US Marine gets 10 years for abusing Muslim recruits

In this Oct., 31, 2017 photo, US Marine Gunnery Sgt. Joseph A. Felix, his wife, and his lawyers exit a courtroom after testimony at Camp Lejeune, N.C. A Marine Corps jury on Nov. 10, is deciding whether Felix should be sentenced to military prison time for choking, punching and otherwise tormenting recruits, especially Muslims, one of whom eventually hurled himself to his death down a stairwell. (AP)
Updated 12 November 2017
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US Marine gets 10 years for abusing Muslim recruits

WASHINGTON: A US Marine Corps drill instructor was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for abusing more than a dozen Muslim recruits, one of whom died in 2016, US media reported.
Gunnery Sergeant Joseph Felix was convicted a day earlier of maltreatment of the recruits during their basic training at the Parris Island, South Carolina base.
A jury of eight fellow servicemen and women considered Felix, an Iraq war veteran, the most to blame of six instructors who ordered and participated in extreme hazing of the recruits, taunting them as terrorists.
Two of them were forced into industrial-sized clothes dryers and in one case the machine was turned on when they did not renounce their faith.
One of the recruits, Raheel Siddiqui died after a plunge over a third-story railing in March 2016 after enduring days of hazing worse than the normal high-pressure treatment given recruits.
The Marines called his death a suicide. In October, Siddiqui’s family sued the Marines for $100 million, saying he was driven by an unnamed superior through a door and onto a balcony where he fell to the ground below.
The sentence decided Friday, which also includes a dishonorable discharge, was harsher than the seven years in prison that prosecutors had recommended.
The case will automatically go to appeal per military regulations for judgments that involve lengthy prison sentences and dishonorable discharges.


White House Mideast team holds talks with Jordanian king

Updated 19 June 2018
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White House Mideast team holds talks with Jordanian king

  • Jared Kushner is in the Middle East to help lay the groundwork for an expected Israeli-Palestinian peace plan
  • Kushner’s team also plans stops in Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia

AMMAN: President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is in the Middle East to help lay the groundwork for an expected Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.
Kushner, along with White House envoy Jason Greenblatt, arrived in Jordan on Tuesday for talks with King Abdullah II, a key US ally. A White House statement said the talks included discussions on the Gaza humanitarian situation and US efforts to “facilitate peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.”
US officials have said their plan is near completion and could be released this summer. But it faces resistance from the Palestinians, who have cut off ties since Trump recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Kushner’s team also plans stops in Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. No talks with the Palestinians are scheduled.