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A U.N.-backed court based in the Netherlands unveiled new charges Monday, including terrorism and intentional homicide, against a Hezbollah fighter who also is accused of assassinating former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon announced that a judge has confirmed a new five-count indictment accusing Salim Jamil Ayyash of three bombings targeting Lebanese politicians in 2004 and 2005. The court also issued a Lebanese and an international arrest warrant for Ayyash, whose whereabouts aren't known.

He was one of four Hezbollah fighters tried in absentia by the tribunal for allegedly masterminding the truck bombing that killed Hariri and 21 others and wounded more than 220 passers-by on Feb. 14, 2005. Judges haven't yet reached verdicts.

The new indictment, issued under seal in June, accuses Ayyash of three bombings on Oct. 1, 2004, June 21 and July 12, 2005, each targeting a different politician - Marwan Hamadeh, Georges Hawi and Elias El-Murr.

Hawi was killed and the other two politicians wounded in the attacks. Two other people also were killed and nearly 20 injured.

"Ayyash coordinated the preparation and execution of each of these attacks," the indictment says.

The indictment comes amid mounting pressure on Hezbollah by the U.S. that recently intensified sanctions against the group targeting for the first time two Hezbollah members of parliament in July.

Former Cabinet Minister Wiam Wahhab, a strong ally of Hezbollah, tweeted: "We are not surprised that the international tribunal issued its indictment to coincide Washington's attack (on Hezbollah) in which it is using all its weapons."


President Donald Trump on Monday said Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is under assault, following a New York Times story about a sexual misconduct allegation that was revised to reflect that the alleged victim couldn’t recall the incident.

The newspaper has also apologized for an offensive tweet that was sent out to promote the weekend article.

The Times reported on an allegation that Kavanaugh exposed himself at a Yale University party as a freshman. That new allegation was included in an article, excerpting an upcoming book about Kavanaugh classmate Deborah Ramirez, who had claimed the future justice pulled down his pants and thrust his penis at her at another time at a different Yale party.

In writing about the new allegation, the story did not initially include the detail that the woman supposedly involved in the incident declined to be interviewed, and that her friends say she doesn’t recall it. The article was revised to include that information, with an editor’s note explaining the revision.


The Supreme Court is allowing nationwide enforcement of a new Trump administration rule that prevents most Central American immigrants from seeking asylum in the United States.

The justices’ order late Wednesday temporarily undoes a lower-court ruling that had blocked the new asylum policy in some states along the southern border. The policy is meant to deny asylum to anyone who passes through another country on the way to the U.S. without seeking protection there.

Most people crossing the southern border are Central Americans fleeing violence and poverty. They are largely ineligible under the new rule, as are asylum seekers from Africa, Asia and South America who arrive regularly at the southern border.

The shift reverses decades of U.S. policy. The administration has said that it wants to close the gap between an initial asylum screening that most people pass and a final decision on asylum that most people do not win.

“BIG United States Supreme Court WIN for the Border on Asylum!” President Donald Trump tweeted.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented from the high-court’s order. “Once again, the Executive Branch has issued a rule that seeks to upend longstanding practices regarding refugees who seek shelter from persecution,” Sotomayor wrote.

The legal challenge to the new policy has a brief but somewhat convoluted history. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco blocked the new policy from taking effect in late July. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals narrowed Tigar’s order so that it applied only in Arizona and California, states that are within the 9th Circuit.

That left the administration free to enforce the policy on asylum seekers arriving in New Mexico and Texas. Tigar issued a new order on Monday that reimposed a nationwide hold on asylum policy. The 9th Circuit again narrowed his order on Tuesday.

The high-court action allows the administration to impose the new policy everywhere while the court case against it continues.

It’s not clear how quickly the policy will be rolled out, and how exactly it fits in with the other efforts by the administration to restrict border crossings and tighten asylum rules.


State criminal court judges in New Orleans have asked a federal appeals court to reconsider its finding that they have a conflict of interest when deciding whether some defendants can pay fines and fees.

The fines and fees in question partially fund expenses of the New Orleans Criminal District Court.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month upheld a federal district judge who said the New Orleans judges must provide a “neutral forum” for determining whether a defendant can pay. The judges have asked, in a filing dated Friday, that the court grant a rehearing in the case. It’s unclear when the appeals court will rule on the request.



The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that a lawsuit filed over the Rams' departure from St. Louis will be heard in a St. Louis courtroom, a defeat for the NFL team's owner who sought to send the case to arbitration.

The court issued its ruling Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by St. Louis city and county and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, which owns the domed stadium where the Rams formerly played. It named Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who moved the team to Los Angeles for the 2016 season, the NFL and league owners.

It wasn't immediately clear if an appeal was planned. Messages left Wednesday with the Rams, Kroenke's attorney and the NFL were not immediately returned

The lawsuit alleged that the Rams' departure violated a 1984 league guideline that was established after the Raiders moved from Oakland to Los Angeles. The league, the Rams and Kroenke have argued that the disagreements should be settled behind closed doors in arbitration.

The suit seeks financial damages, but a win for the city, county and dome authority would not return the team to St. Louis.

The Rams' departure left a bitter taste in St. Louis, which lost an NFL team for the second time in 30 years — the Cardinals moved to Arizona in 1987.

Last month, a judge gave preliminary approval to the settlement of a separate suit filed on behalf of fans who bought St. Louis Rams tickets and team merchandise. The settlement could be worth up to $25 million. The lawsuit claimed fans would not have purchased the tickets and goods if they knew about the impending move.


Florida’s high court waded into the legal wrangling over the voting rights of felons, agreeing Thursday to examine whether the state can continue restricting voting privileges to felons who have unpaid fines and fees.

Voters last year overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment restoring voting rights to as many as 1.4 million felons who have completed their sentences.

But the Republican-controlled Legislature then stipulated that to complete sentences, felons must pay all fines and fees before getting their voting rights restored. DeSantis signed the bill into law.

Voting rights groups immediately sued in federal court and likened the requirement to an illegal poll tax.

Gov. Ron DeSantis then asked the state Supreme Court for an advisory on the issue, which the court has agreed to consider.

“The Governor has the duty to implement both the amendment and the law, which must be done appropriately,” said the governor’s spokeswoman, Helen Aguirre Ferre. “That is why he is asking the Florida Supreme Court to provide an opinion on this matter and he is pleased that they have agreed to do so.”

While the state Supreme Court’s advisory opinion may not be legally binding, it could hold some sway among federal judges seeking further legal guidance on the matter.


The Florida Supreme Court waded into the legal wrangling over the voting rights of felons, agreeing Thursday to examine whether the state can continue restricting voting privileges to felons who have unpaid fines and fees.

Voters last year overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment restoring voting rights to as many as 1.4 million felons who have completed their sentences.

But the Republican-controlled Legislature then stipulated that to complete sentences, felons must pay all fines and fees before getting their voting rights restored. DeSantis signed the bill into law.

Voting rights groups immediately sued in federal court and likened the requirement to an illegal poll tax.

Gov. Ron DeSantis then asked the state Supreme Court for an advisory on the issue, which the court has agreed to consider.

“The Governor has the duty to implement both the amendment and the law, which must be done appropriately,” said the governor’s spokeswoman, Helen Aguirre Ferre. “That is why he is asking the Florida Supreme Court to provide an opinion on this matter and he is pleased that they have agreed to do so.”


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