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FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) - Lawyers representing a U.S. Army general facing sexual assault charges are asking a military judge to force prosecutors to turn over any e-mails related to the case sent or received by former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

 

   A court martial is set to begin at Fort Bragg next month for Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair on charges including forcible sodomy, indecent acts and violating orders.

 

   In a motion filed Tuesday as part of a pre-trial hearing, lawyers for Sinclair argue top Pentagon brass were receiving regular updates last year on the investigation and may have encouraged subordinates to make an example of Sinclair. It is unlawful in the military justice system for senior commanders to interfere in criminal cases.

 

   Two of Sinclair's commanders testified earlier this month there was no such pressure.

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man who sold a rifle to the mother of the Newtown school shooter has pleaded guilty to failing to have a purchaser answer a question on a form related to citizenship.

 

   The transaction that led to the guilty plea involved a different customer.

 

   The U.S. attorney's office says Krystopher DiBella pleaded guilty Monday in Bridgeport to aiding and abetting the failure to make a proper entry on the form. Prosecutors and DiBella's lawyers have agreed to recommend three years of probation for the 25-year-old West Suffield resident.

 

   DiBella worked at Riverview Gun Sales in East Windsor. The Associated Press has reported Nancy Lanza bought from Riverview a Bushmaster rifle used in the December shooting by her son. Adam Lanza killed his mother at their home and then 26 people and himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court says a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced until Congress comes up with a new way of determining which states and localities require close federal monitoring of elections.

The justices said in 5-4 ruling Tuesday that the law Congress most recently renewed in 2006 relies on 40-year-old data that doesn't reflect racial progress and changes in U.S. society.

The court did not strike down the advance approval requirement of the law that has been used, mainly in the South, to open up polling places to minority voters in the nearly half century since it was first enacted in 1965. But they said lawmakers must update the formula for determining which parts of the country must seek Washington's approval for election changes.

 

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