Archive for Thursday, October 4, 2001

Nation Briefs

October 4, 2001

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Washington, D.C.: Strom Thurmond returns to Senate

Sen. Strom Thurmond returned to his job Wednesday, a day after fainting in the chamber and being taken to a hospital.

Doctors said the 98-year-old Republican likely suffered from dehydration and kept him overnight for tests after he slumped over on his Senate desk Tuesday and was taken by ambulance to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Thurmond, the nation's oldest and longest-serving senator, left the hospital and returned the Senate in time to vote early in the afternoon against a bill normalizing trade with Vietnam. It passed 88-12 despite his opposition.

Miami: Reno may be sued in Cuban boy raid

Former Atty. Gen. Janet Reno can be sued by protesters and bystanders injured during the raid to seize Elian Gonzalez from his Miami relatives' home, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore ruled Tuesday that Reno's position as attorney general did not give her immunity from being sued for the raid, which she ordered.

Fifty-two people sued Reno and two other officials for at least $100 million, claiming federal agents gassed, beat and threatened them during the raid on April 22, 2000.

Moore dismissed the suit against the other federal officials because they had not ordered the raid. He also ruled that five plaintiffs could not sue because they were not injured.

The judge also dismissed allegations of excessive force.

San Francisco: Court could reinstate anti-abortion verdict

A federal appeals court said Wednesday it will reconsider a ruling in which it threw out a $107 million verdict against anti-abortion activists behind Old West-style wanted posters that branded doctors as "baby butchers."

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, without comment, said the court will hear the case again with 11 judges. It did not specify when.

The case is centered on the posters and a Web site called the "Nuremberg Files" that lists the names and addresses of abortion providers and declares them guilty of crimes against humanity.

Planned Parenthood and four doctors filed suit two years ago, citing a 1994 federal law that makes it illegal to incite violence against abortion doctors.

A Portland, Ore., jury ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood and ordered the anti-abortion activists to pay $107 million in damages.

But in March, the three-judge appellate panel overturned the verdict, saying the material was protected by the First Amendment.

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