Court rules against NLRB appointment

A second federal appeals court has found that President Obama exceeded his power when he bypassed the Senate to install a member on the National Labor Relations Board.

The ruling by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia came on the same day that a Senate panel considered a slate of five nominees for full terms on the labor board. Senate Republicans said Thursday that they would oppose two of the nominees — Sharon Block and Richard Griffin — because they currently sit on the board as recess appointments.

In its 2 to 1 ruling, the appeals court said that under the Constitution, recess appointments can be made only between sessions of the Senate, not any time the Senate is away on a break.

The court’s action mirrors a far-reaching ruling by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The Obama administration has appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court, arguing that such an interpretation would invalidate hundreds of recess appointments made by presidents over more than 100 years.

— Associated Press

Man charged with aiding terrorists

Federal authorities in Idaho said Thursday that they have arrested an Uzbek national accused of conspiring with a designated terrorist organization in his home country and helping a scheme to use a weapon of mass destruction.

The U.S. attorney’s office said Fazliddin Kurbanov, 30, was arrested Thursday morning in south Boise after a grand jury issued a three-count indictment as part of an investigation into his activities in Idaho and Utah.

The Idaho grand jury’s indictment charges Kurbanov with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. The indictment also alleges he possessed an unregistered explosive device. A separate grand jury in Utah charged him with distributing information about explosives, bombs and weapons of mass destruction.

He is scheduled to appear Friday in federal court in Boise.

— Associated Press

Judge ends oversight of Los Angeles police

A judge has officially ended more than a decade of federal oversight of the Los Angeles Police Department that was triggered by a corruption scandal involving abusive officers.

In two short sentences, U.S. District Judge Gary Allen Feess on Wednesday dismissed the final remnants of a consent decree, releasing the department from a transition agreement put in place in 2009 to ensure reforms that had been made were kept in place.

The city was forced into the consent decree in 2001 under the threat of a federal lawsuit. The U.S. government alleged a pattern of civil rights violations by police officers that went back decades.

The abuses came to light after the so-called Rampart scandal, in which officers in an elite anti-gang unit were found to have beaten and framed suspected gang members.

— Associated Press

Dying man’s blinks lead to murder conviction: An Ohio man was convicted Thursday of murdering a man authorities say identified his assailant by blinking his eyes while paralyzed and hooked up to a ventilator. Jurors found Ricardo Woods, 35, guilty of shooting David Chandler, 35, in the head and neck in Cincinnati in 2010. Chandler died two weeks after authorities said his blinks identified his killer.

No arson behind wildfire: Investigators from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said Thursday that a large wildfire caused by logging operations in northwestern Wisconsin was not intentionally set and that criminal charges are not expected. The fire destroyed 17 homes and forced dozens of people to evacuate before it was contained Wednesday night, started near Simms Lake in Douglas County, 40 miles southeast of Duluth, Minn.

— From news services