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September 19, 2017 GMT

Convicted church killer wants to fire ethnic lawyers

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A white supremacist who was sentenced to death in the 2015 massacre of nine Black worshippers in Charlestown, S.C., has told a federal appeals court he wants to fire his appellate attorneys because one of them is Jewish and the other is Indian.

In a handwritten request filed Monday with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, Dylann Roof wrote that his attorneys’ backgrounds are “a barrier to effective communication.”

“Because of my political views, which are arguably religious, it will be impossible for me to trust two attorneys that are my political and biological enemies,” he wrote.

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Roof, 23, has been on federal death row since earlier this year fro the massacre at Charleston’s Emanuel AME, one of the oldest Black churches in the South.

U.S. agency fines student loan holder, debt collector

WASHINGTON — The federal government has fined two groups it says illegally attempted to collect student loan debt and prohibited them from further action on recovering payments until audits on all its accounts are completed.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Monday National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts, which owns more than 800,000 student loans, and their debt collector, Transworld Systems, sued borrowers for student loans “they couldn’t prove were owed and filed false and misleading affidavits in courts across the country.”

— Compiled from The Associated Press

The CFPB is ordering the trusts to pay at least $19.1 million and Transworld $2.5 million in civil penalties.

Nigeria declaress Biafra separatists terrorist group

ABUJA, Nigeria — Nigeria’s military on Friday named the Indigenous People of Biafra a terrorist organization, targeting a movement that 50 years ago tried to create a state for the Igbo people.

The declaration comes amid rising calls for secession in the southeast and reports of recent clashes between supporters and security forces. The movement’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was freed earlier this year following a 2015 arrest that led to protests. He had been accused of terrorism.

The Nigeria’s military statement claimed the Indigenous People of Biafra has formed a secret service and national guard, and it dismissed the movement’s claims that its actions are nonviolent. The movement could not immediately be reached for comment.