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Mob justice among the online-gamer tribe led to FBI arrests of suspects Friday in the theft of software code for the hotly anticipated first-person shooter game “Half-Life 2.” Game developer Valve issued a statement thanking gamers for providing the thousands of tips that led to the arrests … A man cleared of a rape he served 13 years for will get a $1.6 million settlement from the city of Cleveland following the revelation of his innocence through DNA testing. The city has also taken the rare step of making comprehensive review of its police laboratory part of the agreement … A judge who helped a defendant escape the long arm of the law by telling him to leave her Queens, N.Y., courtroom via a side door to avoid a detective waiting to arrest him on other charges may face a judicial misconduct investigation, if the police commissioner has his way. Justice Laura D. Blackburne’s “slip out the back, Jack” move was allegedly prompted by irritation at the detective’s misrepresenting himself in her courtroom … Cops vs. librarians? Recently, teens in a Chicago-area library reported seeing a man fondling himself while looking at Internet porn. Library workers called the police, but the man left before they arrived. Police then asked to see who had been logged on. But without a court order, the librarians refused, citing the Illinois Library Records Confidentiality Act — and opening another chapter of the privacy controversy … A Halliburton joint venture in Nigeria is facing investigation by the SEC. The world’s largest oilfield-services company — formerly headed by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney — has been asked for information as to whether TSKJ paid some $180 million in bribes to win contracts for a Nigerian gas-liquefaction plant. – Lydia Markoff

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