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Law and order

Thai editor sentenced to jail for defaming king

Thai military court sentences web editor to 4 1/2 years in jail for defaming the nation's king
Todd Pitman, The Associated Press

BANGKOK - A military court in junta-ruled Thailand sentenced a Web editor to 4 1/2 years in jail Monday for publishing an article five years ago that it said defamed the nation's king.

The punishment is the latest manifestation of an intensified crackdown on alleged criticism of the monarchy that has been waged by authorities since the army seized power in a May 22 coup.

Anxieties mount as Ferguson waits on grand jury

Anxieties mount in US over Ferguson shooting; preachers ask for calm as grand jury deliberates
David A. Lieb And Andale Gross, The Associated Press

FERGUSON, Mo. - Anxiety and speculation mounted Sunday as residents of Ferguson awaited a decision by a grand jury on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old.

Portuguese police detain ex-premier in fraud case

Portuguese police detain former Socialist prime minister, 3 others in corruption case
The Associated Press

LISBON, Portugal - Portugal's Attorney-General's office says police have detained former prime minister Jose Socrates as part of an investigation into corruption, money-laundering and tax fraud.

A statement said Socrates, who was Portugal's prime minister from 2005 to 2011, was taken into custody late Friday with three others.

News channel S.I.C. Noticias said the former centre-left Socialist leader was detained when he arrived to Lisbon airport on a flight from abroad.

2 men freed after judge dismisses 1975 Ohio case

2 men charged in 1975 Ohio slaying walk free after witness recants, judge dismisses case
Mark Gillispie And John Seewer, The Associated Press

CLEVELAND - Two men imprisoned for nearly four decades walked free on Friday after being exonerated in a 1975 murder because the key witness against them recanted his testimony.

A judge dismissed the cases against Ricky Jackson and Wiley Bridgeman after the main witness said Cleveland police detectives coerced him into testifying that the men, along with Bridgeman's brother, killed a businessman.

$139M deal reached in school molestation case

Los Angeles school district settles major classroom molestation litigation for $139 million
Brian Melley, The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Los Angeles Unified School District will pay $139 million to end all remaining litigation involving an elementary school teacher convicted of committing numerous counts of lewd conduct against his students, according to the settlement announced Friday.

Man who sold fake immunity papers gets 3 1/2 years

Man gets 3 1/2 years for selling fake papers that he claimed granted immunity from US law
Matthew Barakat, The Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A man who claimed he was the keeper of the seal of St. Peter was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for selling 2,000 fake documents that he said would protect buyers from U.S. law and taxes.

The sentence imposed on James McBride, 60, was even six months longer than the three years sought by prosecutors.

McBride, who had addresses in Hilliard and Dublin, according to court records, led and founded a movement called Divine Province. At hotel seminars and through his website, he sold the fake diplomatic cards and driver's permits, according to court records.

UK police spied on reporters for years, docs show

Lawsuit, documents reveal years of police surveillance on British journalists
Raphael Satter, The Associated Press

LONDON - Freelance video journalist Jason Parkinson returned home from vacation this year to find a brown paper envelope in his mailbox. He opened it to find nine years of his life laid out in shocking detail.

Twelve pages of police intelligence logs noted which protests he covered, who he spoke to and what he wore — all the way down to the colour of his boots. It was, he said, proof of something he'd long suspected: The police were watching him.

Woman with gun arrested outside White House

23-year-old woman with holstered gun arrested outside White House during demonstration
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - A Michigan woman carrying a gun was arrested outside the White House just after President Barack Obama completed a nationally broadcast speech announcing his plan for the U.S. immigration system.

The Secret Service says that its officers arrested 23-year-old April Lenhart of Mount Morris, Michigan around 8:30 p.m. EST Thursday. They say she was participating in a demonstration along the north fence outside the White House complex when agents spotted a holstered handgun on her front hip.

Gambia leader approves law jailing gays for life

Gambia leader approves law that would jail some gays for life amid fresh wave of arrests
The Associated Press

DAKAR, Senegal - The president of Gambia has signed a bill into law that calls for life imprisonment for some homosexual acts, the latest African country to codify harsh penalties for the gay community.

A copy of the legislation, which was obtained by The Associated Press on Friday, indicates that President Yahya Jammeh signed it on Oct. 9, though no government officials have yet publicly notified the country of the new law. Jammeh, one of Africa's most vocal anti-gay leaders, instructed gays and lesbians in 2008 to leave the country or risk decapitation.

Union: Charges seem unlikely for Ferguson officer

Police union official: Ferguson officer doesn't appear to expect to face criminal charges
David A. Lieb, The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The suburban St. Louis police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown seems confident that he will not face criminal charges from a grand jury that has been investigating the case for several months, a police union official said Thursday.

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