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Appeals court rules anti-war nun and activists did not sabotage Tennessee nuclear site

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An 85-year-old nun and two Army veterans sent to prison after breaking into a U.S. defense site for storing enriched uranium for nuclear bombs did not commit sabotage and should be re-sentenced, an appeals court has ruled.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the convictions on the charge of sabotage on Friday for Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, whose actions in July 2012 embarrassed government officials and prompted changes in security.

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The court upheld their convictions for damaging government property but ordered that they be re-sentenced on those charges in light of the time they have served.

Appeals judges said in a 2-1 decision that federal prosecutors had failed to prove that the activists consciously sought to interfere with national defense when they cut through four layers of fences and entered the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

“No rational jury could find that the defendants had that intent when they cut the fences; they did not cut them to allow al Qaeda to slip in behind,” the ruling said.

The three also spray-painted antiwar slogans, splashed blood and hammered on exterior walls of the facility as part of their protest against nuclear weapons, the court said.

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Rice was sentenced in February 2014 to 35 months in prison in the case, and the two men each received prison sentences of 62 months.

All three have been jailed since their May 2013 convictions, however, due to the seriousness of the sabotage charge.

Bill Quigley, a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans who helped represent the activists, said they will ask the trial court to sentence them to time served.

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“They’re glad that the court agreed that their actions were not sabotage, and they’re hopeful that they’ll be getting out of jail soon,” he said on Saturday.

But the federal government could seek a re-hearing on Friday’s ruling or appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Quigley said.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; editing by Jane Baird)

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Former FBI agent explains why Trump just opened himself to more legal problems

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Former FBI agent Asha Rangappa explained that the recent revelations that President Donald Trump made a promise to a foreign leader that made an intelligence official uncomfortable enough to declare themselves a whistleblower.

Rangapp explained that the President has a fairly wide latitude to conduct foreign affairs as he sees fit. But "when it comes to the 'outside world,' the President represents the sovereign: He is basically the voice of the United States and can negotiate with world leaders on its behalf."

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Canada’s Trudeau admits to racist ‘brownface’ makeup in high school Halloween costume

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Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized Wednesday for wearing brownface makeup to a party 18 years ago, as he scrambled to get on top of a fresh blow to a re-election campaign dogged by controversy.

Time magazine published the photograph one week into a federal election campaign with Trudeau's Liberal Party in a tight contest against the Conservatives led by Andrew Scheer.

Trudeau, 47, whose party won a landslide victory in 2015, has already been under attack for an ethics lapse and other controversies.

The black-and-white photograph shows Trudeau, then 29, wearing a turban and robes with his face, neck and hands darkened at a gala party in 2001.

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New York cop who became El Chapo’s security guard arrested for selling cocaine and taking bribes

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A New York cop is being prosecuted after he was outed for selling cocaine and taking bribes after he went to work for drug kingpin El Chapo.

The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that Officer Ishmael Bailey had his bail set at $50,000 after he was arrested and arraigned in Queens Criminal Court. He was charged with possession and sale of narcotics, conspiracy, bribe receiving as a public servant and failing to perform duties as a public servant.

Lawyer Jeff Cohen argued that Bailey had two children and had to pay child support. The lawyer explained that Bailey “does understand the severity of his charges.”

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