Headlines for Feb. 25, 2017: What to Know 

  • Bingo Barnes
  • A male traveler was pulled from an arriving flight at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla. airport earlier this month. The incident only came to light on Friday, Feb. 24.. According to USA Today, the man was questioned for several hours when he told immigration officials he was Muslim. It turns out the man was Muhammad Ali Jr., the son of one of the most famous Americans in recent memory: boxer Muhammad Ali. Ali Jr. was traveling with his mother, Khaliah Camaco-Ali, the second wife of the sports icon. Even after she showed immigration officials a photo of herself with Muhammad Ali, authorities continued to question her son for nearly two more hours. Ali was returning from Jamaica, where he had been a keynote speaker at a Black History Month event. He was born in Philadelphia, Penn. and holds a U.S. passport.

  • A Twin Falls County judge has sentenced a high-school football player to three years of probation and 300 hours of community service as part of a plea agreement in a case of sexual assault that has garnered international headlines. John Howard, 19, maintained his innocence but agreed to an Alford Plea in what prosecutors said was the sexual assault on a black, mentally disabled teammate at Dietrich High School in October 2015. Howard was also granted a withheld judgment, meaning the conviction could eventually be dismissed. Howard was one of three accused assailants and the only one whose criminal case was handled in adult court.
  • A federal jury decided a private prison company had a long history of understaffing when it held the keys in Idaho's failed private prison experiment. The jury also determined the company was "deliberately indifferent" to the risk of serious harm to inmates. However, the jury also said the company, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America, need not pay any damages because the inmates who sued failed to prove that the understaffing was directly tied to a brutal attack by a prison gang on the inmates.
  • A military judge has ruled that comments from then-candidate Donald Trump won't prevent Idaho native and Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl from getting a fair trial. Bergdahl is poised to face a court martial, scheduled to begin April 18, on a charge of desertion before his capture by the Taliban. His lawyers argued now-President Trump's previous criticism of their client compromised Bergdahl's ability of getting a fair hearing. Bergdahl's lawyers say they'll turn to the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals to overturn Friday's decision.
  • The New York Times has a fascinating data-crunch aligning each of tomorrow night's Best Picture Oscar nominees with particular sections of the U.S. For example, if Treasure Valley residents were handing out the Oscars, Arrival would take home the top prize. Fences and Hidden Figures are very popular in the Southeast; Hacksaw Ridge is wildly popular in Montana and the Dakotas; Manchester By the Sea is unsurprisingly popular in New England; Lion is the favorite in northern California; and, also to no one's surprise, La La Land is most popular in the Los Angeles area.

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