Nation and World briefs for October 8

FBI: Inmate is most prolific serial killer in US history

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The inmate who claims to have killed more than 90 women across the country is now considered to be the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

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Samuel Little, who has been behind bars since 2012, told investigators last year that he was responsible for about 90 killings nationwide between 1970 and 2005. In a news release on Sunday, the FBI announced that federal crime analysts believe all of his confessions are credible, and officials have been able to verify 50 confessions so far.

Investigators also provided new information and details about five cases in Florida, Arkansas, Kentucky, Nevada and Louisiana.

The 79-year-old Little is serving multiple life sentences in California. He says he strangled his 93 victims, nearly all of them women.

Some of his victims were on the margins of society. Many were originally deemed overdoses, or attributed to accidental or undetermined causes. Some bodies were never found.

Climate activists block roads, march in global protests

BERLIN — Activists with the Extinction Rebellion movement blocked roads and staged demonstrations in big cities around the globe Monday, part of a wide-ranging series of protests demanding much more urgent action against climate change.

Demonstrators stopped traffic in European cities including Berlin, London, Paris and Amsterdam. In New York, activists smeared themselves — and emblems of Wall Street — in fake blood and lay in the street.

In some cities, activists chained themselves to vehicles or pitched tent camps and vowed not to budge.

“You might come from a variety of different groups, but we all stand against a system that’s destroying the planet and mankind, and we’re looking to change that because we can’t just have little changes, we want a real big change,” said Pierrick Jalby, a 28-year-old nurse from eastern France who joined the demonstration in Paris. “We don’t want reforms, in fact, we want a revolution.”

Members of Extinction Rebellion, a loose-knit movement also known as XR that started last year in Britain, have staged a series of flashy protests this year to demand action on manmade climate change, often featuring marchers in white masks and red costumes and copious amounts of fake blood.

3 win Nobel Prize for showing how cells sense low oxygen

NEW YORK — Two Americans and a British scientist won a Nobel Prize on Monday for discovering details of how the body’s cells sense and react to low oxygen levels, providing a foothold for developing new treatments for anemia, cancer and other diseases.

Drs. William G. Kaelin Jr. of Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Gregg L. Semenza of Johns Hopkins University and Peter J. Ratcliffe at the Francis Crick Institute in Britain and Oxford University won the prize for advances in physiology or medicine.

The scientists, who worked largely independently, will share the 9 million kronor ($918,000) cash award, said the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

They “revealed the mechanism for one of life’s most essential adaptive processes,” the Nobel committee said.

Cells can encounter lowered oxygen not only from situations like living at high altitudes, but also from things like a wound that interferes with local blood supply. Their response triggers reactions that include producing red blood cells, generating new blood vessels and fine-tuning the immune system.

NBA’s ties with China, worth billions, now under strain

It wasn’t even a month ago that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sat overlooking center court at an arena in Beijing, watching the gold-medal game at the World Cup with other basketball dignitaries.

That night was all smiles.

Silver’s return to China later this week will be much different.

The relationship between China and the NBA — a multibillion-dollar marriage that involves media rights, streaming, merchandise sales and much more — is strained right now in ways unlike any other since the league first began planting roots there in earnest three decades ago. A since-deleted tweet from Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey that showed support for Hong Kong anti-government protesters prompted an immediate backlash, complicated further by the timing of the NBA having two preseason games in China this week.

“We apologize,” Rockets star James Harden said in Japan on Monday. “We love China. We love playing there. I know for both of us individually we go there once or twice a year. They show us the most support and love. So we appreciate them as a fan base and we love everything they’re about and we appreciate the support that they give us individually and as an organization.”

Judge says she couldn’t refuse convicted ex-cop a hug

DALLAS — The judge who gave a hug and Bible to a former Dallas police officer after she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing her neighbor said Monday that she watched the woman change during her trial and wants her to live a purposeful life.

Judge Tammy Kemp said she had never previously acknowledged her Christian faith to a defendant or given one a Bible, but Amber Guyger said she didn’t have one at the end of her trial for the September 2018 killing of her upstairs neighbor, Botham Jean.

In her first interview since the jury convicted Guyger of murder last week, Kemp said she felt her actions were appropriate since the trial was over and the former officer told her she didn’t know how to begin seeking God’s forgiveness.

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“She asked me if I thought that God could forgive her and I said, ‘Yes, God can forgive you and has,’” Kemp told The Associated Press.

“If she wanted to start with the Bible, I didn’t want her to go back to the jail and to sink into doubt and self-pity and become bitter,” she said. “Because she still has a lot of life ahead of her following her sentence and I would hope that she could live it purposefully.”

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