Monthly Archives: June 2013

Memphis police suspend officer over KKK tweets

The Memphis Police Department has suspended an officer for social media statements deriding the Ku Klux Klan. The Commercial Appeal reported the FBI was monitoring social media during a March 30 rally by the white supremacist group in Memphis and saw tweets from Officer Brian Hall’s personal account. The agency reported what it found to the city police department. One of the tweets offered rocks for sale at the Klan rally. Hall was not working that day. Continue Reading →

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US spy programs raise ire both home and abroad

The Obama administration faced fresh anger Monday at home and abroad over U.S. spy programs that track phone and Internet messages around the world in the hope of thwarting terrorist threats. But a senior intelligence official said there are no plans to end the secretive surveillance systems. The programs causing the global uproar were revealed by Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old employee of government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden, whose identity was revealed at his own request, has fled to Hong Kong in hopes of escaping criminal charges. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee and supports the surveillance, accused Snowden of committing an “act of treason” and said he should be prosecuted. Coolly but firmly, officials in Germany and the European Union issued complaints over two National Security Agency programs that target suspicious foreign messages — potentially including phone numbers, e-mail, images, video and other online communications transmitted through U.S. providers. Continue Reading →

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Jury gets case in ex-Kansas lawman's trial

Jurors began deliberations Monday in the first-degree murder case against a former Kansas lawman accused of killing his wife and setting their house on fire while their young sons slept down the hall. Prosecutors in closing arguments Monday portrayed Brett Seacat, 37, as a manipulative man who used his law enforcement background to make it look like his wife shot herself. The defense tried to cast reasonable doubt by repeatedly pointing out that even an experienced coroner couldn’t decide whether the death was suicide or homicide. The prevailing argument will determine whether jurors can reach a verdict on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated arson and two counts of child endangerment in the April 30, 2011 shooting death of 34-year-old Vashti Seacat. Jurors met for a half hour Monday and are expected to resume deliberations Tuesday. Continue Reading →

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Former Rep. Barbara Vucanovich of Nev. dies at 91

Barbara Vucanovich, who was the first woman to represent Nevada in Congress and went on to serve the sprawling, rural 2nd Congressional District for 14 years, died Monday after a brief illness, family members said. She was 91. Vucanovich died at an assisted living complex in Reno less than two weeks before her 92nd birthday, after breaking her pelvis in February and never fully recovering, according to her daughter, Patty Cafferata. The Republican was remembered as a warm-hearted trailblazer. “Barbara Vucanovich was the matriarch of her political generation,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval, calling her Nevada’s “Silver Lady.” Continue Reading →

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Flight from Los Angeles to Texas diverted to Phoenix after phone bomb threat

A Southwest Airlines flight traveling from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas, landed safely in Phoenix Monday after a telephone bomb threat. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport officials say law enforcement in Los Angeles requested assistance from Phoenix police to check out the threat Monday afternoon. “The FBI and law enforcement partners are responding to a telephonic bomb threat made this afternoon regarding a specific flight,” FBI Los Angeles spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said in a statement. “The flight, destined for Texas, departed LAX at 2:12 p.m. and was diverted to Phoenix for further investigation.” Eimiller said the aircraft is being directed to an isolated area at the airport and the FBI and law enforcement partners are responding to conduct an investigation. Continue Reading →

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Ex-DC councilman Brown pleads guilty to bribery

Former District of Columbia Councilmember Michael Brown has pleaded guilty in federal court to a bribery charge. Brown, who was charged with bribery on Friday, entered the plea Monday afternoon. Prosecutors accused Brown of accepting $55,000 in cash payments from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen seeking preferential treatment from the city government. He lost his bid for a second term in November. He ran again for an open at-large seat but abruptly dropped out in April, citing personal and family matters. Continue Reading →

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