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Nation in brief

Terror suspects' lawyers file in federal court

By wire services
Published July 3, 2004

WASHINGTON - Human rights lawyers filed court challenges on behalf of nine Guantanamo Bay detainees Friday, citing this week's Supreme Court ruling and pressing the government to justify its detention of the terror suspects or let them go.

A federal court was urged to rule that the nine detainees were being unlawfully held at the military prison in Cuba. They were the first cases filed since the Supreme Court's ruling this week that the prisoners may use U.S. courts to contest their detentions.

Challenges were filed on behalf of two British citizens, three French citizens, a German Turk, a Jordanian Palestinian refugee, an Iraqi refugee and a Canadian.

More lawsuits are expected on behalf of other prisoners. About 600 men from more than 40 countries are being held on suspicion of links to al-Qaida or the fallen Taliban regime of Afghanistan.

Also ...

MAD COW: Mad cow disease has been ruled out in another animal, the government said Friday, the second time this week that followup testing proved negative for a second case of the brain-wasting illness in the United States.

DEATH SENTENCE: Indiana Gov. Joe Kernan spared a death row inmate's life Friday just days before he was to die by injection, saying it would be unfair to execute the man, Darnell Williams, when a mentally retarded accomplice got a life sentence. It was first time in 48 years that an Indiana governor granted clemency in a capital case.

ALASKA WILDFIRES: Dense smoke from a growing wildfire in Alaska's interior kept firefighting aircraft grounded as hundreds of people fled with their pets and belongings. The fire northeast of Fairbanks has tripled in size in recent days, growing to more than 225,000 acres.

REAGAN MOURNING: The nation ends its formal mourning over the death of President Ronald Reagan today, when flags lowered to half-staff can again be flown at full-staff.

[Last modified July 3, 2004, 01:00:34]

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