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McCain to vote against Sotomayor

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Monday he will vote against President Barack Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, U.S. Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

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"There is no doubt that Judge Sotomayor has the professional background and qualifications that one hopes for in a Supreme Court nominee," McCain said on the floor of the U.S. Senate. "And obviously, Judge Sotomayor's life story is inspiring and compelling."

McCain said an outstanding resume and an inspiring life aren't enough for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, MSNBC reported.

McCain said he didn't think Sotomayor shared his belief in judicial restraint and offered a bit of tit-for-tat -- noting that a Hispanic nominated by President George W. Bush for a circuit court post was blocked by Democrats in the Senate.

"Though she attempted to walk back from her long public record of judicial activism during her confirmation hearings, Judge Sotomayor cannot change her record," McCain said.

"(Regardless) of one's success in academics and in government service, an individual who does not appreciate the common sense limitations on judicial power in our democratic system of government ultimately lacks a key qualification for a lifetime appointment to the bench," the 2008 Republican presidential nominee. "For this reason, and no other, I am unable to support Judge Sotomayor's nomination."

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10 named in alleged U.S.-Israel tax fraud

JERUSALEM, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- An ex-rabbi who allegedly led an effort to obtain illegally $35 million in state and U.S. income tax refunds was arrested in Israel, U.S. officials said Monday.

The alleged ringleader, Marvin Berkowitz, is a former Chicago rabbi accused of directing the fraud from Jerusalem, where he was arrested Sunday night, U.S. official said. He is among 10 defendants indicted in Chicago on 41 counts in February. The indictments were unsealed Monday.

The U.S. Justice Department said Berkowitz allegedly caused at least $800,000 in tax refunds to be paid to, or for the benefit of, at least eight family members, including son Yair Berkowitz and son-in-law Eric Berkowitz, both arrested in Chicago Sunday night. Another son, David Berkowitz, was arrested in the Los Angeles area.

All 10 were charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States by impeding the Internal Revenue Service in the collection of income taxes, as well as defrauding numerous state tax departments.

The Justice Department said the scheme, dubbed operation "American Pie" by investigators in Israel, fell short of its goal of $35 million. The indictment seeks forfeiture of $4 million.

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The department alleges Marvin Berkowitz, who also is charged with six counts of identity theft, recruited dozens of co-conspirators to submit more than 2,900 federal income tax returns and more than 400 false state income tax returns. Officials said the returns were filed using Social Security numbers of federal prison inmates without their knowledge or consent.


Official: U.K. can't meet terrorist threat

LONDON, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Britain's Armed Forces are not ready to counter the threat posed by terrorism, a senior defense minister said Monday.

Defense preparedness will be reviewed after the next general election, Bill Rammell, the Armed Forces Minister, said.

"We have to be prepared to consider deep and wide-ranging changes to our Armed Forces," he said. "We will need to rebalance our investment in technology, equipment and people to meet the challenge of irregular warfare over the next decade while still retaining our ability to respond to emerging state-led threats and other military challenges."

The ability to fight a conventional war should not be compromised, but a shift in emphasis is called for, The Times of London online reported.

Rammell told the Royal United Services Institute in London it is vital troops stay in Afghanistan to ensure al-Qaida not re-establish in that country. He called on other NATO members to take on a greater share of the burden in Afghanistan.

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Attorneys request bail for O.J. Simpson

LAS VEGAS, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Attorneys for O.J. Simpson in Las Vegas attempted Monday to convince judges their client should be on bail while he appeals a robbery and kidnapping conviction.

One of the attorneys, Yale Galanter, told a three-judge panel Simpson's notoriety would make it impossible for him to flee.

"Mr. Simpson is the perfect candidate for bail," Galanter said. "He's got nowhere to go, nowhere to hide."

Clark County District Attorney David Roger argued against granting bail. He said since Simpson faces a 33-year prison sentence and is 62-years-old, he might flee to avoid what would, in effect, be a life sentence.

The three judges said granting bail to someone convicted of violent crimes is not usual in either the state or federal court system.

"Everyone believes they have a valid appeal," Judge Nancy M. Saitta said.

Simpson was sentenced in December for the armed robbery of sports collectibles from two memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room.

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