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Archive for Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Briefly

December 25, 2002

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Los Angeles: Civil rights groups sue to bar immigrant arrests

Civil rights groups sued the government Tuesday to stop future detentions of Middle Eastern men under a new anti-terrorism policy that led to hundreds of arrests of visa holders last week.

Groups representing Muslims and Arab-Americans, Iranian-Americans and Pakistani-Americans sued in federal court in Los Angeles. The lawsuit seeks to bar future arrests under rules adopted in the aftermath of last year's terror attacks.

A new registration program requires male visa holders age 16 and older from countries considered high risk for terrorists to report to immigration offices to be fingerprinted and photographed.

At least 400 men were arrested for visa violations when immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Sudan went to Immigration and Naturalization Service offices last week to register.

Kansas City, Mo.: Armed robbers killed at store

An accomplice of two armed robbers who were shot and killed by a store manager has been charged with felony murder in the deaths of the robbers, police said.

Aaron C. Weathers Jr., 26, was charged Tuesday evening with two counts each of second-degree murder and armed criminal action, police Sgt. Tony Sanders said. Weathers was being held on $100,000 bond.

Police said Weathers was an accomplice of Khalid Mims, 19, and Alvin James III, 27, both of Kansas City, who burst into a supermarket about 7:45 p.m. Monday and were shot by a store manager.

No charges were filed against the manager or the clerk who were in the store at the time. Police have said the store employees appeared to have acted in self-defense.

New York City: Chinese activist released from 13-year prison sentence

Hours after his release from a Chinese prison, a leading pro-democracy activist arrived Tuesday in New York with his wife and thanked the U.S. government for helping get him released.

"It's nice to be a free man, to be with my wife and daughter," Xu Wenli said after touching down at LaGuardia International Airport.

Xu, jailed since 1998 on charges of endangering state security, was granted early release from his 13-year sentence Tuesday.

Xu was arrested after trying to set up the opposition China Democracy Party with other activists. The communist government quickly crushed the party and sent dozens of members to prison.

Philippines: Rebels blamed in deadly blast

A bomb exploded Tuesday outside the home of the mayor of a small town in the southern Philippines, killing him and 12 other people.

Twelve others were wounded in the blast outside the mayor's home in Datu Piang, a town in the province of Maguindanao on the island of Mindanao, said army spokesman Maj. Julieto Ando.

Ando said suspicion fell on the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a rebel group fighting for self-rule. The Philippines is predominantly Christian but has a large Muslim minority, mostly in the impoverished, isolated south.

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