Judge Orders End to Arrest of Beggars. Forgot to mark this article over the weekend. Recognized my favorite panhandler yesterday while waiting for the express train at GCT. Briefly considered walking over to offer my loose change, but I thought that would be a little weird since she wasn't even in begging mode.

A federal judge ordered the New York City police, county prosecutors and state judges yesterday to stop arresting and punishing people who are peacefully begging on the streets, an order first issued nearly 13 years ago.

Judge Sheindlin acted after a class-action lawsuit was filed showing that the Police Department had quietly but openly disregarded a ruling in 1992 by two federal courts that the state's panhandling statute, the basis for arresting peaceful beggars, violated the First Amendment.


One Muslim's Odyssey to Guantánamo. The Bush administration bristles at the term "gulag," but I am hard-pressed to come up with a term that describes the situation more accurately. If you can't pronounce the word "nuclear" correctly though, I gather that "habeas corpus" is out of the question.

Moreover, even American documents indicated that much of the evidence on Mr. Kurnaz actually seemed more to exonerate him than to incriminate him. The decision of the three-member Guantánamo tribunal that found Mr. Kurnaz to be an enemy combatant last September refers to classified material in his file and indicates that that is where the reputed links to Al Qaeda would be documented.

But a Federal District Court judge, Joyce Hens Green, in reviewing Mr. Kurnaz's case early this year, found that there was only a single document, called R-19, that incriminates Mr. Kurnaz as a member of Al Qaeda. About this material she concludes, "Not only is the document rife with hearsay and lacking in detailed support for its conclusions, but it is also in direct conflict with classified exculpatory documents."

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Over a year has passed since I stopped carrying photo ID on a regular basis (inspired by the Hiibel case). Only twice has the lack of an ID created any sort of problem: once while being carded to enter a bar (I was allowed in anyways) and once while using a reward certificate at Barnes & Noble (they honored it after a bit of a hassle).