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Roundup: Oklahoma City crafts chain granted health care exemption; American Taliban allowed to hold Muslim prayers; more

| Friday, July 19, 2013, 9:24 p.m.

Crafts chain granted health care exemption

OKLAHOMA CITY — Hobby Lobby Inc. was given a temporary exemption on Friday from a requirement in the federal health care law. The Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain does not want to offer insurance coverage for the morning-after pill and similar emergency birth control methods.

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton issued the stay until Oct. 1 to give the federal government time to consider filing an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ruling was welcomed by the Christian owners of Hobby Lobby. “We're just very excited. This is a great step for us,” company president Steve Green said.

Judge allows American Taliban to hold Muslim prayers outside cell

INDIANAPOLIS — A federal judge has given the government 30 days to start allowing American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh and other Muslim inmates to hold group prayers outside their cells in a high-security prison in Indiana.

Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson on Friday said the Bureau of Prisons might have misconstrued her January ruling that granted Lindh's request to pray in groups. Officials are letting only two Muslims pray together in a cell.

Transit bus taken for ride in California

OAKDALE, Calif. — A shirtless man on Friday stole an empty transit bus from a locked and closed San Francisco terminal and drove it 100 miles, authorities said.

The vehicle's GPS system allowed authorities to track it. Highway patrol officers put down road spikes to get the bus to stop and arrested the driver.

Soldier in militia gets life for double slaying

ATLANTA — A Georgia soldier accused of running an anti-government militia has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for a double slaying.

Prosecutors said Pvt. Isaac Aguigui and three fellow Fort Stewart soldiers were part of a militia group called Forever Enduring Always Ready who feared a couple would expose the group's plans.

Ex-husband sentenced to 5 life terms for beating deaths

LINCOLN, Ill. — Christopher Harris, 34, was sentenced on Friday to five consecutive life sentences for beating five members of his ex-wife's family to death in their small-town Illinois home. Harris' own brother testified against him.

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