Conviction tossed for Ariz. activist
A federal appeals court on Thursday overturned the littering conviction of an Arizona activist who left gallon-size bottles of water for illegal immigrants crossing into the United States through a desert wildlife preserve. Daniel Millis of NoMoreDeaths.org had been convicted of violating a statute prohibiting the dumping of garbage in an area designated as a refuge for endangered species. In a 2-1 ruling, judges of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said water didn't meet the definition of waste. They also took note of Millis' practice of removing empty water bottles he found while on his missions to avert dehydration deaths in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. Two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers stopped Millis and three other activists and cited him for "dumping of waste" on Feb. 22, 2008. Millis, a Tucson resident and organizer for the Sierra Club, said: "The day we change our federal border policies to show respect for human life is the day I'll feel vindicated."
Chinese suspicious of census motives
Census takers counting China's more than 1.3 billion people already face a daunting task, and it's getting harder for the latest once-a-decade update. After years of reforms that have reduced the government's once-pervasive involvement in most people's lives, some Chinese are proving reluctant to give up personal information and harboring suspicions about what the government plans to do with their details . "When we were little, it wasn't this way. If the police wanted to check hukous (Chinese household registration documents), they would just walk in with barely a knock. You can't do that anymore," said Ji Lin, executive vice mayor of Beijing. The difference, he says, is that people's awareness of legal, personal and privacy rights has been increasing. The census is set to take place from Nov. 1 to 10. Currently, volunteers are going door-to-door taking an initial poll of how many people live in each home and recording cell phone numbers.