Nation Digest

Nation Digest: U.S. Argues Against Hearings for Detainees in Afghanistan

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

DETAINEES

U.S. Argues Against Court Hearings

The Obama administration argued Monday that allowing terrorism suspects in Afghanistan to challenge their incarceration in U.S. courts would endanger the military mission in that country.

Although the Pentagon is giving the roughly 600 detainees at Bagram Airfield a chance to challenge their detentions, the Obama administration stuck with Bush administration policy in its court filing.

The Justice Department argued to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that Bagram detainees should not be given the same rights to sue that the Supreme Court granted last year to detainees being held at the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba.

-- Associated Press

ENVIRONMENT

Groups to Sue EPA Over Coal-Plant Rules

Three environmental groups said Monday that they intend to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for not setting limits on the amounts of certain toxic chemicals that coal-burning power plants can dump into nearby waterways.

The groups -- Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club and the Environmental Integrity Project -- said the EPA was supposed to set such limits 26 years ago.

The toxic metals, including arsenic, mercury and selenium, are usually found in coal smoke. Anti-pollution devices at coal plants remove them from the smoke, but then often dump the chemicals into rivers and streams.

The groups said yesterday that they would file suit in 60 days if the EPA failed to act. An EPA spokeswoman said Monday that the agency was planning to announce "the way forward" on the issue Tuesday.

-- David A. Fahrenthold

FBI Reports Drop in Crime: Cases of homicide dropped 3.9 percent last year as reported crime overall fell around the country, according to new data released Monday by the FBI. Rape cases declined by 1.6 percent to the lowest national number in 20 years.

State Dept. Official Takes Blame in Hazing Scandal: The State Department's personnel chief took the blame for lewd acts by guards in a hazing scandal at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan. "I take responsibility for having failed to prevent them and for not having uncovered them earlier," Patrick Kennedy told an independent oversight panel on contracting Monday.

-- From News Services


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