In the Nation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Posted: June 05, 2012

Cuomo urges cut in pot penalty

ALBANY, N.Y. - Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday proposed cutting the penalty for public possession of a small amount of marijuana.

With three weeks remaining in the legislative session, Cuomo said his bill to reduce the criminal misdemeanor to a violation with a fine of up to $100 would save thousands of New Yorkers, disproportionately black and Hispanic youths, from unnecessary arrests and criminal charges.

New York City prosecutors and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, whose offices handled almost 50,000 such criminal cases last year, endorsed Cuomo's plan.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the bill largely mirrored the city police directive issued last year for officers to issue violations, not misdemeanors, "for small amounts of marijuana that come into open view during a search." - AP

Man pleads guilty in terrorism case

NEW YORK - A certified public accountant from New York pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges that he used his technical skills to help al-Qaeda.

Sabirhan Hasanoff had been arrested in 2010 in Dubai and brought to the United States to face charges of providing material support to the terror network. He faces up to 15 years in prison at his July 23 sentencing.

Before his arrest, prosecutors say, Hasanoff recently visited countries including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria, Malaysia, Yemen, and Oman.

An indictment alleged that Hasanoff and another man charged in the case met with a third man in 2008 to discuss how to help al-Qaeda. It said the third man paid Hasanoff $50,000 to transfer money and do other tasks for the terror network. - AP

2 firefighters die in plane crash

RENO, Nev. - A firefighting aircraft crashed into rugged terrain near the Utah-Nevada border as it dropped retardant on a 5,000-acre wildfire, killing the two Idaho men on board.

The air tanker went down Sunday afternoon in the Hamblin Valley area of western Utah, Bureau of Land Management officials said.

The two pilots were fighting the fire, which was sparked Friday by lightning in eastern Nevada. It has spread into Utah, though most of the blaze remains in Nevada, about 150 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

There was no immediate word on what caused the crash. - AP

Obama campaign sues over logo

WASHINGTON - President Obama's reelection campaign is suing a website that sells goods with the campaign's signature "O" logo, claiming trademark infringement.

In a lawsuit filed Friday in Washington, the committee said Demstore.com is illegally selling products with two of its logos. The first is the campaign's so-called "rising sun" logo, a blue "O" with red and white stripes at the bottom. The other is a 2012 logo that includes the "O."

Steve Schwat, the owner of Washington Promotions & Printing Inc., which runs Demstore.com., said he was disappointed by the suit. He said hundreds of companies make similar products. - AP

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