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Archive for the ‘Rachel Aiken’ Category

By Rachel Aiken

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By Rachel Aiken, Jayna Johns, Michael McGuire and Ben Petitto

Click the thumbnail images of the reporters to venture to their personal blog stories about their experiences in Washington so far.

Rachel Aiken

Rachel Aiken

Jayna Johns

Jayna Johns

Michael McGuire

Michael McGuire

Ben Petitto

Ben Petitto

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By Rachel Aiken

For Ali Asghar, the bottom line in his appeal is whether his attorney convinced a federal appeals court today that he has enough proof to support his allegations that he was the victim of race discrimination on the job.

Asghar, who is in his 50s, is a Muslim born in Afghanistan who worked for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, a division in the U.S. Treasury Department. In 2006 he filed a lawsuit against the government, claiming he was the victim of race discrimination after Treasury officials and FBI agents questioned him about possible links to terrorism.

The questioning of Asghar occurred after he tried to return to work after a seven-month visit to Afghanistan in 2004. When he tried to use his employee security card to enter the building, he couldn’t get in because his status had been changed.

No charges were filed against Asghar and he returned to work after Thanksgiving in 2004. (more…)

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By Rachel Aiken

A federal judge today imposed what she called the “largest overall fine ever” for an export violation when she ordered a U.K.-based aviation firm to pay $2 million in criminal penalties for its role in the illegal shipping of a commercial Boeing 747 aircraft from the United States to Iran.

U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle imposed the fine that was part of a plea agreement reached in February between the U.S. government and Balli Aviation Ltd., a subsidiary of Balli Group. The deal also requires Balli Aviation to pay $15 million in civil fines.

Prosecutor Anthony Asuncion said the punishment fits the crime. “This is a very serious matter,” he said.

According to the charges, Balli Aviation conspired to export three Boeing 747s to Iran without obtaining the required export approval from the U.S. government. (more…)

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By Rachel Aiken

A Yemeni man held as a suspected terrorist at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since he was 18 should not be released because he is a member of al-Qaida, a U.S. government lawyer told a federal judge today.

Stephen Elliott, a Justice Department lawyer, said the United States remains a target—abroad and at home—of people like Mahmoad Abdah, now 27, who has been held without criminal charges for the past eight years at Camp Delta, where the U.S. government houses suspected terrorists captured in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere.

Elliott referred to the casualties of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as foiled terrorist plots, including the failed car-bombing in New York’s Times Square on May 1, as a reminder of the danger that remains. (more…)

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