VIRGINIA / Suspected pirates mistreated?
Defense attorneys argue three Somali men being prosecuted on U.S. piracy charges were held naked, blindfolded and handcuffed for days without an interpreter, while an interpreter threatened to toss another overboard. Attorneys for the defendants made the claims in court papers filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, where five Somalis are being prosecuted on an April 1 attack on the USS Nicholas off the coast of Africa. An attorney also claims charges against one defendant should be dismissed because he is a juvenile. The Nicholas defendants and six Somali men accused in the April 10 attack on the USS Ashland have pleaded not guilty. The government declined to respond Monday to the motions, saying it will respond in court.
MISSOURI / Ex-priest suspended as volunteer
A former Roman Catholic priest who was part of a $5 million sex abuse settlement in Wisconsin two decades ago was suspended from a volunteer position with Special Olympics Missouri. Special Olympics Missouri chief executive Mark Musso says the 62-year-old Kansas City man was suspended indefinitely last week once the group learned of the settlement. The former priest, Tom Ericksen, told The Associated Press on Monday that he had fondled three boys but denied having contact with a fourth child involved in the settlement with the Diocese of Superior, Wis.
LOUISIANA / Drilling case judge won't withdraw
A federal judge who overturned the Obama administration's initial six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling has refused to disqualify himself from the case. Several environmental groups had asked U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman to withdraw from the case because of his investments in several oil and gas companies. Feldman refused in an order issued Friday and posted Monday. Earlier this month, Feldman rejected the government's bid to restore its temporary ban on new deepwater drilling and suspension of 33 existing drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico. The Justice Department later issued a new moratorium that it hopes will pass muster with the courts.
ARIZONA / Treasure hunter search stopped
Authorities have suspended the search for three Utah men reported missing while looking for the legendary Lost Dutchman Gold Mine. Maricopa County sheriff's officials said Monday crews covered almost 100 square miles in seven days of searching for Curtis Meriworth, 67, Ardean Charles, 62, and Malcolm Meeks, 51. Their vehicle was found July 11 parked at a trailhead.