Police: LA School Shooting Plot Thwarted, School officials learned of the plot on Thursday and notified detectives, who began watching the 16- and 17-year-old boys and monitoring their online activity, South Pasadena Police Chief Arthur Miller said.
The pair didn’t have a date for an attack or weapons, but their online messaging included the names of three staffers to target and threats to randomly kill students, Miller said.
They were also researching automatic firearms, handguns, knives, explosives and tactical techniques, he said.
“Three or four days’ worth of surveillance on the Internet indicated that they had a very real threat,” he said. “They had a plan in mind that they were going to execute.”
The names of the teens have not been released because of their ages. Police expect to present their case to the district attorney later in the day.
‘Coercion Tactics’ Used To Lure Amish Girls, Police Say, A northern New York couple used “coercion tactics” to lure two Amish sisters into their car during a kidnapping, the St. Lawrence County sheriff said today, a day after the couple was arrested.
Police arrested Stephen Howells II, 39, and Nicole Vaisey, 25, both of Hermon, late Friday. They were each charged with two counts of first-degree kidnapping, indicating that they intended to physically harm or sexually abuse the girls.
St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells said the couple and the children didn’t know each other but that the kidnapping was planned.
“The motive was to victimize children,” Wells said during a news conference. “The girls have been victims of crimes. That’s the only detail we’ll give.”
U.S. Launches Airstrikes To Help Retake Mosul Dam, The United States has launched airstrikes around the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq in support of a ground operation by Kurdish and Iraqi forces to retake the strategic dam which was seized by ISIS fighters earlier this month.
The status of the dam has been a concern for Iraq and the United States because a breach could release a torrent of water that could flood Mosul and possibly reach as far down as Baghdad.
U.S. officials confirm that fighter planes and drones launched airstrikes near the Mosul Dam. Earlier Saturday, Kurdish local media cited eyewitness reports that airstrikes had taken place by the dam on Friday night.
At the time it was unclear if the airstrikes had been launched by U.S. or Iraqi aircraft.
According to one official “the strikes are in support of ground operations” by Kurdish and Iraqi forces to retake the dam. The official labeled the strikes as significant.
The size of the Iraqi and Kurdish ground operation is unclear, but it would have to be sizable to counter the large number of ISIS fighters located at or near the dam. One U.S. official said it is believed that there are a few hundred ISIS fighters in the vicinity of the dam.
‘My Rapist is Still On Campus’, It would seem an odd cause for optimism: the number of sex crimes reported by colleges rose 52 percent between 2001 and 2011, according to a government report released on Tuesday, even as overall crime on campuses dropped.
Yet to many counselors and administrators, the increase is a sign that schools are getting better at handling sexual assault, a problem Time highlighted in a recent cover story. It sounds counterintuitive, but here’s why:
For a number of reasons – institutional resistance, lack of understanding, victims’ own fears – colleges have historically under-reported sex crimes on campus. The substantial jump in reports — from 2,200 to 3,300 over a decade — doesn’t necessarily mean that more sexual assaults occurred as much as it shows that colleges are getting better at acknowledging the ones that have always taken place. This is likely the result of a number of factors: schools becoming better educated about defining sexual assault and more transparent about disclosing when it happens, and victims feeling increasingly empowered to come forward because of these changes.
The Obama administration has made preventing campus sexual assault a priority, appointing a White House advisor on violence against woman, ramping up investigations into colleges’ alleged mishandling of sexual assaults, and threatening to withdraw federal funding from schools that fail to adequately address sexual violence. According to the new data, the increase in reported incidents was particularly high in 2010 and 2011, rising by 15% both years, which could be an indication that the administration’s efforts are having an effect.
There’s another development reflected in the data that shows how our understanding of what constitutes rape is evolving. While more “forcible” sexual offenses were reported between 2001 to 2011, there was a whopping 90% decline in “non forcible” sexual offenses, from 461 in 2001 to 45 in 2011. It’s not a stretch to infer that some of the rise in “forcible” offenses is because colleges stopped classifying so many assaults as “non forcible.”
Church’s Cross Not Exactly All That It Seems, One might be hidden in a cross on a church lawn. Others are disguised as a cactus in the desert, a silo in farm country or a palm tree reaching into a sunny sky.
Whatever the deception, the goal is the same: concealing the tall, slender cellphone towers that most Americans need but few want to see erected in their neighborhoods.
As telecommunications companies fill gaps in their networks, many have sought to camouflage the ungainly outdoor equipment that carries the nation’s daily supply of calls, texts and data. It’s another indication of how the industry is evolving to meet the demands of consumers who insist on ever-increasing amounts of wireless information but won’t tolerate large antennas looming over their homes, parks and other beloved sites.
“Each community and each neighborhood can be different, so we really have to work on a case-by-case basis with each city and with each zoning authority,” said Karen Smith, a spokeswoman for Verizon.
So-called stealth cellphone towers have been around for more than two decades and appear to be growing in popularity. They have been concealed in a wide variety of ways, including in a stop sign in New Orleans, a pine tree in Kinnelon, New Jersey, and a water tower in San Dimas, California.
Natasha Stewart Trial, Natasha Stewart was found guilty Jan. 31 of culpable negligence manslaughter for the death of 37-year-old Karima Gordon.
Stewart, an adult entertainer also known as Pebbelz Da Model, had allegedly taken $200 for an injector referral and apparently misrepresented the injector as a nurse.
According to The Grio, Stewart has been charged with “depraved-heart murder” and conspiracy to commit depraved-heart murder on Friday. This creates a chance of Stewart getting life in prison.
Stewart testified in court that the victim wanted help to fix botched buttocks enhancements. Stewart said that she connected Gordon with someone to help her, and Gordon had apparently insisted on paying Stewart. Prosecutors say the injections were deadly.
Stewart testified that she thought the woman who performed the injections was indeed a nurse.
Tracey Lynn Garner, the woman who is suspected of making the injections, was charged with depraved-heart murder in the death of Gordon. Another woman, Marilyn Hale, is scheduled to begin her trial in March. She has pleaded not guilty.
Board Member-Elect Apologizes For Newtown Comment, A newly elected school board member in a Connecticut town neighboring the one where 26 people were killed at an elementary school has apologized for saying on Facebook that he’ll observe the anniversary of the Newtown shooting by distributing ammunition.
Gregory Beck of Brookfield was referring to a tribute known as “26 Days of Kindness,” which began Tuesday and runs through Dec. 14, the anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The social media campaign asks participants to donate to charity or give of themselves in other ways to remember the 20 children and six educators who were killed. Beck wrote on Facebook that his acts of kindness would be to distribute ammunition to friends who are gun enthusiasts on each of the 26 days.
Beck said Wednesday his comment was not intended to be malicious and that he recognizes it was insensitive and indefensible.
“It is said that hindsight is 20/20 and looking back I should never have even conceived of making the comment,” he said. “For this reason, I unequivocally apologize to the citizens of Brookfield, Newtown and all others who I have offended or hurt. I am sorry for my mistake and ask for your forgiveness, which I hope to earn over time.”
Obama’s ‘Success Story’ Tells Different Tale Now, Single mom Jessica Sanford says she can’t afford the president’s health plan and will go uninsured.,
A single mom from Washington State who was cited by President Obama as an Affordable Care Act success story now says she’ll go uninsured and calls the program a “treadmill of bureaucracy.”
Washington State Wire reports that Jessica Sanford, 48, discovered that she is no longer eligible for a large subsidy that would have lowered her monthly premium to $169 per month. Instead, Sanford would now be forced to pay nearly four times as much, $621, for coverage.
Sanford told the paper she believes the government should shut down the entire healthcare.gov site until the site’s issues are resolved. “In my opinion they ought to shut it down and just get all of it straightened out.”