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How a Russian Ballet Dancer Ended Up in Guantanamo

Many Americans have probably forgotten about Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the naval base there, where foreign detainees are held with limited legal process. The detainees are believed to be terrorists, or at least associated with terrorist organizations, and some have been in custody for more than a decade, since the Iraq War.

One such detainee is Ravil Kamilevitch Mingazov, and his story is odd. Trained as a professional dancer, he was in Russia's military ballet troop, did passport control at the Mongolian border and managed military food operations. But somehow Mingazov ended up in Pakistan where he was picked up by American authorities about 14 years ago. He is now seeking release and his story is interesting, revealing just how hard these cases are to decide.

Hurricane Sandy Fraudster Owes NY Almost $90K

When tragedy strikes it's not nice to second-guess alleged victims and ask if they really need help. But afterward, if it becomes apparent that a person was not deserving of the emergency assistance they received, the state will make them pay.

That is what happened to a Queens, New York woman who claimed that she was a Hurricane Sandy victim and lived in hotels on the state's dime. She also took food money from the American Red Cross, which she spent on clothes. Caterina Curatolo, 51, this week pled guilty to filing false reports and collecting nearly $90,000 in benefits intended for Hurricane Sandy victims. She was placed on probation and ordered to pay restitution.

Mustache Matters: Bearded Valedictorian Barred from Graduation

With the bearded hipster so ubiquitous, few would have expected this, but facial hair is under attack. More precisely, a mustachioed valedictorian was barred from attending his high school graduation in Amite, Louisiana this past weekend due to his facial hair.

Jones has a 4.0 grade point average and will be attending college next year on academic and sports scholarships, reports the Huffington Post. But he did not walk in his graduation and was asked to turn over his cap and gown.

Filing Taxes From Coachella's Post Office

Coachella is an annual music festival in the California desert that draws stars of all stripes -- from pop goddesses like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift to Victoria's Secret Angels. So you might imagine that people who attend are too cool to worry about taxes, or so rich that someone else has to manage all that wealth.

You'd be wrong. In fact, it turns out some of the festival's attendees tried to mail their taxes from a makeshift post office on the grounds. There were at least ten such attempts on the first day of Coachella, reports the San Jose Mercury News. The local post-master wants everyone to know that it's not happening. "No, I can't 'just take it,'" Megan Hampton said. "How do they have their taxes here? I don't know."

Toddlers in Court Don't Need Lawyers, Immigration Judge Says

We hear a lot about immigration law, especially in an election year. But few of us understand how it operates, even inside the system. Now the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the US Government, saying that indigent children who are not represented by an attorney in immigration court should be appointed a lawyer.

In the context of that case, a senior immigration judge, John H. Weil, said in a deposition that children as young as 3-years-old could understand immigration law sufficiently to handle a hearing. Judge Weil is the Justice Department's witness in the case against the ACLU on behalf of indigent immigrant children, but the government is not taking responsibility for Weil's statement, according to The Washington Post.

They were two great tastes that went great together: Kwan Dixon's Pop's Popcorn and Koosier Daddy's Food Cart filled that niche of the one-stop-shop to get your hot dogs, nachos, and sex toys. But alas, as Robert Frost warned us, nothing gold can stay. And the city of Evansville, Illinois shut down the most magical food cart in all the land.

So how come Kwan was forced to close up shop?

Cops OK Distribution of Banned Book in Idaho Park

Last year parents in Meridian, Idaho moved to ban a popular novel from local schools for its allegedly sexually explicit and anti-Christian content. The book is Sherman Alexie's young adult tale, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, winner of the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

Brady Kissel, a local high school student, fought back against the ban, circulating a petition that earned 350 signatures and the ire of the offended parents. This week Kissel was out in the park distributing copies of the books when those angry parents called the cops, reports the Free Thought Project.

Festivus Pole in Oklahoma State Capitol Approved

Festivus is a fictional holiday invented by a character on the sitcom Seinfeld about 20 years ago. But it will be recognized by the state of Oklahoma and others this month, according to the Associated Press.

A Festivus pole wrapped in the rainbow colors of gay pride and topped with a disco ball will be on display in the Oklahoma Capitol rotunda, right by a giant nutcracker and a sleigh with gifts. Approval for the pole came just months after the Supreme Court ruled that permanent Ten Commandments tributes or displays in the Capitol violated the requirement for separation of church and state. But Festivus is not a religious holiday.

Albany Political Corruption Museum Puts Renewable Resources to Use

Albany New York is accustomed to shady characters. It is New York's capital and many who came to it with high hopes after elections left in disgrace after corruption trials. Now former State Assemblyman Sheldon Silver joins those ranks and the time is right to announce Albany's Museum of Political Corruption.

The museum is the brainchild of Bruce Roter, a professor at Albany's College of Saint Rose. He is raising money for the museum, which he envisions as both an educational institution and a tourist destination that focuses on the city's reputation for corruption, according to the Associated Press.

Hair is serious business. When schools start regulating students' hair styles, they should tread carefully or risk receiving a federal civil rights complaint.

Late last year, five-year-old Jalyn Broussard happily went to school with a new haircut. His new style was innocent enough. He had a "fade" which was short on the sides and longer on the top. According to his school, this haircut was a distraction to other students, so they sent him home.

Now, Jalyn is represented by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, a legal advocacy group. The group has just filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education alleging racial discrimination in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.