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Lion cage where California intern died worked properly, USDA says

The enclosures at a Central California wild animal park where a lion killed an intern were working properly at the time of her death, federal officials said. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that the agency’s investigation on the day after the mauling in March found no violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act at Project Survival’s Cat Haven. USDA investigators looked at whether proper enclosures were in place, and whether they were in good working order, among other things. “We looked at anything and everything that could have contributed to that incident, including enclosures, the employee training program, procedures for cleaning enclosures and feeding the animals, and we did not find any violations,” said USDA spokeswoman Lyndsay Cole. The federal agency’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service sent two people — an inspector and a big cat specialist — from its office in Fort Collins, Colo., after the attack that killed Dianna Hanson, 24, of Seattle. Continue Reading →

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Mormon bishop with Samurai sword runs off attacker

A Samurai sword-wielding Mormon bishop helped a neighbor woman escape a Tuesday morning attack by a man who had been stalking her. Kent Hendrix woke up Tuesday to his teenage son pounding on his bedroom door and telling him somebody was being mugged in front of their house. The 47-year-old father of six rushed out the door and grabbed the weapon closest to him — a 29-inch high carbon steel Samurai sword. He came upon what he describes as a melee between a woman and a man. His son stayed inside to call 911 while he approached the man along with other neighbors who came to help. Continue Reading →

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US Customs plane helps stop 3,300 lbs of cocaine

U.S. customs officials say they helped law enforcement in Panama intercept more than 3,300 pounds of pure cocaine this past weekend. U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports a P-3 aircraft crew was patrolling the open waters near Panama City, Panama, Saturday. They detected a speedboat carrying four suspects, fuel barrels and multiple packages. The crew notified Panama law enforcement and directed three Panamanian interceptors to the speedboat’s location. Panamanian law enforcement fired warning shots, causing the speedboat to stop. Continue Reading →

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Ex-CIA director David Petraeus to be New York college professor

Ex-CIA director David Petraeus is replacing one kind of intelligence work with another. Macaulay Honors College at City University of New York said Tuesday the retired four-star general has been named a visiting professor for public policy. He starts Aug. 1. Petraeus has a doctorate from Princeton University and has written widely on international relations, military strategy and tactics and national security issues. Continue Reading →

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New-homes sales rise 1.5 percent in March to 417K

U.S. sales of new homes rebounded in March to the second fastest sales pace in three years, adding to evidence of a sustained housing recovery at the start of the spring buying season. The Commerce Department says sales of new homes increased 1.5 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000. Sales had reached a pace of 445,000 in January. New-home sales are still below the 700,000 pace considered healthy by most economists. But they have risen 18.5 percent from a year ago. Continue Reading →

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Amnesty criticizes Haiti over evictions from camps

Haiti has violated international human rights obligations by failing to protect people who have been forced to leave the impromptu settlements that sprang up in the Caribbean nation after the 2010 earthquake, a global advocacy group said Tuesday. A report by Amnesty International said it found that thousands of displaced people have been evicted from public spaces and private properties. People kicked out of settlements find themselves “further marginalized and driven deeper into poverty,” it said. The government of President Michel Martelly has condoned the evictions led by mayors, police officers and others, the report charged. “They are tolerated by the state and carried out in total impunity by state agents and private individuals or groups (non-state actors) alike,” it said. Continue Reading →

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Mass. Buddhist monk sues over sex recording

A Buddhist monk has filed a lawsuit against five people she alleges illegally distributed a video of her having a sexual encounter with another monk. Maya Men says in her lawsuit filed last week in Middlesex Superior Court that the five defendants violated her right to privacy and her constitutional rights. She also says their actions intentionally inflicted emotional distress. The Sun of Lowell (http://bit.ly/17NhkJB ) reports that, according to the lawsuit, Men “has been held up to her relevant community as an individual who should be shunned and scorned, called a thief, and referred to by a plethora of pejorative terms.” The lawsuit seeks damages and seizure of all copies of the recording. Continue Reading →

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Utah high school teacher charged in student rape

A former Utah high school math teacher was arrested Friday on charges of raping a 17-year-old female student, Fox13Now.com reports. Courtney Jarrell, 22, who also coached the Riverton High School girls’ basketball team, resigned shortly after she was charged by prosecutors. Jarrell appeared to be well-liked at the school. She now, however, faces two felony charges of object rape and forcible sexual abuse for a non-consensual sexual encounter that allegedly occurred at the teacher’s residence. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said, “they allege contact between January and March of 2013, within that three-month period.” Continue Reading →

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Nike yanks Boston Massacre T-shirts

Nike Inc. says it has pulled from the market T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Boston Massacre” in the aftermath of last week’s bombing during the Boston Marathon that killed three people and left dozens injured. The athletic company, based in Portland, Ore., said Monday that it took immediate action last week to remove the products. The shirts were sold primarily at its factory store outlets. “We conducted this process as quickly as possible and are confident the product has been removed from distribution,” Nike spokeswoman Mary Remuzzi said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. The shirts, which featured blood-splattered lettering, were designed for New York Yankees fans. Continue Reading →

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