Conviction in Bush death plot

first_imgALEXANDRIA, Va. – An American Muslim student charged with joining al-Qaida and plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush was convicted Tuesday on all counts. The federal jury rejected Ahmed Omar Abu Ali’s claim that Saudi security officers whipped and tortured him into a false confession. Abu Ali, a 24-year-old U.S. citizen born to a Jordanian father and raised in Falls Church, Va., could get life in prison on charges that included conspiracy to assassinate the president, conspiracy to hijack aircraft and providing support to al-Qaida. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 17. The jury deliberated for 2 days. Abu Ali swallowed hard before the verdict was read but otherwise showed little emotion. He did not testify at his trial. Notes taken by his Saudi interrogators said he discussed numerous potential terror plots, but the one that most appealed to him was killing “the leader of the infidels” – President Bush. Defense lawyers argued that Abu Ali gave a false confession after being whipped and beaten by the Saudi security force known as the Mubahith. Juror Nancy Ramsden said the videotaped confession was a “very striking” piece of evidence. “It was almost sort of a joke for him,” she said, referring to points in the tape where Abu Ali laughs and pantomimes the use of an assault rifle. Ramsden said the jurors agreed from the beginning they did not believe Abu Ali was physically tortured. Abu Ali testified about his detention and alleged torture at a pretrial hearing, but at trial he relied on the testimony of a doctor and a psychiatrist who said his account was consistent with being tortured. Prosecutors denied that Abu Ali, who was enrolled at the Islamic University of Medina at the time of his June 2003 arrest, was ever mistreated. They presented video testimony from Abu Ali’s Saudi interrogators who said he confessed immediately after being confronted with evidence obtained from other al-Qaida members. A dermatologist testified for the government that faint linear marks on Abu Ali’s back were only surface scratches. Defense lawyers had sought to have the confession tossed out and the case dismissed at a hearing last month. But Judge Gerald Bruce Lee allowed the prosecution to go forward, saying he had doubts about the credibility of Abu Ali’s account. The confession’s admissibility is likely to be a significant issue in the appeal. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Abu Ali’s lawyer, Khurrum Wahid, said he will appeal. He said his client “is disappointed that the jury didn’t see the truth and he wants us to continue the fight.” Wahid said he believes it’s difficult for any person to get a fair trial when the accusations involve al-Qaida. “I think the country went through a very traumatic event on Sept. 11 and it’s very difficult for people to separate that from the facts in a particular case,” he said. U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty said in a statement that “the evidence presented in this case firmly established Abu Ali as a dangerous terrorist who posed a grave threat to our national security. … It serves as a clear warning to all that terrorists can and will be brought to the bar of justice.” Jurors in the three-week trial saw a videotaped confession in which Abu Ali said he joined al-Qaida because he hated the United States for its support of Israel. last_img read more

Donegal United Nations veterans to be remembered

first_imgMembers of the United Nations Veterans Association will gather next Sunday at a wreath-laying ceremony in Letterkenny.The Post 19 Branch Letterkenny will host the event and all the different associations are invited to attend and join the Guard Of Honour.The different associations and families of deceased members who lost their lives on active service overseas with the United Nations will lay wreaths in their honour. Association dress and medals are to be worn.The event will be hosted at the U.N. memorial in Conwal Graveyard Letterkenny at 2pm on Sunday, September 15.Proceedings will get underway at 2pm and the different associations taking part are asked to attend at 1.30pm.Refreshments will be served after the event in the Mount Errigal Hotel. The event is also open to the public.Donegal United Nations veterans to be remembered was last modified: September 8th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Eureka Loggers snap 15-game losing streak to Arcata Tigers with straight-set win

first_img“It’s been a long time since Eureka beat Arcata,” said Eureka’s … Arcata >> When you talk about Humboldt-Del Norte League Big 5 volleyball, two school’s have been at the forefront for a long time — Arcata and Del Norte. Not anymore.After a convincing 3-0 win over Arcata, the Eureka Loggers made a statement: They’ve arrived. Eureka brought its A-game on Tuesday, beating the Tigers for the first time since the 2012 season with a 26-24, 25-23 and 25-19 victory at Arcata High School.last_img

Rings and things … other ways to prevent HIV are on the cards

first_imgTrials have shown that rates of HIV infection are reduced if people not infected with HIV take anti-retrovirals – known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Just two African countries have approved PrEP for now: South Africa and Kenya.Pre-exposure prophylaxis is providing an exciting new innovation to tackle HIV prevention.Linda-Gail BekkerThe rate of HIV infection remains greater than the number of people initiating treatment. This imbalance will stop the eradication of HIV/AIDS. It begs for increased investment into primary prevention.Primary prevention caters to people who are HIV negative. It aims to reduce their chance of becoming infected. There are certain populations, now referred to as key populations, in whom the burden of infection is disproportionately high. These include men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who inject drugs, transgender people, and, in sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls and young women. Primary prevention should be tailored, and scaled up, for these groups.Primary prevention can be provided in a number of ways. But the most exciting new innovation is pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP is the use of anti-retrovirals by HIV-uninfected people to prevent HIV transmission. It is commonly given as a daily pill (sold as Truvada) to be taken orally in the same way that contraceptives are used to prevent pregnancy or antimalarial pills are taken before travelling to a high malaria risk area.Numerous clinical trials and demonstration projects in diverse settings and populations have been conducted with PrEP all showing that it works. PrEP is easy to take. It is also largely side effect free and safe. There is one hitch: it has to be taken consistently at the time of HIV exposure. Adherence has been oral PrEP’s biggest stumbling block.That’s why a huge effort is being made to find alternative ways to take PrEP. New formulations in the pipeline include long-acting injections, monthly vaginal rings, implants and topical gels, films and dissolving topical pills. The hope is that new formulations will make PrEP more accessible and convenient, particularly for adolescents and young people who may find a daily intervention cumbersome.PrEP for AfricaIn sub-Saharan Africa, teenage girls and young women are most at risk of HIV infection. There are 2000 new infections in this group every week. These women are vulnerable because of the high prevalence of both gender-based violence and the commonality of age-disparate relationships and transactional sex. These conditions can make it difficult for women to negotiate safer sex practices. PrEP would enable these women to protect themselves in advance, without their partner’s knowledge or consent.Kenya and South Africa are the only two African countries that have granted regulatory approval for PrEP.New interventions can only be useful if deployed and scaled up to the populations most in need. This raises questions of cost versus impact. It is hoped that new formulations and delivery systems will enhance choice, encourage use, and provide a platform from which PrEP roll out can be advocated.Adherence is PrEP’s Achilles’ heelAdherence is key. To block HIV transmission PrEP must be “in the system” at the time of HIV exposure. Its effectiveness decreases rapidly when this “effective coverage” is inconsistent. Good adherence gives almost 100% HIV transmission prevention. Poor adherence results in little to no protection.This is why, where possible, a daily dose during times of risk is recommended. But this may be difficult to achieve for some.In PrEP trials the following reasons were given for poor adherence:fear/experience of side effects,fear of interactions with alcohol and other drugs,forgetfulness,dislike of pill-taking, andfear of the discrimination associated with taking an anti-HIV pill.Alternative dosing strategies using longer acting formulations and PrEP delivery methods may well be another way to increase PrEP effectiveness.New PrEP frontiersTopical gels, which can be applied pre and post sex to rectal and vaginal tissue, were the first alternative formulations to be tested. But the results in women have been inconsistent. This formulation still holds promise in men who have sex with men although efficacy trials haven’t yet been conducted.An alternative strategy is a monthly vaginal ring, which in its current form contains slow-release dapivirine (another antiretroviral). Two large phase III clinical trials have demonstrated that the ring is effective and can reduce the chance of HIV infection by 27%-31%. In a sub analysis of different ages, older women once again fared better than young women.The benefit of the vaginal ring is that there are less side effects because the drug is released locally and only a small amount enters the blood stream. The other huge plus is that women are encouraged to insert and forget, only changing the ring on a monthly basis. The obvious catch is that this is only suitable for women and vaginal intercourse.The vaginal ring is undergoing further investigation.Another tool that is being investigated and could overcome the need for a daily pill is a long-acting monthly injection. An injection of the antiretroviral cabotegravir (cabotegravir LA) has been shown to be very effective at lowering viral loads in people being treated for HIV when administered every two months.Also being investigated are dissolving vaginal films – a bit like the breath fresheners that can be bought over the counter – as well as quick dissolving pills.Perhaps most exciting of all is the prospect of an implant, a small rod which can be surgically placed just under the skin and will be able to slowly release antiviral protection over months.Finally, new formulations are currently being investigated that will combine treatment for both contraception and preventing sexually transmitted infections. It is hoped that these multifunctional preventions may further encourage people to consistently use these products.A new challenge to the field is how these new clinical trials can be efficiently designed. To qualify for first-line use of PrEP, new pills and products will need to have improved or equivalent efficacy compared to the current oral PrEP. And they would need to have reduced or equivalent side effects. All these formulations and delivery methods are still in the early stages of testing, but look to be out on the market within the next two to five years depending on their success.Linda-Gail Bekker is a professor of medicine and deputy director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town. The article was originally published in The Conversation. Read the original article.last_img read more

Brownlee moves on from last year’s title run ahead of rematch with Bolts

first_imgJustin Brownlee. PBA IMAGESJustin Brownlee has fond memories of Game 6 of last season’s Governors’ Cup Finals, but he knows that it’s already a thing of the past.“I definitely remember it,” Brownlee said, looking back on the shot that downed Meralco and ended Ginebra’s eight-year title drought. “But I’m just trying to move on from it.”ADVERTISEMENT “Like coach said, the guy is a beast. I got to give it to him, he’s just been a beast and he’s been unstoppable. That’s why he’s in the finals and his team. I’m looking forward to it, hopefully we can slow him down,” he said.But it’s not just Durham alone, as the rest of the Bolts are raring to get their redemption against the Gin Kings.“If I was with that team, I would want to face Ginebra in the Finals, too,” he said, understanding the sentiments of a lot of Meralco players, particularly Jared Dillinger, who’s been vocal of his desire to have the rematch. “That just shows his fight and you know, maybe get some revenge. I would be the same way if I was him so I respect that.”Game 1 of the best-of-7 Finals series kicks off on Friday at Quezon Convention Center in Lucena.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. And with the Gin Kings and the Bolts clashing anew in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals, Brownlee is focused on leading his team to back-to-back titles.“A lot of people still talk about it, but this is a new year and a new conference. Whatever we did last year, it doesn’t matter in this time. I’m just trying to move forward from that. It was a great memory and nothing can take that away, but I’m just moving on,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBrownlee unfurled monster numbers on Sunday, scattering 46 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and five shots in the series-clinching win over TNT.That was just the kind of performance coach Tim Cone would like to see from his import going into the tough series against Meralco, but Brownlee is wary of the Bolts’ threat, specifically Allen Durham. MOST READ Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:30PNP officials inspect Cubao bus terminals ahead of Undas01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Gamescenter_img Ferrer on Rice ejection: ‘I didn’t do anything’ LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong Citylast_img read more