The FBI believes authorities disrupted a terrorism attack that was being planned in a small western Minnesota city when they arrested a man after converging on a mobile home that contained Molotov cocktails, suspected pipe bombs and firearms, the agency said Monday.
Buford Rogers, 24, of Montevideo, was arrested Friday and charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He remained in federal custody Monday and it was not clear if he had an attorney.
“The FBI believed there was a terror attack in its planning stages, and we believe there would have been a localized terror attack, and that’s why law enforcement moved quickly to execute the search warrant on Friday to arrest Mr. Rogers,” FBI spokesman Kyle Loven said Monday. . .
It’s not hard to reduce the crippling backlog in the Bronx court system — just dole out generous plea deals or outright dismiss charges against violent-crime defendants.
Prosecutors have offered deals that allow some suspects accused of even attempted murder to plead guilty to misdemeanor assault or weapons possession, according to court documents obtained by The Post.
Some defendants even had attempted-murder raps dropped, including one man accused in a shootout that wounded eight people, three of them kids.
The Post analyzed the 254 cases handled by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Patricia DiMango since January. She’s the most high-profile of the “SWAT team” of 10 state judges temporarily assigned to Bronx Supreme Court at the beginning of the year to cut down on the felony backlog.
Prosecutors have moved to dismiss 26 cases in DiMango’s court, including three attempted-murder raps last month alone.
“[Bronx DA Robert] Johnson felt pressure that something had to be done to reduce this backlog, so he started making offers that led to these plea deals,” a court source said. “To get a misdemeanor offer when you were charged with attempted murder is unheard of.”. . .
NO gun-control measures will work if you let the people with a history of using guns in crimes go free. - Greg Pollowitz
Israeli forces have carried out an airstrike against a shipment of sophisticated missiles bound for the Lebanese political and military organization Hezbollah, officials in Washington and Israel told reporters Saturday.
The strike took place about 4 a.m. Friday at an air defense facility on the periphery of Damascus International Airport, according to a Lebanese security official who was in the Syrian capital at the time. The airport is known to be the destination for weapons flown in from Iran both for the Syrian government and for its ally Hezbollah.
There had previously been reports of a huge blaze at Damascus airport, with a videoshowing two locations on fire after what was described as rebel shelling. But the Lebanese official said the blasts were bigger than those caused by mortar or shellfire. . .
Obama sings Mexico’s praises, but some Mexicans hear flat notes
MEXICO CITY — After President Obama’s upbeat speech in Mexico on Friday, many in attendance said they were flattered by the description of their country, but others said they hardly recognized the place he had just described.
“[That was] a really good speech by President Obama, but what Mexico was he talking about?” said Jose Carlos Cruz, 24, a graduate student in international relations. “Unfortunately in our country, the situation is terrible: There’s poverty, unemployment, and even worse, the future is anything but promising.
“How nice that he came to give inspiring speeches, but what’s happening in Mexico is far from what he talked about today,” Cruz said.
Alberto Rios Lara, 26, who is studying to be an economist, said: “Obama is a great speaker — it’s really impossible not to feel excited. However, the reality is different in Mexico. We need more action and fewer speeches.”. . .
Alberto: welcome to our party, pal. - Greg Pollowitz
Five U.S. service members were killed on Saturday by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan, the latest deadly attack against international troops since the Taliban announced the start of their spring offensive this week.
The coalition did not disclose the location of the blast, however, Javeed Faisal, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province, said the coalition patrol hit the roadside bomb in Maiwand district of the province, the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban.
Capt. Luca Carniel, a public affairs official for the U.S.-led coalition in Kabul, confirmed that all five were Americans. With the deaths, 47 members of the coalition have been killed so far this year — including 32 Americans. . .
Terrorists kill three in Boston with an I.E.D.? Full MSM attention. Five Americans killed by terrorists in Afghanistan? Nada. Time to bring them home. - Greg Pollowitz
Israeli Airstrike in Syria Was Directed at Missiles From Iran, U.S. Officials Say
WASHINGTON — The airstrike that Israeli warplanes carried out in Syria was directed at a shipment of advanced surface-to-surface missiles from Iran that Israel believed was intended for Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese organization, American officials said Saturday.
It was the second time in four months that Israel had carried out an attack in foreign territory aimed at disrupting the pipeline of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah. The missiles, known as Fateh-110s, had been sent to Syria by Iran and were being stored at an airport in Damascus when they were struck in the attack, according to an American official.
Syrians with knowledge of security and military matters confirmed the strike, which took place overnight Thursday, saying that Iran had sent arms and rockets to Damascus International Airport intending to resend them to Hezbollah. . .
Even for China’s scandal-numbed diners, inured to endless outrages about food hazards, news that the lamb simmering in the pot may actually be rat tested new depths of disgust.
In an announcement intended to show that the government is serious about improving food safety, the Ministry of Public Security said on Thursday that the police had caught a gang of traders in eastern China who bought rat, fox and mink flesh and sold it as mutton. But that and other cases of meat smuggling, faking and adulteration featured in Chinese newspapers and Web sites on Friday were unlikely to instill confidence in consumers already queasy over many reports about meat, fruit and vegetables laden with disease, toxins, banned dyes and preservatives.
Sixty-three people were arrested and are accused of “buying fox, mink and rat and other meat products that had not undergone inspection,” which they doused in gelatin, red pigment, and nitrates, and sold as mutton in Shanghai and adjacent Jiangsu Province for about $1.6 million, according to the ministry’s statement. The account, posted on the Internet, did not explain how exactly the traders acquired the rats and other creatures.
“How many rats does it take to put together a sheep?” said one typically baffled and angry user of Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblog service that often acts as a forum for public venting. “Is it cheaper to raise rats than sheep?”. . .
Tom Friedman could not be reached for comment on the sheer awesomeness of this story. - Greg Pollowitz
. . .The FBI has a laptop computer belonging to Boston Marathon attack suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, two federal law enforcement officials told CNN. It’s not clear how or when the FBI got the laptop. One official said that investigators didn’t find it during last week’s search of a landfill near the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, which Tsarnaev attended. . .
. . .Once again, for the seventh year in a row, breast augmentation was the most popular form of cosmetic surgery, with 286,000 operations performed. Botox treatments reached an all-time high of 6.1 million injections. People between the ages of 40 and 54 accounted for the largest portion of the cosmetic procedures: 6.8 million, or 48%. Ninety-one percent of cosmetic procedures were in women.
But the society chose to highlight one procedure that is less familiar: the upper arm-lift. In 2012, 15,457 patients, 98% of them women, spent a total of $61 million to have liposuction on their arms, or what’s known as a brachioplasty (a surgery that involves making an incision from the armpit to the elbow, usually along the back of the arm, to remove excess skin). The number of procedures was up 4,378% since 2000, when only about 300 women opted for it, the group reported. . .
Why do exercise when a knife is available. . . - Greg Pollowitz
A mother forced her 14-year-old adopted daughter to inseminate herself with donor sperm to provide a baby for her after she was prevented from adopting any more children, it can be revealed.
The daughter, a virgin, is believed to have miscarried at 14, but went on to have a baby at 16 after regularly inseminating herself with sperm bought over the internet by her “domineering” mother because she was too scared to refuse.
Details of the shocking case have emerged in a previously secret court judgment, which can be reported today for the first time and which raises serious questions over loopholes in international adoptions and the regulation of the global traffic in gametes.
The adoptive mother, who cannot be identified for fear of identifying her daughter and grandchild, is now serving a five-year prison sentence after admitting child cruelty. . .
In the new translation of “Star Wars,” Darth Vader is Luke’s bizhe’e.
The classic 1977 film that launched a science fiction empire and revealed the force within a farm boy who battles evil has been dubbed in Japanese, French, Spanish and about a dozen other languages. Add Navajo to the list.
Manuelito Wheeler, the director of the Navajo Nation Museum who reached out to Lucasfilm Ltd. with the idea, has a very good feeling about this. He sees it as entertaining, educational and a way to preserve the Navajo language at a time when fewer tribal members are speaking it.
“That’s the beauty of what we’re doing; we’re teaching Navajo language to anybody who wants to learn the Navajo language,” Wheeler said. “I find that very rewarding and somewhat ironic. We went from a country that wanted to limit our language, to the Navajo language saving our country through Code Talkers, to our language being part of a major motion picture.”
Native languages on the big screen are a rarity. Independent films and documentaries at film festivals have been in the tongue of American Indian tribes. Yet it’s far less common to see it done in mainstream movies and shown in commercial theaters. “Bambi” was dubbed in the Arapaho language, and the cartoon series “The Berenstain Bears” was translated into the Dakota and Lakota languages. . .
Four men injured in shooting – Smithfield Friday, 26 April 2013 10:42:08 PM
**Please note – four men have been injured, not three as previously released **
Police will address the media after four men were shot in Sydney’s west tonight.
Emergency services responded to reports of a shooting outside a home on The Horsley Drive, Smithfield, just after 8pm (Friday 26 April 2013). . .
Population of America: 314 million. Population of Australia: 23 million. American has roughly 13 times the population of Australia, therefore if four people are shot in Australia that equates proportionally to over 50 people shot in America. - Greg Pollowitz
California police confiscated a mammoth joint during a 4/20 pot rally on Saturday, reports the Los Angeles Times.
As the paper notes, hundreds of UC Santa Cruz students gather each year for the event, and each year campus police confiscate things like bongs and dime bags. But Gennady Tsarinsky took things to a whole new level: what police say was a four-foot-long, two-pound joint.
The 25-year-old was arrested and charged with possessing more than an ounce of pot — which happens to be California’s limit for medical marijuana users. . .
They probably bought the marijuana with Sallie Mae money. - Greg Pollowitz
A car bomb destroyed about half of the French Embassy in Libya early Tuesday, officials said, in the most significant attack against a Western interest in the country since the killing last September of the American ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens.
The explosion injured two French guards, one critically, but most employees had not yet arrived, Libyan and French officials said.
The attack, in Tripoli, was a new blow to the transitional government’s hope of improving the sense of public security after the ouster of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi nearly two years ago. It was one of the largest in a string of attacks on diplomatic missions since the end of his rule, and the first major one in the capital.
The French and Libyan governments labeled the explosion an act of terrorism, and the pattern of attacks on Western diplomatic missions indicated Islamist militants were responsible. Many Libyan militants have vowed to fight what they see as a foreign crusade to remake their country as a Western-style liberal democracy instead of an Islamic state. They resent the Western powers for their military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, to say nothing of the history of European colonialism in North Africa. . .
Is there any bright spot in the Arab-Middle East at this point? - Greg Pollowitz
A federal judge said this week that the Obama administration is likely violating the law by telling immigration agents and officers not to arrest illegal immigrants they deem low priority, in a case that could upend President Obama’s enforcement policy.
For the last several years the administration has said it will no longer arrest most illegal immigrants, arguing it wants to focus only on those with serious criminal records or gang ties. The Homeland Security department said it was using “prosecutorial discretion.”. . .
So, does this mean President's Obama's uncle will get deported? - Greg Pollowitz
Activists occupied an animal facility at the University of Milan, Italy, at the weekend, releasing mice and rabbits and mixing up cage labels to confuse experimental protocols. Researchers at the university say that it will take years to recover their work.
Many of the animals at the facility are genetic models for psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.
No arrests have been made following the 12-hour drama, which took place on Saturday, although the university says that it will press charges against the protesters. The activists took some of the animals and were told during negotiations that they would be permitted to come back later and take more. . .
Hey, I like animals but I'll gladly put a monkey in a blender if it leads to a better understanding of Autism. - Greg Pollowitz
The immigration proposal pending in Congress would transform the nation’s political landscape for a generation or more — pumping as many as 11 million new Hispanic voters into the electorate a decade from now in ways that, if current trends hold, would produce an electoral bonanza for Democrats and cripple Republican prospects in many states they now win easily.
Beneath the philosophical debates about amnesty and border security, there are brass-tacks partisan calculations driving the thinking of lawmakers in both parties over comprehensive immigration reform, which in its current form offers a pathway to citizenship — and full voting rights — for a group of undocumented residents that roughly equals the population of Ohio, the nation’s seventh-largest state.
If these people had been on the voting rolls in 2012 and voted along the same lines as other Hispanic voters did last fall, President Barack Obama’s relatively narrow victory last fall would have been considerably wider, a POLITICO analysis showed. . .
There's an easy solution to this: anyone who's allowed to stay in the country who entered illegally can't vote. If felons can't vote, why should we allow former illegal immigrants to do so? - Greg Pollowitz
Spanish police arrested two suspected terrorists with apparent links to an al Qaeda-affiliated group Tuesday but said they had no indication of an imminent attack.
The Interior Ministry identified the suspects as Nou Mediouni, from Algeria, who was arrested in the north-central city of Zaragoza, and Hassan El Jaaouani, from Morocco, who was detained in the southeastern city of Murcia.
Spanish police worked with their counterparts in France and Morocco to carry out the latest arrests, the Interior Ministry statement said. . .
Spain doesn't say an attack was planned, but with Madrid Marathon on Sunday, I can see why they made the arrests now. - Greg Pollowitz
Canadian security forces thwarted a plot to blow up a rail line between Canada and the United States and will announce arrests on Monday afternoon, police and intelligence agencies said.
U.S. security and law enforcement sources also said the suspects had sought to attack the railroad between Toronto and New York City. Canadian media said two men had been arrested after raids in Toronto and Montreal, Canada’s two biggest cities.
Canadian police are holding a briefing about a “national security criminal investigation” at 3:30 p.m. ET (1930 GMT). . .
No details yet, so I'm assuming Tea Party subversives until further notice. - Greg Pollowitz
Universal’s “Oblivion” didn’t exactly roar into theaters Friday, nor did it crater.
The Tom Cruise-starrer was on track for an estimated $13 million for the day and a healthy $35.5 million weekend, according to early estimates.
After earning $1.1 million Thursday night, B.O. observers feared the original sci-fier would take a hit from the drama unfolding in Boston, which accounts for roughly 2% of the nation’s market.
But on Friday evening, as the marathon bombing suspect was surrounded and eventually caught in Watertown, Mass., the early numbers began rolling in and execs at U sighed in relief: Auds nationwide were indeed on board for the $125 million film. . .
Pakistani police took former president Pervez Musharraf into custody at their Islamabad headquarters on Friday, hours after a court had ordered him placed under house arrest, Musharraf’s spokesman said.
Mohammed Amjad said police had escorted the former army chief from his residence on the edge of the capital to a guest house at the city’s police headquarters where he will spend two days on remand ahead of a court hearing. . .
Eek. Pakistan can get worse really, really fast now. - Greg Pollowitz
Britain and France have informed the United Nations that there is credible evidence that Syria has used chemical weapons on more than one occasion since December, according to senior diplomats and officials briefed on the accounts.
In letters to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the two European powers said soil samples, witness interviews and opposition sources support charges that nerve agents were used in and around the cities of Aleppo, Homs and possibly Damascus, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The European reports are in part aimed at countering accusations by the Syrian government that opposition forces had used chemical weapons during fighting in the town of Khan al-Asal near Aleppo on March 19, killing 26 people, including regime troops. Syrian rebels have said that government forces used chemical weapons in the incident.
James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, told a Senate panel Thursday that allegations that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons are still being evaluated. . .
The two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings led police on a wild and deadly chase through the suburbs here early Friday morning that ended in the death of one of the suspects as well as a campus police officer; the other suspect remained at large while hundreds of police officers conduct a manhunt through Watertown, about five miles west of downtown Boston.
The surviving suspect was identified as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Mass., a law enforcement official said. The suspect who was killed was identified as his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, the law enforcement official said. Investigators believe that both of the suspects were Chechens. . .