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Federal judge extends order blocking destruction of surveillance records

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in San Francisco has extended his nationwide order blocking the National Security Agency from destroying telephone surveillance records. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White issued a restraining order on March 10 to prevent the National Security Agency from destroying phone records that it had collected more than five years ago. On Wednesday, White, who is overseeing an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against the agency, prolonged that order, ruling the records were needed to decide the case.

Mexican vigilante says innocent of double murder

A founder of so-called self-defense militias that defied a drug cartel in western Mexico declared his innocence Wednesday on charges that he was behind the murders of two fellow vigilantes. Standing behind bars after a judge ordered him held pending trial in Michoacan state, Hipolito Mora said he was betrayed and that his family was being harassed by a rival. "I killed nobody. These charges are false. Everybody knows I'm innocent," said the grey-bearded lime grower, stripped of his trademark cowboy hat. "I feel betrayed by many people."

Japan court awards damages in Ghanian's deportation death

A Japanese court on Wednesday awarded compensation to the family of a Ghanian who died in immigration custody, blaming officials for accidentally killing the man who was restrained with handcuffs and a mouth gag. The Tokyo District Court ruled that the family of Abubakar Awudu Suraj -- who was awaiting deportation at the time of his death in March 2010 -- should receive five million yen ($50,000) in damages, well below the family's demand for 136 million yen.

Japan court awards damages in Ghanaian's deportation death

A Japanese court on Wednesday awarded compensation to the family of a Ghanaian who died in immigration custody, blaming officials for accidentally killing the man who was restrained with handcuffs and a mouth gag. The Tokyo District Court ruled that the family of Abubakar Awudu Suraj -- who was awaiting deportation at the time of his death in March 2010 -- should receive five million yen ($50,000) in damages, well below the family's demand for 136 million yen.

Mexico names new national security chief

Mexico's president nominated a new national security commissioner on Tuesday, a key post overseeing the creation of a delayed militarized police unit to combat drug cartels. Monte Alejandro Rubido Garcia, a high-ranking national public security official, was named by President Enrique Pena Nieto to succeed Manuel Mondragon y Kalb, a former Mexico City police chief who resigned on Sunday. The Senate must vote to ratify the nomination of Rubido, a former senior official at the CISEN intelligence agency.

Hand grenade at Atlanta bus station prompts brief evacuation

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Police evacuated a Greyhound bus station in downtown Atlanta early on Monday after a hand grenade fell out of a box being shipped to North Carolina, but it was later found to contain no explosives. The grenade was real but it had been hollowed out, police said. The scare closed the station for about an hour, according to Greyhound.

Crown can allege collusion between officers in Dziekanski case: judge

VANCOUVER - A judge has ruled the Crown can present evidence at the perjury trial for an RCMP officer that alleges four Mounties colluded to fake a story about Robert Dziekanski's death. Const. Kwesi Millington is on trial for perjury in connection with his testimony at a public inquiry that examined what happened when Dziekanski was stunned with a Taser at Vancouver's airport.

Brazil police take over favela without violence

Police raised Brazil's flag Thursday over a crime-ridden shantytown in western Rio, the latest foray in a crackdown on crime ahead of this year's football World Cup. A convoy of armored vehicles, carrying some 270 military police, met no resistence after moving into the area before sunrise -- although some residents had set up barricades of trash, piles of wood and, in one case, a sofa to slow their progress. By afternoon, police said they had made nine arrests and confiscated a stash of guns and drugs.

Colorado police: Man steals SUV with 4-year-old boy inside, leads officers on rush-hour chase

LONE TREE, Colo. - A dramatic car chase that crisscrossed the Denver area during the Wednesday morning commute started when a man stole an SUV with a 4-year-old boy inside and ended after he carjacked two other vehicles and struck a state trooper. Ryan Stone, a 28-year-old wanted in a drug case, covered about 75 miles before he caused a multivehicle crash at an intersection in Lone Tree, south of Denver. He then ran across a parking lot before appearing to give up, lying face-down in the snow as officers pinned him to the ground.

Witness to testify officers got together before Dziekanski inquiry: Crown

VANCOUVER - A previously unknown witness is expected to tell an RCMP officer's perjury trial that the four Mounties involved in Robert Dziekanski's death gathered at her home for a private meeting before testifying at a public inquiry, the Crown told a B.C. Supreme Court judge on Tuesday. Crown counsel Eric Gottardi signalled that prosecutors intend to allege Const. Kwesi Millington and the other officers got together to co-ordinate their stories as they prepared to appear at the inquiry, where they all testified in early 2009.
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