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Today β€” December 14th 2019Yahoo! News US

Woman whose child was ripped from her arms by police awarded $625,000

Woman whose child was ripped from her arms by police awarded $625,000A woman who was violently arrested and had her infant child torn out of her arms by officials before being sent to Rikers Island has reached a $625,000 (£469,043) settlement with New York City.Jazmine Headley filed a lawsuit against the city during the summer after the 23-year-old mother said she experienced a “dehumanizing” arrest at the hands of Human Resources Administration (HRA) security guards and officers from the New York Police Department at a Brooklyn benefits office last year.


  • December 14th 2019 at 19:32

NYC paying $625K to mom whose baby was ripped away by police

NYC paying $625K to mom whose baby was ripped away by policeNew York City will pay $625,000 to resolve a lawsuit filed by a mother whose toddler was yanked from her arms by police in a widely seen online video, the city's Law Department said. Jazmine Headley sued the city in August alleging trauma and humiliation and seeking unspecified damages over the December 2018 incident at a Brooklyn benefits office. On Friday, the Law Department said the city will pay to resolve the lawsuit.


  • December 14th 2019 at 18:58

Mississippi vows further appeal after loss on abortion ban

Mississippi vows further appeal after loss on abortion banMississippi's outgoing governor vowed Saturday to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Mississippi's ban on abortion at 15 weeks. "We will sustain our efforts to fight for America’s unborn children," Republican Phil Bryant wrote on Twitter.


  • December 14th 2019 at 18:53

Minnesota man gets 15 years for attacking officers

Minnesota man gets 15 years for attacking officersA judge sentenced a 32-year-old Minnesota man to 15 years and nine months in prison for using a bow and arrows to attack sheriff's deputies, injuring one. Authorities arrested Ramey James Olson after a two-hour standoff with sheriff's deputies in Sauk Centre on Sept. 13, 2018. Prosecutors say Olson ended up in the Sauk Centre garage after crashing a stolen car.


  • December 14th 2019 at 18:31

Mnuchin says trade deal with China to boost global economy

Mnuchin says trade deal with China to boost global economyU.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday a "phase one" trade deal between the United States and China was "very good" for global economic growth, and added that the second phase could come in several steps. The United States and China cooled their trade war on Friday, announcing a "phase one" agreement that reduces some U.S. tariffs in exchange for what U.S. officials said would be a big jump in Chinese purchases of American farm products and other goods. Mnuchin said full details of the new deal, or a factsheet on "phase one", would come out later on Saturday or on Sunday after both sides do fact and language checks.


  • December 14th 2019 at 13:53

Alyssa Milano’s 'facts are wrong': Andrew Yang refutes activist’s allegations of campaign staffer sexual misconduct

Alyssa Milano’s 'facts are wrong': Andrew Yang refutes activist’s allegations of campaign staffer sexual misconductDemocratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang denied allegations made by actress Alyssa Milano that an unnamed campaign engaged in sexual misconduct, saying the matter had been looked at promptly.


  • December 14th 2019 at 17:58

South Dakota upholds death sentence in 2000 torture killing

South Dakota upholds death sentence in 2000 torture killingThe South Dakota Supreme Court upheld the sentence of the state's only death row inmate, an Alaska man who pleaded guilty to taking part in a 2000 torture killing. The justices said the arguments from Briley Piper, 39, of Anchorage, were “untimely" and didn't contest his guilt, the Rapid City Journal reported. Piper was sentenced to death after pleading guilty in the slaying of Chester Allen Poage, of Spearfish.


  • December 14th 2019 at 17:51

Suspect in Pensacola naval base shooting wrote 'the countdown has started' 4 months before attack: Report

Suspect in Pensacola naval base shooting wrote 'the countdown has started' 4 months before attack: ReportMohammed Alshamrani, 21, a second lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force who authorities say killed three people and injured eight others after opening fire at the Naval Air Base Pensacola last week, wrote the phrase "the countdown has started" on Sept. 11, 2019 with no further explanation, according to a Joint Intelligence Bulletin released Friday. The bulletin, which was issued by the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, National Counterterrorism Center and the Defense Intelligence Agency, also stated that his social media included references to non-Muslims as "infidels" and defended jihad.


  • December 14th 2019 at 17:26

Suspect in Pensacola naval base shooting wrote 'the countdown has started' 4 months before attack: Report

Suspect in Pensacola naval base shooting wrote 'the countdown has started' 4 months before attack: ReportMohammed Alshamrani, 21, a second lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force who authorities say killed three people and injured eight others after opening fire at the Naval Air Base Pensacola last week, wrote the phrase "the countdown has started" on Sept. 11, 2019 with no further explanation, according to a Joint Intelligence Bulletin released Friday. The bulletin, which was issued by the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, National Counterterrorism Center and the Defense Intelligence Agency, also stated that his social media included references to non-Muslims as "infidels" and defended jihad.


  • December 14th 2019 at 17:26

Sudan's ex-president receives sentence for corruption but his age prevents him from serving jail time

Sudan's ex-president receives sentence for corruption but his age prevents him from serving jail timeAs Sudan's transitional civilian government continues its nascent rule, the country's former President Omar al-Bashir, who was removed from power after 30 years earlier this year following nationwide protests, was sentenced Saturday to two years detention in a state-run reform center on financial irregularities and corruption charges. Some of his supporters briefly disrupted the proceedings before being forced out of the courtroom.The 75-year-old is reportedly protected somewhat by a law that prevents anyone over the age of 70 from serving jail time. He will reportedly serve his sentence after a verdict is reached in another case in which he is accused of ordering security forces to kill the protesters in the movement that led to his removal, and he was also questioned about the 1989 coup in which he was brought to power. One of his lawyers said they would appeal the verdict.The International Criminal Court in The Hague is also pursuing al-Bashir for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide in Sudan's Darfur region, but none of the cases against him in Sudan are connected to those allegations. Read more at Al Jazeera and BBC.More stories from theweek.com Trump's pathological obsession with being laughed at The most important day of the impeachment inquiry Jerry Falwell Jr.'s false gospel of memes


  • December 14th 2019 at 17:14

Storm system moves along Mid-Atlantic coast as 2nd storm impacts West

Storm system moves along Mid-Atlantic coast as 2nd storm impacts WestA coastal storm system is moving along the Mid-Atlantic coastline this morning, bringing several weather hazards on all sides of the system from the Gulf Coast through New England. Heavy rain and downpours are impacting states from the Midwest through portions of New England, bringing the threat for flooding, mainly in the Northeast. Flooding will be a concern through the weekend especially along coastal areas and in New England areas where partially frozen ground will make it difficult for water to drain.


  • December 14th 2019 at 13:17

A Mobster's Murder, and the Jockeying to Move Up the Hierarchy

A Mobster's Murder, and the Jockeying to Move Up the HierarchyNEW YORK -- On a quiet night in March, a mob leader was executed in New York City for the first time since 1985. The body of Francesco Cali, a reputed boss of the Gambino crime family, lay crumpled outside his Staten Island home, pierced by at least six bullets.Hours later, two soldiers in the Gambino family talked on the phone. One of them, Vincent Fiore, said he had just read a "short article" about the "news," according to prosecutors.No tears were shed for their fallen leader. The murder was "a good thing," Fiore, 57, said on the call. The vacuum at the top meant that Andrew Campos, described by authorities as the Gambino captain who ran Fiore's crew, was poised to gain more power.Cali's death was just the beginning of surprises to come for the Gambino family.Last week, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged Fiore and 11 others in a sprawling racketeering scheme linked to the Gambinos, once the country's preeminent organized crime dynasty. The charges stemmed from a yearslong investigation involving wiretapped calls, physical surveillance and even listening devices installed inside an office where mob associates worked.As part of the case, the government released a court filing that offered an extremely rare glimpse at the reactions inside a Mafia family to the murder of their boss -- a curious mix of mourning and jockeying for power. The case showed that life in the mob can be just as petty as life in a corporate cubicle."Mob guys are the biggest gossips in the world," said James J. Hunt, the former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration's office in New York. "You think they're tough guys, but they're all looking out for themselves. The only way they get promoted is by a guy dying or going to jail."While Fiore initially plotted how Cali's death would help him and his faction, he adopted a different tone when calling his own ex-wife a few days later, prosecutors said. He warmly referred to Cali as "Frankie" and seemed to mourn the boss as a man who "was loved." He speculated about the killer's motive, saying he had watched the surveillance tape from Cali's home that captured the murder.Vincent Fiore appeared ambitious, court documents showed, eager to reveal his connections to other gangs and organized crime families. About two weeks after Cali's death, Fiore bragged in another wiretapped conversation about how he could take revenge on students who had hit his son at school, a government filing said.Fiore talked first about sending his daughter to beat the students up.But he also had other options, he said on the call. His ex-wife's father was a Latin King, her nephews were Bloods, and her cousin was a member of the Ching-a-Lings, the South Bronx motorcycle gang.Vincent Fiore and the other defendants have each pleaded not guilty to the charges. A lawyer for Fiore did not respond to a request for comment.Despite decades of declining influence in New York City, the Gambino family, led by the notoriously flashy John J. Gotti in the 1980s, is still raking in millions of dollars, according to the government. Prosecutors said they had evidence that the family had maintained its long-standing coziness with the construction industry, infiltrating high-end Manhattan properties.The indictments accused Gambino associates of bribing a real estate executive to skim hundreds of thousands of dollars from New York City construction projects, including the XI, a luxury building with two twisting towers being built along the High Line park in West Chelsea.At the height of their power in the 1980s and early 1990s, the Gambinos and other organized crime families had a stranglehold on New York City construction, through their control of construction unions and the concrete business.Some of the defendants charged last week operated a carpentry company called CWC Contracting Corp., which prosecutors said paid kickbacks to real estate developers in exchange for contracts.Despite the scramble after Cali's death in March, the Gambino crime family continued to thrive through fraud, bribery and extortion, investigators said.The wiretaps quoted in court papers hinted at the crime family's capacity for violence. One of the defendants was recorded in April claiming that he had a fight in a diner and "stabbed the kid, I don't know, 1,000 times with a fork." Inside another defendant's home and vehicle, agents found brass knuckles and a large knife that appeared to have blood on it.Among the notable names in last week's takedown were two longtime Gambino members, Andrew Campos and Richard Martino, who were once considered by Gotti to be rising stars in the Mafia, according to former officials."John was enamored by these guys," said Philip Scala, a retired FBI agent who supervised the squad investigating the Gambino family. "He couldn't believe what they were doing. These kids were making millions of dollars as entrepreneurs."In particular, Martino has long been viewed by mob investigators as somewhat of a white-collar crime genius, former officials said. Prosecutors have previously accused him of orchestrating the largest consumer fraud of the 1990s, which netted close to $1 billion. One part of that scheme involved a fake pornography website that lured users with the promise of a free tour and then charged their credit cards without their knowledge.Campos, 50, and Martino, 60, each pleaded guilty in 2005 to their role in the fraud and served time in federal prison.But as soon as they were released, the government said, they returned to the family business.Martino is now accused of hiding his wealth from the government to avoid paying the full $9.1 million forfeiture from his earlier case.After Martino's release from prison in 2014, he still controlled companies that conducted millions of dollars in transactions, using intermediaries to obscure his involvement, the government alleged. This included investments in pizzerias on Long Island and in Westchester County, according to a person familiar with the matter.Martino's lawyer, Maurice Sercarz, said his client fully paid the required forfeiture before reporting to prison. He added, "The suggestion that Mr. Martino concealed his ownership of businesses and bank accounts to avoid this obligation ignores or misrepresents his financial circumstances."Campos, meanwhile, climbed the ranks to become a captain inside the Gambino family, according to prosecutors.Henry E. Mazurek, a lawyer for Campos, said the government's photos and surveillance footage of his client were not evidence of a crime. "The government presents a trumped-up case that substitutes old lore for actual evidence," Mazurek said.After searching Campos' home in Scarsdale, New York, a wealthy suburb north of New York City, investigators found traces of a storied mob legacy. In his closet there were photos taken during his visits with Martino to see Frank Locascio, Gotti's former consigliere, or counselor, in prison.Locascio is serving a life sentence. He was convicted in 1992 alongside Gotti by the same U.S. attorney's office that brought last week's indictment. Gotti, who died in prison in 2002, was found guilty of, among other things, ordering the killing of Paul Castellano in 1985, the last time a Gambino boss was gunned down in the street.On March 14, the day after Cali's death, Campos drove into Manhattan around 5:50 p.m. to discuss the circumstances of the murder with Gambino family members, seemingly unaware that law enforcement was tracking his every move.He parked near a pizzeria on the Upper East Side, according to a person familiar with the matter. As the night progressed, he met with Gambino family captains on the Upper East Side and near a church in Brooklyn. They stood in the street, chatting openly, but law enforcement officials could not hear the conversations.Several days later, Campos and Fiore drove to Staten Island for a secret meeting. A group of about eight high-level Gambino lieutenants gathered to discuss Cali's murder, a court filing said. In a wiretapped call the next day, Fiore complained that he had stayed out past midnight.Fiore said on the call that a woman had been at Cali's home the night of his death, pointing to her as a possible connection. Court papers do not reveal the woman's identity.Nobody within the mob family seemed to suspect the person who was charged: a 25-year-old who appeared to have no clear motive.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company


  • December 14th 2019 at 16:20

'I'm 13': Killing in Park Yields Startling Suspects

'I'm 13': Killing in Park Yields Startling SuspectsNEW YORK -- The murder suspect walked into the courtroom Friday wearing black sweatpants, Air Jordan sneakers and a navy hoodie. He bit his bottom lip nervously as a court officer asked his name, then his age."I'm 13," he said.The deadly stabbing of an 18-year-old Barnard College student, Tessa Majors, as she walked in a park near the school's Manhattan campus has jarred New York City, recalling an era decades ago when violent street crime was far more common.But also shocking have been revelations about ages of two of the suspects: They are 13 and 14 years old."This makes what was already an excruciating tragedy even more painful," said City Councilman Mark Levine, who represents the neighborhood where Majors was stabbed. "You now have families on both sides of this horrific crime who are facing devastating loss."Majors, a first-year college student from Virginia who was interested in journalism and played in a rock band, was walking through Morningside Park in upper Manhattan on Wednesday night when three teenagers tried to rob her, police said.In court Friday, a detective laid out a chilling account of the struggle that ended with Majors' death.One of her assailants pulled a knife and stabbed her several times. As the group fled, Majors staggered up a flight of stairs, out of the park and onto the street, where a campus security guard found her.A folding knife with a blade roughly 4 inches long was found nearby and was being tested for DNA and fingerprints, a law enforcement official said.At Friday's hearing, Detective Vincent Signoretti testified that the 13-year-old boy, whom The New York Times is not naming because he is not being charged as an adult, told police that he and two other teenagers had gone to Morningside Park specifically to rob people."They followed a man with the intention of robbing him and decided not to," Signoretti said.The trio later spotted Majors in the park, he said. The boy told Signoretti that he watched his two friends grab the student, put her into a chokehold and remove items from her pockets, the officer testified.Then, shortly before 7 p.m., the boy watched as his friend slashed the young woman with a knife and feathers from the stuffing of her coat came flying out, the detective testified.The boy was arrested on trespassing charges Thursday evening in a building near the park and interviewed by detectives with his uncle present, officials said. His statements led investigators to the other suspects, one law enforcement official said.One of those suspects, who is 14, was detained and interviewed Friday, the official said. A second official said that he had a lawyer present when he was interviewed.The third suspect is believed to be the person who stabbed Majors and as of Friday evening was still being sought, the first official said.The 13-year-old, who lives in Harlem and is 5 feet 5 inches tall, has not been formally charged with a crime. A judge ordered he be held until Tuesday, when he is due back in court for another hearing. He is expected to be arraigned eventually on charges of second-degree felony murder, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon.Rachel Glantz, an attorney for New York City, said at the hearing that the allegations were "the most serious charges that can come before a family court."Under New York state law, minors charged with intentional murder can be tried as adults. But the 13-year-old will be prosecuted in family court because he is facing a charge of felony murder, meaning that he is not accused of stabbing the woman but of taking part in robbery during which Majors was killed.The boy's lawyer, Hannah Kaplan with the Legal Aid Society, said police did not have any evidence beyond the boy's statement. She added that he had never been arrested before."There is no allegation my client touched the complainant in this case," Kaplan said. "He was merely present when this took place."The skinny teenager sat at the defense table slightly hunched over as public defenders whispered into his ear during the hearing. The boy's aunt and uncle, Shaquoya Carr and Roosevelt Davis, who are his guardians, sat directly behind him. Davis appeared to wipe away tears.After the hearing ended, a court officer placed handcuffs on the 13-year-old, tightening them to fit his slender wrists.Reached by phone, another aunt, Sonia Davis, said she did not believe the boy took part in the murder."No, I don't think he did this, not at all," Sonia Davis said. Of Majors' killing, she said, "I do feel bad for her and the family."The seemingly random killing of Majors in a park of symbolic importance to the community surrounding it, rattling university students and other city residents."It's just crazy," said Tyrone Singleton, 53, a building superintendent who lives near the park. "It's sad they took that girl's life for nothing. I'm ready to get up out of here."Majors grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia, and had just moved to New York for her first semester of college. She spent her weekends singing and playing punk rock. She and her band, Patient 0, had just put out their first album in the fall, and they had played their first New York City concert in October.Her father, Robert Inman Majors, who goes by his middle name, is a novelist and teaches creative writing at James Madison University in Virginia."We are devastated by the senseless loss of our beautiful and talented Tess," her family said in a statement Friday. "We are thankful for the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from across the country."The park where Tessa Majors was stabbed, near the campuses of Barnard College and Columbia University, is in a precinct in Harlem that has grown safer over the years, with major crimes declining drastically there over the last 20 years, according to police data. The precinct had only one other murder so far this year."It's terrifying to think that that could happen anywhere," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Thursday. "It's unbelievable to me that that could happen here, next to one of our great college campuses."But residents have raised concerns about persistent crime in Morningside Park, even as the neighborhood around it improves, and playgrounds and ballfields replace desolate patches once strewn with crack vials.Earlier this year, several people reported that they had been approached from behind in the park and punched by young people.As of Sunday, there had been 20 robberies reported inside Morningside Park or on its perimeter this year, compared to seven in the same period last year.Since June, five people have reported being robbed on or near the staircase at 116th Street and Morningside Drive, near the location where Majors was stabbed. Recently, police said, several teenagers had been arrested in a pattern of robberies in the area.Levine, the city councilman, said officials needed to do more to keep the park safe, including filling gaps in lighting and boosting surveillance camera coverage, which he called spotty.Tom Baker, 73, has lived on the Upper West Side and has had an affiliation with Columbia since 1964. He said he feared the killing of Majors would cause a return to a bygone mentality of fear that once divided the university from the surrounding neighborhoods. Majors, he said, "was somebody who had no idea what the old Columbia rules were.""In the old days, nobody went through Morningside Park -- at all," he said. "Ever."He said he had been pleased to see the neighborhood become safer in the last 25 years. Still, he said Wednesday's murder was deeply troubling."It makes you wonder, are we going back? Is the city on its way down?" Baker asked. "My prediction would be that they are going to revert to the old rules by instinct."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company


  • December 14th 2019 at 16:07

Louisiana sues California over alligator ban

Louisiana sues California over alligator banLouisiana is suing the state of California over its decision to ban the import and sale of alligator products, saying the ban will hurt an important Louisiana industry and ultimately could hurt the state's wetlands. In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Louisiana said the economy surrounding alligators has played a key role in bringing back the American alligator population and is an important factor in protecting wetlands and other species besides alligators that depend on the wetlands. “California has nevertheless attempted to destroy the market for American alligator products notwithstanding the fact that no such alligators live in California," the lawsuit says.


  • December 14th 2019 at 15:28

British 'narcograndad' arrested in Colombia after police allegedly find 9kg of cocaine in his luggage

British 'narcograndad' arrested in Colombia after police allegedly find 9kg of cocaine in his luggageA 78-year-old British "narcograndad" is being held in Colombia for attempting to smuggle cocaine out of the country as the country deals with a surge in pensioners being used to traffic drugs abroad. Vincent Ruocco from Manchester was arrested at Bogotá’s El Dorado airport after the police found nine kilos of cocaine hidden in wooden pedicure files stashed in his luggage. Colombian officials say the number of elderly people used as so-called “drug mules" nearly doubled in the last year. So far this year 47 people aged between 50 and 80 have been caught, with 14 of those over the age of 65. In 2018 33 were caught. The numbers are likely to represent a fraction of the total number of elderly people used to smuggle drugs, many of whom go undetected. “These people represent a vulnerable section of society,” Colonel Wilson Siza of Colombia’s Antinarcotics police told The Telegraph. The nail files allegedly found in Vincent Ruocco's luggage “Drug gangs take advantage of them by offering them large payments. They also think they are less likely to be searched.” Earlier this year, British pensioners Roger and Sue Clarke were convicted of smuggling £1 million pounds of cocaine on a luxury Caribbean cruise. A judge in Lisbon, Portugal, sentenced them to eight years in prison. But in Colombia, one of the reasons gangs use senior citizens to move their drugs is that they often get away with non-custodial sentences, according to the police. Pensioners convicted of crime are usually placed under house arrest or a temporary curfew. “The risk for them is therefore considered to be less so it’s easier to persuade them to try,” said colonel Siza. Very few drugs mules are repeat offenders, according to the Colombian authorities, but Mr Ruocco, who is currently in custody awaiting trial in Bogotá, had previously been detained at Heathrow airport after arriving on a flight from Togo with 2.5k of cocaine in his luggage in 2014.      He was found not guilty of the offence in April 2015. Approximately 70 per cent of the cocaine consumed globally comes from Colombia.  The country also seizes more cocaine than any other in the world, although the total amount of seizures dropped by 4.7 percent, from 434.7 tons in 2017 to 414.5 tons in 2018.


  • December 14th 2019 at 15:26

If Mike Bloomberg wants to move on from 'stop and frisk,' he should put his money where his mouth is

If Mike Bloomberg wants to move on from 'stop and frisk,' he should put his money where his mouth isThe former New York mayor apologized for "stop and frisk." The tens of thousands arrested on low-level marijuana charges still suffer the consequences.


  • December 14th 2019 at 14:21

5-year-old's birthday wish of bedding for children in need extended for the holidays

5-year-old's birthday wish of bedding for children in need extended for the holidaysWhen their birthdays roll around, most children ask for a growing list of presents -- or a pony -- but that wasn't the case for 5-year-old Tyler Sliz. Tyler asked family and friends to help him donate bedding to children in need through the Sleep in Heavenly Peace organization at his church in Libertyville, Illinois. "At first, I was concerned he would feel disappointment at his birthday party when all he received was bedding, but he surprised me with his giving heart," his mother, Jackie Sliz, told ABC News.


  • December 14th 2019 at 15:09

Kentucky governor pardons killer whose family donated to his campaign days before leaving office

Kentucky governor pardons killer whose family donated to his campaign days before leaving officeThe outgoing Republican governor of Kentucky has sparked outrage after he pardoned a convicted killer whose family had hosted a fundraiser for the politician and given him money.Matt Bevin, who was defeated in his bid for re-election in November, has issued over 400 pardons in his final days in office.


  • December 14th 2019 at 14:27

If Mike Bloomberg wants to move on from 'stop and frisk,' he should put his money where his mouth is

If Mike Bloomberg wants to move on from 'stop and frisk,' he should put his money where his mouth isThe former New York mayor apologized for "stop and frisk." The tens of thousands arrested on low-level marijuana charges still suffer the consequences.


  • December 14th 2019 at 14:21
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