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Snowden could use a trial to showcase spy claims
Written by KIMBERLY DOZIER, AP Intelligence Writer   
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 07:28

WASHINGTON (AP) — Should Edward Snowden ever return to the U.S., he would face criminal charges for leaking information about National Security Agency surveillance programs. But legal experts say a trial could expose more classified information as his lawyers try to build a case in an open court that the operations he exposed were illegal.

A jury trial could be awkward for the Obama administration if the jurors believe Snowden is a whistle-blower who exposed government overreach. Snowden surely would try to turn the tables on the government, arguing that its right to keep information secret does not outweigh his constitutional right to speak out.

"He would no doubt bring First Amendment defenses to what he did, emphasizing the public interest in his disclosures and the democratic values that he served," said David Pozen, a Columbia Law School professor and a former legal adviser at the State Department. "There's been no case quite like it."

Administration officials say the possibility of a public spectacle wherein Snowden tries to reveal even more classified information to make his case has not lessened the Justice Department's intent to prosecute him, and Attorney General Eric Holder has not warmed to calls for clemency for the former NSA systems analyst.

Department spokesman Andrew Ames last week indicated there was no change in the department's intent to prosecute, and that point was reinforced by National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

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Obama celebrates MLK holiday, visits soup kitchen
Written by DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press Writer   
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 07:27

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama honored Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy of service Monday by helping a soup kitchen prepare its daily meals and a host of administration figures fanned out across the capital to appear at holiday events.

Obama took his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha to DC Central Kitchen, which is a few minutes away from the White House by presidential motorcade. They joined an assembly line that was churning out burritos. Asked what the burritos were being stuffed with, Obama said it looked like lamb. It actually was beef in a sauce, along with unidentified vegetables and cheese.

Obama said he came to help the facility mark its 25th anniversary on Monday. Among those joining him there was senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

DC Central Kitchen prepares thousands of meals every day for distribution to local shelters.

Vice President Joe Biden appeared at the National Action Network's annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast, and later joined the Catholic Volunteer Network in serving a hot lunch to guests at SOME — So Others Might Eat.

Several of Obama's Cabinet officers, including Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, as well as White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, also took part in various holiday-related events.


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Two nabbed at Texas border in Target credit card fraud case
Written by CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 07:11

McALLEN, Texas (AP) — A South Texas police chief said Monday that two Mexican citizens who were arrested at the border used account information stolen during the Target security breach to buy tens of thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise. But a federal official said later there currently was no connection between the arrests and the retailer's credit card data theft.

McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said Mary Carmen Garcia, 27, and Daniel Guardiola Dominguez, 28, both of Monterrey, Mexico, had used cards containing the account information of South Texas residents. Rodriguez said they were used to purchase numerous items at national retailers in the area including Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us.

"They're obviously selling the data sets by region," Rodriguez said.

Late Monday, a federal official with knowledge of the case said there currently was no connection between the McAllen case and any ongoing investigation into the Target breach, but would not elaborate. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was prohibited from providing details about the investigation.

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Classes to resume at Pennsylvania university after shooting
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 07:12

CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — A shooting on the campus of a university outside of Philadelphia does not appear to be a random act of violence, officials said Tuesday, as classes were set to resume and the search for the gunman continued.

A student sitting in the parking lot of Widener University's athletic center was shot once by an unknown gunman around 8:45 p.m. Monday. The student called 911 to report the shooting and was listed in critical, but stable condition at Crozer-Chester Medical Center after undergoing surgery.

Dan Hanson, a spokesman for the university, said Tuesday that "all indications are this was not a random act of violence." He would not release further details of the investigation.

Widener asked students to remain inside until 6 a.m. as police continue searching for the suspect, but the university said that the campus had been secured by police and that classes were to resume as scheduled Tuesday morning.

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Tested by scandal, Christie to be sworn in again
Written by GEOFF MULVIHILL, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 07:10

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Tuesday's celebrations to mark the start of Gov. Chris Christie's second term could be tempered by multiple investigations into traffic tie-ups that appear to have been ordered by his staff for political retribution and an allegation that his administration tied Superstorm Sandy aid to approval for a real estate project.

But the 55th governor of New Jersey has a full schedule of inaugural events.

His day is scheduled to start with a service at Newark's New Hope Baptist Church before a swearing in and address in Trenton and an evening party on Ellis Island, a symbolic spot synonymous with the promise of the United States. The island where some 12 million immigrants first entered the U.S. is divided between New Jersey and New York, but his party is to be in a hall on the New York side.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who was drawn into the controversy surrounding Christie this weekend, is also to be sworn in for her second term.

Christie won re-election in November by a 22-point margin over state Sen. Barbara Buono, a Democrat.

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