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Ohio Amish plead not guilty in beard-cutting case

Sixteen members of a US Amish community accused of carrying out a string of beard and hair-cuttings against religious rivals have pleaded not guilty and are set to go on trial in August. The defendants — 10 men and six women — refused to speak to media after their afternoon…

Smithsonian welcomes space shuttle Discovery

Discovery on Thursday became the first spaceship of the retired US shuttle fleet to enter its permanent home as a museum artifact, marking a solemn end to the 30-year manned spaceflight program. The oldest surviving US shuttle, Discovery flew 39 missions to space beginning in 1984 and its transition from…

Guantanamo 9/11 detainee contests court’s secrecy rule

An accused September 11 conspirator filed a motion challenging a rule that keeps statements by the Guantanamo detainees secret, his lawyer said. Attorney James Connell called for end to “the presumption of classification” that applies to everything the Guantanamo detainees say. His client, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, is scheduled to…

Online ‘propaganda’ campaign targets USA Today reporters

Two USA Today reporters have become the target of a propaganda campaign after they reported on the tax problems of a intelligence contractor. Tom Vanden Brook and Ray Locker reported in February on “dubious, costly” propaganda campaigns carried out by contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. The reporters noted that Leonie…

Plane crashes in Gulf of Mexico, pilot ‘unresponsive’

WASHINGTON — A small private plane with only an “unresponsive” pilot on board crashed into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday after circling for more than two hours, US officials said. The US Air Force had scrambled two F-15 fighter jets to intercept and monitor the Cessna 421 aircraft, which…

New York police open new leads on child missing 33 years

NEW YORK — New York police and the FBI dug into a Manhattan basement Thursday to pursue new leads in a child disappearance case that shocked the city 33 years ago. Swarms of officers gathered outside the building where agents hoped they might finally get to the bottom of the…

Vermont calls on Congress to overturn Citizens United ruling

Vermont became the third state on Thursday to call on the U.S. Congress to overturn the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling in Citizens United v. FEC. The Vermont House passed the resolution by a 92-40 vote. The Vermont Senate passed the resolution 26-3 last week. The 2010 Citizens United ruling struck…

U.S. calls for ‘restraint’ after Indian missile tests

WASHINGTON — The White House Thursday urged restraint among nuclear capable states after India tested a long-range missile, but rejected any comparison between New Delhi’s behavior and that of North Korea. “We urge all nuclear capable states to exercise restraint regarding nuclear and missile capabilities and continue to discourage actions…

Former Congresswoman: Not too late to hold Bush and Cheney accountable

Former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY) told MSNBC’s Martin Bashir on Thursday that former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney could still be held accountable for violating federal criminal statues. “As a former prosecutor and a former member of the House Judiciary Committee during Watergate, I spent…

U.S. urges tough UN sanctions, arms embargo on Syria: Clinton

PARIS — World powers should push for tough United Nations sanctions against Syria in order to force Bashar al-Assad’s regime to comply with a UN peace plan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday. “We need to start moving very vigorously in the Security Council for a Chapter Seven sanctions…

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