All charges stand in WikiLeaks case
FORT MEADE, Md.
A military judge refused Thursday to dismiss the most-serious charge against an Army private accused in the biggest leak of government secrets in U.S. history.
Col. Denise Lind rejected a defense motion to throw out the charge of “aiding the enemy” during a pretrial hearing for Pfc. Bradley Manning. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. It was one of several motions seeking to dismiss some or all of the charges, but Lind left all 22 counts against Manning in place.
In seeking dismissal of the most-serious offense, defense attorney David Coombs had argued that the charge didn’t properly allege that Manning intended to help al-Qaida when he reportedly sent hundreds of thousands of classified Iraq and Afghanistan war reports and State Department diplomatic cables to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
Pakistan deports bin Laden family
Pakistani authorities deported Osama bin Laden’s three widows and his children to Saudi Arabia early today, less than a week before the first anniversary of the unilateral American raid that killed the al-Qaida leader in his hideout in a military town. The departure of the family closed another chapter in an affair that cemented Pakistan’s reputation as a hub of Islamist extremism and cast doubt on its trustworthiness as a Western ally.
Atheists, skeptics to gather in Wis.
Hundreds of atheists, freethinkers and other nonbelievers from around the Midwest will gather in Madison, Wis., this weekend for a conference marking the launch of a new umbrella group aimed at pulling together many of the area’s so-called “Nones.”
Not nuns, the Nones — that growing legion of Americans who answer “none” in surveys that track religious affiliation.
The Madison Area Coalition of Reason encompasses 10 member and allied groups.
The Madison coalition is one of at least 50 such groups in 30 states founded or promoted with funding from the Washington, D.C.-based United Coalition of Reason.
Man with bullet in head 94 years dies
The man who holds the Guinness World Record for living the longest with a bullet in his head has died in Central California at age 103.
The Modesto Bee reports that William Lawlis Pace died in his sleep at a Turlock nursing home Monday — 94 years and six months after his older brother accidentally shot him with their father’s .22-caliber rifle in 1917.
Pace learned in 2006 that he had been crowned the world record-holder in the category of unwanted cranial ammunition acquisition.
The injury damaged one of his eyes and facial nerves but didn’t prevent Pace from working as a cemetery custodian.
Lawyer: $200,000 donated to defense
George Zimmerman’s attorney says a website created to raise money for his legal defense has raised more than $200,000.
Mark O’Mara said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” Thursday night that he learned about the money Wednesday and will inform a judge at a hearing today.
Zimmerman, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 shooting of Trayvon Martin, was released from jail this week after paying 10 percent of $150,000 bail.
O’Mara says the bail amount may have been higher if the judge knew Zimmerman had raised $200,000.