National roundup: Judge orders release of details on CIA prisons

April 22
NATIONAL SECURITY
Judge orders release of details on detainee

Prosecutors must turn over never-revealed details about the time a Guantanamo Bay detainee spent in secret CIA prisons after his arrest in connection with the deadly attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, according to a military judge’s order released Tuesday.

The five-page order was a victory for defense lawyers representing Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, who is accused of orchestrating the Oct. 12, 2000, bombing in Yemen, which killed 17 U.S. sailors.

Al-Nashiri, who was born in Saudi Arabia, has been at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since 2006, after being held in a series of secret CIA prisons. A CIA inspector general’s report said al-Nashiri was waterboarded under rules approved by the George W. Bush administration.

Prosecutors, who can appeal the judge’s ruling, had argued that information about his time spent in CIA custody was irrelevant to the case. The defense believes the case against al-Nashiri is tainted by CIA actions in the secret prisons and could be used to spare him from the death penalty.

— Associated Press

TEXAS
Officials say explosion at plant preventable

The fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people last year in a tiny Texas town could have been prevented, even if it’s still not clear what started an initial fire that triggered the blast, federal officials said Tuesday.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board announced its findings after a year of investigating the April 17, 2013, blast in the town of West that also injured 200 and decimated parts of the town. Between 40 and 60 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded 22 minutes after the fire broke out.

The safety board said the owners of West Fertilizer Co. failed to safely store hazardous chemicals or prepare for a potential disaster.

— From news services

OHIO
Same-sex marriage may be put to vote

Gay rights supporters in Ohio were given the go-ahead Tuesday to begin gathering signatures to put a proposed state constitutional amendment to make same-sex marriage legal before voters as soon as November.

Ohio banned gay marriage by state constitutional amendment in 2004 and does not recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states.

The amendment language certified Tuesday by the Ohio Ballot Board proposes to make legal all marriages between consenting adults regardless of gender and provides that all legally valid marriages shall be treated equally under the law.

A federal judge has ordered Ohio to recognize the legal marriages of gay couples wed legally outside the state, but he put his ruling on hold pending appeal.

— Reuters

Mo. town mayor quits over anti-Semitic remarks: The mayor of a southwestern Missouri town resigned Tuesday in the wake of community anger over anti-
Semitic comments he made in reference to recent killings of three people at two Jewish community facilities in Kansas. Dan Clevenger, who resigned as mayor of Marionville, said in a televised interview last week that he “kind of agreed with” the views of the suspect in the April 13 killings, Frazier Glenn Miller, an avowed white supremacist.

Senator from Arkansas has heart surgery: Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.), 63, underwent heart surgery Tuesday and was recovering well, his office said. He was taken to a hospital in Rogers, Ark., overnight after experiencing pain in his chest and arm. Boozman won his first term in the Senate in 2010 after serving five terms in the House.

— From news services

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