- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014
Man charged with lying in Minnesota al-Shabab case

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A man who allegedly contacted a terror suspect who’s wanted in Minnesota for his ties to al-Shabab has been charged with lying to the FBI, according to an indictment recently unsealed in federal court.

Mahdi Hussein Furreh is indicted in U.S. District Court in Minnesota on one count of making a false statement. He’s expected to plead guilty Friday.

According to the Sept. 24 indictment, Furreh lied to the FBI in January when he denied knowing anyone by the name of “Adaway,” even though the name was listed in his cellphone address book. He also told agents he had not contacted anyone by that name in March or April of 2013.

The indictment says that in fact, Furreh knew “Adaway” was a nickname for Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax, a Minnesota man who is at large and accused of encouraging local Somalis to return to their homeland and join al-Shabab.

The indictment says Furreh was in Nairobi, Kenya, in March 2013, and repeatedly contacted Faarax or tried to contact Faarax by telephone both before and after he arrived in Kenya.

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State names top research doc for medical marijuana

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota has hired the top official to oversee research on the effects of marijuana for the state’s new medical marijuana program.

Dr. Thomas Arneson, an internal medicine specialist with research experience in several organizations, will head up research efforts in the state’s Office of Medical Cannabis. His hire was announced Thursday. He starts Monday.

The state will gather data from every patient on different chemical compounds, dosages and side effects to build a database of what works - and what doesn’t. Lawmakers included the research provision in the law legalizing pills, oils and vapors for a handful of conditions.

The state is in the process of selecting its two medical marijuana manufacturers. Patients are expected to be able to get the medicine starting July 2015.

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Proposal for transgender student-athletes tabled

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Amid strong reaction on both sides of the issue, the Minnesota State High School League voted Thursday to table a proposed policy that would set guidelines for transgender student-athletes in high school sports.

The delay gives the league board more time to consider the divisive plan, which spells out how schools should handle transgender students in sports and what documentation those athletes would need to define their gender, such as proof of hormone therapy or surgery.

Board members received an estimated 10,000 emails on the policy, the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1vdtF6uhttp://strib.mn/1vdtF6u ) reported. Parents, students and advocates packed a hearing on the matter Wednesday that lasted nearly two hours.

In a unanimous voice vote Thursday, the 19-member board approved forming a task force. The board is expected to consider the proposal again at its next meeting on Dec. 4.

Supporters said the policy would affirm transgender athletes by sending a message that the high school league recognizes their challenges and aims to provide a positive experience. Opponents criticized the proposal as too vague, saying it violated legal requirements and failed to provide options for non-transgender athletes.

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Worthington to host Governor’s Pheasant Opener

WORTHINGTON, Minn. (AP) - Worthington in southwestern Minnesota will host the 2014 Governor’s Pheasant Opener.

The two-day event is scheduled for Oct. 10-11.

Scott Rall, a member of the event committee, says there are 12,900 acres of public land within 20 miles of Worthington. Rall calls Worthington “very hunter friendly.”

This is the fourth annual Governor’s Pheasant Opener, started by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2011. Previous host communities were Montevideo, Marshall and Madelia.

Dayton, who is a pheasant hunter, will lead the event. The public is invited to take part in some of the activities throughout the weekend.

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