Syrian Opposition Won’t Participate in Peace Talks

 BEIRUT (AP) _ Syria’s main Western-backed opposition group says it will not
participate in U.S.-Russian sponsored peace talks while the regime is carrying
out massacres in Syria.  
 Thursday’s announcement came at the end of weeklong opposition talks in
Istanbul to try and forge a united view on whether to take part in the peace
conference expected to take place in Geneva next month.  
 A spokesman for the Syrian National Coalition, Khalid Saleh, says an
“international conference on a political solution to the situation in Syria has
no meaning in light of the massacres that are taking place.” Continue Reading

Maine man tried to stage kidnapping and rescue of teenage girl, according to affidavit

A man lured a teenage girl out of her house by using a fake Facebook account in an attempt to stage her kidnapping and rescue so he could look like a hero but ended up killing her, a police affidavit released Wednesday said. Kyle Dube was indicted Wednesday on charges of murder and kidnapping in the death of 15-year-old Nichole Cable, whose body was found in a wooded area of Old Town this month a week after she went missing. Dube, of Orono, Maine, had intended to kidnap and hide Cable and later find her and “be the hero,” the affidavit said. But she died in the back of his pickup truck after he duct-taped her while wearing a ski mask, it said. According to the Bangor Daily News, Dube’s brother Dustin told police that Kyle then said he dumped the victim’s body in the woods near a gas station and covered her in sticks. Continue Reading

Florida child molester executed for rape and murder of 10-year-old girl

A convicted child molester condemned for the 1990 rape and murder of a 10-year-old Florida girl has been executed at the Florida State Prison. Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office said 56-year-old inmate Elmer Carroll was pronounced dead at 6:12 p.m. Wednesday at the prison in Starke. Carroll had been convicted of first-degree murder and sexual battery in the rape and strangling death of Christine McGowan. The girl lived with her family next door to a halfway house for homeless men where Carroll was staying in Apopka. During Carroll’s two decades on death row, his lawyers argued he was too mentally ill to stand trial or be subjected to the death penalty. Continue Reading

Fla. man executed for rape and murder of girl, 10

A convicted child molester condemned for the 1990 rape and murder of a 10-year-old Florida girl has been executed at the Florida State Prison. Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office said 56-year-old inmate Elmer Carroll was pronounced dead at 6:12 p.m. Wednesday at the prison in Starke. Carroll had been convicted of first-degree murder and sexual battery in the rape and strangling death of Christine McGowan. The girl lived with her family next door to a halfway house for homeless men where Carroll was staying in Apopka. During Carroll’s two decades on death row, his lawyers argued he was too mentally ill to stand trial or be subjected to the death penalty. Continue Reading

Letter sent to NYC Mayor Bloomberg tests positive for ricin

Anonymous letters sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the director of the organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns, in Washington, D.C., contained material that initially tested positive for ricin, according to NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne. According to a police statement released Wednesday, the anonymous letters were opened in New York on Friday at the city’s mail facility in Manhattan and in Washington on Sunday at an office used by Mayors Against Illegal Guns — a nonprofit founded by Bloomberg that lobbies for stricter gun control. It is believed that both letters threatened the mayor and made reference to the gun control debate. Both the letters contained an oily pinkish-orange substance, Browne said. He would not comment on what specific threats were made or where the letters were postmarked. Continue Reading

Maine man indicted on murder in teen girl's death

A man suspected of killing a 15-year-old girl in Maine has been indicted on charges of murder and kidnapping. A Penobscot (peh-NAHB’-skaht) County grand jury Wednesday formally charged 20-year-old Kyle Dube (DOO’-bee) in the death of Nichole Cable. Earlier in the day, attorneys for Dube and for two news organizations clashed in a Bangor courtroom over the media’s motion to unseal an affidavit explaining why the Orono (OHR’-uh-noh) resident was charged in the girl’s death. A judge impounded the affidavit last week after Dube’s lawyer cited his right to a fair trial and other concerns. The Associated Press and the Portland Press Herald contend probable cause affidavits may be sealed only under rare circumstances that don’t apply in this case. Continue Reading

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Sex-Change Procedure Covered by Insurance for Illinois Students

University of Illinois trustees changed the student insurance plan at the Chicago campus to cover sex-change surgery. Trustees voted 6-2 to add the benefit and approved a 15% increase in the annual cost to students. Insurance will not cost $922 a year. This kind of coverage is nothing new to institutions. Trustee Patrick Fitzgerald, says other universities have adopted very similar plans. Continue Reading

Have you been playing Monopoly wrong?

The board game Monopoly may be the closest the average Joe gets to becoming a real estate mogul – but have you been playing it wrong your entire life? A 2011 blog post that has gone viral on Twitter details a sometimes-overlooked rule in the famous game, according to Buzzfeed. If a player chooses not to buy a property after landing on it, instead of his or her turn ending, the property goes up for auction. “If you do not wish to buy the property, the Banker sells it at auction to the highest bidder,” the Monopoly rules state. “The buyer pays the Bank the amount of the bid in cash and receives the Title Deed card for that property.” Continue Reading