News from North America, Monday 27th May 2013

BBC News: “The office of an Arizona lawman who styles himself America’s toughest sheriff improperly targeted Hispanics in routine patrols for undocumented immigrants, a federal judge has found.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was sued by a group of Hispanic drivers who said his deputies relied on race when choosing whom to stop.

Judge Murray Snow ruled his deputies may not factor in Hispanic ancestry when making law-enforcement decisions.”

Reuters: “Authorities in northwestern Oregon said on Sunday that a teenager arrested for producing what authorities called explosives for a Columbine-style attack on his high school had meticulously planned his foiled bombing.

‘He was definitely following a detailed checklist,’ said Captain Eric Carter of the Albany police department about the 17-year-old, Grant Acord. ‘It appears he had a systematic, well-documented plan, this was not just an errant note.’

Acord, a West Albany High School student, was arrested on Thursday night after police received a tip that he had produced a bomb and planned to detonate it at school. Carter said Acord was arrested at his mother’s home in north Albany on Thursday evening without incident.”

Huffington Post: “A controversial member of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s (R) grassroots reelection committee has stepped down amid outrage over his alleged ties to a hate group, Columbia Patch reported Sunday.

Last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a report accusing Roan Garcia-Quintana of belonging to the Council of Conservative Citizens, an organization listed as a ‘white nationalist hate group’ by the SPLC. Garcia-Quintana was named as a member of Haley’s grassroots steering committee in February.”

Greek Reporter: “Supporters of the Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party made death threats as they were ousted from a Greek-American documentary screening in New York they tried to disrupt with the use of a megaphone in a post-film discussion, shouting ‘Commies, you will die!’ as they were pushed and shoved out the door.

The incident occurred on May 24 at the Stathakion Cultural Center in Astoria, during the screening of Greek-American Radicals – The Untold Story, a historical documentary about the journey of Greek-American radicalism.”

BBC News: “US President Barack Obama has lifted a moratorium on the transfer of Yemeni prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay as part of a renewed push to close the detention camp.

Nearly 800 detainees have passed through the centre since it was set up under the Bush administration in 2002 to hold “enemy combatants” from the war in Afghanistan – and 166 are still being held there.

More than half of these inmates – 89 men – come from Yemen.

They were largely picked up around in Afghanistan or border areas 11 years ago on suspicion of involvement with al-Qaeda.

But of the 86 men in Guantanamo who have been cleared for transfer or release, 56 are Yemeni. They are no longer considered enemy combatants or a threat to US security.

Many of other nationalities – including Europeans, Saudi Arabians and Afghans – have been moved on due to agreements with their home countries. But the Yemenis have been going nowhere.”

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