NATION IN BRIEF

Friday, September 2, 2005

No Compensation Is Due Oregon Farmers

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled Wednesday that farmers in Oregon's Klamath River Basin do not deserve financial compensation stemming from the federal government's decision to divert water in 2001 to protect three endangered fish species.

Federal authorities had withheld water from 1,400 farm families to sustain the region's coho salmon and long-nose and short-nose sucker fish. Farmers said the decision cost them $100 million and violated their property rights.

But Judge Francis M. Allegra ruled that federal contracts allowed the government to withhold water in an emergency.

Roger J. Marzulla, the farmers' attorney, said yesterday that he plans to appeal.

· NEW YORK -- A deputy to a Yemeni cleric was sentenced to 45 years in prison -- the maximum penalty -- for a plot to raise money for al Qaeda, despite his urgent disavowals of terrorism. Mohammed Mohsen Yahya Zayed's defense attorney, Jonathan Marks, had argued that his 31-year-old client was a naive bit player in the conspiracy involving his boss, Sheik Mohammed Ali Hassan Moayad. The judge sentenced Moayad to 75 years in prison in July.

· SACRAMENTO -- California high schools will ban carbonated soft drinks under legislation approved by the state assembly to help combat teen obesity. The bill allows milk, drinks with at least 50 percent fruit or vegetable juice, and drinking water without sweetener. It would be phased in from 2007 and take full effect in 2009.

· ATLANTA -- Lawyers for accused courthouse gunman Brian Nichols asked prosecutors to turn over any records that may show he was mentally or emotionally disturbed when he allegedly killed a judge and three others on March 11 as he allegedly escaped.

-- From Staff Reports and News Services


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