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Nation in brief

Suspended Ala. justice appeals to Supreme Court

By Wire services
Published September 30, 2003

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow his Ten Commandments monument to be put back on display in the rotunda of the state's Judicial Building.

Moore's brief made public Monday says the court "has failed to provide a uniform rule of law" on separation of church and state issues involving the public display of religious items.

Meanwhile, several hundred people, including Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, attended a rally Monday at the state's Capitol to protest court decisions that have blocked public Ten Commandments displays.

Episcopal leader defends choice of gay bishop

NEW YORK - With two key meetings ahead that could determine whether the Episcopal Church splits over homosexuality, the denomination's leader defended his support Monday for an openly gay bishop in an interview with the Associated Press.

Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold said he voted at last month's General Convention to confirm Bishop-elect V. Gene Robinson because Episcopalians in New Hampshire had chosen him in their local election and had the right to make that choice. Griswold also argued that Scripture does not condemn same-sex relationships.

He said that in biblical times there was no understanding that homosexuality was a natural orientation and not a choice.

Moussaoui files motion to dismiss indictment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Terrorism suspect Zacarias Moussaoui wants dismissal of his indictment but his motion must remain secret because he used offensive language and attempted to communicate with people outside his cell, a judge said Monday.

Moussaoui, who is serving as his own lawyer, argued his case should be thrown out because the government defied two court orders, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said.

The two rulings authorized Moussaoui to question three al-Qaida prisoners who - Brinkema concluded - could testify he was not part of the Sept. 11 conspiracy. The government says the al-Qaida loyalist has no right of access to enemy combatants held outside the United States.

Also ...

DALI DESTROYED: A New York Correction Department official, who pleaded guilty Monday in the heist of a painting Salvador Dali gave to Rikers Island, revealed that the work had been destroyed by a panicked cohort. Prosecutors had hoped to recover the $250,000 painting of the crucifixion of Christ until Mitchell Hochhouser told them the mastermind behind the crime trashed the piece. Hochhouser, 41, the jail's former assistant deputy warden, pleaded guilty Monday to charges stemming from his role in the March 1 theft.

PLANE MAKES EMERGENCY LANDING: A US Airways plane carrying 50 people made an emergency landing at the Dayton, Ohio, airport Monday after a leak in an air hose stirred up dust in the aircraft and caused an alarm light to come on. US Airways Flight 2803, which had taken off from the airport for Pittsburgh, landed safely, said spokeswoman Sharon Sears.

FORMER PRESIDENT CARTER OPENS DISPLAY OF NAVY CAREER: Former President Jimmy Carter welcomed members of the Navy's newest nuclear attack submarine - the USS Jimmy Carter - to his hometown of Plains, Ga., on Monday as he opened a new display highlighting his naval career.

The USS Jimmy Carter will be armed with antisubmarine torpedoes and cruise missiles.
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