The Obama administration acted lawfully in refusing to disclose information about its targeted killings of terrorism suspects, including the 2011 drone strikes that killed three U.S. citizens in Yemen, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
But the judge also described a veritable Catch-22 of security rules that allow the executive branch to declare legal actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws, while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret.
The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me, Judge Colleen McMahon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York wrote in her ruling.
The case combined separate challenges from the American Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times to the administration’s refusal to release documents about targeted killings under the Freedom of Information Act.
Casino worker hit with murder charge
Prosecutors brought a murder charge against a 50-year-old woman accused of stabbing a young girl to death in an undeveloped Las Vegas-area housing tract and later slashing a casino co-worker while that woman dealt blackjack at a Las Vegas Strip resort.
Brenda Stokes Wilson’s lawyer, Tony Liker, told a judge Wednesday that Stokes Wilson will plead not guilty to all six charges now pending against her in the Dec. 21 death of 10-year-old Jade Morris and the attack on 44-year-old Joyce Rhone at the Bellagio.
Prosecutor Robert Daskas says DNA tests found the girl’s blood on clothing that Stokes Wilson wore that day and in the car that Stokes Wilson borrowed to take the girl Christmas shopping.
Blocked roads added to deadly stampede
Survivors of a stampede in Ivory Coast that killed 61 people, most of them children and teenagers, after a New Year’s Eve fireworks display said Wednesday that makeshift barricades stopped them from moving along a main boulevard, causing the crush of people.
Ivory Coast police said unknown people put tree trunks across the Boulevard de la Republique where the trampling took place.
For security, because there were so many important people at the event, we closed certain main streets, said a police officer who was overheard briefing Ivory Coast President Alassane Outtara on the incident. The police officer said the tree trunks were put out unofficially by people who are not known.
Mother accused of killing girl, 8
A 26-year-old woman was charged Wednesday with felony murder in the stabbing death of her daughter at their Detroit home just days before the girl’s ninth birthday.
The mother, Semeria Greene, was also charged with one count of first-degree child abuse. Greene’s four young sons have been turned over to Child Protective Services, police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens said.
Neighbors called police to the Greene family’s apartment just east of downtown in the early hours of Sunday morning. Officers arrived to discover Tameria Greene bleeding and unresponsive on the floor. She had been stabbed in the chest with a knife and was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital.