Nation briefs 12/14/03

Thursday, December 4, 2003

First of Lackawanna Six sentenced to 10 years

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Mukhtar al-Bakri, 23, a Yemeni-American man who attended an al-Qaida training camp and met with Osama bin Laden shortly before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was the first defendant to be sentenced in the Lackawanna Six case. The youngest of the group, al-Bakri was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $2,000 on Wednesday. Prosecutors said they had no evidence the men were involved in planning any imminent terrorist attacks.

Child tied up, beaten to death by parents

ATLANTA -- An 11-year-old girl's parents tied her up in the garage, starved her and beat her over her entire body with an umbrella and paddle for several days before she died during the Thanksgiving holiday. The girl's father, Rodney Michael Reaves, 37, and her stepmother, 38-year-old Charlott Lynett Reaves, were charged with felony murder and cruelty to children. Authorities say the sixth-grader tried to escape once during the ordeal, but was "hogtied" and left without food or water.

Constitutional question raised in Moussaoui caseRICHMOND, Va. -- An appeals court is hearing arguments on whether the government should be barred from seeking the death penalty for Zacarias Moussaoui because it refused a judge's order to produce al-Qaida witnesses for his defense. The case has far-reaching implications for the war on terror, as the government -- citing national security -- has repeatedly refused to allow Moussaoui access to al-Qaida captives as defense witnesses.

New EPA rule would cap mercury emissions

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration on Wednesday defended an EPA proposal that would essentially cap mercury emissions from coal-burning power plants nationwide at 34 tons a year by 2010, a reduction of 30 percent from current levels. Emissions would be cut to 15 tons by 2018 under the rule. Each plant would also get an emissions allowance and utilities could purchase or sale allowances and adjust their emissions accordingly. Critics say the plan would create mercury "hot spots" still harmful to public health.

Attacks panel reaches deal with NYC on docs

WASHINGTON -- The federal commission studying the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks reached an agreement with New York City Wednesday that will give the panel access to unedited 911 tapes and transcripts of firefighter interviews. New York will retain possession of the unedited material, making it available to the commission 14 hours a day beginning Monday at a designated city office. The commission has a deadline of May 27 to report its findings on communication breakdowns and other events that exacerbated the attacks.

-- From wire reports

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