Officials suspect that a missing Malaysia Airlines plane that took off from Kuala Lumpur Saturday and never landed may have disintegrated mid-flight. International crime-fighting agency Interpol also revealed that at least two of the 239 people on board had stolen passports, raising suspicions of foul play.
"The fact that we are unable to find any debris so far appears to indicate that the aircraft is likely to have disintegrated at around 35,000 feet," a source in Malaysia told Reuters.
The Boeing 777-200ER took off, climbed to 35,000 feet, then disappeared from tracking records. No bad weather was reported.
While Vietnamese officials reported seeing what may have been wreckage from the plane, Malaysian civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said that as of now, there is “no sign of the aircraft.”
An ongoing Interpol investigation has revealed more “suspect passports,” though a spokesperson did not see how many.
Malaysian Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi criticized border officials who allowed Asian passengers with Austrian and Italian passports onto the plane without scrutiny.
"I am still perturbed," Hamidi was quoted as saying. "Can't these immigration officials think? Italian and Austrian (passport holders) but with Asian faces," Hamidi was quoted as saying.
Four passengers are being investigated, with additional help being sought from the FBI. Officials are not assuming, however, that the stolen passports are connected to the plane’s disappearance in a hijacking.
"We are looking at all possibilities," said Malaysian Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein. "We cannot jump the gun. Our focus now is to find the plane."
Sarah Palin’s parody of “Green Eggs and Ham” received raucous applause Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.
Palin, one of CPAC’s biggest stars, gave a keynote speech in which she rewrote the Dr. Seuss story to skewer the Obama administration.
“I do not like this Uncle Sam,” Palin recited to cheers and applause. "I do not like his healthcare scam ... Oh, just you wait.”
I do not like these dirty crooks or how they lie and cook the books.
I do not like when Congress steals. I do not like their crony deals.
I do not like this spying man. I do not like ‘Oh, yes we can.’
I do not like this spending spree. We’re smart, we know there’s nothing free.
I do not like reporters’ smug replies, when I complain about their lies.
I do not like this kind of hope, and we won’t take it, nope, nope, nope.
“That hope and change, it went from a catchy campaign slogan to a reality," she said. "And along the way, ‘hope and change’ – 'yes we can’ – became ‘no, you can’t.’ No, you can’t log onto the website. No, you can’t keep your healthcare. No, you can’t make a phone call without Michelle Obama knowing this is the third time this week you’ve called Pizza Hut delivery."
A woman whose son died in a traffic accident was forced to remove the crosses from his roadside memorial in Southern California after local atheists complained that the symbols violated the constitution.
The American Humanist Association of Riverside County, an atheist group, contended that crosses were a “serious constitutional violation” in a letter to the local city council, reports NBC4. The council conceded that the large, handmade plywood crosses violated the separation of church and state.
"The city's selective enforcement of its signage ordinance and its display of the Christian cross on government property violates the state and federal Constitutions, and must therefore be removed immediately," the letter states. The crosses would have to be removed by mid-March, the council told the resident who complained.
Anthony Devaney was killed at the age of 19 by a teen driving an SUV as he was crossing the street near a freeway.
His mother, Ann Marie Devaney, tearfully removed the crosses white crosses she had placed near the spot where he was struck after the decision came Thursday.
"It's like I'm losing my son again, pretty much," Devaney said. "It hurts when you lose a child."
"It's so petty and sad that they have to complain over removing a cross," she said. "It's his personal preference that he was Christian. What's wrong with having a cross up?"
But the dispute may not have come to an end. Immediately after she removed them, another group came and replaced the crosses with six more.
"It just really got to me," said Emily Johnson. "I have kids. I just can't believe how insensitive people are."
The mother of the driver who struck Devaney said she thinks the crosses should stay.
"That's their memorial, that's where they go to grieve," said Laurie Howanec.
But the atheist group maintains that the crosses cannot legally be allowed to stay up on city property.
“It should be taken down now because they’ve had it up for a long time and ever since it was put up, it really has been unconstitutional,” said Monica Miller, an attorney at the American Humanist Association’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.
A six-year-old boy was stabbed in the throat with a pencil by a classmate at Crowell Elementary School on February 27.
Uncensored photos have been released of the boy’s injury by the Turlock City News.
His father, Ruben Aguilar, claims the school was notified that his son was being bullied in the weeks prior to the stabbing. School administrators did not respond to his complaints.
After the boy was stabbed, the school notified Aguilar and he had the boy’s grandfather pick him up from school. When he arrived, the boy had the pencil dangling from his neck, reports CBS Sacramento.
“When I went to pick him up he was sitting there with a pencil just dangling. I ask where the nurse was they said she was somewhere else at another emergency. I’d like to know what the emergency was? Then they asked me if I wanted to pull the pencil out all I asked (for was a) damn piece of tape and taped it to his chest. I feel they should have called an ambulance, he could have been bleeding internally,” the boy’s grandfather posted on Facebook via Ruben Aguilar’s page after the incident.
“They didn’t do what they were supposed to do to take care of him,” said Aguilar. “Regardless, it wasn’t as serious as it was, but it could have been life threatening, and it could have cost my son his life.”
Aguilar claims the school did not call an ambulance because other parents have complained in the past about the cost.
“There’s a paper that when you fill out to go to school, if there is an emergency, gives them permission to send them to the hospital. And I did sign that paper,” Aguilar said. “My son’s life means more to me than a couple hundred dollars of whatever I would end up paying.”
Crowell Principal Linda Alaniz has refused to comment on the incident.
The classmate who stabbed the boy in question is believed to have only received a lunchtime detention as punishment.
The boy is physically fine now, and has transferred to another school whose name remains undisclosed. The emotional scars surrounding the incident remain.
“My son is terrified of going to school. He wants a police officer with him because he is afraid that the boy is going to stab him again. He is six years old and he is afraid to go to school,” said Aguilar.
The boy’s parents say they are considering legal action against the school district.
Fifth-grader Nathan Entingh was suspended last week after he pointed his fingers in the shape of a gun and pretended to shoot a fellow classmate at the Devonshire Alternative Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio.
“I was just playing around,” Entingh told The Columbus Dispatch. “People play around like this a lot at my school.”
Entingh, who was suspended for three days for a “level 2 lookalike firearm," says other students have done the same thing, but weren’t suspended (video below).
School district spokesman Jeff Warner claims that students have been warned against imaginary gunplay with their fingers numerous times.
Warner claimed that Entingh put his “lookalike firearm” (his finger) to another student’s head and pretended to shoot “kind of execution style.”
“The kids were told, ‘If you don’t stop doing this type of stuff, there would be consequences,’” added Warner. “It’s just been escalating.”
However, Entingh's father Paul defended his son: “He said he was playing. It would even make more sense maybe if he brought a plastic gun that looked like a real gun or something, but it was his finger.”
The "zero-tolerance policy" for Ohio schools began after the 1999 Columbine shootings in Colorado that killed 12 students and one teacher. But that tragic incident involved real guns, not fingers and imaginary guns.
According to Time, State Senator Charleta Tavares (D) has proposed a bill to remove zero-tolerance polices in Ohio schools because of unfair punishments.
Bastrop County, Texas Sheriff Terry Pickering has come forward acknowledging that the records of Deputy Daniel Willis were altered after he shot and killed Yvette Smith on February 16.
Pickering reported this week that administrators went back and pulled up Willis’ records prior to sending them off to the Texas Rangers. The Rangers are investigating Willis’ shooting of Smith.
A number of Willis’ records were allegedly missing supervisor signatures. Pickering says administrators sent his records off to supervisors so that they could be properly signed before being sent to the Rangers.
“When it came to my attention, I immediately notified the district attorney and the Texas Rangers,” Pickering said. “We took the training records and released them to the Rangers. Supervisors tried to get this cleaned up without letting anyone know. We have not found anything other than what they told us had occurred.”
The Sheriff’s Office identified seven people involved with the record tampering. Lt. Joey Dzienowski was demoted to patrol duty and given a 240-hour suspension for his actions. Sgt. David Repka was relegated to patrol duty as well and handed a 32-hour suspension. The other five workers involved are awaiting disciplinary announcements.
Sheriff Pickering’s announcement marks the second mistake his office has admitted to in the wake of the Yvette Smith shooting. The office initially claimed Smith was armed when Willis shot and killed her on February 16. The office later retracted that claim, saying it is unclear whether she was armed. Multiple witnesses have come forward saying she was not carrying a firearm when Willis killed her. Click here for more from Opposing Views on this story.
Pickering confirmed on Monday that Willis killed Smith using a SR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Willis remains on paid administrative leave while officials investigate the shooting.
On February 17 around 7:30 p.m., Georgia police officer Beth Gatny arrived at the Roupe household to serve a warrant for Mr. Roupe. When Roupe’s 17-year-old son Christopher opened the door, Gatny opened fire on the teenager, believing him to be holding a gun.
Gatny fired a single bullet into Roupe’s chest. The teen was transported to a hospital in Cartersville, where he was pronounced dead.
The Roupe family lawyers have said that Christopher did not have a gun. Instead, they explained, it was likely that he was holding a video game controller for the Nintendo Wii.
“It just doesn’t add up,” family attorney Cole Law said. “He heard a knock at the door. He asked who it was, there was no response so he opened the door and upon opening the door he was immediately shot in the chest.”
According to the Daily Caller, Gatny, who has been placed on administrative leave, had made similar mistakes in the past, and had a long history of blunders and poor job performance.
In 2008, she reportedly fired her gun at a suspect who was opening his backpack because she thought he was armed. Not only was the suspect unarmed, but her partner also said that the suspect’s behavior had given her no reason to think otherwise. In the ensuing investigation, Gatny was found innocent.
She was later reportedly fired from her job as a police officer in Acworth, Ga. for failing to show up at work. Gatny sought disability compensation, but personnel records indicate that she was rejected because her claims were “not medically supported.”
Other reported offenses tallied against Gatny over the years include two reprimands – one for failure to follow orders, and another for leaving her weapon with a civilian while her picture was taken.
Furthermore, she was also involved in four car accidents.
She had been on Eurharlee’s police force for nine months before the February incident.
Christopher Roupe was a ROTC member at Woodland High School, and was planning to sign up for the Marines.
Photo Source: http://dailycaller.com
A federal judge ruled today that a taxpayer-funded program will pay the legal fees of Robel Phillipos, a friend of Dzokhar Tsarnaev accused of lying to investigators following the Boston Marathon bombing.
Citing financial need, the judge ruled Phillipos is qualified to have his legal expenses covered by the federal program. He will retain the legal representation of attorney Derege Demissie. Demissie requested a second attorney to assist him in the case, but Judge Marianne Bowler shot down the request.
"I don't see this to be of such a great complexity that it needs more than one attorney at a time," Bowler said.
Phillipos is one of three University of Massachusetts students accused of misleading investigators in the weeks following the Boston Marathon bombing. Authorities allege Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev threw away a computer and a backpack full of fireworks from Tsarnaev’s dorm room after he was announced as a suspect in the bombing. Phillipos is accused of lying to investigators about his knowledge of the cover-up.
Phillipos has been charged with lying to investigators and faces up to 16 years in prison if convicted. Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev are charged with obstruction of justice and face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
All three men have pleaded not guilty to their charges.
Dzokhar Tsarnaev, meanwhile, will go on trial in November for terrorism charges. Federal prosecutors will pursue the death penalty in the case.
Lt. Col. Joseph “Jay” Morse, a top Army sexual assault prosecutor, has been suspended after being charged with sexual assault.
Morse was in charge of supervising almost two dozen special victims prosecutors, responsible for ferreting out cases of sexual assault, domestic abuse, and crimes against children in the Army. Now a lawyer who used to work for him has come forward with the claim that Morse groped her and tried to kiss her in a hotel room at a conference in 2011.
Morse was head of the Trial Counsel Assistance Program at Fort Belvoir, Va., training Army prosecutors worldwide, and acted as the lead prosecutor in the Robert Bales case — the staff sergeant who pleaded guilty to mass murder of 16 Afghan civilians in 2012.
“We can confirm that this matter is currently under investigation and that the individual in question has been suspended from duties pending the outcome of the investigation,” an Army official told Stars and Stripes, speaking under condition on anonymity. “Given that this is still an open case, we are precluded from providing any additional information at this point.”
At a time when investigations of sexual assault are at an all-time high, Nancy Parrish, president of Protect Our Defenders, said that Morse’s case is yet another example of why the sexual assault “status quo” needs an overhaul.
"If true, this case is yet another disheartening example of the hollow pledges of ‘zero tolerance’ we have heard for more than 20 years,” Parrish wrote in an email. “When the military has those at top of the chain who are in charge of fighting sexual assault accused of sexual misconduct at a conference on sexual assault it should be clear to every level headed human being [that] the status quo must be changed."
588 soldiers were recently disqualified from “positions of trust” at the end of a year-long investigation into sexual assault in the Army. An Associated Press investigation found that the military frequently reduced strong cases to lesser charges and that suspects were unlikely to serve time, even if convicted of misconduct.
The Military Justice Improvement Act, sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and aimed at shifting the responsibility of prosecuting soldiers charged with serious criminal charges to military trial lawyers outside the chain of command, failed to pass Thursday in the Senate.
The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that it is not illegal to secretly photograph underneath a person’s clothing without her consent. The ruling came as the case of a man with “Peeping Tom” charges against him reached the state’s high court.
The case involved Michael Robertson, 32. Robertson was caught by police taking videos and photographs of women wearing skirts while they sat across from him on public transportation. An undercover operation by police found Robertson aiming his camera directly between the women’s legs.
But, according to current Massachusetts law, Robertson was doing nothing illegal. The laws he was charged under state that prosecutors must prove the women being photographed had a reasonable expectation of privacy on the train and were nude or partially nude when the pictures were taken.
The court ruled that prosecutors failed to prove these requirements.
“A female passenger on a MBTA trolley who is wearing a skirt, dress, or the like covering these parts of her body is not a person who is ‘partially nude,’ no matter what is or is not underneath the skirt by way of underwear or other clothing,” the court’s ruling said. “Because the MBTA is a public transit system operating in a public place and uses cameras, the two alleged victims here were not in a place and circumstance where they reasonably would or could have had an expectation of privacy.”
All charges against Robertson were dropped.
Justice Margot Botsford said the idea of a law making Robertson’s behavior illegal “is eminently reasonable, but the existing law in its current form does not address it.”
Massachusetts legislators followed the case and have acted swiftly to enact new laws that would make conduct like Robertson’s illegal in the future.
Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray said she was “stunned and disappointed” by the court’s ruling and promised the “Senate will act swiftly.”
“We have fought too hard and too long for women’s rights to take the step backward that they did today,” she said.
Massachusetts House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo echoed Murray’s sentiments in a statement released Wednesday.
“The ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court is contrary to the spirit of the current law,” DeLeo said. “The House will begin work on updating our statutes to conform with today’s technology immediately.”