Shorts: U.S.

Second trial set for Seattle shooter

A second trial will begin Sept. 22 for Naveed Haq, who stormed into a Seattle Jewish community center in 2006 and shot six women, one fatally, as he ranted against Israel and the Iraq War.

King County Superior Court Judge Paris Kallas set the trial date last week after listening to prosecutors and defense lawyers. Kallas declared a mistrial June 4 in Haq’s first trial after jurors said they were deadlocked on 14 of the 15 criminal counts.

Haq, 32, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. — ap

N.Y. mayor decries lies about Obama

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged Jewish voters to denounce the whisper campaign that for months has pushed the false rumor that Dem-ocratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim.

Bloomberg warned a Jewish group in Boca Raton, Fla., last week that the attempt to portray Obama as a shadowy Muslim with a hidden agenda often targets Jewish voters online and with emails.

The deceptive campaign against Obama, who is Christian, “threatens to undo the enormous strides that Jews and Muslims have made together in this country,” Bloomberg said. — ap

Meat plant recruits at homeless shelters

In an effort to restore lagging production at its kosher slaughterhouse, Agriproces-sors has been hiring workers from homeless shelters in Texas to replace employees detained in a massive federal immigration raid last month, according to a company spokesman.

Workers are recruited by a firm in Amarillo, Texas, and sent to Postville, Iowa.

Postville Police Chief Michael Halse said his officers had arrested four plant workers for disorderly conduct last week. — jta

Air Force watchdog’s house vandalized

A swastika and cross were drawn on the home of a leading Jewish critic of Christian activity in the U.S. military.

The vandalism was committed last week on the Albuquerque home of Mikey Weinstein, the founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

Weinstein, an alumnus of the U.S. Air Force Academy, has been a vocal critic of Christian proselytizing within the ranks of the military. He says he has been the target of regular harassment since filing a lawsuit charging that the military has violated the religious liberties of its members. — jta

Pew: Religious Jews politically conservative

Religious Jews in the United States are apt to be politically conservative, according to the findings of a recent survey.

The second report on the “U.S. Religious Landscape Survey” conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, released June 23, contains findings on the diversity in faith of Americans, the importance of religion to Americans and the relationship between religion and politics.

According to the report, Jews, along with Buddhists and Hindus, are most likely among religious groups to describe their political ideology as liberal. But Jews who say religion is very important to them or pray every day are “more likely than others to be politically conservative.” — jta

Man gets 22 years for plotting attacks

One of four men accused of plotting to attack military sites, synagogues and other targets in the Los Angeles area was sentenced this week to 22 years in federal prison.

Levar Haley Washington, 30, was part of a prison gang cell of radical Muslims that planned the attacks and intended to finance them through robberies.

Two co-defendants, Kevin James and Gregory Patterson, also pleaded guilty to the terrorism conspiracy charge and will be sentenced later this summer. A fourth man, Hammad Samana, was found unfit to stand trial and is being treated in a federal psychiatric facility. — ap

Museum closes controversial exhibit

A Jewish museum in Chicago closed a controversial exhibit under intense pressure from donors.

The Spertus Museum, a division of the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, shut an exhibition of Palestinian and Israeli concepts of homeland, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The exhibition, titled “Imaginary Coordinates,” featured historic maps of Israel and included several pieces deemed hostile to the Jewish state. — jta

Defendant wants non-Jewish judge

A former Ford Motor Co. mechanical engineer who pleaded guilty to providing support for Hezbollah says the Detroit federal judge hearing his case is Jewish and should remove himself.

U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen denied 48-year-old Fawzi Assi’s motion June 23. Assi asked Rosen to step down over concerns he couldn’t be impartial in Assi’s sentencing.

Rosen says the motion in the 10-year-old case comes “a little late” and the court “has bent over backwards” to ensure fairness. — ap