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Oklahoma gay-marriage case before US appeals court

Oklahoma gay-marriage case goes before federal appeals court that took up Utah case last week
Kristi Eaton, The Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY - Lawyers for two Oklahoma women and the county clerk who would not give them a marriage license go before a federal appeals court with a familiar question for the judges: Did the state's voters single out gay people for unfair treatment when they defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman?

The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard similar issues in a Utah case last week, giving Oklahoma lawyers a preview of what questions they might face.

Possible explosive prompts evacuations in Calif.

Possible explosive prompts evacuations in California town
The Associated Press

SOLVANG, Calif. - Hundreds of homes and businesses in the Central California town of Solvang have been evacuated following discovery of a potentially explosive device.

The Santa Maria Times says the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department began evacuating between 500 and 700 homes and businesses Wednesday following the afternoon discovery of some kind of military ordnance on Copenhagen Drive.

The evacuations cover anyone within a 450-metre radius of the device.

Ex-honours student's terror sentencing scheduled

Ex-honours student linked to 'Jihad Jane' to be sentenced in Pa. for terrorism plot
The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - A Maryland teen convicted with two women in a Jihadist terror plot is set to be sentenced in Philadelphia.

Mohammad Hassan Khalid of Ellicott City, Md., is linked to the case of 50-year-old Colleen "Jihad Jane" LaRose, who was sentenced in January to 10 years in prison.

The FBI says Khalid met LaRose and other extremists online when he was a 15-year-old honours student, and agreed to help them.

He is the rare juvenile detained on federal terrorism charges before turning 18.

Openings set to start in NY trial of Egyptian imam

Opening statements set for Thursday in conspiracy trial of Egyptian clergyman from England
The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Lawyers are poised to make opening statements in the trial of an Egyptian Islamic preacher charged with conspiring to support al-Qaida in part by trying to open a training camp in Oregon.

Mustafa Kamel Mustafa (muh-STAH'-fuh kah-MEHL' muh-STAH'-fuh) expects to testify to refute government's claims he was a vital piece of the terrorism machinery before his 2004 arrest. Opening statements begin Thursday.

NYC police rolling back some counterterror efforts

NYC police dismantling some post-9-11 anti-terrorism efforts; 'A different tone' at the top
Tom Hays, The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The move by New York City's new police commissioner to disband a unit that spied on the everyday activities of Muslims could be just the first step in a dismantling of some of the huge post-9-11 intelligence-gathering machinery built by his predecessor.

Robber who was homesick for prison to be sentenced

Robber, 74, who was homesick for prison to be sentenced in Chicago
Michael Tarm, The Associated Press

CHICAGO - Walter Unbehaun has spent nearly all of his adult life behind bars, so it's not surprising that he faces sentencing Thursday for yet another crime, a bank robbery last year. His reason for robbing the bank is surprising, though: He was homesick for prison.

Blast at Tennessee plant kills 1, injures 3

Explosion, fire at Tennessee plant kills 1, injures 3
Sheila Burke, The Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A plant explosion and fire killed one person and left three injured Wednesday, emergency authorities said.

Fears rise for missing in SKorea ferry sinking

Fears rise for 287 still missing more than 24 hours after ferry sinks off South Korea
Youkyung Lee And Foster Klug, The Associated Press

MOKPO, South Korea - Strong currents, rain and bad visibility hampered an increasingly anxious search Thursday for 287 passengers still missing a day after their ferry flipped onto its side and sank in cold waters off the southern coast of South Korea.

Former NYC mayor plans challenge to pro-gun lobby

Former NYC mayor Bloomberg plans to spend $50M to set up a gun control group to counter NRA
Jennifer Peltz, The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he will spend $50 million this year on new group that will mix campaign contributions with field operations aimed at pulling gun-control supporters to the polls in the November midterm elections and beyond.

Firetruck rams California eatery; 15 injured

Firetruck answering call slams into LA-area restaurant; 15 injured
John Rogers, The Associated Press

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. - Two firetrucks heading to a burning home collided Wednesday in a Los Angeles suburb, sending one careening into a restaurant and injuring 15 people, including six firefighters.

One man, who isn't a firefighter, was hospitalized in critical condition, officials said.

The crash on a busy commercial strip in Monterey Park left one truck embedded in the restaurant, with shattered glass and rubble heaped on the sidewalk. Chairs and tables were scattered inside.

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