That figure is expected to increase to $427 million by 2014-15.

In a sweeping report, Santana blamed the shortfall on stagnant revenues and rising employee costs such as payroll and pensions.

He is searching for ways to come up with $150 million in new income. One proposal is to double the so-called documentary transfer tax imposed on property sales, which could generate $100 million.


Obama says holiday a time of reflection

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Obama, marking the Easter holiday and Jewish Passover, called it a "time to celebrate redemption at God's hand."

Obama said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address that the holidays help connect Americans to their past and "give us strength as we face the future." He said for Christians, Easter weekend is a time to reflect and rejoice about "the things that matter most."

In the Republican address, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said the Obama administration is taking credit for energy production in the U.S. while "it works to aggressively undermine it."

Fallin said the energy crisis is connected to a "lack of leadership" that starts at the top. She said Republicans will push for more domestic energy production.


Ford recall tied to windshield wiper

DETROIT (AP) -- Ford is recalling more than 140,000 Focus compact cars because the passenger-side windshield wiper can fail.

Federal Safety regulators say a seal in the wiper motor wiring may be missing. Water can get inside and cause the wiper to stop working, increasing the risk of a crash.

Ford said there haven't been any crashes or injuries from the problem.

The cars were built from Aug. 1, 2010 through Oct. 18, 2011. Ford dealers will clean and seal the wiring free of charge and fix any wipers that don't work. Ford expects to begin the repairs in late May.

Owners with questions can call Ford at (866) 436-7332.