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Showing posts from May 4, 2013

Person Accused of Lying After Bombings...

Lawyers for a man charged with lying to investigators after the Boston Marathon bombings are asking a federal judge to release him from jail, saying he had nothing to do with the deadly bombings and isn't a flight risk. Robel Phillipos, 19, of Cambridge, faces a detention hearing Monday in U.S. District Court. Defense attorneys said in court documents filed Saturday that authorities' claim that Phillipos gave them conflicting accounts is "refutable."  Abcnews.go.com "This case is about a frightened and confused 19 year old who was subjected to intense questioning and interrogation, without the benefit of counsel, and in the context of one of the worst attacks against the nation," lawyers Derege Demissie and Susan Church wrote. "The weight of the federal government under such circumstances can have a devastatingly crushing effect on the ability of an adolescent to withstand the enormous pressure and respond rationally." Phillipos was charged las

A calming trend on the Springs fire

Aided by calmer winds and cooler temperatures, fire crews began gaining control Saturday of a fast-moving blaze that scorched large swaths of rugged mountain terrain and forced mass evacuations in Ventura County. By late afternoon the so-called Springs fire, having engulfed about 28,000 acres since its Thursday start, was 56% percent contained and all mandatory evacuation orders were lifted. Though the blaze has damaged 15 homes and five commercial buildings, no residences have been destroyed and no injuries have been reported, officials said. Latimes.com Compared to Thursday and Friday — when fire raced through Ventura County hillsides, causing officials to call for the evacuation of about 5,000 residents — Saturday was relatively calm for firefighters and residents in the most heavily threatened areas, neighborhoods full of multimillion-dollar ranch homes near Thousand Oaks and Camarillo. By late afternoon, as the air kept cooling, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protectio

'Israel overnight strike targeted Iranian missile shipment meant for Hezbollah'

Only a few days after an alleged Israeli strike, Syrian media reports Israeli rocket fire targeted a military research center; Western intel sources confirm Syrian reports, say targets were Iranian Fateh-110 surface-to-surface missiles. Haaretz.com Western intelligence sources confirmed on Sunday morning that both the overnight strike and Friday's alleged attack on Syria targeted an Iranian missile shipment intended for Hezbollah. The sources said the target was a shipment of Fateh-110 missiles. The Fateh-110 is a medium-range advanced guided missile capable of hitting targets at a range of up to 300 kilometers. Israel did not officially respond to the reports. Large explosions rocked Damascus early Sunday morning, only a few days after an Israeli strike allegedly hit the country, Syrian state TV reported. The Assad regime's news service blamed Israel for the rocket strike, which targeted a military research center on Mount Qassioun, north of Damascus. On Saturday morning, ano

2 bodies at crash site of U.S. military plane in Afghanistan - National Top News

Two bodies at crash site where a U.S. plane went down Friday in Afghanistan were discovered, Reuters reports May 4. The exact location of the wreckage was in Kyrgyzstan where a cargo plane exploded while in mid-air. The fuel it was carrying ignited the explosion, investigators said. Remains of two people on-board the flight were found Saturday, but there were three known to be on the plane. An investigation will be conducted to learn why the plane crashed, but Kuyan Mamakeev -- state prosecutor of Kyrgyz -- said the explosion could have been related to a number of factors with the fuel, engine, and weather conditions. Kuvan Mamakeev, the Kyrgyz state prosecutor responsible for investigating transport crimes and accidents. 70 tons of fuel were aboard the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker that left a U.S. military transit center from Kyrgyzstan Manas airport. via www.Examiner.com

Guantánamo hunger strike: prisoners being force fed

When the military doctors force-feed Guantánamo Bay detainee Fayiz al-Kandari with a tube shoved into his stomach there are three stages to the pain. First, there is the sensation of the tube passing near his sinuses as it is pushed through his nose and into his throat, which causes his eyes to water. Then there is an intense burning and gagging sensation as it goes down the throat. Finally, when the tube enters the stomach there is a strong urge to vomit. The experience, described by al-Kandari to his lawyer Carlos Warner, has one final grim humiliation. Once the tube has delivered food inside him, it triggers the most painful moment of all: the return of feeling hungry. "He says that can be the worst thing," Warner said. Al-Kandari is one of at least 100 men on hunger strike at America's controversial terrorist prison camp, isolated on the island of Cuba. Of that number, whose two-month starvation protest has created headlines around the world, 21 are being force-fed t

Saudi Arabia Sars-like virus kills five

Five people in Saudi Arabia have died from a Sars-like virus and two more are seriously ill, officials say. The seven cases were all from al-Ahsa governorate in the east of the country, the Saudi news agency SPA said citing health officials. The novel coronavirus (NCoV) causes pneumonia and sometimes kidney failure. It is from the same family of viruses as the one that caused an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) that emerged in Asia in 2003. WHO notification In the statement released by SPA, the Saudi health ministry said it was taking "all precautionary measures for persons who have been in contact with the infected people... and has taken samples from them to examine if they are infected". However, the ministry gave no details on how many people had been tested for the disease. In a statement, the World Health Organization said the cases were not from the same family and preliminary inquiries showed "no indication of recent travel or animal contact&q

'Nazi Bride' murder trial set to start over racist killing spree - Minneapolis Top News

The so-called “Nazi Bride” goes on trial Monday over her alleged role in the killings of nearly a dozen people as well as bombings and numerous bank robberies in Germany, NBC News reported May 4. Beate Zschaepe is dubbed the “Nazi Bride” because she is apparently the sole surviving member of the National Socialist Underground, a neo-Nazi terror cell accused of a seven-year racist killing spree. Zschaepe is accused of complicity in the murder of eight ethnic Turks, a Greek and a policewoman, two bombings and 15 bank robberies. But a German federal prosecutor argues that the “Nazi Bride” actually had a much more active role in the killings and crime spree — that she wasn’t merely a sidekick. Two other alleged accomplices have taken their own lives. They and Zschaepe have been described as a “unified killing commando” that was responsible for a series of execution-style murders. Women have been playing a more prominent role in Germany’s neo-Nazi scene and have gained influen

Drug to Cut Cholesterol Is Approved by the F.D.A.

The Food and Drug Administration approved on Friday a combination drug developed by Merck that lowers a patient’s cholesterol but has not been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or death, the company said. The drug pairs Merck’s Zetia, which lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad cholesterol”) with the generic version of Lipitor, the best-selling statin made by Pfizer that lost its patent protection in 2011. Although the combination drug, to be called Liptruzet, was shown in a clinical trial to reduce LDL cholesterol more than patients who took Lipitor alone, the company said Liptruzet did not reduce patients’ chances of developing heart disease. That fact troubled some cardiologists, who questioned why it was approved. “This is extremely surprising and disturbing,” said Dr. Steven E. Nissen, chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. Cardiologists have long questioned the value of Zetia and Vytorin, which combined Zetia wit

Karzai Says C.I.A. Cash Will Keep Coming

The C.I.A.’s station chief here met with President Hamid Karzai on Saturday, and the Afghan leader said he had been assured that the agency would continue dropping off stacks of cash at his office despite a storm of criticism that has erupted since the payments were disclosed. The C.I.A. money, Mr. Karzai told reporters, was “an easy source of petty cash,” and some of it was used to pay off members of the political elite, a group dominated by warlords. The use of the C.I.A. cash for payoffs has prompted criticism from many Afghans and some American and European officials, who complain that the agency, in its quest to maintain access and influence at the presidential palace, financed what is essentially a presidential slush fund. The practice, the officials say, effectively undercut a pillar of the American war strategy: the building of a clean and credible Afghan government to wean popular support from the Taliban. Nytimes reports Instead, corruption at the highest levels seems to h

Tech Firms Take Lead in Lobbying on Immigration

The television advertisement that hit the airwaves in Florida last month featured the Republican Party’s rising star, Senator Marco Rubio, boasting about his get-tough plan for border security. But most who watched the commercial, sponsored by a new group that calls itself Americans for a Conservative Direction, may be surprised to learn who bankrolled it: senior executives from Silicon Valley, like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn, who run companies where the top employees donate mostly to Democrats. The advertising blitz reflects the sophisticated lobbying campaign being waged by technology companies and their executives. They have managed to secure much of what they want in the landmark immigration bill now pending in Congress, provisions that would allow them to fill thousands of vacant jobs with foreign engineers. At the same time, they have openly encouraged lawmakers to make it harder for consulting companies in India and elsewhere to provide foreign

God gesture disqualifies team: God Gesture Made by Track team gets Disqualification

So Many people are outraged after an act of faith cost a local track team a win and a chance to advance to the state championships. The God gesture disqualified the boys Columbus High School 4 X 100 relay team after they won the regional meet and were on their way to the Texas state championships. As WFAA explained on May. 2, the team was disqualified after one of the runners, Derrick Hayes, pointed up to the sky. "It's a sad deal. I think it's a travesty. Those kids work hard," says K.C. Hayes, the boy's father. "As a team they reached their goal and in an instant it was just gone, over something we think is a non-issue. I guess someone else thinks it is an issue. He just said dad I was pointing at the heavens" K.C. Hayes said. The call to disqualify the team was made by a judge with the University Interscholastic League or UIL, which enforces the rules for high school athletics. "For those kids the work they put in, what are we teaching them? Ok y

Harvard professor sorry for Keynes comments

Prominent Harvard history professor Niall Ferguson apologized Saturday for saying in a public speech that economist John Maynard Keynes’ policies were too short-sighted because he was gay and did not have children. “My disagreements with Keynes’ economic philosophy have never had anything to do with his sexual orientation,” Ferguson said in a statement . “It is simply false to suggest, as I did, that his approach to economic policy was inspired by any aspect of his personal life.” Ferguson made the remarks at the Altegris Strategic Investment Conference in Carlsbad, Calif. this week. He was responding to a question about Keynes’ oft-quoted warning against thinking too far ahead while making economic policy, “In the long run we are all dead.” Ferguson said that children and grandchildren bear such ‘long-run’ burdens of economic policies, which, he argued, Keynes did not understand. In his apology Saturday, Ferguson wrote: “This was doubly stupid. First, it is obvious that people who do

Miley tops Maxim/: Miley Cyrus Top Among 100 Maxim Hot List

The 20-year-old revealed on Twitter that she landed the number one spot on Maxim's annual Hot 100 list. The "Can't Be Tamed" singer tweeted on Friday night: Can't help but wonder if Maxim knew the list was coming out yet, either? It seems Cyrus's tweet was the first time most people heard about the news. Bar Refaeli won the coveted title in 2012 (fun fact: Amanda Bynes was number 59 last year). Other stars who have topped the list include Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Katy Perry, and Olivia Wilde. Cyrus has been making the press rounds to promote her upcoming album, and just last week Liam Hemsworth's fiancée showed off quite the sultry side in a provocative shoot for V Magazine. Can't wait to more (official) photos from the Maxim shoot! What do you think of Cyrus being crowned the hottest woman in the world? Sound off below! via www.Omg.Yahoo.com

Suspect accused of lying in Boston Marathon bombing case seeks bail

Advocates for a 19-year-old Cambridge man charged with lying to federal investigators after the Boston Marathon bombings are calling on a federal judge to release him from jail Monday, saying he had “nothing to do” with the deadly attack. In court documents filed Saturday, his lawyers and supporters said Robel Phillipos is a doting and civic-minded young man and that the authorities’ claims that he gave conflicting accounts to them is “refutable.” He has a detention hearing Monday in US District Court in Boston. “This case is about a frightened and confused 19 year old who was subjected to intense questioning and interrogation, without the benefit of counsel, and in the context of one of the worst attacks against the nation,” lawyers Derege B. Demissie and Susan B. Church of Cambridge said in court documents. “The weight of the federal government under such circumstances can have a devastatingly crushing effect on the ability of an adolescent to withstand the enormous pressure and resp

Israel Targeted Iranian Missiles in Syria Attack

BEIRUT, Lebanon — A series of powerful explosions rocked the outskirts of Damascus early Sunday morning, which Syrian state television said was the result of Israeli missile attacks on a Syrian military installation. aIf true, it would be the second Israeli airstrike in Syria in two days and the third this year. The airstrike that Israeli warplanes carried out in Syria overnight on Thursday was directed at a shipment of advanced surface-to-surface missiles from Iran that Israel believed was intended for Hezbollah, American officials said Saturday. That strike was aimed at disrupting the arms pipeline that runs from Syria to Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese organization, and it highlighted the mounting stakes for Hezbollah and Israel as Syria becomes more chaotic. Iran and Hezbollah have both backed President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war, now in its third year. But as fighting in Syria escalates, they also have a powerful interest in expediting the delivery of advanced weapon

Texas plant that exploded had $1m policy

The Texas fertilizer plant that exploded last month, killing 14 people, injuring more than 200 others and causing tens of millions of dollars in damage to the surrounding area had only $1 million in liability coverage, lawyers said Saturday. Tyler lawyer Randy C. Roberts said he and other attorneys who have filed lawsuits against West Fertilizer’s owners were told Thursday that the plant carried only $1 million in liability insurance. Brook Laskey, an attorney hired by the plant’s insurer to represent West Fertilizer Co., confirmed the amount Saturday in an email to The Associated Press, after the Dallas Morning News first reported it. ‘‘The bottom line is, this lack of insurance coverage is just consistent with the overall lack of responsibility we’ve seen from the fertilizer plant, starting from the fact that from day one they have yet to acknowledge responsibility,’’ Roberts said. Roberts said he expects the plant’s owner to ask a judge to divide the $1 million in insurance money

2 bodies at crash site: U.S. plane crash site in Kyrgyzstan

2 bodies at crash site where united states plan cashed in Kyrgyzstan. Remains of two bodies have been found in the wreckage of a U.S. military plane that crashed in Kyrgyzstan, and authorities are still looking for a third person who was on board, officials said. The refueling plane exploded in mid air when its cargo of fuel ignited on its way to Afghanistan on Friday, accident investigators said. Reuters reports Experts were still trying to work out what led up to the crash, said Kuvan Mamakeev, the Kyrgyz state prosecutor responsible for investigating transport crimes and accidents. "It could be because of the fuel, because of the engine, the weather conditions or the human factor," he told Reuters. Remains of the two bodies were found on Saturday, and a third person on board was still unaccounted for, Kyrgyzstan's Minister of Emergency Situations, Kubatbek Boronov, added. The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker took off from the U.S. military transit center at Kyrgyzstan's

Government rift widens as rebels dig in on abortion

Divisions and tensions within Government over the abortion legislation have escalated after the intervention of the Catholic bishops, with both sides now targeting the upcoming committee hearings to make amendments to the controversial bill agreed last week, the Sunday Independent can reveal. Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been warned by rebels on the Fine Gael pro-life wing of the party that "the war is not yet over" when it comes to the Government's proposal to legislate for the X Case. And Labour TDs and senators are adamant this weekend that no further restrictions would be tolerated saying that the expert group recommendations represent for them a "bottom line". Independent reported Senator Ivana Bacik said this weekend that the recommendations of the expert group, contained in the new bill, represent a "bottom line" for the Labour party and members are adamant that no undoing of that will be allowed to happen. "Yes, that is our bottom line. It w

Nigeria clashes kills dozens at Wukari leader's funeral

At least 39 people have been killed in Nigeria's Taraba state as clashes broke out between Christians and Muslims at a funeral, say reports. Residents said Friday's violence broke out as a funeral procession for a traditional leader passed through a Muslim area of Wukari town. A 24-hour curfew has been imposed on the town by police. Tensions have been high in Wukari since February, when a row over a football dispute set off sectarian rioting. Local reports say that Friday's funeral was being held by the predominantly Christian Jukun ethnic group. As the mourners passed through a Muslim area of the town they began chanting slogans which angered the residents there, say the reports. One aid worker told the AFP news agency that 20 bodies had been collected so far. "We are still going round the town in search of more bodies," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Football clashes Joseph Kwaji, a spokesman for the Taraba state police, said the situation was now

Tom Knapp dies: The shotgun dead at 62

Tom Knapp , an amazing sharpshooter, died in Rochester, Minn. He was famous for shooting shooting golf balls, aspirin and other items from the air. According to a May 3 report by the New York Times, the cause of death was pulmonary fibrosis. Tom Knapp starred on “Sharpshooters” on the History Channel as well as “Shooting Stars” on Discovery. He was best known for his use of a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun. Over three million viewers saw a video of Tom Knapp on YouTube. He was seen shooting his 12-gauge shotgun from his hip, over is head and from behind his back. Each time, Tom Knapp hit the objects that were in the air. Tom Knapp has been compared to Annie Oakley and A.H. Bogardus. He was inspired by Herb Parsons, trick shooter that toured the US from the 1930 to the 1950s. He was given his first gun at the age of nine and saw Herb Parsons perform on television when he was 10. That made him want to be a trick shooter too. Tom Knapp is survived by is wife, Colleen, two stepchildren, fou

Nazi Bride murder trial set to start over racist killing spree

The so-called “Nazi Bride” goes on trial Monday over her alleged role in the killings of nearly a dozen people as well as bombings and numerous bank robberies in Germany, NBC News reported May 4. Beate Zschaepe is dubbed the “Nazi Bride” because she is apparently the sole surviving member of the National Socialist Underground, a neo-Nazi terror cell accused of a seven-year racist killing spree. Zschaepe is accused of complicity in the murder of eight ethnic Turks, a Greek and a policewoman, two bombings and 15 bank robberies. But a German federal prosecutor argues that the “Nazi Bride” actually had a much more active role in the killings and crime spree — that she wasn’t merely a sidekick. Two other alleged accomplices have taken their own lives. They and Zschaepe have been described as a “unified killing commando” that was responsible for a series of execution-style murders. Women have been playing a more prominent role in Germany’s neo-Nazi scene and have gained influence in far-ri

Syria says Israel strikes military research center

The Syrian state news agency SANA, citing initial reports, said early Sunday that Israeli missiles struck a military research center near the capital Damascus. If confirmed, it would be the second Israeli strike on targets in Syria in three days, signaling a sharp escalation of Israel's involvement in Syria's bloody civil war. Israel has said it will not allow sophisticated weapons to flow from Syria to the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad and a heavily armed foe of the Jewish state. Two previous Israeli airstrikes, one in January and one on Friday, targeted weapons shipments apparently bound for Hezbollah, Israeli and U.S. officials have said. Usatoday reports Israeli officials were not immediately available for comment on the reports of a new strike Sunday. In Washington, a Pentagon spokeswoman said she had no information relating to the report by Syrian state media. SANA said explosions went off at the Jamraya research center near Damascus

8 Soldiers Die in Attacks in Afghanistan

Eight soldiers with the American-led military coalition were killed Saturday, making it the bloodiest day this year for Western troops fighting here. Two were shot in an insider attack, one died in a small-arms attack and five Americans were killed when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb, according to statements from the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan officials. Nytimes reports The explosion that killed the five American soldiers took place in the Maiwand district in western Kandahar Province, said Jawed Faisal, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar. The soldiers were driving toward villages from central Maiwand when they were attacked, he said. Capt. Dan Einert, a spokesman for the international coalition here, confirmed that the five soldiers were Americans. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the insider attack in Farah Province in western Afghanistan, where an Afghan National Army soldier turned his weapon on his trainers after an argument, said Lt

Feds placing intense pressure on widow, friends in Boston bombing investigation

Federal authorities are placing intense pressure on what they know to be the inner circle of the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects, arresting three college buddies of surviving brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and keeping Tamerlan Tsarnaev's 24-year-old widow, Katherine Russell, in the public eye with their open surveillance and leaks to media about investigators' focus on her. Foxnews reports Legal experts say it's part of their quest not just to determine whether Russell and the friends are culpable but also to push for as much information as possible regarding whether the bombing suspects had ties to a terrorism network or accomplices working domestically or abroad. A primary goal is to push the widow and friends to give their full cooperation, according to the experts. Russell is "assisting" investigators, a source close to her tells Fox News, though reports say she may not be fully cooperating. David Zlotnick, a professor of law at Roger Williams University and

No flight restrictions following low-level eruption at Cleveland Volcano

Alaska's Cleveland Volcano is undergoing a continuous low-level eruption following an explosion early Saturday morning, scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the U.S. Geological Survey said. Foxnews reports Satellites and cameras suggest low-level emissions of gas, steam and ash, scientists said, and satellites detected highly elevated surface temperatures at the summit. A faint plume of ash extended eastward below 15,000 feet, but the Federal Aviation Administration said there were no flight restrictions as a result. "Sudden explosions of blocks and ash are possible with little or no warning," scientists said. "Ash clouds, if produced, could exceed 20,000 feet above sea level." The aviation alert level was raised from "yellow" to "orange." A major ash emission could threaten international flights. The activity began with an explosion at 5 a.m. Saturday, followed by two others at 9:17 and 11:44 a.m. A nearby seismic network detec

Israel Targeted Iranian Missiles in Syria Attack

A series of powerful explosions rocked the outskirts of Damascus early Sunday morning, which Syrian state television said was the result of Israeli missile attacks on a Syrian military installation. If true, it would be the second Israeli airstrike in Syria in two days and the third this year. Nytimes reports The airstrike that Israeli warplanes carried out in Syria overnight on Thursday was directed at a shipment of advanced surface-to-surface missiles from Iran that Israel believed was intended for Hezbollah, American officials said Saturday. That strike was aimed at disrupting the arms pipeline that runs from Iran via Syria to Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese organization, and it highlighted the mounting stakes for Hezbollah and Israel as Syria becomes more chaotic. Iran and Hezbollah have both backed PresidentBashar al-Assadin the Syrian civil war, now in its third year. But as fighting in Syria escalates, they also have a powerful interest in expediting the delivery of advance