Briefs, February 2, 2013

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 February, 2013, 4:01am

Chinese firm's suit rejected by US judge

WASHINGTON - A Chinese-owned company's lawsuit over an Oregon wind-farm transaction that was blocked by the US government was dismissed by a judge in Washington who said he lacks the authority to hear the case. The complaint was brought by Ralls Corporation, which was seeking a court order to void its agreement to buy assets for the wind-farm project from Terna Energy Holding USA Corporation. Federal authorities claimed national-security risks in ruling that Ralls could not own or operate the wind project because it was close to a US Navy base. Bloomberg


Clashes at Egypt's presidential palace

CAIRO - Protesters throwing stones clashed with security forces firing tear gas and water cannons at the presidential palace in Egypt's capital as the country's political violence extended for an eighth day. Protests by opponents of Islamist President Mohammed Mursi were held around Egypt, but cracks appeared in their ranks as some criticised the movement's political leaders for meeting with the rival Muslim Brotherhood. AP


Top officer jailed in phone-hacking inquiry

LONDON - A senior British counterterrorism detective has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for trying to sell information to Rupert Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World tabloid. Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn, 53, was the first person convicted on charges related to Britain's phone-hacking scandal since a police investigation was reopened in early 2011. She was found guilty last month of misconduct for offering to pass on information about whether London's police force would reopen the investigation. AP


Ex-CIA chief sentenced over rendition in Italy

MILAN - An Italian appeals court convicted a former CIA station chief and two other Americans in absentia of the 2003 rendition kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric. The court sentenced Jeff Castelli to seven years in prison, and Betnie Medero and Ralph Russomando to six years each. The three had been acquitted in the first trial due to diplomatic immunity. Italy's highest court last year upheld the convictions of 23 other Americans in absentia over the abduction of an Egyptian terror suspect as part of the CIA's extraordinary rendition programme. AP