Feds Have Nearly 2000 Ongoing Investigations Into Stimulus Fund Fraud – Already Nearly 600 Convictions And Judgements Against Individuals And Companies

October 15, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The government’s chief spending watchdogs have already secured nearly 600 convictions and judgments against people and companies accused of misusing stimulus funds and have a whopping 1,900 investigations currently open into possible wrongdoing, officials say.

The wave of scrutiny more than three years after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed by Congress early in the Obama administration means the question of how money was managed early in the program is certain to extend well into the next year as many of the current investigations come to conclusion.

The Recovery Board charged with coordinating efforts among than inspectors generals at more than two dozen federal agencies that distributed stimulus money posted an item on its official blog last month claiming the total amount of money lost to fraud from the $840 billion stimulus program was a miniscule $11.1 million so far.

Vice President Joe Biden even made reference to the figure as he defended the stimulus program from attacks from Republican Rep. Paul Ryan during the vice presidential debate last Thursday. But that number only identifies money that is considered lost to fraud and does not include funds still under investigation or those recommended for reimbursement after audits identified misspending, officials said.

And a senior official familiar with the ongoing investigations by inspectors generals at federal agencies told the Washington Guardian the government expects the loss figure to balloon in coming months.

“These cases often take months or years, and we’ve got hundreds open right now across the government so that number is going to go up, probably by a large amount over the next 18 months,” the official said, speaking only on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak to the media.

Since the blog post a month ago that released the $11 million figure, several inspectors generals have announced new convictions, prosecutions or audits, a sign that some of the investigations are growing near decisions and actions.

For instance, the Energy Department inspector general reported last week it discovered the California energy commission collected two duplicate payments under a stimulus program that costs taxpayers $678,000 and and it recommended the money be repaid.

The Health and Human Services inspector general reported recently that a Louisiana group that received stimulus funds for Head Start programs for children had inappropriately spent nearly $1.2 million in federal funds to construct a new building that wasn’t approved by federal officials. The group is contesting the finding.

The Energy Department inspector general also warns in its most recent semiannual report that the Western Area Power Administration, which received $3.25 billion in borrowing authority to help build transmission lines under the stimulus law, is at risk of losing significant money on a transmission project for wind power in Montana that it funded.

“WAPA has significant financial exposure on the project … encountering significant delays and cost overruns,” the IG warned.

And a former superintendent of a Montana construction company was charged last month with making false statements regarding the quality of work his firm performed on federal bridge project in Idaho that was funded with $21.6 million in stimulus money. The company used “nonconforming anchor bolts” for parts of the construction, and tried to conceal it. The bolts had to be fixed, delaying the project.

The Recovery Board’s blog last month hinted at the scope of some of the alleged fraud currently being investigated by inspectors general at various agencies. “The 29 IGs with Recovery oversight responsibility have more than 1,900 investigations under way; convictions and judgments total 598,” it noted.

Many of the problems were uncovered by a special group of analysts charged specifically to look for irregularities in the massive stimulus program.

For instance, the analysts discovered that veterans seeking stimulus related benefits had claimed more than 16,000 dependents with Social Security numbers matching those of dead people, the blog noted

Separately, the same analysts found ore than 150 potential shell companies may have improperly received Recovery funds set aside for the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business program.

And the analysts had identified more than 400 Recovery Act recipients of funds from 15 federal agencies had previously been terminated for default, most getting the money after falsely certifying they had not been terminated for default.

“We are continually helping agencies review sensitive procurement issues, including some with criminal potential sent to us by the Department of Justice and others in law enforcement,” the Recovery Board said in its blog post.

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Number Of Homeless Families In Washington DC Jumps 18%

October 15, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC — When Janice Coe, a homeless advocate in Loudoun County, learned through her prayer group that a young woman was sleeping in the New Carrollton Metro station with a toddler and a 2-month-old, she sprang into action.

Coe contacted the young woman and arranged for her to take the train to Virginia, where she put the little family up in a Comfort Suites hotel. Then Coe began calling shelters to see who could take them.

Despite several phone calls, she came up empty. Coe was shocked to learn that many of the local shelters that cater to families were full, including Good Shepherd Alliance, where Coe was once director of social services.

“I don’t know why nobody will take this girl in,” Coe said. “The baby still had a hospital bracelet on her wrist.”

In a region with seven of the 10 most affluent counties in the country, family homelessness is on the rise — straining services, filling shelters and forcing parents and their children to sleep in cars, parks, and bus and train stations. One mother recently bought $14 bus tickets to and from New York so she and her 2-year-old son would have a safe place to sleep — on the bus.

As cold weather descends on the region, the need will become increasingly acute, advocates say. That will be especially true in the District, where continued fallout from the recession and lack of affordable housing has contributed to an 18 percent increase in family homelessness this year over last.

The city has recently come under fire for turning away families seeking help as 118 overflow beds that were added last winter at D.C. General — the city’s main family homeless shelter — sit empty. A few places have recently opened up, but 500 families — some of whom are living with relatives or friends — are on a waiting list for housing.

“We’re hoping we can keep pace with those in the more dire situations,” said David A. Berns, director of the city’s Department of Human Services.

Berns said the city is trying to keep the overflow beds open for hypothermia season, which begins Nov. 1. The city is mandated by law to shelter its residents if the temperature falls below freezing. The agency does not have the money to operate the extra beds, Berns said.

D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), who has been critical of the agency’s handling of the crisis, wonders why families are being denied help when the District has a $140 million budget surplus.

“Never did I imagine that beds would be kept vacant,” Graham said. “It’s very upsetting.”

Family homelessness around the Washington region has increased 23 percent since the recession began — though the total number of homeless people stayed fairly steady at around 11,800, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, which did its annual “point-in-time” survey of the homeless in January. This included some 3,388 homeless children, the study showed.

“These families are the most desperate because they have young children and have nowhere to go,” said Nassim Moshiree, a lawyer for the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.

Moshiree spent a good part of the day Friday trying to help a homeless mother of three who Thursday night slept with her children on the steps of a church in Northeast after unsuccessfully asking the city for help. After Moshiree intervened, the city found space for them late Friday.

“It’s a complete abomination,” said Antonia Fasanelli, executive director for the Homeless Persons Representation Project, a Maryland legal services and advocacy group based in Baltimore. She noted that in Baltimore — where homeless families from D.C. sometimes end up — three family shelters have been closed in the past five years, for a loss of about 100 shelter beds. “There is just not enough space.”

Throughout Maryland, Fasanelli said, 38 percent of homeless families are living on the streets. That’s the seventh-highest rate of unsheltered families in the country, according to a Department of Housing and Urban Development study on the homeless released in December.

At the Comfort Suites off Route 7 on Thursday, Helen Newsome, 25, fed her 2-year-old son, Cameron, an orange from the breakfast buffet as her infant daughter Isabella slept on the bed beside her.

Newsome said she became homeless this summer after she was evicted from her apartment in Prince George’s County. Since then, she and her children have slept most nights on a bench or the hard tile floor at the New Carrollton Metro, she said. Although she called several area shelters before she was evicted, she said she could never find one with room.

“I’m not asking for a whole room for myself, as long as I have someplace to sleep, somewhere soft,” Newsome said.

On Thursday, Coe took Newsome to the Loudoun County Department of Family Services, where a social worker helped her sign up for food stamps and other aid and said she would try and help her find a subsidized apartment. Finally, Newsome said she could see an end to her ordeal.

“They’re leaning on me,” she said, gesturing to her kids. “I’m their only hope. It’s okay. Everybody goes through something, some people worse than others.”

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Video: Jewish Youth Center Security Guard Regrets Calling New York City Police After Douchebags Brutally Beat Unarmed Homeless Man 2 Minutes For Sleeping In A Chair

October 15, 2012

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Surveillance video shows police officers pummeling shirtless man in youth center.

Two police officers repeatedly pummeled a shirtless man in a Jewish youth center in Brooklyn after they roused him from sleeping and moved to arrest him, surveillance video released Sunday night shows.

Cops showed up at the Aliya Institute on E. New York Ave. in Crown Heights on the evening of Oct. 8 after receiving a call about a fight between two men, a community source told the Daily News.

But Zlamy Trappler, 24, a volunteer security guard at the center, said he called cops because he found the shirtless man drunk and sleeping in the lounge of the center, which provides services to young Jewish adults.

Two police officers, one male and one female, found the man sleeping on a couch, surveillance video shows.

The officers awaken the man, identified by CrownHeights.info, which first made the video public, as Ehud Halevi, who is swaddled in a white sheet, the video shows.

As Halevi gets to his feet, Trappler comes in, and Halevi appears to have a heated exchange with the cops and Trappler, who leaves. The exchange between Halevi and the officers intensifies, with the male cop removing a pair of handcuffs, the video shows. Halevi pushes the male officer’s hands away from his body, the video shows.

The officer then charges Halevi, the video shows, punching him in the face, while the female officer appears to pepper-spray him and beats him with what appears to be a truncheon.

After a two-minute beatdown, another eight police officers arrive and handcuff Halevi, who appears to be unbloodied, the video shows.

“I regret making the call. I should have let him sleep. It spiraled out of control,” said Trappler.

Cops charged Halevi with assaulting a police officer, trespassing, resisting arrest and harassment, according to CrownHeight.info.

Police did not respond to requests for comment Sunday night.

The community source said Halevi had been allowed to stay at the Institute.

Sara Feiglin, wife of Rabbi Moshe Feiglin, who runs the youth center, confirmed the account given by CrownHeights.info. The rabbi did not respond to a request for comment.

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War Zone: 5 Dead And At Least 25 Wounded Over The Weekend In Chicago Illinois Gun Battles

October 15, 2012

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – For the second time in her life, a South Side Chicago grandmother learned one of her grandsons was shot to death.

Florine Monroe said she received the call Saturday that her 17-year-old grandson, Richard Modell, was killed. The news came six months after Monroe buried another grandchild, who also was killed by gunfire.

“They’ve got to get these guns out of young people’s hands,” Monroe said, quietly crying.

Police said Modell and his 18-year-old friend were on their way to meet a friend around 9:30 p.m. Saturday when someone shot them in the 6300 block of South Rhodes Avenue. Authorities said Modell may have been targeted because of a fight between rival gangs.

“He was trying to get a scholarship for football,” Monroe said.

The 18-year-old with Modell was shot multiple times and taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition. Police said they don’t believe he had any gang ties.

The teens were among the youngest shot over the weekend. Since Friday five people were killed and at least 25 people were wounded in separate shootings from Rogers Park to West Pullman neighborhoods.

Early Sunday, a 54-year-old woman was struck in the 700 block of East 79th Street in the Chatham neighborhood, police said. She was walking to a nearby store when someone opened fire. She was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where her condition stabilized.

In a separate incident, gunfire was exchanged around 12:30 a.m. Sunday in Rogers Park, police said, when a 21-year-old approached two men sitting in a van near Morse and Greeview avenues. The shooter was struck in the face and neck, and one of the men was shot in the back.

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Less Than Brilliant Salt Lake County Utah Employee Jed Bogenschutz Used Government Email Address To Send eMail Filled With Facist Remarks To Business Owner

October 15, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – The Salt Lake County employee who sent an email filled with racist remarks to a Sandy business owner is making a public apology.

ABC 4 News was the first to tell you about the email sent by the employee using his government email account to Linnaea Mendoza owner of Salsitas Mendoza. After seeing our report the County Assessor called ABC 4’s Kimberly Nelson to set the record straight; the Assessor’s office does not, and will not, tolerate bigotry or abuse of power.

Salsitas Mendoza has been open just a year. Linnaea and her husband sell jars of salsa out of the store, but because they don’t have a kitchen there yet they have to rent one. They’re looking to put a commercial kitchen in their store but still need a $12,000 dollar commercial hood.

In order to raise the funds Linnaea started a Kickstarter page where people could donate money. To promote the fundraising efforts, her sister posted an ad on another website under charity advertisements. The feedback was positive until she got this email from a Salt Lake County government employee.

The email in question was sent by Jedd Bogenschutz and reads, “I respond to people in need in this section that really need it. After reading your ad I had to respond and say are you … f…ing serious?? your ad had to be the most disgusting ad I have ever read, really taking donations so you can finish a kitchen so you south of the borders can get ahead, you can bet I would never buy any of your garbage, I do have some connections, board of health, business license, ect. I will make sure your (sic) on the up and up.”

The words “you south of the borders” still sting, but Linnaea Mendoza says the racial slurs weren’t the worst part about the cutting email. She was worried about how a government employee could use his power in such an abusive way.

Mendoza asked, “How far is there a hatred? How far would it go will you try to revoke my licenses that I worked so hard for? Will you try to damage my business that’s new? You know, we’re all in on this. This is everything to my family.”

Whether or not they were empty threats, when he heard one of his employees had done such a thing Salt Lake County Assessor Lee Gardner was quick to respond.

“Bigotry in any way shape or form has no place in our community,” said Gardner. “Intimidation by anyone in government will not be tolerated, not in my office and it should not be tolerated in any office.”

Gardner continued, “My thought process is when an offense is public then the apology or explanation needs to be done in public. That’s why I’ve not only asked, I’ve requested Jedd to be here to give his explanation.”

Jedd Bogenschutz said, “To be honest not in a million years would I have thought I would have done something so insensitive.”

Bogenschutz says he wrote the email in an impulse. He was upset because he didn’t think the Mendoza’s finishing their kitchen should have been a charitable cause.

“I always felt myself as being an open-minded person willing to accept people’s differences as my own as well and I’m just absolutely embarrassed,” said Bogenschutz.

Kimberly Nelson asked Gardner, “There are many people who want Judd to lose his job over this. If you or I were to do something like this with the very public email address that we would lose our job.”

Gardner responded, “This is an opportunity for education not only to the community but for Jedd and I’m sure there’s none of us who are immune to making some statements. As I’m watching the national debate and campaign, we would not have anybody in government right now. So maybe a little forgiveness and a little understanding that yes, we do make mistakes.” He continues, “I assure you the punishment I’m giving is in no way shape or form is a slap on the wrist.”

Bogenschutz says he plans on apologizing to the Mendozas personally and for the Mendozas that’s enough.

Mendoza said, “I don’t want to cause any long term damage to his family just as I didn’t want his comments to cause any long term damage to my family via my business.”

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Baltimore Maryland Police Officers Runs Down And Kills Pedestrian With Patrol Car

October 15, 2012

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND — Baltimore police are investigating a fatal accident involving a police cruiser.

According to officials, officers received a call of a shooting in the 900-block of Jack Street. While they were driving to the area with lights and sirens, the vehicle hit a pedestrian in the 900-block of East Patapsco.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi identified the man as Leondionas Dias Perez. Guglielmi says Perez, 41, was from South America.

Perez died as a result of his injuries at the hospital.

The Baltimore Police Accident Investigation Unit says it is currently conducting a thorough investigation into this case. Authorities will be doing scene reconstruction and conducting witness interviews, prior to completing a preliminary accident report.

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Study Finds That 100 Largest US Public Pensions Underfunded By About $1.2 TRILLION

October 15, 2012

US – The largest 100 public pension funds have around $1.2 trillion of unfunded liabilities, about $300 billion above the nearly $900 billion they reported themselves, according to a new actuarial study to be released on Monday.

The pension systems reported a median funding level of 75.1 percent. The study by the actuarial firm Milliman, which used different ways to value assets and measure liabilities, finds an aggregate level of funding of 67.8 percent.

But Milliman, one of the world largest actuarial firms took a close look at U.S. public pension funding for the first time, and said the multibillion-dollar difference was good news.

Rebecca Sielman, the report’s author, said results should reassure the public that America’s public pensions in general are accurately reporting their funding shortfalls.

The difference between what public pensions across the United States have reported and what Milliman found wasn’t significant, Sielman said. She noted that a relatively small change in the way the figures are calculated could lead to seemingly outsized results because the funds are so large.

“The numbers really didn’t change that much,” she said. “It really didn’t move the needle.”

Both the pension funds’ reported results and Milliman’s findings fell within the range of previous estimates from other studies of the total size of the public pension shortfall in the United States.

With the study, Milliman, stepped into the debate about whether public pensions are underreporting the size of their liabilities.

That hot-button issue revolves around how much money public employers – and, by extension, taxpayers – will have to contribute to cover future payouts for member benefits. It is a key issue at a time of dwindling revenues and tighter budgets for states and local governments.

Pension funds get money from the returns on their assets and from members’ contributions. States and cities also pay into the funds, but their contributions are discounted based on how much money they think their investments will make over time.

The 100 funds Milliman studied used a median rate of return for their investments of 8 percent. But the recession slashed into the market, dropping actual median returns to just 3.2 percent for the last five years, according to data from Callan Associates.

The difference has prompted critics to claim that the funds are underreporting their unfunded liabilities, or the gap between what they’ve promised to pay retirees in the future and what they’ll actually have on hand to cover the benefits.

Critics have called for public pensions to reduce their assumed rates of return to as little as 5 percent or less, which would cause unfunded liabilities to soar and likely leave taxpayers having to cover the difference.

But without the change, critics say, future generations will be left to deal with a financial bomb.


Other studies have tried to measure the overall size of the problem. The Pew Center on the States found that the shortfall is about $766 billion. Moody’s Investors Service said in July that the collective gap would be $2.2 trillion if funds used a 5.5 percent discount rate.

Milliman has studied the health of the 100 largest private pension funds for about a decade. But this is its first study of public plans, conducted specifically to determine whether the systems were using unrealistically high return-rate assumptions as the critics claimed.

“I thought that we would find fairly pervasive use of interest rates that are high relative to current market consensus about future investment returns, and we didn’t find that,” Sielman said.

The firm, which has done actuarial work for nearly all of the U.S. states in the past, examined each individual fund in the study, using market valuations instead of smoothed valuations to measure assets and recalibrating liabilities based on Milliman’s own benchmarks of expected long-term returns.

The firm found that the median discount rate should actually be 7.65 percent, rather than the 8 percent median rate the funds used in aggregate.

A third of the plans were using lower rates than they needed to, Milliman found, according to Sielman.

A small number of plans seriously underreported their liabilities because they use rates that are too high, Milliman found.

Milliman’s study did not name the specific plans that underreported their liabilities. Sielman said the firm was not releasing its results for individual plans.

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Feds Investigating Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr’s Finances After His Mental Meltdown – Son Of Media Whore Jesse Jackson

October 15, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The snowballing troubles of Jesse Jackson Jr. took a new turn Friday with the revelation that federal investigators have launched a probe into “suspicious activity” in the South Shore congessman’s finances.

Focusing on a completely new area of scrutiny for the son of the famed civil rights leader, the investigation is not related to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s attempted sale of a U.S. Senate seat, a scandal that has ensnared Jackson in the past, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Rather, the probe — based in the Washington, D.C., FBI field office —is focusing on “suspicious activity” involving the congressman’s finances related to his House seat and the possibility of inappropriate expenditures, the sources said.

The probe was active in the weeks prior to Jackson taking a leave from his U.S. House seat on June 10, a leave his office ultimately attributed to his need for treatment for bipolar disorder, the sources said.

It was unclear whether the investigation involved the congressman’s official House spending account or his campaign finance account. But one source said it was an account monitored by Congress.

All members of the U.S. House receive an allowance to operate offices in Washington and in their districts. The allowances for rank-and-file members ranged from $1.4 million to $2 million in 2010, according to the House website.

Jackson’s congressional spokesman Frank Watkins said he was unaware of any investigation, had no comment and had no immediate way to get a hold of the congressman.

One of Jackson’s attorney’s, Paul Langer, repeatedly said “no comment,” when asked whether Jackson was under investigation related to his finances.

When asked if he was still representing Jackson or if the congressman had retained another attorney, Langer said:

“I can’t even comment on that.”

News of the probe — first disclosed by the Sun-Times — comes as questions increasingly swirl around Jackson’s absence from not only his official duties in Washington, but the campaign trail as the Nov. 6 election nears.

Citing exhaustion, Jackson, 47, stopped working, according to his staff, on June 10. His staff did not make that known until two weeks later.

He went to a clinic in Arizona then to the Mayo Clinic, which released a statement saying he was being treated for a bipolar disorder. Jackson is up for re-election Nov. 6 but has not campaigned since he won the Democratic primary in March.

The Jacksons put their Washington, D.C., home on the market last month at a price of $2.5 million. A campaign spokesman said at the time that the home was put on the market to pay for mounting medical bills. They subsequently took it off the market, saying it was a security issue.

Jackson came under scrutiny after one of his campaign donors approached Blagojevich with a pay-to-play offer regarding the appointment to President Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat. Jackson has denied any wrongdoing, but that revelation sparked an investigation by a House ethics committee.

Jackson was first elected to Congress in 1995 and boasted of almost never missing a vote until he vanished from public view in June.

That’s when his office announced that he was taking off work to undergo medical treatment for “exhaustion.” Under pressure to reveal more details of his condition from even fellow politicians, Jackson’s office gradually dribbled out more extensive explanations over the course of the summer.

He finally surfaced nearly a month later when Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed reported he was being treated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The clinic revealed Jackson was being treated for Bipolar II depression, “a treatable condition that affects parts of the brain controlling emotion, thought and drive and is most likely caused by a complex set of genetic and environmental factors.”

Jackson returned to his home in Washington, D.C., early last month, but he still has not returned to work. His wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th), recently said he may not return until after the November election, when he is up for another two-year term in the U.S. House.

“I can’t speak to when that’s going to happen or how that’s going to happen,” she said. “I can only say that I will continue to rely on [doctors’] expertise. I would only ask for patience.”

The couple has been loathe to speak to the media.

During a fund-raising event last month, Sandi Jackson called reporters waiting to speak to her outside “jackals.” She went to great lengths to avoid the media that night, waiting inside the darkened, otherwise empty restaurant until the last camera departed before she would exit.

The congressman once was among the more extroverted Chicago politicians, but he has been far more reclusive since his name was first linked to the scandal surrounding Blagojevich almost four years ago.

Jackson friend and campaign contributor Raghuveer Nayak told authorities he approached the then-governor with a lucrative fund-raising offer that could have led to Blagojevich’s appointment of Jackson to Obama’s old Senate seat.

Jackson has denied that version of events, and he was never charged with wrongdoing.

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10,000 Filthy Muslims Protest Outside Google’s London Offices – Organizer Claims A Million Will Protest In Hyde Park In The Next Few Weeks Over Video About Their Pedophile Prophet Mohammad

October 15, 2012

LONDON, UK – A protest by 10,000 Muslims outside the offices of Google in London today is just the first in an orchestrated attempt to force the company to remove an anti-Islamic film from website YouTube in Britain.

Thousands had travelled from as far afield as Glasgow to take part in the demonstration, ahead of a planned million-strong march in Hyde Park in coming weeks.

Anger over ‘The Innocence of Muslims’, an American-produced film which insults the Prophet Mohammad and demeans Muslims, according to protesters, remains available to watch on the website YouTube, a subsidiary of Google.

Organiser Masoud Alam said: “Our next protest will be at the offices of Google and YouTube across the world. We are looking to ban this film.

“This is not freedom of expression, there is a limit for that. This insult of the Prophet will not be allowed.

The group’s next action was a march Mr Alam hoped would be “a million strong” would take place in Hyde Park “in the next few weeks”, he said.

“Until it is banned we will keep protesting,” he added.

Today’s demonstration was the third organised in a month, and took place on the central London street where the website search giant has its UK headquarters. A demonstration outside the American Embassy in London last month drew little attention as protests in Libya, Tunisia and Yemen dominated headlines, including the storming of embassy in Benghazi, Libya, that led to the death of the US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.

Barricades were erected in front of Google’s headquarters and a crowd bearing placards with the words “We love our prophet more than our lives” and “Prophet Muhammad is the founder of freedom of speech” had amassed by lunchtime.

Speeches by more than a dozen imams in a mixture of Arabic, Urdu, and English urged Muslims to honour the name of the Prophet and not to back down in the face of Google’s continuing reluctance to act, and were met with passionate cries of “God is Great” and “Mohammad is the Prophet of God” in Arabic.

One of the speakers, Sheikh Faiz Al-Aqtab Siddiqui, told The Daily Telegraph: “Terrorism is not just people who kill human bodies, but who kill human feelings as well. The makers of this film have terrorised 1.6 billion people.

“Organisations like Google are key players and have to take responsibility for civility. You can’t just say it doesn’t matter that it’s freedom of speech. It’s anarchy.”

Sheikh Siddiqui, a barrister from Nuneaton, said he wanted to form a coalition with the Church of England, Catholics, Jewish groups, Trade Unions and even Conservatives to encourage their ranks to join his “campaign for civility”.

“We want everyone in society to recognise these people are wrecking our fragile global society. We want the Church, the Synod, Jewish groups and establishment figures involved,” he said.

As many as 800 imams in mosques across Britain helped to organise today’s protest, which lasted four hours and blocked roads almost up to the Queen’s doorstep on Buckingham Palace Road.

Muslims from Blackburn, Birmingham, Glasgow, Luton, Manchester and Peterborough were in attendance. When asked where where the women attending the protest were, one protester replied: “Right at the back”.

Self-employed businessman Ahmed Nasar said he was worried the video could lead to violence in Britain in the same way as it had abroad. “If you push people too far,” he said, “You will turn the peaceful elements into violence.”

A YouTube spokesperson said: “We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions.

“This can be a challenge because what’s OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere. This video – which is widely available on the Web – is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube.”

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Riots To Follow US Election In November? Obama Supporters Threatening To Riot If He Loses

October 14, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Will the most divisive campaign in modern American history culminate in massive riots in our major cities? Right now, supporters of Barack Obama and supporters of Mitt Romney are both pinning all of their hopes on a victory on November 6th. The race for the presidency is extremely tight, and obviously the side that loses is going to be extremely disappointed when the election results are finalized. But could this actually lead to violence? Could we actually see rioting in communities all over America? Well, the conditions are certainly ripe for it.

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Election Junk Mail Saves US Postal Service From Insolvency – Mountains Of Political Crap Gives Near Bankrupt USPS A Month Of Breathing Room

October 14, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The 2012 election season couldn’t have come at a better time for the U.S. Postal Service.

While still low on cash, the postal service has enough to avoid insolvency this month, thanks in large part to the mountains of political junk mail and the influx of Super PACs paying top postage rates.

Federal candidates, political parties and special interest groups are mailing out more fliers and postcards via the postal service in 2012 than in previous election cycles. Spending topped $28.9 million through the end of August, compared to $27.9 million for the entire election cycle in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The postal service is on track to surpass an original estimate of $285 million, which includes the haul from local races nationwide, said Cliff Rucker, vice president of USPS sales.

It’s still not enough to save the postal service. But it’s enough to get the agency past an October cash crunch that the postal service had warned about.

“Our liquidity situation remains serious,” USPS spokesman David Partenheimer said. “We do expect election mail and the current holiday mailing season to help us get through this month’s low point in our cash flow.”

Related: Postal Service increasing prices

The USPS has been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. A key reason was a 2006 law that required the postal service to make annual payments of about $5.5 billion for 10 years to pay for future retiree health benefits.

The other big issue has been the dramatic drop in regular mail that most consumers use because the rise of technology has enabled electronic bill pay and instant communications like email, skype and texting.

In the three months that ended June 30, the agency reported net losses of $5.2 billion.

Congress has been grappling with different bills to save the postal service, but no consensus has emerged. None are expected before next year. By spring, the postal service could again face the threat of insolvency.

The election season has been a bright spot. Political consultants, who send direct mail, are predicting the 2012 political season to be the best yet for the postal service.

“It’s a presidential year, there’s more money in the system, there’s certainly more direct mail … than there was two years ago,” said Chris Cooper, managing director at SKD Knickerbocker, a political consulting firm that works with Democrats.

Roughly 15% of campaign spending goes toward political junk mail, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group. If $2.5 billion is spent on the 2012 elections, as the the Center for Responsive Politics has estimated, it could push the tally as high as $375 million.

The postal service is more conservative. Spokeswoman Patricia Licata says the USPS is hoping to meet or top its political haul from 2010, which was about $338 million.

One major reason for the large haul is the influx of Super PACs, the independent groups that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of cash on campaigns. Many Super PACs are funded with cash from large corporations and small groups of wealthy individuals.

The Super PACs are also spending more because they don’t qualify for postal service discounts of about 8 cents to 12 cents apiece reserved for candidates and political parties. Those can add up.

Political groups also prefer direct mail, because they can “micro-target” certain geographic areas for specific, often negative, messages about opposing candidates.

“Much of the political mail is coming from the Super PACs, because you can send nastier messages about candidates with direct mail than you can in a television ad,” said Alan Robinson, a postal policy consultant with Direct Communications Group.

So far, Democrats are outspending Republicans using the postal service — $17.8 million vs $10.2 million — according to an analysis of campaign expenditures by the Center for Responsive Politics.

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Newest Threat From Iran Is Imagined To Be… (Author Pulls Random Encyclopedia Page From His Butt) …Electromagnetic Pulses

October 14, 2012

ISRAEL – Just what might happen if the Iranians got their hands on a nuclear weapon? Would they fire it at an Israeli city, causing tens or hundreds of thousands of casualties? Or would they use it as a geopolitical weapon, seeking to dominate the Middle East and forcing the hand of Western powers, either subtly or by overtly threatening death and destruction to those who fail to heed their dictates?

While political scientists and world leaders have debated the likelihood of those two possibilities, there is a third plausible scenario: The use of a nuclear weapon by Iran to carry out an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack against Israel, the US, or Europe. Such an attack could cause severe damage to the electrical grid in the targeted nations, to the extent that the routines of daily life — centered around the use of electrical power — could be halted, for a short or even long period of time.
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Woman Arrested By Mesquite Texas Police For Posting Undercover Police Officer’s Picture On Facebook And Identifying Him – The Dumbass Already Had A Facebook Profile

October 14, 2012

DALLAS, TEXAS – A North Texas woman has been charged with retaliation for allegedly posting an undercover police officer’s photo on Facebook and identifying him by his job.

Mesquite police arrested Melissa Walthall, 30, for allegedly posting the photo of the officer, who authorities say recently testified in a drug case against her friend. Her Facebook post identified the person as an undercover officer, according to a federal affidavit.

After a caller tipped off Mesquite police to Walthall’s Facebook post about a week ago, an investigator found that it posed a “viable threat to that officer’s safety,” the affidavit said.

The Dallas Morning News reports (http://dallasne.ws/X3x5IS ) that her friend, George Pickens, 34, was upset about the officer’s testimony and found his photograph on Facebook while researching him online.

Pickens’ brother, Bobby Stedham, used the photo to make fliers, and the two men planned to display them like garage sale signs, according to the affidavit. Police reported finding them while searching Pickens’ Dallas-area house.

Stedham, 26, has been charged with retaliation, and Pickens faces federal drug and weapons charges, based on items police reported finding during the search of his house.

Mitch Landry, deputy executive director of the Texas Municipal Police Association in Austin, said his organization has discussed with its members the perils of social media — particularly for those involved in undercover work.

“Our best advice is — if you don’t want that information out there, don’t have those accounts,” Landry told the newspaper. “There’s no way to be truly anonymous if you have a Facebook page.”

Many police departments have not yet developed social media policies and guidelines for their officers. The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, for example, has an electronic etiquette policy that prohibits such things as vulgar language or sending obscene messages. It does not address the use of social media.

Lt. Bill Hedgpeth, Mesquite police’s spokesman, said his department does not have a set policy but periodically reminds officers to check their social media privacy settings so they allow only friends to view personal information on Facebook.

“The Internet can be a dangerous place,” said Hedgpeth, who added that he got rid of his Facebook account.

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Broke: Annual Social Security Increase May Be Lowest Since 1975 – Government Sees Different Inflation Levels Than People Who Actually Buy Food And Pay Bills

October 14, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Social Security recipients shouldn’t expect a big increase in monthly benefits come January.

Preliminary figures show the annual benefit boost will be between 1 percent and 2 percent, which would be among the lowest since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975.

Monthly benefits for retired workers now average $1,237, meaning the typical retiree can expect a raise of between $12 and $24 a month.

The size of the increase will be made official Tuesday, when the government releases inflation figures for September. The announcement is unlikely to please a big block of voters — 56 million people get benefits — just three weeks before elections for president and Congress.

The cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, is tied to a government measure of inflation adopted by Congress in the 1970s. It shows that consumer prices have gone up by less than 2 percent in the past year.

“Basically, for the past 12 months, prices did not go up as rapidly as they did the year before,” said Polina Vlasenko, an economist at the American Institute for Economic Research, based in Great Barrington, Mass.
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War Zone: Two Teens And 24 Others Wounded Overnight In Chicago Illinois Gun Battles

October 14, 2012

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – Two teenagers were killed and 24 others were wounded during a city night filled with gun violence.

The youngest victim, Richard Modell, 17, died from his wounds after being shot along with a friend as the two went to meet a girl in the West Woodlawn neighborhood on the South Side Saturday night.

Richard Modell, 17, may have been targeted due to a feud between two rival gangs, one of which police say he belonged to. He and the 18-year-old were on their way to meet a girl when someone walked up and opened fire in the 6300 block of South Rhodes Avenue just before 9:30 p.m., according to police.

Modell died after being taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County in “extremely critical” condition with a gunshot wound to the chest. Modell lived about three blocks south of where he was killed, a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

The other teen, 18, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with multiple gunshot wounds; his condition was not available. Responding paramedics found both of them in the street.

Police said they don’t have any reason to think the older of the two affiliates with a gang and believe he may have been shot because he was with Modell.
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California’s “Three Strikes” Law Has Done Little Except To Cost State’s Taxpayers Big Bucks

October 14, 2012

CALIFORNIA – Contrary to what police, politicians and the public believe about the effectiveness of California’s three-strikes law, research by a University of California, Riverside criminologist has found that the get-tough-on-criminals policy voters approved in 1994 has done nothing to reduce the crime rate.

In a rigorous analysis of crime in California and the nation, sociology professor Robert Nash Parker determined that crime has been decreasing at about the same rate in every state for 20 years, regardless of whether three-strikes policies are in place or not.

Parker’s findings appear in the paper “Why California’s ‘Three Strikes’ Fails as Crime and Economic Policy, and What to Do,” published recently in the California Journal of Politics and Policy. The online journal publishes cutting-edge research on national, state and local government, electoral politics, and public policy formation and implementation.

California’s three-strikes law imposes a minimum sentence of 25 years to life on the third felony conviction for offenders with prior serious or violent felony convictions. Approximately 23,000 individuals have been incarcerated under three strikes. Proposition 36, on the Nov. 6 ballot, would impose the life sentence only when the new felony conviction is serious or violent.

“There is not a single shred of scientific evidence, research or data to show that three strikes caused a 100 percent decline in violence in California or elsewhere in the last 20 years,” Parker said, adding that the downward trend began two years before the California law was enacted.

Violent crime decreased by about the same rate in California and other three-strikes states as well as those without similar legislation, Parker found. Other researchers who have examined crime in California cities and counties since the legislation took effect have reached similar conclusions, he noted.

“Three-strikes is not driving the trend in violent crime,” Parker said.

Nor is threat of a life sentence for repeat offenders a deterrent, he added, citing the work of other researchers on offender behavior which found that neither prior arrests nor prior convictions had any impact on an individual offender’s perception of being caught, suggesting that three-strikes laws are not the deterrent that law enforcement officials, politicians and the public would like to believe.

If three-strikes laws do not account for the significant decline in violent crime, what does?

Alcohol consumption and unemployment, Parker believes.

Citing earlier research, analyses of 60 years of national crime data investigated alcohol consumption, unemployment, poverty, proportion of young people in the population, average earnings, welfare payments, and U.S. involvement in war as possible influences on crime.

Parker and Wisconsin researcher Randi Cartmill determined that when alcohol consumption increases, violent crime follows one or two years later, and that when alcohol consumption decreases, the crime rate drops one to two years later.

“Alcohol consumption peaked nationally in 1982 and has declined significantly and steadily ever since,” Parker said. “Beer and spirits consumption are the two most consistent predictors of homicide.”

Unemployment is a lesser, but influential factor, in the rise and fall of crime rates, they found.

“These findings are consistent with a growing body of research that demonstrates the important relationship between alcohol and violence in the U.S.,” Parker said. “There is no justification for continuing three strikes from a violence prevention point of view. In fact, this analysis suggests that alcohol policy designed to reduce overall consumption in California may be more effective at reducing violence than three strikes and/or other criminal justice policy initiatives.”

While three strikes has been ineffective in reducing the crime rate, Parker says, the law has contributed significantly to California’s serious budget woes, which now also impacts county jails as inmates are transferred from state prisons to local jurisdictions to comply with court orders to reduce overcrowding—a policy known as “realignment.”

Incarcerating so many Californians has shifted state spending priorities, he points out. In 1985, spending on higher education in the state accounted for about 11 percent of the budget; prisons consumed 4 percent of state spending. By 1993, spending for each accounted for about 6 percent of the budget. By 2010, higher education spending accounted for less than 6 percent of the state budget while prison spending consumed nearly 10 percent. K-12 budgets and spending on health and welfare programs have eroded substantially since the implementation of three strikes as well.

The state spends approximately $57,500 to house one inmate for one year, according to the California State Auditor.

Leaving three strikes intact while pursuing the policy of realignment could result in significant financial problems in the near future for both state and local governments, Parker cautioned.

“California should give up its addiction to the all-you-can-eat buffet of imprisonment, the result of which has been to undermine the financial health of the state, weaken the quality of education at all levels, and force the state to make draconian cuts in programs that enhance and benefit the lives of its residents in exchange for the mistaken idea that public safety was the result,” Parker concluded. “The bottom-line result of three strikes has been an almost unbearable financial burden that looms in the future despite current efforts, and which will only be resolved when the pipeline of over-punishment is finally shut down.”

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Federal Reserve Loses “Large Amount” Of Newly Designed $100 Bills – “Substantial” Number Of Bills Were Not Intended For Circulation Until 2013

October 14, 2012

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Unknown thieves stole a “large amount” of newly-designed $100 bills bound for a Federal Reserve facility in New Jersey on Thursday, the FBI said.

Frank Burton, Jr., spokesman for the FBI’s Philadelphia division, said the theft occurred at some point between when the shipment of bills landed at the Philadelphia airport on a commercial flight from Dallas at 10:20 Thursday morning, and when the shipment reached its New Jersey destination around 2:00 p.m., when the courier service transporting the bills reported some missing.

Burton declined to comment on the amount taken, but said it was substantial.

The missing bills carry a design that is not slated to reach circulation until 2013. They feature a large gold “100” graphic on the back, and an orange box on the front with a faint image of the Liberty Bell.

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United Nations Seeks More Control Over Internet – Morons Seek To Have Websites Pay Network Operators Around The World

October 14, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Ambassador Terry Kramer warned on Friday that a proposal to give a United Nations agency more control over the Internet is gaining momentum in other countries.

Proposals to expand the U.N.’s International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) authority over the Internet could come up at a treaty conference in Dubai in December. European telecommunications companies are pushing a plan that would create new rules that would allow them to charge more to carry international traffic.

The proposal by the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association could force websites like Google, Facebook and Netflix to pay fees to network operators around the world.

Kramer said the idea of an international Internet fee is “gaining more interest in the African states and also in the Arab states.”

He said the United States delegation to the conference will have to redouble its efforts to convince other countries that the proposal would only stifle innovation and economic growth.

“We support efforts to grow broadband markets—not just divvying a static pie of revenue between operators and governments,” Kramer said in a speech in Washington hosted by the Telecommunications Industry Association.

Democrats and Republicans in the United States are united against proposals to increase international control of the Internet. Congress passed a non-binding resolution earlier this year urging the United States delegation to “promote a global Internet free from government control and preserve and advance the successful multistakeholder model that governs the Internet today.”

But Kramer warned that the United States is gaining a reputation of stubbornly opposing any changes to the ITU treaty. He said the United States will have to engage in negotiations with other countries to address their concerns.

He acknowledged that many countries are struggling to secure their networks from hackers and cybercriminals. He said the United States opposes international cybersecurity regulation but supports efforts to help poorer countries expand their ability to combat cyberthreats.

“The U.S. is open to dialogue in ways to make such cooperation more comprehensive, building on work by existing institutions,” he said.

Kramer explained that the United States will not have to sign on to any treaty that it objects to, but he warned that if a majority of countries at the Dubai conference adopt an overly regulatory treaty, it could reshape the open, international nature of the Internet.

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San Bernardino County California Sheriff’s Department Hides Details After Off-Duty Huntington Park Officer Opens Fire On Four Men, Wounding Two

October 14, 2012

CHINO HILLS – The Sheriff’s Department is refusing to release any information related to an Oct. 4 officer-involved shooting at the Shoppes Lifestyle center in Chino Hills.

Sheriff’s officials have refused to name the off-duty officer involved in the shooting or any of the victims and have declined to elaborate on the circumstances of the shooting, which they initially described as a “road rage” incident.

In refusing to provide the information, sheriff’s Lt. Brett Williams said providing any information would “endanger the successful completion of a criminal investigation and endanger the safety of persons involved in an investigation.”

Williams also noted that a law enforcement agency’s criminal investigative records are privileged for an indefinite period of time, and providing such materials would violate the privacy of involved police officers, witnesses and a victims.

Peter Scheer, executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition, said the Sheriff’s Department is wrong to withhold all information.

“When someone who is an off-duty law enforcement official is involved in a public violent episode such as a shooting, officials can’t hide behind public confidentiality rules,” Scheer said.

“They need to explain the best they can to the public, and they can do that consistent with protection the civil and privacy rights of all people involved.

“They are certainly in the position to tell the public more than `no comment,’ and they have an obligation to explain the circumstances,” Scheer said.

“And if it turns out to be the case that the off-duty police officer at the time of the shooting is being investigated in his personal capacity … then the special confidentiality rules for police should not apply at all.”

Investigators confirmed the shooting had been sparked by road rage, but did not release who detectives believe was the aggressor or provide details on the incident.

San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said the officer involved was considered an average citizen at the time of the shooting and was carrying a concealed weapon legally.

She declined to release his name.

According to sheriff’s officials, the altercation began on the 71 Freeway. Both drivers pulled off the freeway and stopped at the Shoppes.

The off-duty officer told investigators that the four men exited their vehicle and approached him. The officer said he saw objects in the hands of two of the four men.

The officer then opened fire, wounding two.

Sheriff’s officials have refused to identify the wounded or provide any information on their current condition.

Dozens of witnesses and shopping center patrons were stranded for several hours as sheriff’s homicide detectives conducted interviews and surveyed the scene.

Business resumed normally the next morning, with customers coming and going from various stores.

Little evidence remained of the previous night’s events except for vehicles from television news outlets.

No one has been arrested, leaving some puzzled and concerned.

Assistant Sheriff Ron Cochran said the Sheriff’s Department stands by its decision to withhold further information.

The off-duty Huntington Park police officer is a victim in this case, Cochran said, adding that it is still under investigation.

“We have no other comment at this time,” Cochran said.

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Dumbass Hover Alabama Area Police Officer Left Gun In Bar Bathroom, Man Killed Himself With It Hours Latter

October 14, 2012

HOOVER, ALABAMA – It is a sad, sordid, suburban tale of a gun.

A police officer’s gun. A gun that ended up in the wrong hands. And, because of a series of bad decisions, a gun that ended a man’s life.

And it all happened in the span of several hours.

Hoover police Capt. Gregg Rector gave this account of what happened on Oct. 1: A police officer from a suburban city stopped in a Hoover bar and, well, heard the call of nature. He stepped into a stall, did his business and left – leaving his weapon behind.

By the time he realized what he had left behind, the Glock was gone.

And the second part of the story began.

Police say Steven Michael Bradford, 25, of Bessemer, found the gun in the On Tap bathroom. He took it and left with his friends to drink more at Fuego Cantina on Southside. He told his friend, Matthew Lee Dodd, 26, also of Bessemer, about his find.

Dodd offered to buy the $600-plus gun for $225, and Bradford sold it on the spot. Dodd and another friend, age 24, left a short time later, and stopped at the Chevron station on University Boulevard for snacks.

The gun was tucked between the two front seats. Dodd went inside to get snacks. The friend stayed behind in the car. As Dodd walked toward the convenience store, he heard a popping sound. He went back to the car, and found his friend dead in the car with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

The officer, whose agency Hoover police declined to identify out of professional courtesy, found out what happened the following morning, before he had even reported the gun missing. Another police officer called to tell him about the shooting in Birmingham the previous night. “Somewhere along the line, he put two and two together, and realized it may have been his gun,” Rector said.

The officer filed a report with Hoover police. He also notified his own chief of the missing weapon.

The death investigation was left up to Birmingham police, because it happened in that jurisdiction. Birmingham homicide Sgt. Scott Thurmond said today they are waiting for the final report from the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office, but have investigated the death as a suicide. “We know he pulled the trigger, and that no criminal act took place,” in the shooting, Thurmond said.

Thurmond added that the gun did not belong to a Birmingham officer.

Though Hoover had no role in the death investigation, Rector said Hoover police officials thought it important someone be held accountable for the chain of events that ended with a man dead.

“We took it very seriously,” Rector said. He said he didn’t know whether the officer would face any disciplinary action, because that would be left up to the chief of that agency.

Hoover launched their own investigation and today arrested both Bradford and Dodd.

Bradford is charged with second-degree theft of lost property. Dodd is charged with receiving stolen property. Both were being held in the Hoover City Jail this afternoon, awaiting transfer to the Jefferson County Jail. Their bond is set at $10,000.

“We’ve got confessions from both of them,” Rector said. “They were upset that what happened happened. But the fact is one took something that didn’t belong to him, and the other bought something that he knew was stolen. Tragically, the third one winds up dead.”

Rector said this was one of the most bizarre cases he’s worked.

“No one ever wants to misplace a gun, especially if you’re a police officer,” he said. “You’ve lost something that has the potential for someone to take a life with it.”

“I am sure this guy feels terrible,” Rector continued. “He’s probably embarrassed that he lost his gun, and unfortunately something tragic happened within hours of him doing so.”

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American Businessmen Afraid Of Obama – “…No Idea What Goofy Idea, What Crazy, Anti-Business Program This Administration Will Come Up With.”

October 13, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Steven Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts, said on Monday that he was sitting on his thumbs with over a billion dollars tied up because he was unsure what government program the Obama administration would unveil next, and stressed that he was “afraid of the president.”

In an interview, Jon Ralston, host of Ralston Reports on NBC-affiliate KSNV MyNews3 in Nevada, asked Wynn: “You called him [Obama] a socialist. You called the president a socialist. And you used this memorable phrase that business leaders quote, ‘were sitting on their thumbs until he’s gone.’ But they’re not really. I mean, you’re not — you haven’t been doing that?”

“Yes I have,” Wynn said.

Ralston: “You haven’t done a thing? You haven’t –”

Wynn: “Oh, no, no, no, no, no. Because I’m lucky, and I’m in business in Macau, I brought $100, or $150 or $200 million back and invested it in redoing the hotel [in Vegas] for $100 million, building new beach clubs and doing things like that and giving my employees cost of living increases, even when the place was losing money. Because I’m very lucky that we have a very conservative approach to business. We don’t believe that just because the economy jumps up and down that we should be bouncing our employees around. That’s no way to run a business.”

Ralston: “And you didn’t amass debt like a lot of the other companies did either, which helped, right?”

Wynn: “We were talking about the sitting on the thumbs remark, which I’m doing right now, which means keeping the bankroll in your pocket. I did what I had to protect my employees in Las Vegas and to protect my service levels from my existing customers. But you know that for the last 45 years I’ve always been in construction in Nevada.”

Wynn then explained that a pair of troubled business men in Vegas came up to him with a business proposal to renovate a property of theirs and turn it into a new hotel and they’d call it the Wynn Plaza. He was all for it but decided to scrap it because of uncertainty about what steps the federal government might take against businesses.

When asked what happened to the proposal, Wynn said he was unsure what President Obama would do next.

“I’m afraid of the president,” said Wynn. “I have no idea what goofy idea, what crazy, anti-business program this administration will come up. I have no idea. And I have to tell you, Jon, that every business guy I know in the country is frightened of Barack Obama and the way he thinks.”

The hotel tycoon claimed that President Obama had attempted to put himself between him and his employees by resorting to class warfare, and said he cannot stand being the target of demagoguery from someone who doesn’t understand the economy or “hasn’t created any jobs.”

“The president is trying to put himself between me and my employees,” said Wynn. “By class warfare, by deprecating and calling a group that makes money ‘billionaires and millionaires who don’t pay their share.’ I gave 120 percent of my salary and bonus away last year to charities, as I do most years.”

He continued: “I can’t stand the idea of being demagogued, that is, put down by a president who has never created any jobs and who doesn’t even understand how the economy works.”

Earlier on the show, Wynn boasted of creating 250,000 jobs in Nevada, which he said was 250,000 more than the president had created.

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Bogus City Of Chicago Illinois Zoning Inspector’s Federal Bribery Conviction Overturned – Federal Prosecutors Used Overinflated Certificate Values To Meet $5,000 Minimum For Conviction Instead Of 2 Actual $600 Bribes

October 13, 2012

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – A City of Chicago zoning inspector found guilty of taking bribes has had his conviction overturned — in part, because the bribes weren’t big enough.

Dominick Owens, 46, twice took bribes of $600 to issue certifications of occupancy for four newly constructed homes he hadn’t inspected, a jury found following a trial in November. Originally suspected of taking more than $20,000 in bribes in 2005 and 2006, he was sentenced in March by Judge Blanche M. Manning to a year and a day in federal prison.

But the sentence was reversed Thursday in a ruling issued by the Seventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. Justices ruled that Owens should not have been convicted because prosecutors didn’t prove the bribes he took were worth more than $5,000, as the law requires.

In their appeal, Owens’ attorneys did not dispute he took the two $600 bribes for homes on West 37th Place and on North Wolcott. Instead they argued that the certificates weren’t worth $5,000.

Circuit Judges William Bauer, Richard Posner and Diane Pamela Wood agreed.

In an opinion written by Bauer, they said that there were two ways to determine what the certificates were worth. There was the black market value of what someone was prepared to pay for one, which, at $600, was well below the $5,000 threshold, and there was what benefit the certificate would provide to the homeowners who greased his palm.

Prosecutors presented documents showing the homes were mortgaged from $200,000 to $600,000. But Bauer wrote that the certificates might have been issued later without a bribe, or after repairs had been made to the home, finding that the government had “failed to put forth any evidence linking the mortgages and the construction costs to the value of the issuance of the certificates.”

Owens’ attorney Michael Nash declared his client “delighted” with the ruling. He rejected the idea that Owens got off on a technicality, adding “it was because he was not guilty.”

Owens never served time for his conviction — he was allowed to remain free, pending his appeal.

He was one of 15 city employees netted as part of Operation Crooked Code, an undercover city-federal investigation into bribes for ignoring building code violations and speeding up paperwork. Other Crooked Code convictions are not believed to be threatened by the appellate court ruling.

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Way Beyond Stupid Billings Montana Police SWAT Team Raids Family’s Home Looking For Meth Lab That Didn’t Exist – Toss Grenade Into 12 Year Old Girl’s Bedroom, Leaving Her With 1st And 2nd Degree Burns On Harms And Down Left Side Of Her Body

October 13, 2012

BILLINGS, MONTANA – A 12-year-old girl suffered burns to one side of her body when a flash grenade went off next to her as a police SWAT team raided a West End home Tuesday morning.

“She has first- and second-degree burns down the left side of her body and on her arms,” said the girl’s mother, Jackie Fasching. “She’s got severe pain. Every time I think about it, it brings tears to my eyes.”

Medical staff at the scene tended to the girl afterward and then her mother drove her to the hospital, where she was treated and released later that day.

A photo of the girl provided by Fasching to The Gazette shows red and black burns on her side.

Police Chief Rich St. John said the 6 a.m. raid at 2128 Custer Ave., was to execute a search warrant as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation by the City-County Special Investigations Unit.

The grenade is commonly called a “flash-bang” and is used to disorient people with a bright flash, a loud bang and a concussive blast. It went off on the floor where the girl was sleeping. She was in her sister’s bedroom near the window the grenade came through, Fasching said.

A SWAT member attached it to a boomstick, a metal pole that detonates the grenade, and stuck it through the bedroom window. St. John said the grenade normally stays on the boomstick so it goes off in a controlled manner at a higher level.

However, the officer didn’t realize that there was a delay on the grenade when he tried to detonate it. He dropped it to move onto a new device, St. John said. The grenade fell to the floor and went off near the girl.

“It was totally unforeseen, totally unplanned and extremely regrettable,” St. John said. “We certainly did not want a juvenile, or anyone else for that matter, to get injured.”

On Thursday, Fasching took her daughter back to the hospital to have her wounds treated.

She questioned why police would take such actions with children in the home and why it needed a SWAT team.

“A simple knock on the door and I would’ve let them in,” she said. “They said their intel told them there was a meth lab at our house. If they would’ve checked, they would’ve known there’s not.”

She and her two daughters and her husband were home at the time of the raid. She said her husband, who suffers from congenital heart disease and liver failure, told officers he would open the front door as the raid began and was opening it as they knocked it down.

When the grenade went off in the room, it left a large bowl-shaped dent in the wall and “blew the nails out of the drywall,” Fasching said.

St. John said investigators did plenty of homework on the residence before deciding to launch the raid but didn’t know children were inside.

“The information that we had did not have any juveniles in the house and did not have any juveniles in the room,” he said. “We generally do not introduce these disorienting devices when they’re present.”

The decision to use a SWAT team was based on a detailed checklist the department uses when serving warrants.

Investigators consider dozens of items such as residents’ past criminal convictions, other criminal history, mental illness and previous interactions with law enforcement.

Each item is assigned a point value and if the total exceeds a certain threshold, SWAT is requested. Then a commander approves or rejects the request.

In Tuesday’s raid, the points exceeded the threshold and investigators called in SWAT.

“Every bit of information and intelligence that we have comes together and we determine what kind of risk is there,” St. John said. “The warrant was based on some hard evidence and everything we knew at the time.”

But Fasching said the risk wasn’t there and the entry created, for her and her daughters, a sense of fear they can’t shake.

“I’m going to have to take them to counseling,” she said. “They’re never going to get over that.”

A claims process has already been started with the city. St. John said it’s not an overnight process, but it does determine if the Police Department needs to make restitution.

“If we’re wrong or made a mistake, then we’re going to take care of it,” he said. “But if it determines we’re not, then we’ll go with that. When we do this, we want to ensure the safety of not only the officers, but the residents inside.”

No arrests were made during the raid and no charges have been filed, although a police spokesman said afterward that some evidence was recovered during the search. St. John declined to release specifics of the drug case, citing the active investigation, but did say that “activity was significant enough where our drug unit requested a search warrant.”

Fasching said she’s considering legal action but, for now, is more concerned about her daughters.

“I would like to see whoever threw those grenades in my daughter’s room be reprimanded,” she said. “If anybody else did that it would be aggravated assault. I just want to see that the city is held accountable for what they did to my children.”

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US Border Patrol Agent Shot Across Border And Killed Teen Who Threw Rocks – Child Was Hit By 7 Bullets And Died On Sidewalk Just Across Arizona/Mexico Border

October 13, 2012

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – A teenage boy apparently killed this week by a U.S. Border Patrol agent was hit seven times by gunfire and died on a sidewalk just across the Arizona-Mexico border, a mayor in Mexico said Friday.

“It was a burst of gunfire,” Nogales Mayor Ramon Guzman Munoz told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “It was a hail of bullets.”

Guzman called the episode “deplorable” and urged a thorough investigation by both U.S. and Mexican authorities.

Meanwhile, the Border Patrol had not yet confirmed anyone was struck by the agent’s bullets, only that “it appeared someone had been hit,” agency spokesman Victor Brabble said Friday.

The Border Patrol said several agents responded Wednesday night to reports of suspected drug smugglers in Nogales, Ariz. The agents watched two people abandon a load of narcotics, then run back to Mexico, according to the Border Patrol. They were then pelted by rocks thrown from across the border. The agency said the people ignored orders to stop, and an agent open fire.

The Sonora state attorney general’s office in Mexico said in a statement Thursday that Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, from Nogales, Sonora, was found dead at the border from gunshot wounds about midnight Wednesday.

However, the office didn’t definitively confirm the boy had been shot by the Border Patrol, only noting that police received reports of gunshots, then found his body on a sidewalk near the border barrier.

A Mexican official with direct knowledge of the investigation confirmed the boy was shot by the agent, and said authorities were meeting Friday in Mexico City to discuss the case. The person also said the teenager had been shot multiple times in the back. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not yet authorized to discuss details of the case.

Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department issued a statement Thursday saying it “forcefully condemned” the shooting and calling such deaths “a serious bilateral problem.”

Border agents are generally allowed to use lethal force against rock throwers, and there are several ongoing investigations into similar shootings in Arizona and Texas.

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US Government Pissed Away $6 Million In Taxpayer Funds On Totally Worthless “Text Against Terror” Program In New Jersey – Another $300 Million And 9 Years Wasted On Useless “Fusion Centers” That Targeted Innocent Americans

October 13, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. government has blown nearly $6 million on an experimental “anti-terrorism” program in New Jersey that encourages the public to send tips via text message from their cellular phones.

Since it was launched in mid-2011, the federally-funded “Text Against Terror” project has produced no credible tips, according to a local newspaper report that reveals the feds have poured $5.8 million into the initiative. Police in New Jersey claim 307 tips have been texted so far and that includes people “testing the system.”

Of the 307 text messages, 71 “referred to something regarding homeland security,” according to the New Jersey police chief quoted in the story. The majority of the 71 texts were investigated, the chief says, and “eliminated as a cause for concern.” In other words, the costly program, funded with a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) public awareness grant, is a cash cow that’s accomplished nothing.

The taxpayer dollars have paid for advertising time on local radio and television as well as fliers and ads on buses and trains. Other expenses include reserving a domain for unlimited texting capability. In a “rare instance” when a tip has required a follow-up, the New Jersey police chief says a state Joint Terrorism Task Force is available to get the job done. It includes state police, New Jersey’s transit and port authority police and the FBI.

News of this disturbing waste of public funds for an ineffective homeland security program comes on the heels of a U.S. Senate report blasting a huge post-9/11 counterterrorism program that’s received north of $300 million but hasn’t provided any useful intelligence. Even scarier is that DHS has covered up the mess from both Congress and the public, according to the bi-partisan investigators who conducted the lengthy probe.

The inept domestic counterterrorism program features fusion centers that are supposed to share terrorism-related information between state, local and federal officials. But nine years and more than $300 million later, the national centers have failed to provide any valuable information, according to Senate investigators.

Instead they have forwarded “intelligence of uneven quality – oftentimes shoddy, rarely timely, sometimes endangering citizens’ civil liberties and Privacy Act protections, occasionally taken from already-published public sources, and more often than not unrelated to terrorism.” A review of more than a year of fusion center reports nationwide determined that they were irrelevant, useless or inappropriate.

None uncovered any terrorist threats nor did they contribute to the disruption of an active terrorist plot, the Senate report says. In fact, DHS officials acknowledged that the information produced by the fusion centers was “predominantly useless.” One branch chief actually said “a bunch of crap is coming through.” Evidently, the same thing applies to the costly New Jersey text experiment.

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Savage Black Beast Bus Driver Suspended After Brutal Attack On Female Passenger – Caught On Video

October 13, 2012

CLEVELAND, OHIO – A Cleveland municipal bus driver has been suspended after video surfaced this week showing him decking a mouthy female rider with a bolo punch.

The confrontation between the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) worker and the unidentified woman was apparently filmed by another rider. It is unclear from the above clip, however, what triggered the dispute.

The driver of bus 2802 leaves his seat after the woman appears to strike him. “You going to jail now,” the driver says twice before throwing an uppercut that knocks the woman to the ground.

The driver then throws the woman off the stopped bus, though she climbs back aboard and tussles with him. “She want to be a man, I’m gonna treat you like a man,” the driver announces at one point.

RTA officials believe the fight occurred on September 18. The unidentified driver was suspended this week, with city officials describing his behavior as “absolutely unacceptable.” In a press statement, the agency added, “RTA apologizes to our customers for this incident. A full investigation continues.”

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Savage Brown Beast Who Beat And Glued Her Daughter To Wall Sentenced To Just 99 Years In Texas Prison

October 13, 2012

DALLAS, TEXAS – The North Texas mom who pled guilty to gluing her toddler daughter’s hands to a wall, kicking her in the stomach and beating her over “potty training” issues has been sentenced to 99 years in prison.

It was up to State District Judge Larry Mitchell to decide how long Elizabeth Escalona would spend behind bars. For days the judge heard from medical experts, police, family members and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office showed dozens of pictures of little Jocelynn Cedillo. The photos, taken at the hospital, showed bruises from the child’s head down to her feet. The injuries included hair torn from her scalp, bruising on her forehead, nose and cheek and what appeared to be bite marks on her body.

In handing down the stiff sentence, Mitchell told Escalona that in spite of the ‘heartbreaking’ and ‘compelling’ evidence presented on both sides, “to me, it comes down to a single, salient fact: you savagely beat your child to the edge of death… for this you must be punished.”

Pleading for leniency Escalona took to the stand Thursday where she admitted that she’d behaved “like a monster” but also said she deserved to be given “a second chance.”

While on the stand Escalona explained how on September 7, 2011, one day after a major fight with her then boyfriend, she broke down and attacked her 2-year-old daughter, Jocelynn. “I hit her, I kicked her constantly,” Escalona said through tears.

Escalona pled guilty to first-degree Injury to a Child back in July.

When asked about gluing the little girl’s hands to a wall Escalona offered no explanation. “I don’t really recall what happened afterwards,” she said. “Everything happened so fast.”

Previous testimony from Dallas doctors detailed how in addition to having pieces of skin torn from her hands from the wall gluing, Escalona’s daughter’s eyes had also been glued shut. Though severely beaten and even falling into a coma for two days, Jocelynn Cedillo miraculously recovered from her injuries.

Escalona’s defense attorney had tried to detail how her client had faced emotionally psychological bondage all her life.

Testimony during the week-long sentencing hearing often focused on Escalona’s hard life– one that the defense attorney called a ‘train wreck’ in closing arguments.

According to court testimony, Escalona was repeatedly molested by her father, was abusing drugs before she was a teenager, had her first child at 14 and couldn’t seem to stay away from men who beat her. But, it appeared that Escalona’s punishment would not be mitigated by that troubled past.

Elizabeth Escalona’s mother, Ofelia, pleaded that her daughter be sentenced to probation, saying that Elizabeth made “a mistake” and “needed help.”

Prosecutors had offered a 45-year-sentence as part of a plea deal. But, during closing arguments Asst. District Attorney Eren Price asked the judge for a life sentence– saying Escalona refuses to accept responsibility for the abuse that left her child in a coma. Price called the 99-year-sentence “absolutely the right thing to do,” saying Escalona’s five children will be better off without her.
“They have a chance for the rest of their lives, not to look over their shoulder,” said Price. “Because of what Judge Mitchell did, they have a chance to live a productive and happy life.”

Escalona showed no reaction to the verdict and was led away in handcuffs. Family members in the packed courtroom buried their faces in their hands and sobbed. Defense attorney Angie N’Duka says she was “shocked” at the sentence and plans to appeal.

N’Duka insists that she was not asking for “pass”, but for the judge to consider that Escalona was herself, a victim. “In my closing, you heard me say: ‘this was inexcusable’– all I’m saying, take her circumstance into consideration, that’s all I was asking for, not max her out,” said N’Duka, “and that’s what the judge did– he maxed her out.”

According to Price, Escalona’s 99 year prison sentence means she will spend a minimum of 30 years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole.

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US Abandons “CIA Base” In Libya After Public Disclosure Of Its Location By Dumbasses In US House Of Representatives Hearing – Previously Referred To As The “Safe House” That Was Attacked on 9/11/12 Along With US Embassy

October 13, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. intelligence efforts in Libya have suffered a significant setback due to the abandonment and exposure of a facility in Benghazi, Libya identified by a newspaper as a “CIA base” following a congressional hearing this week, according to U.S. government sources.

The intelligence post, located 1.2 miles from the U.S. mission that was targeted by militants in a September 11 attack, was evacuated of Americans after the assault that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Three other Americans died in the attacks on U.S.-occupied buildings, including two who were hit in a mortar blast at the secret compound.

The publication of satellite photos showing the site’s location and layout have made it difficult, if not impossible, for intelligence agencies to reoccupy the site, according to government sources, speaking on condition of anonymity.
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ATF Special Agent, Whistleblower In Disgraced US Attorney Eric Holder’s Department’s Botched “Fast And Furious” Operation, Fired In Denny’s Parking Lot

October 12, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Special Agent Vince Cefalu has worked for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms for more than 25 years. On top of successfully placing dozens of hard criminals behind bars throughout his career, Cefalu has received promotions and consistently positive evaluations. When he started raising his voice about ATF corruption and illegal wiretapping in 2005, things changed. Tuesday evening, Cefalu was asked to meet Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco Field Division Joseph Riehl at a Denny’s Restaurant near Lake Tahoe. When he arrived, he was served termination papers in the parking lot. Classy move. The exchange was secretly recorded by a confidential source. David Codrea has more:
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US Secret Service Agent Aaron Francis Engler, From Obama’s Advance Security Team, Found Drunk And Passed Out On Miami Florida Sidewalk

October 12, 2012

MIAMI, FLORIDA — U.S. Secret Service agent Aaron Francis Engler was found early Friday morning passed out on the sidewalk near the intersection of Brickell Avenue and 7th after President Barack Obama had left South Florida.

According to the arrest report, Miami police officers were in the area on an unrelated call when they noticed Engler passed out. When the officers checked on the man he grew combative and started to fight with officers, according to the police report.

The officers then took Engler to the ground and handcuffed him. Once secured, sources said the officers went through Engler’s pockets and discovered his Secret Service identification.

Law enforcement sources told CBS4 Engler told police he was an agent out of Washington and was part of the advance team for the president’s visit on Thursday. Once the President left Miami, Engler said he went drinking and got very drunk, law enforcement sources said.

Engler wasn’t armed at the time he was arrested, but was upset because he was supposed to leave Miami on another assignment Friday morning, law enforcement sources said.

Engler was charged with two misdemeanors, disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence, and released on his own recognizance. He was turned over to the Secret Service Friday and was being taken back to Washington, DC.

It’s the latest black eye for the agency charged with protecting the life of the president. In April 2012, the agency was involved in a prostitution scandal in Colombia during the Summit of the Americas.

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US Border Patrol Agent Shot Across Border To Kill Teen Boy In Mexico Who Threw A Rock Into US

October 12, 2012

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – A U.S. Border Patrol agent opened fire on a group of people throwing rocks from across the Mexican border, killing a teenage boy and eliciting outrage from the Mexican government over the use of lethal force, authorities said Thursday.

The agents in Nogales, Ariz., had responded to reports of two suspected drugs smugglers near the border at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. The agents watched the two abandon a load of narcotics, then run back to Mexico, according to the Border Patrol.

As the agents approached to investigate, people on the Mexican side of the border began throwing rocks at them and ignored orders to stop, the agency said.

One agent opened fire. A Mexican official with direct knowledge of the investigation said Thursday a 16-year-old boy was killed in the shooting. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not yet authorized to discuss details of the case.

The Sonora state attorney general’s office in Mexico said in a statement Thursday that Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, from Nogales, Sonora, was found dead at the border from gunshot wounds about midnight Wednesday.

However, the office didn’t definitively confirm the boy had been shot by the agent, only noting that police received reports of gunshots, then found his body on a sidewalk near the border barrier.

Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department issued a statement later saying it “forcefully condemned” the shooting and calling such deaths “a serious bilateral problem.”

“The disproportionate use of lethal force during immigration control actions is unacceptable under any circumstances. The repeated nature of this type of cases has drawn a reaction of rejection from Mexican society and all of the country’s political forces.”

The department said it had asked U.S. authorities for a “exhaustive, transparent and timely investigation” of the shooting.

The Border Patrol declined to comment further and would only say in a statement that one person “appeared to have been” shot by the agent. The FBI was investigating.

Ricardo Alday, a spokesman for the Mexican Embassy in Washington, said in a statement that Mexican authorities will also investigate.

Border agents are generally allowed to use lethal force against rock throwers.

In 2010, a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent firing his weapon from El Paso, Texas, into Juarez, Mexico. Some witnesses said people on the Mexican side of the river, including the teen, were throwing rocks at the agent as he tried to arrest an illegal immigrant crossing the Rio Grande.

A federal judge in El Paso last year dismissed a lawsuit by the family of the boy because the teen was on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande when he was shot. U.S. law gives the government immunity when such claims arise in a foreign country, the judge noted.

A U.S. Department of Justice investigation, which included interviews with more than 25 civilian and law-enforcement witnesses, determined no federal civil rights charges could be pursued because “accident, mistake, misperception, negligence and bad judgment were not sufficient to establish a federal criminal civil rights violation.”

In 2011, a Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man climbing a fence along the Arizona-Mexico. Cochise County sheriff’s investigators said at the time there was no indication the 19-year-old assaulted or tried to assault the agent when he was shot three times in the back while climbing a ladder trying to cross the border back into Mexico.

Investigators later found 48 pounds of marijuana in the back of the man’s truck. An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

Another investigation also remains active into a shooting last month by an agent patrolling the Rio Grande.

The Border Patrol said agents were aboard a boat near Laredo, Texas, when a group of people began throwing rocks at them. One of the agents fired shots across the border toward Nuevo Laredo. The agency said it wasn’t clear whether anyone had been hit by bullets, but Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department issued a statement saying a Mexican citizen had been fatally shot.

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Douchebags Rally In Support Of Like-Kind Philadelphia Pennsylvania Police Officer Lt. Jonathan Josey After He Was Caught On Video Beating Woman At Parade – Suspended As City Works To Fire Him

October 12, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – Members of the city’s police union are planning a fundraiser for a lieutenant who is being fired for punching a woman at a parade, an encounter caught on video.

Earlier this month, the city’s police commissioner announced that Lt. Jonathan Josey was suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.

Mayor Michael Nutter apologized to the woman, saying he was “appalled,” ”sickened” and “ashamed” by the video. It shows 39-year-old Aida Guzman being struck in the face and falling to the ground, her face bloodied, and then being led away in handcuffs during a street festival associated with the city’s annual Puerto Rican Day parade.

The Philadelphia Daily News reported ( http://bit.ly/WZImtO ) that union members are supporting Josey and holding a five-hour, $30-a-person fundraiser for him on Oct. 28. Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby said the proceeds will go toward Josey’s living expenses.

“It was inappropriate for the city to apologize to this woman and drop the charges until the investigation was complete,” McNesby said. “And we still don’t believe it’s a fireable offense.”

The fundraiser isn’t an official union event, McNesby said. But the newspaper reports it’s being advertised on union letterhead and on the union website.

City Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez said she was disappointed because the fundraiser makes it appear that officers condone Josey’s actions.

“While I understand that the FOP has to defend one of its own, I am extremely disappointed because this will appear that they are condoning the very visible actions of Josey, which hurts the image of their good officers,” said Sanchez, who represents the district where the encounter occurred.

Guzman’s attorney said he had no strong objection to the benefit.

“We don’t think he should be reinstated, that’s for sure,” attorney Enrique Latoison said. “But as a defense attorney, I understand that his people are going to defend him and look out for him.”

A disorderly conduct charge against Guzman has been withdrawn.

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Shooting And Killing Naked Unarmed Student By University Of South Alabama Police Officer Was Unjustified

October 11, 2012

ALABAMA – The shooting of an unarmed and naked Alabama university student killed in a late-night confrontation with a campus police officer appears to be unjustified, the lawyer for the young man’s family said Thursday.

Part of the brief incident Saturday night that led to the death of 18-year-old Gilbert Thomas Collar of Wetumpka, Alabama, was captured on a surveillance camera outside the University of South Alabama police station.

The video has not yet been viewed by reporters or the public, but the Collar family’s attorney, Jere Beasley, said, “There is nothing on the surveillance tape that justifies the use of deadly force.”

Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran said Tuesday that Collar, naked, sweating profusely and acting erratically, showed up at the police station and began banging on the door and window.

An officer came out, his handgun drawn, and started issuing orders to Collar while retreating backward across the back patio of the building, according to Cochran.

After retreating for more than 100 feet, according to Cochran, the officer fired when Collar drew within five feet of him. Collar, struck once in the chest, collapsed and died at the scene. The incident unfolded over no more than 20 or 30 seconds, Beasley said.

While Cochran said the police investigation into the shooting continues, Beasley said he questioned why the officer did not wait until backup arrived to engage Collar, who had no history of violence or drug use. He also questioned why the officer did not use either pepper spray or a baton in an effort to subdue Collar.

The officer had access to both pepper spray and a baton, Beasley said, but he noted that campus police are apparently not certified to use stun guns.

“Had either a stun gun, baton or pepper spray been used in this case, we wouldn’t be here today,” he said.

Both Beasley and sheriff’s investigators believe someone gave a substance to Collar that led to his erratic behavior. At Tuesday’s news conference, Cochran said witnesses told police someone had given Collar LSD sometime during the night.

Beasley said it would be irresponsible to say Collar was on drugs until toxicology results are completed, which could take several weeks. He also said he doubted witness statements to police that Collar attacked occupants of two cars before reaching the police station.

Cochran said Tuesday that a witness interviewed by police took a picture of Collar against the side of one car.

“One victim had advised that he had grabbed her arm and was trying to bite her on the arm and making weird noises and statements towards this victim,” he said.

Beasley said state Rep. Barry Mask, R-Wetumpka, will ask Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Attorney General Luther Strange to launch a review of training and equipment standards for university police departments statewide.

Mask did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The death has, of course, been hard on Collar’s family, Beasley said. But he added they have forgiven the officer who fired the fatal shot, and are praying for him.

The family will wait for the results of investigations before deciding whether to file a lawsuit against the school, Beasley said.

“The goal of the parents is to make sure that this does not happen again to any other student under like or similar circumstances,” he said.

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Veteran Grapevine Texas Police Officer Phillip Woolery Arrested, Suspended, And Charged With Child Pornography After Raid At His Home

October 11, 2012

GRAPEVINE, TEXAS – A 17-year veteran of the Grapevine Police Department has been arrested on child pornography charges.

Authorities made the arrest, shortly after raiding the Crowley home of 46 year-old Phillip Woolery.

Former U.S. Attorney Matt Orwig says charges like these are serious, particularly for a member of law enforcement.

“It’s very serious anytime a police officer is arrested. And this is going to be a very serious offense,” he said. “Penalties for possession and transfer of child porn are very severe.”

Woolery is now on administrative leave.

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Texas Parks And Wildlife Department Has Nothing Better To Do Than Investigate Man Who Cooked And Ate Dove That Died In His Yard – Say He Should Have Turned It Over To A Game Warden

October 11, 2012

DALLAS, TEXAS – A Texas man is in hot water with the law after cooking and eating a dove that had flown against the side of his home, broke its neck and died.

Being dove hunting season in Texas, Ryan Adams thought it was a stroke of luck when he discovered the Texas white-winged dove right next to his home in Pflugerville.

“This is the same bird that hunter’s pay just buckets of money to go out and shoot,” he said. “They take their time… and I just got one for free?”

Adams decided to do what he thought any aficionado of wild game would do in his shoes — cook the dove for dinner.

“I have never had such fresh meat before. I had meat that had come to me that was fairly fresh that had slaughtered the week before but never like that day,” Adams recalled.

But according to Texas Parks and Wildlife spokesman Steven Lightfoot, that was the wrong thing to do.

“It is illegal to possess any wildlife resource that has not been taken legally,” Lightfoot explained. “By legal I mean there are certain means and methods… you have to have a hunting license and you have to have the appropriate weapon and ammunition.”

Lightfoot says Adams would have had the right to eat the bird if he had legally hunted it and since those weren’t the circumstances he should have turned it over to a game warden.

The state agency is now investigating Adams. While the evidence in the case has been eaten, Adams made the ‘mistake’ of posting step-by-step pictures of his “epicurean dove cook-out” on his blog.

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Dumbass Cops Conduct Live Fire “Active Shooter” Training At Irving Texas College Campus – Without Notifying Anyone

October 11, 2012

IRVING, TEXAS — Dozens of students at North Lake College in Irving feared for their lives on Friday. They heard gunfire and saw police inside the nursing building.

While their panic was real, the situation was anything but — and now school leaders are reviewing what happened.

Erin Culton is studying to be a nurse at North Lake College. Her biggest concern on Friday was passing a big test.

“It was a really hard test, and most of the people failed,” she said.

But minutes after she finished the exam, her relief turned to fear.

“We heard two gunshots and women screaming loudly,” Culton said.

The sound of gunfire just feet outside her classroom sent students scrambling.

“I pulled a chair over me and was grabbing bags and building a fort over it,” she said. “One student checked and said there was a shooter in the hall … there was a woman around me crying.”

Culton started texting her boyfriend, a state trooper: “Shots at school. Call police.”

What Culton didn’t know was that the gunfire was all part of a planned drill.

“Police said it was an ‘active shooter class’ — meaning they were practicing for scenarios like a shooter on campus,” Culton said.

But Culton said not even the North Lake faculty had been made aware of the drill.

North Lake College told News 8 it sent out two warning e-mails, but is now reviewing its procedure and looking at making public address announcements to alert students and faculty to future exercises — especially after a rash of complaints from panicked students.

“The only thing going through my mind? Try to hide and protect yourself,” Culton said, adding she’s thankful for a classmate who went to the hall to find a way out.

“After seeing the the Aurora [Colorado] shooting in the movie theater, he didn’t want us to be sitting ducks,” Culton said.

The Dallas County Community College District said college administrators call the drills “necessary,” but they will continue to review the process and make changes as they are needed.

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State Of South Carolina Quick To Catch Bogus Nurse, Who Was Only Able To Work 27 Years In The State Without A License

October 11, 2012

ANDERSON, SOUTH CAROLINA – An Anderson woman has been accused of practicing nursing without a license.

The State Law Enforcement Division says Denise Lynn Lollis has been charged with practicing nursing without a license from 1985 to 2012.

Lollis worked for years at AnMed Health Medical Center. She also was a nursing instructor for Tri-County Technical College.

The warrant accuses her of providing counterfeit licensing documents to her employers.

The hospital issued a statement saying Lollis had worked at the hospital “on an as-needed basis.” The hospital alerted authorities when questions about Lollis’ license were raised earlier this year. The hospital says her employment at the hospital ended in May.

Tri-County Tech says she has left the school.

It was unclear if she has a lawyer.

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Clueless: Nutcase Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter Puts 100% Of Blame For Libyan Embassy Attack On…. Romney And Ryan – Doesn’t Mention Obama And Staffers Lies Connecting It To Anti-Islam Film

October 11, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said Thursday that the “entire reason” the terrorist attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans has “become the political topic it is” is because Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan talk about the attack.

STEPHANIE CUTTER: In terms of the politicization of this — you know, we are here at a debate, and I hope we get to talk about the debate — but the entire reason this has become the political topic it is, is because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. It’s a big part of their stump speech. And it’s reckless and irresponsible what they’re doing.

BROOKE BALDWIN: But, Stephanie, this is national security. As we witnessed this revolution last year, we covered it–

CUTTER: It is absolutely national security–

BALDWIN: –it is absolutely pertinent. People in the American public absolutely have a right to get answers.

Cutter’s remarks drew immediate criticism from across the political spectrum. But the Obama spox quickly doubled down on Twitter, replying to a Buzzfeed researcher, “Romney has politicized Libya w/no plans of his own. POTUS’ priorities are getting facts & bringing terrorists to justice.”

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New Berlin Wisconsin Bus Driver Fired After Telling 12 Year Old Student He Should Have Been “Aborted” Because His Family Had Romney Sign In Their Yard

October 11, 2012

NEW BERLIN, WISCONSIN – A bus driver told a 12 year-old student that he should have been aborted because his family had a Romney-Ryan sign in their yard.
Freedom Eden reported:

Mark Belling discussed this story on his radio program yesterday. It’s another tale of a Leftist behaving badly.

The Leftist, a 78-year-old woman, a New Berlin school bus driver, has been harassing a student on her bus route because there’s a Mitt Romney yard sign at his home.

The child attends a Catholic school in New Berlin. He rides a Durham school bus. The company also provides service to the New Berlin public school district.

Belling read a letter from the 12-year-old boy’s mother, detailing the alleged abusive behavior by the bus driver.

Apparently, the Romney-Ryan yard sign bugs the bus driver and she’s been harassing the boy, making rude comments to him related to politics.

When the driver engaged the 12-year-old boy in a political conservation, he responded by saying that Obama is pro-abortion.

The bus driver allegedly said to the child, “Maybe your mom should have chosen abortion for you.”

Understandably, this really upset the boy. Other kids on the bus verified the boy’s account and are providing written statements.

The mom made her son’s school aware of the situation. She also went to Durham School Service in New Berlin and spoke to Michael Bennett, the manager.

UPDATE: The bus driver was fired after the report on Mark’s show.

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Head Of Yemen US Embassy Security Team Killed By Masked Gunmen On Motorcycles

October 11, 2012

YEMEN – Masked gunmen shot dead a Yemeni man on his way to work at the U.S. embassy in Sanaa on Thursday, a security source said, the latest in a wave of assassinations in the Arab state where Washington is battling al Qaeda militants.

The attackers on a motorcycle opened fire on a car carrying Qassem Aqlan – who headed an embassy security team – in the center of Yemen’s capital, the source told Reuters.

“This (assassination) operation has the fingerprints of al Qaeda which carried out similar operations before,” said the source who asked not to be named.

The Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and other militant groups strengthened their grip on parts of the country during an uprising that ousted veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh in February.

There have been a number of assassinations attempts, some of them successful, on security officials and politicians since Yemen’s army drove Islamist fighters out of several southern towns earlier this year.

Washington, wary of the growing power of al Qaeda, has stepped up drone strikes on suspected militant positions, with the backing of Saleh’s successor, President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Men armed with machine guns and rockets attacked a security checkpoint in Yemen’s southern city of al-Dalea late on Wednesday, injuring two policemen, a local official said on Thursday.

The attackers, whose affiliation was not immediately clear, fled the scene, the official said.

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Florida To Issue New License Plates Tailored To Needs Of Private Corporations Red Light Cameras (And To More Easily Screw Additional Motorists)

October 11, 2012

FLORIDA – The economic future of Florida apparently relies on the redesign of our license plates.

I had no idea what a problem the current license plates have been.

But it turns out that they’re wreaking havoc on what was supposed to be a lucrative business of photographing red-light violators at traffic intersections across the state.

Since the beginning of the year, about three million license plates of red-light violators in Florida have gone unticketed because the raised lettering on their license plates couldn’t be deciphered by surveillance cameras, according to state officials.

Whether it’s sun-bleached paint or the similarity of some letters and numbers, the shared money-making arrangement between government and the camera’s for-profit vendors has been thwarted too many times.

So the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is pushing for a new design. Fat, black letters and numbers on a plain white background. No raised figures. No pendulous oranges or dangling Florida peninsula getting in the way of the money shot.

One nation, under surveillance, with legibility and just deserts for all.

It’s a monumental accommodation to a public-private money-raising scheme that hasn’t been as routinely successful as imagined, still faces some constitutional challenges and has a safety record marred by creating more rear-end crashes, according to critics.

Consider this. Last month the city of DeLand in Central Florida decided to hold off approval of red-light cameras because a local traffic study showed there might not be enough violators to make it pay off. The city officials said they needed to get at least 10 red-light runners per day at each intersection to make the plan a moneymaker, more than the study found.

In West Palm Beach, only one of the seven intersections with red-light cameras has turned a profit since they were installed two years ago.

And in unincorporated Palm Beach County, the 10 cameras in place have yet to generate enough money in fines to match the costs of American Traffic Solutions, the Arizona for-profit company that operates the cameras.

Other cities with red light cameras have made money. But that might have something to do with a willingness to snag drivers for making rolling right turns or zealously enforcing crossings under a changing light.

If public safety is the primary concern, having a longer yellow lights at every city intersection may do more than trying to snag a financially necessary quota of drivers at a select few.

The remake of the state license plate, if given the green light by the Florida Cabinet later this month, is expected to cost $31.4 million, which the state plans to recoup from its share of the red-light tickets and from the fees collected by drivers who need to replace expired or illegal plates.

If that doesn’t do the trick, maybe we goose up the revenue by adding a new specialty license plate for our newest endangered species.

The Save The Red Light Cameras license plate.

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Las Vegas Nevada TSA Agent Slapped Man’s Gentials As Punishment For Refusing To Enter X-Ray Machine

October 10, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – A frequent flier is speaking out about an incident in which a TSA agent allegedly slapped his testicles as punishment for opting out of the naked body scanner at a Nevada airport.
Steven deForest was flying out of Las Vegas when the incident occurred.

“A bulky young TSA agent came over to pat me down,” he told the Huffington Post. “He told me to turn around. He was using his command voice, barking orders. I told him that I wasn’t comfortable turning away from my luggage, which had already been screened, and wanted to keep it in my sight.”

According to deForest, the screener knelt down to begin the pat-down procedure before making a shocking move.

“As he raised his hands he was looking at me. Then he gave a quick flick and smacked me in one of my testicles,” deForest said.

The episode left deForest in a state of “humiliation, rage, and frustration,” according to the report.

DeForest believes the agent slapped his gentials as punishment for refusing to enter the backscatter x-ray machine. “I was deliberately assaulted by someone who knew that he could get away with it,” he stated.
While the motives of the TSA screener cannot be confirmed, other agents have already admitted to performing invasive pat downs in order to force air travelers to choose the body scanners instead.
TSA screeners described this goal to The Atlantic reporter Jeffrey Goldberg in 2010, when the enhanced pat downs were being implemented for the first time:

I asked [the screener] if he was looking forward to conducting the full-on pat-downs. “Nobody’s going to do it,” he said, “once they find out what we’re going to do.”
In other words, people, when faced with a choice, will inevitably choose the [body scanner] over molestation? “That’s what we’re hoping for. We’re trying to get everyone into the machine.”

“The obvious goal of the TSA is to make the pat-down embarrassing enough for the average passenger that the vast majority of people will choose high-tech humiliation over the low-tech [testicle] check,” Goldberg concluded. If deForest’s disturbing testimony is accurate, then Goldberg might just be right.

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Lawsuit Charges Brooklyn New York District Attorney’s Office With malicious Prosecution, Defamation, And False Imprisonment After Bogus Rape Carges Were Dismissed – Many Questions About Accuser’s Credibility And Whether Prosecutors Mishandled Evidence Pointing To Innocence

October 10, 2012

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – One of four men who had sex-crime charges against him in a case involving a young Orthodox Jewish woman dismissed last June has sued New York City and the Brooklyn district attorney’s office for malicious prosecution, defamation and false imprisonment.

The man, Darrell Dula, filed the lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn on Oct. 2, more than a year after he was jailed on Rikers Island and held there for months without bail on the charges, which were dismissed amid troubling questions about the accuser’s credibility and whether prosecutors mishandled exculpatory evidence.

Charles J. Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney, and Lauren Hersh, the chief of Mr. Hynes’s sex-trafficking unit, were named in a separate, related suit.

The case began in June 2011 when Mr. Hynes, at a highly publicized news conference, announced the indictments of Mr. Dula and three co-defendants — Damien Crooks and two brothers, Jamali and Jawara Brockett — on charges of rape, sex trafficking and compelling prostitution over the course of a decade.

The four men were accused of using assaults and threats of violence to silence the woman, a member of the Chabad Lubavitch community in Crown Heights who was only 13 at the start of the events described in the indictment.

According to the indictment, Mr. Dula, 26, was the least culpable of the four defendants, charged with a single count of rape. In April, after he had spent 10 months in jail, a judge released him when a police report surfaced recounting the victim’s recantation. In that report, the victim was quoted as telling an investigating officer, “Can’t a ho change her ways?” Jonathan Sims, Mr. Dula’s lawyer, said, “We believe that the victim’s account against our client was incredible from Day 1. The whole thing just stinks.” The suit was reported in The New York Post on Tuesday.

The defendants denied the woman’s charges; Mr. Crooks eventually said that he had consensual sex with her when she was 17.

The case began to unravel as an assistant district attorney, Abbie Greenberger, quit her job, complaining of pressure from Ms. Hersh to continue the prosecution even though the accuser had partially recanted her allegations — albeit under pressure from the police, the accuser claimed.

Shortly after, Ms. Hersh, who oversaw the case, also quit her job, amid claims that she had failed to tell the defense about the changed account or about other evidence that could have damaged the prosecution’s case. She resigned in May, after the district attorney’s office conducted a review and concluded that she had not acted improperly.

According to a former Brooklyn prosecutor with close ties to Mr. Hynes’s office, the lawyer-disciplinary committee of the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court’s First Department, in Manhattan, is investigating Ms. Hersh’s conduct in the rape case and other cases. The Appellate Division’s Second Department normally oversees matters in Brooklyn but recused itself because of possible political ties to Mr. Hynes, the former prosecutor said.

A spokeswoman for the Office of Court Administration said that under state law officials cannot comment on pending investigations; she would neither confirm nor deny that an inquiry was taking place.

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El Dorado County California Judge Fall For The Old “I’ll Be Right Back”, Man Sentenced To State Prison For Domestic Violence Now In The Wind

October 10, 2012

EL DORADO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA – A man who was being sentenced to state prison ran away after he was released for three hours Thursday to get his affairs in order.

According to El Dorado County Sheriff’s Lt. Pete Van Arnum, a judge signed a three-hour release for Anthony James Katello, 51, to take care of business before his incarceration. A volunteer from a local church was tasked with driving Katello to a couple places in South Lake Tahoe. When he drove into the Barton Memorial Hospital area, where Katello said he had to meet someone, Katello took off on foot.

“I don’t think the judge would have released him if he felt he was dangerous,” Van Arnum said.

Sheriff’s deputies, South Lake Tahoe SWAT, a CHP airplane and K-9 units searched the meadow area behind Barton, where Katello was reportedly last seen, for hours, Van Arnum said.

Katello was in custody for spousal battery and making terrorist threats. Police have issued a warrant for his arrest. Anyone who sees Katello is asked to call 911.

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Pennsylvania Department Of Transportation Employees Arrested For Stealing Metal Grates Along Interstate 95 – State Claims They Are Worth $1000 Each…

October 10, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – An Eyewitness News Exclusive – thieves leave potentially dangerous road hazards around Philadelphia and PennDOT is shocked to learn who is accused of doing the stealing for scrap metal.

When you’re driving on a highway, you probably don’t even realize they’re there: drainage grates found along the shoulder.

According to PennDOT, they have been “mysteriously disappearing” over the last year, putting drivers in danger.

Then came news of an arrest on Tuesday of four men, subcontractors hired by PennDOT to maintain the highways.

PennDOT spokesman, Gene Blaum, said in a statement:

“We are stunned by this arrest. Drainage grates are a critical component of our highway system. Once removed, it becomes a safety hazard and safety is of our utmost priority.”

Lt. Michael Gross with the Philadelphia Police Department’s Northeast Detectives Division said, “Probably most people wouldn’t even turn their head.”

We’re told, if not for an alert and experienced Philadelphia police officer driving on I-95 in Northeast Philadelphia Tuesday afternoon, the thieves in this case would have gotten away.

“He had spent many years in Highway Patrol and also in Traffic. At about Academy Road, he observed four gentlemen putting it into an unmarked van, which aroused his suspicion. He realized that was a PennDOT job to be removing, replacing, manipulating and repairing grates,” Lt. Gross explained.

So while off-duty in his own car, the officer called police radio and followed the van off the Bridge Street exit.

Lt. Gross said, “At 4900 Aramingo, uniformed police converged on him, stopped the car, they recovered two grates. One was the one the officer observed being taken and one had apparently been taken somewhere further north.”

Officials say the metal grates are worth about $1000 each and so far, sources say PennDOT had to replace more than 60 stolen grates along I-95.

The four men charged are Norberto Rivera, 24, of the 2000 block of E. Allegheny Ave. in Philadelphia; Raul Rosario, 56, of the 400 block of N. 7th Street in Camden, NJ; Carlos Villegas, 54, of the 600 block of E. Willard Street in Philadelphia; and Edgar Manon, 24, of the 500 block of Alcott Street in Philadelphia.

“There’s always a possibility there are more incidents of grate thefts. Obviously there were more grates taken at various points. Whether they’re involved, we just don’t know yet. Still the early stage of the investigation,” Lt. Gross said.

PennDOT officials say they will work closely with the Philadelphia Police Department to gather more information and provide any assistance needed as their investigation continues.

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South Carolina Voter ID Law Upheld By Fedral Appeals Court, But Not For THIS Election

October 10, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – A panel of three federal judges upheld a South Carolina law requiring voters to show photo identification, but delayed enforcement until next year, in a decision announced Wednesday, less than a month before this year’s presidential election.

In a unanimous ruling, the judges said there was no discriminatory intent behind the law, ruling that it would not diminish African-Americans’ voting rights because people who face a “reasonable impediment” to getting an acceptable photo ID can still vote if they sign an affidavit.

The judge declined to let the law take effect immediately, “given the short time left before the 2012 elections and given the numerous steps necessary to properly implement the law … and ensure that the law would not have discriminatory” effects.

South Carolina voters who now lack the proper photo ID are disproportionately African-American, so proper and smooth functioning of the law “would be vital to avoid unlawfully racially discriminatory effects,” according to the decision, written by Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. “There is too much of a risk to African-American voters for us to roll the dice,” he said.

South Carolina is one of 16 states, mostly in the South, where election laws are subject to Justice Department approval under the federal Voting Rights Act because of a history of discrimination. South Carolina’s was the first law to be refused federal OK in nearly 20 years, which led state officials to challenge that decision in federal court.

The state’s Republican-controlled Legislature pushed the law through last year despite heavy opposition from African-American lawmakers. GOP Gov. Nikki Haley signed it last December.

Voter ID laws and other restrictions on voting became priority issues in mostly Republican legislatures and for governors after the 2008 elections. Opponents have described them as responses to the record turnouts of minorities and other Democratic-leaning constituencies that helped put Barack Obama, the first African-American president, in the White House.

Such laws have become a critical issue in this year’s election because of the tight presidential race between Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Supporters have pitched these laws as necessary to deter voter fraud, although very few cases of impersonation have been found.

Officials from South Carolina could not cite a single case of such fraud during the trial, but they said the law would help enhance public confidence in the election system and prevent other types of fraud.

South Carolina’s law requires voters to show a driver’s license or other photo identification issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles, or a passport, military photo identification or a voter registration card with a photo.

The other judges in the case were Colleen Kollar-Kotelly and John D. Bates of the U.S. District Court in Washington.

Kollar-Kotelly was appointed by President Bill Clinton. Bates and Kavanaugh were appointed by President George W. Bush.

The case number is 2012-203.

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Retired Chicago Illinois Homicide Detective James Griffin Shoots And Kills His Son, Supposedly Mistaking Him For A Burglar

October 10, 2012

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – A retired Chicago police officer accidentally shot and killed his son early Tuesday, after mistaking him for a burglar, the officer’s family said.

Michael Griffin, 48, was killed at his father’s home in the 5300 block of North Delphia Avenue. His family said Griffin’s father, retired Chicago Police Detective James Griffin, mistook Michael for a burglar. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said Michael Griffin died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Tuesday was supposed to be moving day for James and Michael Griffin. Michael had lost his job and apartment, and James was helping him out, by letting him live at his home.

Michael’s brother Stephen said Michael was at home late Monday night with their father, at their father’s apartment near O’Hare International Airport.

Sometime late Monday night, or early Tuesday morning, Michael went out for a short time.

“My brother was staying there, and last I heard they were watching the Jay Leno Show, and my dad fell asleep,” Stephen Griffin said. “And I guess he assumed my brother was at home sleeping, and when someone came in the back door, he just naturally assumed it was an intruder.”

Police found Michael Griffin dead inside the condo at about 12:45 a.m.

Stephen Griffin said his father was a cop for 42 years, served as a homicide detective on the West Side, and retired in 1998.

He said “my brother was going through some hard times; lost his job, lost his apartment,” and had moved in to stay with his father.

Griffin’s neighbors said they didn’t hear a sound until police showed up.

“From what I heard, he shot him in the head. But I didn’t hear no noise,” neighbor Michael Mureibe said.

“No matter which way, accidentally or not accidentally, that’s terrible. Because the young man, I understand, is dead. That’s horrible. It’s terrible both sides,” said Steve Mayor, the maintenance man for the apartment building.

Mayor said he’s known the father for years, and that he couldn’t be a nicer guy. Now, his family is struggling as they try to explain this tragedy.

Stephen Griffin said he spoke with Michael’s 28-year-old daughter, who lives in Tennessee.

“It was kind of hard to talk with her,” he said. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet.”

Area North detectives were investigating the shooting.

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Savage Black Beast Arrested After Unprovoked Sucker Punching Of White Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Schoolteacher – Caught On Video, Laughing Afterwards

October 10, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – A teenager who sucker punched a schoolteacher in a downtown alley – an attack caught on surveillance video – apparently picked the victim at random, police and school officials said.

The attack happened last Thursday at about 3:30 p.m. The surveillance video, which Pittsburgh police used to make an arrest Tuesday, shows the 15-year-old suspect walking with several other youths past 50-year-old James Addlespurger. Addlespurger, who teaches English at an arts high school, was walking in the other direction and did not appear to interact with the youths in any way.

The suspect suddenly approached Addlespurger and punched him in the head. The teacher fell hard onto a curb as the teen and the others continued walking.

“We don’t know the mind state that that young man was in, but there’s something very terrifying about it,” said Pittsburgh Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle, whose district includes downtown. “In the video it appears he was laughing afterwards, which is very disturbing.”

The suspect was taken to a juvenile detention center on a charge of simple assault but was not identified because he’s charged in juvenile court.

City schools spokeswoman Ebony Pugh said she can’t comment on any discipline the student may face and isn’t sure school officials will exercise any jurisdiction because the attack happened off school grounds and after the school day had ended.

The suspect attends a school for troubled youths in another part of the city. Police said there’s no evidence the suspect, or his friends, knew Addlespurger or exchanged words with him.

Addlespurger didn’t immediately return a call for comment, but has said on Facebook and in brief comments to reporters that he’s recovering and that “the video pretty much speaks for itself.”

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Savage Black Beast Working At Chuck E. Cheese Stabbed Customer With Box Cutter After She Complained To Manager About Lousy Service

October 10, 2012

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – A Chuck E. Cheese’s employee is accused of stabbing a woman with a box cutter after an argument about a salad plate, police said.

Shardonnae Pruitt, 19, of the 9600 block of South Merrion Avenue in Chicago, was charged with simple assault and battery after the incident late last month, police Officer Laura Kubiak said.

The 25-year-old customer told police that Pruitt stabbed her about 3:15 p.m. Sept. 30 at the restaurant at 5030 S. Kedzie Ave., Kubiak said.

The customer was with a 40-year-old man who became angry that Pruitt had taken away his salad plate and threw his utensils on the floor and demanded to see the manager, police said.

Pruitt returned with the manager, and the man asked to make a formal complaint against Pruitt, police said. When the manager stepped away, Pruitt threatened the man, pulled out the box cutter and stabbed the woman, police said.

Security guards at the restaurant detained Pruitt until police arrived.

The woman was taken to Holy Cross Hospital in Chicago, where she was treated and released.

A manager of the Chuck E. Cheese’s declined to comment Tuesday.

Pruitt is due back in court Nov. 14, according to court records.

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Florida Governor Rick Scott Gave Out Toll-Free Phone Sex Number Instead Of Meningitis Hotline Number At News Conference

October 10, 2012

FLORIDA – Florida Gov. Rick Scott mistakenly gave out the number for an adult phone line when he tried to provide the number for the toll-free meningitis hotline at a news conference Tuesday.

Scott was at a Cabinet meeting when he directed Floridians to the hotline’s 866 number, but he got his numbers mixed up, according to WUSF News.

When WUSF posed the number online, they were notified by a reader that the number Scott gave directed them to a very different service.

“Hello boys, thank you for calling me on my anniversary,” a woman’s voice says in a recording.

A spokesperson for Scott said he inadvertently gave out the wrong number.

The correct number for the Florida Fungal Meningitis Hotline is 866-523-7339.

On Tuesday, state health officials confirmed the first fungal meningitis death in Florida in the recent nationwide outbreak.

The Florida Department of Health said a 70-year-old Marion County man died in July, before the discovery of the contaminated lots of the steroid methylprednisolone acetate from the New England Compounding Center.

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