Nation Briefs: Conviction of bin Laden driver voided by court

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A federal appeals court has thrown out the terrorism conviction of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a former driver for Osama bin Laden who served a prison term for material support for terrorism.

In a 3-0 ruling, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that material support for terrorism was not an international-law war crime at the time Hamdan engaged in the activity for which he was convicted.

Hamdan was sentenced to 51/2 years, given credit for time served and is back home in Yemen, reportedly working as a taxi driver.

CALIFORNIA

Blood from Yosemite workers could advance research

FRESNO — Health officials are set to draw blood from hundreds of Yosemite National Park employees as part of a research project that aims to help scientists better understand a potentially deadly virus carried by deer mice that killed three park visitors and sickened six others this summer.

More than 300 year-round employees will provide blood and answer an extensive questionnaire, as park epidemiologists and doctors with the California Department of Public Health try to determine how many workers might have been exposed to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome over the years, and why some people get sick and others don’t.

 

KENTUCKY

Gay man sues jail, says fellow inmate bit nose

LOUISVILLE — An incarcerated gay man is suing a southern Kentucky jail and a fellow inmate, claiming the prisoner bit off part of his nose after days of harassment.

Brandon Milam said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that he was disfigured, lost his sense of smell and remains in pain from the July attack in the Warren County Regional Jail.

Milam is seeking unspecified damages. He has sued the jail, its top official, the county and the purported attacker, Timothy Schwartz. He faces an assault charge.

The gay rights group Kentucky Equality Federation is urging federal authorities to pursue the case as a hate crime.

Milam was jailed for violating probation after a guilty plea to felony theft.

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