Appeals court grills U.S. lawyer on NSA phone collection
Circuit Court of Appeals in New York was the first appellate court to hear arguments on whether the National Security Agency (NSA) program is lawful, in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenging the gathering of so-called metadata. Judge Gerard Lynch, one of three judges who heard the arguments, said it was "hard for me to imagine" Congress had envisioned such a sweeping effort when it passed an expansion of anti-terrorism powers known as the Patriot Act after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Stuart Delery, a lawyer for the Justice Department, told Lynch in response that Congress was fully informed when it voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act twice.
Islamic State issues video of beheading of U.S. hostage: SITE
By William Maclean DUBAI (Reuters) - The Islamic State militant group released a video on Tuesday purporting to show the beheading of a second American hostage, journalist Steven Sotloff, raising the stakes in its confrontation with Washington over U.S. A masked figure in the video seen by Reuters also issued a threat against a British hostage, a man the group named as David Haines, and warned governments to back off "this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State".
Texas voter ID trial opens in U.S. court
District Court in Corpus Christi stems from a battle over stringent voter ID measures signed into law by Texas Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, in 2011. The law requires voters to present a photo ID such as a concealed handgun license or driver's license, but it excludes student IDs as invalid. "Although Texas has yet to identify a single instance of in-person voter fraud, the state nevertheless insists that a racially discriminatory photo ID law is necessary to prevent it," said Natasha Korgaonkar, assistant counsel with the civil rights group NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Mississippi woman gets life sentence in fatal buttocks injection case
A Mississippi woman convicted of murder for administering an unlicensed silicone buttocks injection to a patient who later died was sentenced on Tuesday to life in prison. Tracey Lynn Garner, 54, performed the unlicensed injection in 2012 in her Jackson home on 37-year-old Karima Gordon, who fell ill immediately after the procedure and died a few days later. A jury last week found Garner guilty of depraved-heart murder. Prosecutors argued during the trial that Garner was motivated by greed. Garner faces a separate trial in the death of Marilyn Hale, an Alabama woman who authorities say died under similar circumstances two years earlier. Lee McDivitt, an investigator for the Mississippi Attorney General's Office, testified during the trial that he found a large bottle of silicone and syringes in Garner's home that were labeled "veterinary use only." Garner, who is transgender, was formerly named Morris Garner.