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Glenn Beck must reveal sources after falsely linking student to Boston Marathon bombing

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The conservative commentator Glenn Beck must reveal the names of confidential sources he used in reports alleging that a Saudi Arabian student injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing was “the money man” who funded the attack, a federal judge ruled.

In her decision on Tuesday, Chief Judge Patti Saris of the U.S. District Court in Boston also rejected Beck’s latest effort to dismiss Abdulrahman Alharbi’s defamation case against him and TheBlaze network, which broadcasts his radio show.

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Michael Grygiel, a lawyer for Beck, did not immediately respond on Wednesday to requests for comment. Peter Haley, a lawyer for Alharbi, declined to comment.

Beck repeatedly linked Alharbi to the April 15, 2013 bombing on his radio show, including that he had been “tagged” as a “proven terrorist,” and continued doing so after Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano cleared the student in congressional testimony.

Saris said Alharbi, 23, of Revere, Massachusetts, may learn the names of two Department of Homeland Security officials who allegedly provided information to officials at TheBlaze, to help refute Beck’s claims and show his reporting was inadequate.

She said Alharbi may also be entitled to the name of a federal anti-terrorism agent who also spoke with TheBlaze, if that agent said Alharbi funded the bombing.

“The only way to verify or confirm what the confidential sources told the defendants would be to speak with the sources themselves,” Saris wrote in a 61-page decision. Beck never spoke with the sources, she added.

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Most U.S. states have shield laws protecting journalists from revealing confidential sources, but Massachusetts does not.

In letting the defamation case continue, Saris said Alharbi can try to show that the defendants were negligent, and may seek damages for emotional distress and harm to his reputation.

She said Alharbi cannot seek punitive damages because Massachusetts law does not permit them in defamation cases.

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Alharbi had been a spectator near the marathon’s finish line when two homemade pressure-cooker bombs ripped through the crowd, killing three people and injuring more than 260.

The ethnic Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were implicated in the bombing. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death in June 2015. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot and killed by police a few days after the bombing.

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The case is Alharbi v. TheBlaze Inc et al, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, No. 14-11550.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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‘Russia is delighted’: Maddow says the elephant in the room is ‘rearing up and stomping its feet’

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The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC broke down how all of President Donald Trump's decisions in the Ukraine scandal primarily benefited Russia.

"We are in the middle of this impeachment now and it is still unfolding and there is still more to learn and tomorrow is going to be — tomorrow should be a big deal," Maddow noted. "Even just the news tonight is a big deal."

"But even after one day of public hearings so far, the elephant in the room here feels like it’s rearing up and stomping its feet, because who benefits with all these things Trump has done?" Maddow asked. "With all of them. With all this stuff in the middle of the impeachment, but all the other stuff he’s doing simultaneously."

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Trump begs Louisiana for a ‘big win’ after his last-minute rally in Kentucky backfired

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At his last-ditch rally in Louisiana to help the struggling gubernatorial candidacy of GOP businessman Eddie Rispone, President Donald Trump boasted — incorrectly — that his rally in Kentucky narrowed the gap for Gov. Matt Bevin, who lost the race, by 19 points. He then begged voters to give Rispone a "big win."

"We elected everybody," said Trump. "The governor got brought up, in a few short days, 19 points. I went, we made a speech, the whole ticket was there, everybody won big. Governor's a really good guy. But 19 points is a big thing, and he lost by just a few thousand votes. And the headlines next day, Trump took a loss — I lifted him up a lot. But Trump took a loss. So you gotta give me a big win, please, okay? Okay?"

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Roger Stone’s health in question as prosecutors have him ‘dead to rights’: NBC reporter

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Jurors deciding the fate of longtime Donald Trump political advisor Roger Stone did not reach a verdict during their deliberations on Thursday and will reconvene on Friday morning.

But there were fascinating details from the courtroom revealed by NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian.

"What about Roger Stone, does he look like he’s about to burn here?" MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews asked. "Does he look like he’s going down?"

"He does," Dilanian replied.

"And also, physically, he doesn't look well at this trial. He’s walking around the courthouse kind of unaccompanied, shambling around," he continued. "He doesn't look like a happy warrior, which is usually his persona."

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