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An Iraqi-born cleric can be extradited to Italy, which suspects him of enticing recruits to fight in Iraq and Syria, a Norwegian court said Friday. Italy says Najmaddin Faraj Ahmad — known as Mullah Krekar — is behind Rawti Shax, a European-wide network aimed at violently overthrowing the government in the Iraqi-Kurdish region and replacing it with a radical caliphate.

Italian authorities, who have taken a lead in the investigation into Krekar and his group, claim he had developed a network of followers who communicated via online chats. Krekar, who holds a Norwegian residence permit, was arrested last November, following an Italian request.

Eurojust, the European Union's judicial cooperation agency, said a total of 13 people have been arrested in Italy, Britain and Norway in connection with the Krekar case. Italian authorities have called the operation "the most important" in Europe in 20 years.

Norway's Borgarting appeal court said Friday it had rejected Krekar's appeal and that "a fast and complete clarification of the case" backed extradition. It is now up to Norway's justice ministry to handle the deportation of Krekar, who came to the country as a refugee in 1991.

He was the founder of the now-defunct Ansar al-Islam insurgent group of Sunni Kurds, which aimed to install an Islamic caliphate in Iraqi Kurdistan. It reportedly merged with the Islamic State group in 2014. Krekar, 60, has previously been convicted of threatening Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, making other death threats and for praising the slaying of cartoonists at the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, in 2015.

Pakistan's Supreme Court Thursday sought a reply from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in response to several petitions seeking his resignation over a financial scandal involving his family.

The court gave Sharif two weeks to submit his response, Sharif's aides and opposition leaders told reporters outside the courthouse.

The premier has been under pressure from the opposition to step down because his family members were named as holders of offshore bank accounts in leaked financial documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

One of the petitions has come from the opposition party of cricketer turned politician Imran Khan who is threatening to bring tens of thousands of protesters to the capital, Islamabad, on Nov. 2 to press for Sharif's disqualification. This was the first step to make the prime minister answerable to the law, Khan said. "We wanted to have it settled in parliament, but the prime minister didn't present himself there for accountability."

He said the court proceedings didn't mean that he would postpone the street rallies.

Sharif's aide and Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said the government was ready to be transparent and accountable. "We will never escape," he said. "We're ready for accountability at any forum."

Another of Sharif's ministers Khawaja Saad Rafique said there was no reason for any more protest rallies now that the country's top court had taken up the issue.

Derrick Rose is at a crossroads in his basketball career and one of the biggest moments in what could be a make-or-break year for the former NBA MVP didn't happen on the court. It happened in a court.

Rose was vindicated Wednesday in a $21.5 million lawsuit that accused him and two friends of raping an ex-girlfriend when she was incapacitated from drugs or alcohol.

The reticent Rose, who remained stoic most of the trial including during his testimony about intimate sex acts, smiled outside court, thanked jurors and put his arm around some who posed for photos with the hoops star.

"I am thankful that the jury understood and agreed with me," Rose said in a statement. "I am ready to put this behind me and focus on my family and career."

Jurors in Los Angeles federal court had sat through graphic testimony with somber expressions, but it took them less than four hours to conclude there was a lack of evidence to support the woman's claims and dismiss her account as unbelievable.

Republicans "can't just simply stonewall" nominees to the Supreme Court even if the president making the choice is Democrat Hillary Clinton, says the GOP chairman of the Judiciary Committee in a reaffirmation of the Senate's advise-and-consent role on judicial picks.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley's comments on Tuesday was a response to fellow Republican Sen. John McCain, who a day earlier vowed that Republicans would unite against any nominee Clinton puts forward if she becomes president. That unprecedented pledge raised the possibility that the Supreme Court would have to operate for four years of a Clinton term with one or more vacancies, rather than nine justices.

The court has had one vacancy for months since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February. Republicans have refused to consider President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland, arguing that the next president should fill the opening.

"I think we have a responsibility to very definitely vet — if you want to use the word vet — whoever nominee that person puts forward," Grassley told radio reporters in Iowa. "We have the same responsibility for (Donald) Trump. We know more the type of people Trump would nominate because he's listed 20. They fall into the category of strict constructionists. As I heard about Hillary on the last debate, the type of people she's going to appoint, I would say they're judicial activists."

He added that the new president should make the choice and "if that new president happens to be Hillary. We can't just simply stonewall."

McCain's comments came in an interview with Philadelphia talk radio host Dom Giordano to promote the candidacy of Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., one of the more vulnerable GOP incumbents as Republicans scramble to hold onto their Senate majority.

Attorneys for landowners along a crude oil pipeline that ruptured in Arkansas in 2013 say Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co. breached its contract because the pipeline interferes with their ability to enjoy their property.
Attorneys for the landowners and Exxon Mobil appeared Wednesday before judges from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Minnesota.

The landowners asked the appeals court to reinstate their case, which was dismissed last year, and have it re-certified as a class-action suit. Attorney Phillip Duncan says it's an issue of honoring easements.

Exxon Mobil attorney Gary Marts said the case was properly dismissed. He says landowners are essentially trying to regulate pipeline safety through a lawsuit - but that's the job of a federal agency.

The Pegasus Pipeline runs through Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois and Texas.

Court officials in Ohio have announced plans for public access and scheduling in the murder trial of a white former police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man during a traffic stop.

Hamilton County court officials say spectators for 26-year-old Ray Tensing's trial will be seated on a first-come basis, but courtroom space is very limited. Long lines are expected for security screening.

Officials say news media coverage will be available on Livestream beginning Oct. 31 when prospective jurors are questioned in court. Pretrial matters and jury pool orientation are planned beginning Oct. 25.

The fired University of Cincinnati officer has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter in the 2015 shooting of 43-year-old Sam DuBose.

Federal judges in New Jersey have struggled with a workload approaching 700 cases each, nearly double what's manageable, because of judicial vacancies. In Texas, close to a dozen district judgeships remain open, more than in any other state.

Senate confirmation of President Barack Obama's nominees slowed to a halt this election year, a common political occurrence for the final months of divided government with a Democratic president and a Republican-controlled Senate. The vacancy on the Supreme Court attracted the most attention as Republicans refused to even hold confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland, insisting that the choice to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February rests with the next president.

But more than 90 vacancies in the federal judiciary are taking a toll on judges, the courts and Americans seeking recourse. Obama has nominated replacements for more than half of those spots, including 44 nominees for the district court and seven for the appeals court. Yet the Senate has confirmed only nine district and appeals court judges this year — and only four since Scalia died.

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