NBC’s Gregory won’t face charges
NBC journalist David Gregory won’t face charges for displaying a high- capacity ammunition magazine on his “Meet the Press” news program last month, District of Columbia prosecutors announced Friday.
The city’s Office of the Attorney General, which handles low-level crimes, said criminal charges wouldn’t serve the public’s best interests even though possession of the magazine — capable of holding up to 30 rounds of ammunition — clearly was against local gun laws.
French act against Islamists in Mali
France launched airstrikes Friday to help the government of Mali defeat al-Qaida-linked militants who captured more ground this week, dramatically raising the stakes in the battle for this vast desert nation.
French President Francois Hollande said the “terrorist groups, drug traffickers and extremists” in northern Mali “show a brutality that threatens us all.” He vowed that the operation would last “as long as necessary.”
France said it was taking the action in Mali at the request of President Dioncounda Traore, who declared a state of emergency because of the militants’ advance.
The arrival of the French troops in their former colony came a day after the Islamists moved the closest yet toward territory still under government control and fought the Malian military for the first time in months, seizing the strategic city of Konna.
British company to run Pa. Lottery
Camelot Global Services, the British national lottery operator, is poised to take over management of the Pennsylvania Lottery after Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration said Friday that it had awarded a contract to the company in a deal that pledges $34 billion in profits to the state over the next 20 years.
Pennsylvania, whose lottery is among the country’s largest with $3.5 billion in sales last year, is on track to become the third state, after Indiana and Illinois, to hire a private lottery manager.
UN urged to refer Syria to war court
More than 50 countries have backed a call for the U.N. Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court, a move that would open the way for war-crimes prosecutions.
A draft of the letter obtained Friday by The Associated Press says the situation in Syria should be referred to the Hague-based war crimes tribunal “without exceptions and irrespective of the alleged perpetrators.”
American Taliban wins prayer suit
An American convicted of fighting alongside the Taliban must be allowed to pray daily in a group with other Muslim inmates at his high-security prison in Indiana, a federal judge ruled Friday.
Barring John Walker Lindh and his fellow Muslims from engaging in daily group ritual prayer violates a 1993 law that bans the government from curtailing religious speech without showing a compelling interest, U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson ruled.