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WWH/CJE Saturday News Briefs

2012 September 1

Lawless America-U.S. ends criminal probe of corrupt,racist Arizona sheriff
(Reuters) – Two tough-on-immigration Arizona sheriffs with national profiles in the Republican Party were cleared of criminal wrongdoing on Friday in unrelated probes, though one remains accused of racial profiling and other abuses in a pair of federal lawsuits.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona said it had closed its criminal investigation of alleged financial misconduct by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, self-described as “America’s toughest sheriff”, and was declining to bring charges.

But a separate U.S. Justice Department investigation and lawsuit relating to alleged civil rights abuses by Arpaio’s office, including accusations of widespread racial profiling in his immigration enforcement, is continuing, federal prosecutors said.

And a federal judge is expected to rule soon in a similar suit brought against Arpaio, this one a class-action case by five Hispanic citizens who claimed they were stopped by the sheriff’s deputies because of their ethnicity. More…

DNC SECURITY RULES TRIGGER FREE SPEECH WORRIES
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Starting Saturday, someone walking through Charlotte’s central business district could run afoul of the law by carrying water bottles, hair spray, socks or magic markers under sweeping security rules enacted ahead of the Democratic National Convention.

It would take a particularly strict reading of the rules for someone to be arrested simply for possessing one of those items, but the possibility exists – which worries protesters and free speech advocates. They fear authorities could trample on people’s constitutional rights in the name of protecting public safety.

The changes to city ordinances adopted earlier this year for “extraordinary events” ban a long list of actions and items that would otherwise be legal from a more than 100-square-block zone. The area includes spots as much as a mile from the sports venues where the Democratic Party events are to be held. More…

Whale vomit chunk worth thousands
CHRISTCHURCH, England, Aug. 30 (UPI) — The family of a British 8-year-old who found a chunk of whale vomit on the beach said the find could be worth more than $60,000.

Charlie Naysmith, of Christchurch, England, said he discovered the chunk of ambergris at Hengistbury Head and took it home. His family researched the object and found out it is worth between $16,000 and $63,000, the Daily Echo of Southampton, England, reported Thursday. More…

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