Boston bombing suspect's widow hires criminal lawyer

The widow of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has hired a prominent criminal lawyer with experience defending terrorism cases as she continues to face questions from federal authorities. Katherine Russell added New York lawyer Joshua Dratel to her legal team, her attorney Amato DeLuca said Wednesday. Dratel has represented a number of terrorism suspects in federal courts and military commissions, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detainee David Hicks, who attended an Al Qaeda-linked training camp in Afghanistan. “Mr. Dratel’s unique, specialized experience will help insure that Katie can assist in the ongoing investigation in the most constructive way possible,” DeLuca said in a written statement. He said Russell, who has not been charged with any crime, will continue to meet with investigators as “part of a series of meetings over many hours where she has answered questions.” Continue Reading

Widow of bombing suspect hires criminal lawyer

The widow of dead Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has hired a criminal lawyer with experience defending terrorism cases as she continues to face questions from federal authorities. Attorney Amato DeLuca said Wednesday his client Katherine Russell has added New York lawyer Joshua Dratel to her legal team. He says Russell will continue to meet with investigators and answer questions. DeLuca and Miriam Weizenbaum have been representing Russell, who lives in Rhode Island with her family. They specialize in civil cases such as personal injury law. Continue Reading

83-year-old nun, 2 others guilty of intruding into nuke facility

An 83-year-old nun and two fellow protesters were convicted Wednesday of interfering with national security when they broke into a nuclear weapons facility in Tennessee and defaced a uranium processing plant. It took a jury about 2 1/2 hours to find the three protesters guilty of a charge of sabotaging the plant and second charge of damaging federal property in July the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge in July. Defense attorneys said in closing arguments that federal prosecutors had overreached in the charges because of the embarrassment caused by the break-in. “The shortcomings in security at one of the most dangerous places on the planet have embarrassed a lot of people,” said Francis Lloyd, who represented Sister Megan Rice of Washington, D.C. “You’re looking at three scapegoats behind me.” Prosecutor Jeff Theodore was dismissive of claims that the protesters’ actions were beneficial to security at the plant that has had a hand in making, maintaining or dismantling parts of every nuclear weapon in the country’s arsenal. Continue Reading

Senate rejects firearms on more federal lands

The Senate rejected an effort Wednesday to expand the use of firearms on some of the nation’s most frequently visited federal lands, handing gun control advocates a modest success. The measure, backed by the National Rifle Association, represented one of two efforts Wednesday by gun rights supporters to take the offensive in Congress. Across the Capitol, a Republican-run House committee voted to make it easier for some veterans with mental difficulties to get firearms. The rejected Senate proposal would have let people use guns for any legal purpose on lands managed by the Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees nearly 12 million acres that abound in lakes, rivers, campsites and hiking trails. Currently, guns on those properties are limited to activities like target-range shooting and hunting, and weapons must be unloaded while being carried to those activities. Senators voted 56-43 for the proposal by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., but it fell short of the 60 votes needed for passage. Continue Reading

Warren County, IA Voters Reject Gambling Complex

INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) — Leaders of the effort to oppose a $145 million casino and events center in Norwalk say the overwhelming defeat of the proposal shows some officials misread public sentiment.  

Casino opponent Tom Greteman told The Des Moines Register  the 60 percent vote against the proposed Warren County casino Tuesday “shows how out of touch some of our city leaders are with what the people really want in Norwalk.” The Warren County Economic Development Corp. had supported the project in northwest Norwalk, near Iowa Highways 5 and 28. The development group’s executive director, Jason White, says he hopes to engage the public in determining what kind of projects the organization should pursue. Continue Reading

Congressional Panels Press Administration on Benghazi

WASHINGTON (AP) — Five House committees are pressing ahead with their own investigations into the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission at Benghazi, Libya last September.  

House Republicans insist the Obama administration is covering up information about the deadly assault that killed a U.S. ambassador and three others. A hearing is being held today on Capitol Hill, despite an exhaustive independent review, more than 25,000 pages of documents sent to Congress and hours of testimony from two cabinet members and the Joint Chiefs chairman. Witnesses include the former deputy chief of mission in Libya and a former regional security officer in Libya. Continue Reading

Cleveland Police Say Kidnap Suspects are Talking

CLEVELAND (AP) — The three brothers accused of holding captive three women for as long as 10 years in a Cleveland home could appear in court as early as this morning.  

Ariel, Pedro and Onil Castro were arrested after one of the women kicked out the bottom of a locked screen door and used a neighbor’s telephone to call 911.  

Two of the women disappeared while in their teens. One went missing when she was in her 20s. Continue Reading

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Police Chief Says Rescued Womens’ Conditions “Very Good, Considering…”

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland’s police chief says the three women held captive in a house for nearly a decade were restrained with ropes and chains and allowed out into the back yard occasionally.  

Chief Michael McGrath said in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday that the physical condition of the three women rescued Monday was “very good considering the circumstances.” McGrath says he was “absolutely” sure police did everything they could to find the women over the years. He disputed claims by neighbors that officers had been called to the house before for suspicious circumstances. McGrath says the three men who have been arrested in the case “are talking” but he wouldn’t say if they have confessed. Continue Reading

Police arrest man in 1976 Arizona murder case

Investigators in Arizona have arrested a man suspected of killing a woman in Tucson more than 35 years ago. Tucson police say 66-year-old Bruce McCullough has been charged with first-degree murder in the March 1976 death of 20-year-old Donna Smith. Authorities say the two had been living together as a couple. Detectives reviewing cold cases were able to track McCullough to San Diego and arrested him at his home last week. They say he avoided law enforcement for decades by using a fake identity but recently had been using his own name. Continue Reading