- - Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Judge dismisses lawsuit by al-Awlaki’s father

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit by the father of U.S.-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki that sought to block the U.S. government from targeting the fugitive terror suspect for assassination.

Citing the difficulties of a “unique and extraordinary case” involving an American citizen abroad, U.S. District Court Judge John Bates in an 83-page decision ruled that the obstacles in determining the merit of the constitutional challenges “require dismissal of this case at the outset.”

The judge specifically said he was not ruling on the merits of the case, noting, “the serious issues regarding the merits of the alleged authorization of the targeted killing of a U.S. citizen overseas must await another day or another [non-judicial] forum.”

But the case raises what Judge Bates described as “stark and perplexing questions” about whether the United States can target an U.S. citizen for death without judicial scrutiny.


Protest leader’s case sparks scrutiny

OFER MILITARY BASE | The tiny courtroom at an Israeli army base was packed with European diplomats, straining to follow proceedings in Hebrew and Arabic through translators whispering into their ears.

The target of such unprecedented interest was Abdullah Abu Rahmeh, a leader of Palestinian protests against Israel’s West Bank separation barrier who has been feted by some in the international community, from European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to former President Jimmy Carter, as a courageous defender of human rights.

Israel views the West Bank school teacher as an instigator of violence and wants to keep him in prison, even though he has completed his yearlong sentence. Israel says the demonstrations are violent riots since some of the marchers routinely throw stones at Israeli troops.

However, prominent figures in the international community have embraced the demonstrations as peaceful resistance to Israel’s 43-year military occupation, and say Israel’s crackdown is an attempt to stifle dissent.


China picks bishops, despite Vatican pique

BEIJING | China’s bishops opened a meeting Tuesday to choose leaders of the government-backed Catholic Church amid tensions with the Vatican after it denounced the recent ordination of a bishop who did not have the pope’s approval.

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