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GEORGIA: Soldiers charged in 2 slayings

Four soldiers based at Fort Stewart killed a former comrade and his girlfriend to protect an anarchist militia group they formed that stockpiled assault weapons and plotted a range of anti-government attacks, prosecutors told a judge Monday in Ludowici, Long County. They said the militia group of active and former military members spent $87,000 buying guns and bomb components. They allege the group killed former soldier Michael Roark and his girlfriend, Tiffany York, 17, shooting them in the woods in December in order to keep its plans secret. One of the soldiers, Pfc. Michael Burnett, 26, pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter, illegal gang activity and other charges. He made a deal to testify against the others, who called their group F.E.A.R., short for Forever Enduring Always Ready. They are Pvt. Isaac Aguigui, named the founder and leader, Sgt. Anthony Peden and Pvt. Christopher Salmon.

INDIANA: Lindh protests prison rule

American-born Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh testified Monday that a federal prison rule barring him and other Muslims from praying together daily is "absurd" and contends the United States is causing him to sin against his religion by prohibiting such gatherings in the name of security. Lindh appeared in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis in a civil lawsuit seeking to overturn the prison policy, which he argues violates a 1993 law barring the government from curtailing religious expression without showing it has a compelling interest. Lindh, who is serving a 20-year sentence for aiding Afghanistan's Taliban government before its overthrow, is one of 43 inmates, 24 of them Muslim, housed in a unit at the federal prison in Terre Haute.

WASHINGTON: Arctic ice cap at record low

The Arctic ice cap has shrunk to a new low, surpassing a record set only five years ago, and is expected to keep retreating for a few more weeks, according to U.S. data released on Monday. Arctic sea ice fell to 1.58 million square miles, down 27,000 square miles from 2007, the lowest since satellites began measuring the ice in 1979, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said. The ice is expected to dwindle until mid- to late September.

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