News Buzz: Supreme Court on Detainees, Killer Tornado, and More

Supreme Court rebuffs administration on detainees, four teens killed by Iowa tornado, and more.

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In a 5-to-4 decision this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that foreign terrorism suspects held at the Guantánamo Bay naval base have constitutional rights to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts. The long-awaited ruling undercuts current practice, which allows foreign detainees to be held for indefinite periods of time and without formal charges being filed, and deals a major blow to the Bush administration, which had argued that legislation passed in 2005 and 2006 was more than adequate to protect detainees' rights. Writing for the court, Justice Anthony Kennedy remarked that "the laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times." Kennedy was joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and David Souter. The court's four most conservative judges—Chief Justice John G. Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas—dissented.

Tornado Kills 4 Teens in Iowa

A tornado in western Iowa yesterday hit a Boy Scout camp, killing four teens and injuring 48 others. Tornados also tore through Kansas, killing at least two people, destroying much of the town of Chapman, and causing extensive damage on the Kansas State University campus. Iowa rescue workers cut through downed branches in rain and lightning to reach the camp, where 93 boys, ages 13 to 18, and 25 staff members were attending a weeklong leadership training program. The tornado killed three 13-year-olds and one 14-year-old, said Lloyd Roitstein, an executive with the Mid-America Council of the Boy Scouts of America. At least 42 of the injured remained hospitalized this morning, with wounds ranging from cuts and bruises to major head trauma, said Gene Meyer, Iowa's public safety commissioner.

Bush Promotes Trans-Atlantic Cooperation

On his weeklong European trip, President Bush is urging Europe to work more with the United States to look beyond trans-Atlantic issues and focus instead on global programs like Mideast peace, curtailing the rise of radical Islamic terrorists, and keeping regimes such as Iran in check. "Instead of dwelling on our differences, we are increasingly united in our interests and ideals," Bush is slated to say in a speech in Paris tomorrow. "In leaders like [Silvio] Berlusconi and [Gordon] Brown, [Angela] Merkel and [Nicolas] Sarkozy, I see a commitment to a powerful and purposeful Europe that advances the values of liberty within its borders, and beyond." The White House released a portion of Bush's remarks today, while the president was still in Rome. Although Bush received a hearty welcome from the charismatic Berlusconi of Italy and his old friend Pope Benedict XVI, he was met with antiwar activists and hundreds of other demonstrators on the streets, where anti-Bush sentiment over the war in Iraq still lingers.