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NATIONAL
March 26, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK--The conviction of a former Al Qaeda spokesman Wednesday for crimes stemming from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks could bolster calls for the movement of high-profile terror suspects out of Guantanamo Bay to civilian courts, but the defendant's attorney said the trial was unfair and promised an appeal. After a jury found Sulaiman Abu Ghaith guilty, defense attorney Stanley Cohen said his case had been hampered by the absence of certain witnesses whose testimony was not allowed; by the judge's instructions to the jury; and by U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan's own statements as jurors entered a second day of deliberations.
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WORLD
March 25, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The prosecution concluded its murder case against South African Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius on Tuesday after introducing additional evidence on cellphones and messages. Pistorius shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through the door of an enclosed toilet at his home in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year. He pleaded not guilty to murder, claiming he mistook her for a burglar when he fired four expanding bullets through the door. He also pleaded not guilty to two charges of recklessly firing a firearm, relating to discharging a gun in a crowded restaurant and firing into the air from a speeding car, and one charge of possession of ammunition without a license.
WORLD
March 25, 2014 | By Laura King, This post has been updated. see the note below for details.
CAIRO - An Egyptian court convened another mass trial Tuesday with more than 680 defendants, a day after being vehemently denounced by human rights groups and legal organizations for simultaneously condemning 529 others to death. The proceedings again took place in Minya, in the Nile River Valley about 150 miles south of Cairo. Defense attorneys boycotted Tuesday's session, citing what they called massive violations of due procedure in the mass capital punishment verdict rendered by the same criminal court a day earlier.
WORLD
March 19, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The final, horrific moments in Reeva Steenkamp's life came into focus Wednesday at the murder trial of South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, as a ballistics expert offered graphic testimony on how she died. Ballistics expert Chris Mangena told the court that Steenkamp, Pistorius' girlfriend, was standing, facing the door, when he shot her for the first time. The bullet, a Black Talon-style projectile designed to open up and cause maximum tissue damage - with six sharp talons blossoming in a star shape upon impact with flesh - struck her in the hip, shattering the bone and breaking up inside her. She immediately collapsed backwards into a sitting position on a magazine rack behind her in the toilet off the bathroom, he said.
NATIONAL
March 19, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK - A cleric who gave a rousing speech urging jihad against "Jews, Christians and America" after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks testified at his terrorism trial Wednesday that he was speaking for Muslims, not for Al Qaeda, even though he delivered his message while sitting beside Osama bin Laden outside his mountain hide-out in Afghanistan. Sulaiman abu Ghaith held the witness stand for about four hours after defense attorney Stanley Cohen surprised the courtroom by calling the defendant to testify on his own behalf - something Cohen said he had done only twice in his 30-year career.
WORLD
March 17, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon, This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Police photographs show unexplained drops of blood on the wall above the left-hand bedside table and bed headboard and on the duvet in the main bedroom of South African Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, according to evidence at his trial Monday. The blood spatters appear to have been some distance from the trail of blood leading from the bathroom out into the hall, left when Pistorius carried his dying girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, down stairs from the bathroom where he shot her. Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to Steenkamp's murder.
BUSINESS
March 14, 2014 | By E. Scott Reckard
A former Fannie Mae employee was convicted late Friday of soliciting kickbacks from a broker with promises to steer lucrative listings of foreclosed homes his way. The federal court jury in Santa Ana convicted Armando Granillo of three counts of fraud, rejecting his contention that he intended to cheat only the broker, not Fannie Mae, the nation's largest home-finance firm. At the end of a two-day trial, the jury took less than two hours to convict Granillo, who sat grimly as each of the jurors affirmed the guilty verdicts.
WORLD
March 14, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Police investigating the shooting of model and lawyer Reeva Steenkamp by her boyfriend, South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius, had to open another investigation into themselves -- over the disappearance of a valuable watch from the scene when only police were present. The embarrassing revelation that police apparently stole a watch valued at $5,000 to $10,000, part of Friday's testimony in Pistorius' murder trial, came with South African newspapers complaining of police ineptitude.
WORLD
March 13, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
PRETORIA, South Africa - The pistol, cocked and ready to fire, lay on a mat on the bloodied bathroom floor in the home of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, just where he left it after shooting his girlfriend to death, according to police. In an eerie virtual tour of the Pistorius house Thursday, seen via crime scene photos taken just after her body was removed, Pretoria's high court followed the trail of blood leading up the marble staircase and inexorably into the bathroom where Reeva Steenkamp was killed.
WORLD
March 11, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
PRETORIA, South Africa -- In court testimony during the athlete's murder trial Tuesday, a friend of South African Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius offered a portrait of a young man who “loved weapons” and shouted angrily at a policeman who picked up his gun and ejected a bullet from it. The friend, Darren Fresco, recounted Pistorius' angry reaction when questioned about his gun by police who had stopped Fresco for speeding. Pistorius and the athlete's then-girlfriend were passengers.
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