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Supreme Court won’t hear case involving American victims of Palestinian terror

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to revive a lawsuit against the Palestine Liberation Organization that was brought by Americans who were victimized by terror attacks in Israel.

Eleven American families sued the PLO, Yasser Arafat and others over seven terror incidents from 2001 to 2004, claiming that the attacks were perpetrated by security officers and other agents of the Palestinian Authority. The families invoked the federal Anti-Terrorism Act, which gives any American injured by an act of terrorism the right to sue for damages.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York threw the case out, ruling that victims must show that they were specifically targeted or that the attackers intended to harm U.S. interests. The court also said the Palestinian entities did not have a sufficient connection to the U.S. that would make them subject to federal law.

Without comment, as is the normal practice, the Supreme Court declined Monday to hear the appeal, leaving the lower court ruling intact. The Trump administration had urged the justices not to take the case, contending that it did not conflict with any other lower court rulings.

The lead plaintiff in the case, Mark Sokolow, was injured along with his wife and two daughters in a 2002 suicide bombing in Jerusalem. After a six-week jury trial in 2015, the families were awarded $655.5 million, but the appeals court set that verdict aside.

Theodore Olson, a Washington lawyer representing the families, urged the Supreme Court to hear the case and overrule the appeals court decision, saying that it eviscerated a critical component of American anti-terrorism policy.

Olson called the Trump administration’s position “astonishing” and said the appeals court ruling “cut the heart out” of the anti-terrorism law, “draining it of its indisputable purpose — protecting U.S. citizens from international terrorism.”

In a statement explaining its position, the Justice Department said it “sympathizes deeply with the American families,” but said the court of appeals ruled that “the suit was not consistent with due process under the Constitution, and its decision does not meet the usual standards for Supreme Court review.”

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Nicola Sturgeon lifts travel ban as Scots to resume meeting outdoors from Friday

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NICOLA STURGEON has lifted Scotland’s travel ban as six adults from up to six households can meet outdoors from Friday anywhere across Scotland.

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Remainers lose faith in EU and support Brexit after bloc's bitter vaccine threats

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Brussels’ bitter vaccine threats have convinced angry Remainers to turn their backs on the European Union and support Brexit, research has revealed.

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Biden, Congress to pay tribute to slain Capitol Police officer

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Capitol Police Officer William Evans, who was killed earlier this month when a man rammed his car into him and another officer at the Capitol, will lie in honor in the building’s Rotunda on Tuesday.

Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force, will be the fourth Capitol Police officer to ever lie in honor. The arrival ceremony is set for 10:30 a.m.

At 11 a.m., President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., will pay tribute to Evans at a congressional ceremony inside the Rotunda. The officer’s family, along with members of the Capitol Police and Congress, are also expected to attend.

“In giving his life to protect our Capitol and our country, Officer Evans became a martyr for our democracy,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement, adding it was “the great and solemn privilege of the House of Representatives and the Senate to convey the appreciation and the sadness of the Congress and country for the heroic sacrifice of Officer Evans with a lying-in-honor ceremony in the U.S. Capitol.”

Evans, who was known as “Billy,” served with Capitol Police since 2003 and was working in the first responders Unit. He leaves behind two young children.

He was killed on April 2 when a man drove a car into him and another officer before hitting a security barricade outside the Capitol. The man, 25-year-old Noah Green, of Indiana, got out of the vehicle and lunged at the officers with a knife before being shot and killed by police, acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said.

The memorial for Evans comes three months after the attack on the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, which resulted in the death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick. His remains were also laid in honor in the Rotunda. Another Capitol Police officer, Howard Liebengood, died by suicide in the days after the riot.



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