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Friday, Oct 31st

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Justices Take Case on President’s Power to Detain

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide the most fundamental question yet concerning executive power in the age of terror: Can the president order the indefinite military detention of people living in the United States?

In a brief filed three weeks ago, lawyers for Mr. Marri, who has been held without charge in isolation for more than five years, said the court should not delay consideration of the case.

“Since the nation’s founding,” the brief said, “persons lawfully residing in this country have correctly understood that they can be imprisoned for suspected wrongdoing only if the government charges them with a crime and tries them before a jury.”

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American alleges torture in UAE detention

A Muslim American contends that he was tortured and beaten into confessing to a terrorism-related charge while the security services of the United Arab Emirates held him for nearly three months, allegedly at the U.S. government's request, his brother said Tuesday.

Hossam Hemdan, of Los Angeles, said he received a predawn telephone call from his brother, Naji Hamdan, who he said detailed his treatment by the security services of Abu Dhabi, one of seven oil-rich UAE sheikdoms that have cooperated in the Bush administration's fight against Islamic extremism since 9/11.

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Military contractor in Iraq holds foreign workers in warehouses

About 1,000 Asian men who were hired by a Kuwaiti subcontractor to the U.S. military have been confined for as long as three months in windowless warehouses near the Baghdad airport without money or a place to work.

Najlaa International Catering Services, a subcontractor to KBR, an engineering, construction and services company, hired the men, who're from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. On Tuesday, they staged a march outside their compound to protest their living conditions.

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UN concerned over treatment of Iraqi detainees

The United Nations expressed concern Tuesday about overcrowding and "grave human rights violations" of detainees in Iraqi custody - in one case, 123 men crammed into a single cell.

The warning comes as the U.S. prepares to turn over control to the Iraqis of thousands of security detainees in its custody under a new security pact that would end the U.S. mission here by 2012.

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TVNL Comment: Heckuva job, UN. Where've you been for the last six and a half years?   

Dozens hurt as Hebron settlers, Palestinians clash

The clash was the worst outbreak of violence in the dispute over ownership of a four-story building where settlers have defied an Israeli Supreme Court order to vacate. On Monday, hundreds of right-wing Israelis rushed to the house following rumors that eviction was imminent.

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Guantanamo 'a stain on US military'

The tribunals used for putting suspects on trial at Guantanamo Bay are a "stain on America's military", a former military prosecutor has told the BBC in his first interview since resigning.

For Lt Col Darrel Vandeveld, a devout Catholic, the twin responsibilities of religious faith and military duty led to a profound moral crisis. His resignation has led to charges against six inmates being dropped, at least for now, and called into question the possibility of a fair legal process at Guantanamo.

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I'm Still Tortured by What I Saw in Iraq

I'm not some ivory-tower type; I served for 14 years in the U.S. Air Force, began my career as a Special Operations pilot flying helicopters, saw combat in Bosnia and Kosovo, became an Air Force counterintelligence agent, then volunteered to go to Iraq to work as a senior interrogator. What I saw in Iraq still rattles me -- both because it betrays our traditions and because it just doesn't work.

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