Senate issues subpoenas in fort hood case
Congress and the Obama administration on Monday headed toward a showdown over access to information about how an Army major with known contacts to Islamic extremists was able to carry out a deadly shooting rampage at a Texas military base last fall. Saying the Pentagon and Justice Department had failed to cooperate in Congress' efforts to understand what took place, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs issued subpoenas to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Attorney General Eric Holder, demanding documents about Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the psychiatrist charged with killing 13 people and injuring another 32 during a Nov. 5 shooting spree at Fort Hood.
Minister calls for end to occupation
Israel must recognize that the world will not put up with decades more of its rule over the Palestinian people, the country's defense minister said. Ehud Barak said the way to ease the severe friction between the U.S. and Israel's hawkish government over an impasse in peacemaking is to embark on a diplomatic initiative "that doesn't shy from dealing with all the core issues" dividing Israelis and Palestinians. Chief among these, he said, are the status of contested Jerusalem, final borders and a solution for Palestinian refugees from the war around Israel's 1948 independence.
Court upholds blasphemy ban
The Constitutional Court ruled 8-1 that a 45-year-old law banning religious blasphemy was constitutional. The law allows the attorney general's office to ban religious groups that "distort" or "misrepresent" official faiths and calls for up to five years in prison for anyone found guilty of heresy. The law also limits the number of officially recognized religions to six: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism. In practice, the law is applied primarily to perceived offenses against mainstream Islam; nearly 90 percent of Indonesia's 240 million people are Muslims.
Teen found guilty of hate crime
A white former high school athlete was convicted of manslaughter as a hate crime in the killing of an Ecuadorean immigrant, a case that sparked a federal inquiry into police investigations of bias attacks against Hispanics. Jeffrey Conroy, 19, was one of seven teenagers implicated in the November 2008 stabbing death of Marcelo Lucero in what prosecutors say was the culmination of a campaign of violence targeting Hispanics on Long Island. The teens described the activity as "beaner-hopping" or "Mexican hopping."
School webcam images hit 56,000
A suburban school district secretly captured at least 56,000 webcam photographs and screen shots from laptops issued to high school students, Henry Hockeimer, who represents the Lower Merion School District, acknowledged. None of the images, captured by a tracking program to find missing computers, appeared to be salacious or inappropriate, he said. The district said it remotely activated the tracking software to find 80 missing laptops in the past two years. Student Blake Robbins has filed suit over the tracking practice and the FBI has opened a criminal investigation.