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Appeals court allows Sept. 11 steel cross display

Court tosses Sept. 11 lawsuit, says cross can be displayed at World Trade Center memorial site
The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - A federal appeals court has rejected a lawsuit by an atheist group seeking to stop the display of a cross-shaped steel beam found among the World Trade Center's wreckage.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday sided with a federal judge's ruling last year that the decision to include the beam in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum did not advance religion impermissibly.

US court throws out Chiquita terror payment claims

US court throws out Chiquita terror payment claims involving thousands of Colombian deaths
The Associated Press

MIAMI - A divided U.S. federal appeals court has thrown out claims against produce giant Chiquita Brands International made by thousands of Colombians killed during years of civil war.

A panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that federal courts have no jurisdiction over the Colombian claims. The lawsuits accused Chiquita of assisting in the killings by paying $1.7 million to a right-wing paramilitary group. Chiquita formerly operated large banana plantations in Colombia.

Federal judge to rule on Colorado gay marriage ban

Federal judge to rule whether to overturn Colorado's gay marriage ban immediately
The Associated Press

DENVER - A federal judge in Denver is expected to rule Wednesday whether Colorado's same-sex marriage ban should be overturned immediately, or if the issue should be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore's decision will be in response to a lawsuit by six gay couples who want an injunction declaring Colorado's ban unconstitutional.

While Moore indicated the injunction is expected to be granted, he said the question is whether to put his decision on hold.

UK announces inquiry for Russian spy death

UK government announces full inquiry on death of Russian spy poisoned in 2006
Sylvia Hui And Gregory Katz, The Associated Press

LONDON - The British government announced plans Tuesday for a wide-ranging public inquiry into the mysterious 2006 death of poisoned former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko.

The decision, which comes at a time of rising tensions with Russia, is a breakthrough in the much-delayed probe because it means investigators can look into whether the Russian state was involved in Litvinenko's death.

Here are key facts about the case.

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WHO WAS ALEXANDER LITVINENKO?

Pakistan fires defence minister, escalating crisis

Pakistan fires defence minister, army warns of turmoil as crisis escalates
Chris Brummitt,Zarar Khan, The Associated Press

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan's government fired the defence secretary Wednesday and the army warned of "grievous consequences" for the country, escalating a political and legal crisis that some believe could end in the dismissal of government.

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