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Christmas bomber case appeal challenges NSA surveillance

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Civil rights attorneys say surveillance evidence used to convict a Somali-American man who plotted to bomb a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony was unconstitutionally gathered through the U.S. government’s warrantless foreign surveillance program.

Mohamed Mohamud admits that he tried tried detonating a fake bomb in downtown Portland in 2010. He was convicted in 2013.

But he says he was entrapped by undercover federal agents posing as al-Qaida members who provided the fake bomb and spied on his electronic communications through the program.

It’s the first federal appeals challenge to the National Security Agency’s foreign surveillance program dealing with Fourth Amendment rights of criminal defendants

U.S. prosecutors defended the program in a federal appellate courtroom Wednesday, saying it allows information gathering without a warrant on Americans who communicate with foreigners whose names appear in NSA databases.


This story has been corrected to show that the case is the first federal appeals challenge of the NSA’s foreign surveillance program dealing with Fourth Amendment rights of defendants, not the first challenge to the agency’s foreign surveillance program.


Suspect denies killing woman at Portland strip club

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A 23-year-old woman has pleaded not guilty in the deadly stabbing of another woman at a Portland strip club.

Rinita Linelle Lowe pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of murder and unlawful use of a weapon in connection with the June 15 incident.

Officers had responded to Skinn Gentlemen’s Club on a report of disturbance and found a critically injured woman. The 29-year-old victim, Shantina Turner, died at the scene.

The Multnomah County Medical Examiner has determined she died of sharp force injuries.

Police say club security had chased Lowe to a neighboring 7-Eleven after the attack. She was arrested by officers who were the inside the store getting coffee.

Lowe’s trial date has been set for Aug. 9.


DA: Trooper’s fatal shooting at High Desert Museum justified

BEND, Ore. (AP) — The Deschutes County district attorney says the fatal shooting by an Oregon State Police trooper of a man at the High Desert Museum in Bend was justified.

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said in a news release Wednesday he has found Senior Trooper Richard Brannin’s decision to shoot Nicholas Berger on May 31 was legally justified. Hummel says therefore he won’t file criminal charges.

Brannin shot Berger three times after Berger held a museum employee at knifepoint and dragged her through the museum before releasing her near an exit.

Investigators say Berger and the employee, 39-year-old Amanda Berry, were strangers.

Officials have said little about a possible motive. Berger, who was from California and had a Kansas driver’s license, had recently moved to the Bend area. A family friend said Berger had been expressing thoughts of suicide in recent months.


District Attorney: Ex-NFL player shot by homeowner justified

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Officials say the shooting of a former Detroit Lions cornerback at a multimillion-dollar home in Portland, Oregon, was justified.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday a grand jury found homeowner Robert McCall’s use of force was justified.

Oregon law allows a person to use deadly physical force against someone trying to burglarize their home.

Authorities say Stanley Wilson II was found naked and wounded in a water fountain in a backyard June 22. The homeowner had shot him in the abdomen.

Wilson has been arraigned on burglary and trespassing charges and says he’s happy to be alive. He posted bail and his next court appearance was set for July 15.



Girl allegedly groped on flight seeks $10M from airline

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The lawyer for a 13-year-old girl who told police she was groped on a flight to Portland, Oregon, seeks $10 million in a federal lawsuit against American Airlines and the passenger accused of the crime.

Attorney Brent Goodfellow filed the suit Tuesday in Portland, alleging the June incident caused his client extreme fear and psychological trauma.

American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller says the company is reviewing the lawsuit while continuing to cooperate with an FBI investigation.

The suspect, 26-year-old Chad Camp, remains in a Portland jail after pleading not guilty to abusive sexual contact.

Authorities have said an attendant on the Dallas-to-Portland flight was delivering snacks when she noticed Camp’s hand in the victim’s crotch area. She saw the girl shed a single tear and quickly separated the two.

A witness said Camp consumed at least four mixed drinks shortly before the flight.


Coast Guard halts search for 3 aboard plane that crashed

BROOKINGS, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its more than 12-hour search for three people aboard a small plane that crashed in southern Oregon.

The agency said late Tuesday that Cessna 172F pilot John Belnap, his 17-year-old son Max, and a 17-year-old friend, Ryan Merker, remain missing.

Authorities believe the plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean because a backpack belonging to someone aboard was found on the beach near the Brookings airport. Other items believed to be from the plane also have washed ashore.

The plane was flying from Brookings to Grants Pass late Monday. Curry County Sheriff John Ward says the pilot’s wife reported the plane missing after her husband didn’t arrive home in Grants Pass.

The Grants Pass Daily Courier reports the teens attended Grants Pass High School, and a vigil was held there Tuesday night.


More health insurers leave Bend individual market

(Information from: The Bulletin,

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Two more health insurance carriers say they won’t sell individual policies in Oregon’s Deschutes County in 2017.

The Bend Bulletin reports that the Tuesday announcement adds to what has already been a significant exodus and leaves Deschutes residents with few options.

Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and BridgeSpan Health will not sell individual policies in the country, and BridgeSpan will also stop selling such policies in Crook and Jefferson counties.

Their departure leaves only three carriers selling those policies in Deschutes County: Health Net Health Plan of Oregon, Oregon’s Health CO-OP and PacificSource Health Plans. This year, eight carriers offered the individual plans.

Health insurance carriers have been rapidly losing money since 2014, mostly on the volatile individual market. Oregon’s carriers lost $217 million in 2015.



Deputy fatally shoots man in Polk County

DALLAS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police say a sheriff’s deputy fatally shot a man during a stop on Highway 22 in Polk County.

According to the agency, the deputy requested backup shortly before the shots were fired Tuesday night. The man died at a local hospital.

Police have yet to identify the man or say why he was stopped.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.