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Jul 16, 2013

Voting rights enforcers shift focus after Supreme Court defeat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. office charged with protecting the voting rights of racial minorities is changing its focus but not its commitment after the Supreme Court last month invalidated part of a federal voting rights law, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a major civil rights convention in Florida, Holder said he was shifting staff within the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division to emphasize enforcement of parts of the law that the high court left untouched.

Jul 16, 2013

Black preachers calling for wide protests to press for Zimmerman charges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Black preachers said on Tuesday they were planning peaceful protests in 100 cities across the United States this weekend to press for federal charges in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Standing outside the U.S. Justice Department building in Washington, the preachers pledged to hold the protests near federal buildings and said action was justified because of what they see as the civil rights questions surrounding the death.

Jul 16, 2013

Case against Zimmerman would require proof of racial malice

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For all the complex issues raised by the death of Trayvon Martin, whether the U.S. Justice Department turns it into a civil rights case may depend on the relatively simple question of whether George Zimmerman was motivated by racism when he pulled the trigger.

Unless federal prosecutors can present new evidence that suggests racial malice motivated Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, to shoot Martin, an unarmed black teenager, they are unlikely to pursue charges, lawyers with expertise in civil rights said on Monday.

Jul 16, 2013

U.S. case against Zimmerman would require proof of racial malice

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For all the complex issues raised by the death of Trayvon Martin, whether the U.S. Justice Department turns it into a civil rights case may depend on the relatively simple question of whether George Zimmerman was motivated by racism when he pulled the trigger.

Unless federal prosecutors can present new evidence that suggests racial malice motivated Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, to shoot Martin, an unarmed black teenager, they are unlikely to pursue charges, lawyers with expertise in civil rights said on Monday.

Jul 16, 2013

U.S. attorney general calls shooting of Trayvon Martin ‘unnecessary’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday called the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin “unnecessary,” raising questions about whether he believed the shooter, George Zimmerman, acted in self-defense.

A jury in Sanford, Florida, on Saturday found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter after a three-week trial in which defense lawyers argued that Zimmerman, a neighbourhood watch volunteer, shot Martin in self-defense.

Jul 15, 2013

Attorney General Holder calls shooting of Trayvon Martin ‘unnecessary’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday called the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin “unnecessary,” raising questions about whether he believed the shooter, George Zimmerman, acted in self-defense.

A jury in Sanford, Florida, found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter after a three-week trial in which defense lawyers argued that Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, shot Martin in self-defense.

Jun 26, 2013

U.S. accuses Hong Kong of using pretext to not hand over Snowden

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday accused Hong Kong of having feigned confusion over Edward Snowden’s middle name so as not to detain the former U.S. intelligence contractor before he fled to Russia.

Hong Kong responded to the U.S. demand for Snowden’s arrest on espionage charges by asking for a clarification of Snowden’s middle name, a U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman said.

Jun 25, 2013

Questions turn to U.S. competence in Snowden saga

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration has spent the past few weeks arguing it can wield power responsibly after Edward Snowden unveiled its sweeping spying programs. Now the administration must prove it can wield power effectively.

As the 30-year-old leads the world’s lone superpower on a global game of hide and seek, U.S. government officials faced questions about whether they had botched the effort to extradite Snowden from Hong Kong to face charges related to his leak of classified information.

Jun 25, 2013

Analysis: Questions turn to U.S. competence in Snowden saga

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration has spent the past few weeks arguing it can wield power responsibly after Edward Snowden unveiled its sweeping spying programs. Now the administration must prove it can wield power effectively.

As the 30-year-old leads the world’s lone superpower on a global game of hide and seek, U.S. government officials faced questions about whether they had botched the effort to extradite Snowden from Hong Kong to face charges related to his leak of classified information.

Jun 19, 2013

FBI says it uses surveillance drones on U.S. soil

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States uses drones for surveillance in some limited law enforcement situations, FBI Director Robert Mueller said on Wednesday, sparking additional debate about President Barack Obama’s use of domestic surveillance.

The acknowledgement came in response to questions from U.S. senators who said they wanted to know more about the federal government’s increasing use of unmanned aircraft.