Army Corps Mining Permits

Violated Clean Water Act

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Army Corps of Engineers bypassed the federal Clean Water Act when it allowed mining companies to dump rock and soil into valleys during mountaintop mining projects in southern West Virginia, a federal judge ruled. Judge Joseph R. Goodwin ordered the corps on Thursday to revoke 11 permits where mining in the state had not started.

* CHARLOTTE -- Federal prosecutors worry that classified documents could become public during the trial of David Passaro, a CIA contractor charged in the beating of an Afghan prisoner who later died. Passaro faces four counts of assault and assault with a dangerous weapon -- a large flashlight -- on detainee Abdul Wali, 28, who died at a U.S. base in Afghanistan last June.

* POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- A former Hudson Valley gun store owner is one of the men arrested by Afghan authorities and accused of running an unauthorized jail in a Kabul house where authorities say prisoners were found hanging by their feet. U.S. officials said Jonathan Keith Idema, 48, is one of three Americans and four Afghans arrested Monday in the Afghanistan capital.

* HONDO, N.M. -- A 14-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting his family at ABC newsman Sam Donaldson's New Mexico ranch denied the charges in children's court and told authorities his father regularly abused him. A judge granted District Attorney Scot Key 30 days to consider whether to prosecute the youth as an adult.

* NEW YORK -- A New Jersey gas station owner was sentenced to the maximum of five years in prison for lying to FBI agents about his ties to a Yemeni sheik who prosecutors say raised money for al Qaeda. Numan Maflahi, a Yemeni-born U.S. citizen, told agents that he had limited contact with Sheik Abdullah Satar and no involvement in Satar's fundraising for al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. But prosecutors said FBI agents had watched as Maflahi, 31, "spent almost every waking hour" with Satar during a 1999 trip to New York, arranging his speaking engagements at mosques, driving him to appointments and helping collect and hold money.

* SAFFORD, Ariz. -- Light rain fell on Mount Graham, raising humidity, and more precipitation was forecast for the weekend, which could help firefighters protecting valuable telescopes at a southeastern Arizona observatory threatened by two wildfires, the National Weather Service said.

* PHOENIX -- More than 30 endangered brown pelicans have crashed onto sidewalks and roads in Arizona, mistaking the heat-induced shimmer of the paved surface for lakes and creeks. Wildlife experts believe the endangered birds are experiencing a food shortage along the West Coast and are heading to Arizona to find fish.

* CAMDEN, N.J. -- A fast-moving fire swept through a rowhouse, critically injuring nine relatives, chief Fire Marshal Ralph Roberts said. A smoke detector was found in the basement but it was not clear whether it worked, he said. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

-- From News Services