Friday, May 17 2013 8:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:05:13 GMT
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When Randy Kleiner stopped to help an injured driver, he didn't expect to become injured himself.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 9:02 PM EDT2013-05-18 01:02:54 GMT
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Friday, May 17 2013 8:56 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:56:00 GMT
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Friday, May 17 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:39:56 GMT
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Friday, May 17 2013 8:17 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:17:28 GMT
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Friday, May 17 2013 8:03 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:03:09 GMT
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Friday, May 17 2013 6:42 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:42:38 GMT
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The Federal Election Commission had found that the parents of disgraced former Sen. John Ensign of Nevada made excessive in-kind contributions to a former political action committee staff member.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:21:11 GMT
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The lawyer who unsuccessfully defended O.J. Simpson against armed robbery charges in Las Vegas says his client knew two companions had guns in a 2007 confrontation with memorabilia dealers. MiamiMore>>
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McCarran Airport is being accused of religious discrimination after ordering the expulsion of a religious group from a main terminal. Members of the Raelians say they were waiting for their prophet to arrive at the airport when they were threatened with arrest.
They're demanding an apology and are ready to go to court to get it.
The Raelians are an atheistic religion with an estimated 80,000 members worldwide and Las Vegas is their North American home. But when local followers went to the airport to wait for the arrival of their prophet, they were told to get out, or else.
This is a big weekend for the Raelian movement. It was 35 years ago Saturday that their prophet Rael, a French journalist and race car driver, says he encountered the superior being who taught him to spread the word. But the being wasn't a god, Rael says, he was an alien.
Since then the Raelians message of tolerance, nonviolence, and atheism has spread to 93 countries.
A few dozen Raelians, mostly artists and entertainers, live in Las Vegas and have planned a three day celebration. But when they went to McCarran Airport to await the arrival of their leader, things got ugly.
"The airport service coordinator came and said, ‘You can't be here.' We asked, ‘Why?' He said, ‘You just can't be here.' I said, ‘We're waiting for our religious leader to arrive. He will be here any minute. We'll be on our way anyway,'" said Raelian North American Guide Ricky Roehr.
Roehr says the airport official, Socrates Cherry, called Metro Police, who firmly but politely told the group to either leave or be arrested, without citing a rule or law they were breaking.
"If we're breaking a rule, we'll stop immediately. We respect authority. He said, ‘You just can't do that here. Do what? This.' He wouldn't tell us," he said.
Roehr thinks the official was upset by the symbol used by Raelians, a Star of David imposed over a swastika.
Rael says the swastika symbol is sacred in many cultures but was kidnapped by the Nazis. His group is the antithesis of Nazism, "It's the oldest symbol on earth. It's in Tibetan temples, Buddhist, Hindu. More than a billion people pray in temples where you have a swastika every day."
The swastika symbol has caused confusion for the Raelians in the past, including 20 years ago when two Las Vegans used it in Christmas lights on their roof. At the posh home where Rael is staying this weekend, there are festive swastikas out in the yard.
One of the reasons the movement chose Las Vegas for its headquarters is the relative tolerance and penchant for individual freedom. The Raelians say they have welcomed their leader at the airport every year for the past 20, but have never had this happen before.
"I was very surprised. They threatened to make some arrests if you don't move. I was shocked," said Rael. "Being in America, country of religious freedom, number one in the world, coming to the airport and being told you can't be there. Why? We can't tell you."
The group says it filed a complaint with the airport, another with Metro, and that it has contacted both its own attorneys and the ACLU. They don't want to go to court.
"A public apology is what we prefer," said Roehr.
The Raelians say the First Amendment protects even hate groups who might wear swastikas in a public place, though that was not what they were doing at all.
A spokesperson for McCarran said the incident has been exaggerated by the Raelians -- that the airport employee merely asked what they were doing because he saw women wearing provocative clothing and others carrying signs and video cameras.
The airport says no one ordered the group to leave and there were no threats of arrest. The employee felt the group was impeding foot traffic in a busy part of the terminal.