FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — At nearly the same time Thursday, sexual assault cases against an Army general and a former Naval Academy football player came to a close, and neither produced a conviction on that charge.
PURCELL, Okla. (AP) — Kay Collett once enjoyed a commute that would be the envy of many: cross a river, hang a left at the end of the bridge and walk into the bank branch she can see from her back porch. Total travel time: two minutes, maybe three if there's traffic.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The new health care law helps some people, hurts others and confuses almost everyone. Hoping to simplify things a bit, The Associated Press asked its Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus followers for their real-life questions about the program and the problems they're running into as the March 31 deadline approaches to sign up for coverage in new insurance markets.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Fred Phelps Sr. led his small Topeka church for more than two decades in a bellicose crusade against gays and lesbians, declaring that the U.S. was doomed because of its tolerance of homosexuality.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Racing Hall of Fame-nominated trainer Steve Asmussen and his top assistant are being investigated by thoroughbred racing regulators in New York and Kentucky after an animal rights group alleged they mistreated horses.
WUPATKI NATIONAL MONUMENT, Ariz. (AP) — Before an expanse of grassland and pueblo ruins in northern Arizona was declared a national monument, it was home to hundreds of Navajos whose ancestors returned to settle the area after a forced march to an eastern New Mexico internment camp.
The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday struck down as unconstitutional a state eavesdropping law, one of the strictest in the United States, saying it criminalized recording a sweeping array of innocent behavior such as fans cheering at an athletic event. The ruling is a big blow to the 1961 Illinois Eavesdropping Act, which had made it a felony to record audio of conversations unless all parties consented, a deeply controversial restriction in an age of ubiquitous mobile phones. Illinois' top court, in twin unanimous rulings on related cases dealing with audio recording, said the state's provision was overly broad and a violation of constitutional guarantees of free speech and due process. The law criminalized recording conversations "that cannot be deemed private," such as a loud street argument, a political debate on a college campus and screaming fans at an athletic event, among other scenarios, the court said.
Unemployment among U.S. military veterans eased last year, government data showed on Thursday, but remained far higher than the national average rate for the civilian population. The unemployment rate among veterans who had joined the military after September 11, 2001, averaged 9.0 percent last year, down from 9.9 percent in 2012, the Labor Department said. That was about 1.6 percentage points above the rate for the civilian population. Joblessness among this group is set to worsen as the war in Afghanistan winds down.
By Tom Ramstack WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A judge acquitted a former Naval Academy football player on Thursday of sexually assaulting a drunken female midshipman, one of a number of sexual misconduct cases roiling the U.S. military. Midshipman Joshua Tate, a senior from Nashville, Tennessee, had been accused of assaulting the 22-year-old woman at an alcohol-fueled off-campus party in April 2012. Marine Colonel Daniel Daugherty found Tate, who resigned from the academy on Thursday, not guilty of aggravated sexual assault after two days of testimony by more than a dozen witnesses at Washington's Navy Yard. Asked by reporters how much of the trial had been motivated by the military wanting to show it was tough on sexual misconduct, Tate's attorney Jason Ehrenberg said: "All of it." "That's the system we have.
By Ian Simpson ARLINGTON, Virginia (Reuters) - A suspected Osama bin Laden bodyguard held at Guantanamo Bay military prison for 12 years on Thursday faced a U.S. national security board weighing whether he should remain in detention there. Ali Ahmad al-Razihi, 33, is suspected of having been part of what U.S. intelligence officials called the "Dirty 30" security detail around bin Laden, a founder of al Qaeda who was killed in 2011 by U.S. forces in Pakistan. Razihi's hearing before the Periodic Review Board was to re-examine whether he should continue to be held without charge at Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. military prison in Cuba, or be transferred, possibly home to Yemen. One of the two U.S. military representatives for Razihi read a statement to the panel that said Razihi was focused on returning to Yemen, getting married and helping with the family fruit and vegetable business.
By Kelly Twedell FORT BRAGG, North Carolina (Reuters) - An Army general who admitted to an adulterous sexual affair and other improper relationships with junior female officers was spared jail and dismissal from the service on Thursday, a sentence critics decried as a failure of military justice. The case that derailed the 27-year Army career of Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair ended with a reprimand and $20,000 in forfeited pay as punishment after a plea deal in the rare court-martial of a top officer absolved him of sexual assault charges. The one-star general's defense team said they were grateful for the sentence ordered by the trial judge, Colonel James Pohl. They argued that Sinclair was unfairly portrayed as a sex offender when he was guilty of far lesser wrongdoing.