Ruling on Viequesinflames Sharpton
NEW YORK -- The Rev. Al Sharpton said he's willing to go back to jail to protest the dismissal of a lawsuit seeking an end to naval bombing exercises on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques.
"I'm willing to go back to jail if it becomes necessary," Sharpton said Wednesday. "I hope that the president will listen to the will of the people of Vieques. But if that doesn't happen and the appeal fails, I'm willing to go back to Vieques and risk imprisonment."
Sharpton was responding to a federal judge's decision to dismiss the Puerto Rican government's attempt to stop Navy training on Vieques under a local law banning loud noises along the island's shores.
During a news conference at his National Action Network headquarters in Harlem, Sharpton called the ruling "an outrageous decision that must be appealed and resisted." The Puerto Rican government said Wednesday it would appeal.
Sharpton served a 90-day federal prison sentence for trespassing on a Navy bombing range to protest the Vieques bombardment. He lost 30 pounds during a 43-day hunger strike in prison.
He was released in August and returned full force to New York City politics, endorsing mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer and publicly weighing a 2004 presidential run.
Singer arrestedat fight scene
Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter was arrested on charges of refusing to follow police officers' orders to leave a Tampa nightclub after a fight broke out.
The youngest of the five-member group at age 21, Carter was charged on Wednesday with a misdemeanor count of resisting/opposing a law enforcement officer without violence. He was handcuffed, placed in a squad car and released on his own recognizance.
His first court appearance is set for March 4, Tampa Police spokesman Joe Durkin said Thursday.
Police were called to the Pop City nightclub early Tuesday evening because of a fight and returned later that night to break up another disturbance. While officers made arrests and tried to restore peace, Carter became involved in an argument with a woman, according to the arrest affidavit.
He was told to leave the nightclub more than 10 times until officers told him to leave by "the count of 3" or he would be arrested. Carter continued the argument and was arrested, the arrest affidavit said.
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