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Alabama gunman kills bus driver, seizes boy
Jan 30, 2013, - 3 Comments

Jan. 30, 2013 Associated Press

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. — Police SWAT teams and hostage negotiators were locked in a standoff Wednesday with a gunman authorities say intercepted a school bus, killed the driver, snatched a 6-year-old boy and retreated into a bunker at his home with the kindergartener.

The gunman, identified by neighbors as Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old retired truck driver, was known as a menacing figure who once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children for setting foot on his property and patrolled his yard at night with a flashlight and a shotgun.

He had been scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning to answer charges he shot at his neighbors in a dispute last month over a speed bump.

The standoff dragged on through the night and into the afternoon Wednesday after the gunman boarded a stopped school bus filled with children in the small town of Midland City, population 2,300, on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

Sheriff Wally Olsen said the man shot the bus driver when he refused to hand over a 6-year-old child. The gunman then took the kindergartener away.

Dykes was believed to be holed up with the boy in an underground bunker of the sort used to take shelter from a tornado.

"As far as we know there is no relation at all. He just wanted a child for a hostage situation," said Michael Senn, a church pastor who helped comfort the traumatized children after the attack.

The bus driver, Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66, was hailed by locals as a hero who gave his life to protect 21 students.

Massachusetts chemist pleads not guilty in crime lab scandal
Jan 30, 2013, - 0 Comments

Jan. 30, 2013 Reuters

A former Massachusetts crime lab chemist accused of falsifying evidence tied to as many as 34,000 cases pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice charges on Wednesday.

Prosecutors allege Annie Dookhan, 35, tampered with drug evidence and faked test results at the Hinton State Laboratory Institute in Boston, where she had worked for nine years analyzing drug samples submitted by law enforcement across the state.

Dookhan is accused, among other things, of altering substances in vials to cover up her practice of visually identifying samples without doing the proper chemical testing.

Dookhan was arrested in September and subsequently charged with tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice, perjury, and falsely claiming to have an advanced degree in chemistry. Prosecutors charge she got the job by falsely claiming she had a master's degree from the University of Massachusetts.

Investigators have said they identified some 10,000 people convicted or accused of crimes based on evidence she had handled at the Hinton lab, which is temporarily closed.

State officials say 252 people had been released from prison pending new trials as a result of the investigation, as of January 4.

Hadiya Pendleton Murder: Teen girl who performed at President Obama's inauguration fatally shot at Chicago park, report says
Jan 30, 2013, - 0 Comments

Jan. 30, 2013 CBS

Chicago -- A teenage girl who performed at President Obama's inauguration with her high school band earlier this month was shot to death Tuesday afternoon at a Chicago park, CBS Chicago reports.

Police said 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was taking shelter from the rain under a canopy at the park with about 12 other teenagers when a man jumped a fence, ran up to them and opened fire. The gunman then fled the scene in an automobile.

Hadiya was shot once in the back and died at University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital less than an hour later, CBS Chicago reports. An unidentified teenage boy was shot in the leg and is being treated at the hospital.

No arrests have been made.

Hadiya was an honor student, volleyball player and majorette at King College Prep High School, according to CBS Chicago. She performed with her high school band at the presidential inauguration in Washington last week.

Mohandas Gandhi is assassinated - 1948
Jan 30, 2013, - 0 Comments

Gandhi

Mohandas Gandhi

by Michael Thomas Barry

On January 30, 1948, Mohandas Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India is assassinated in New Delhi by a terrorist sponsored right-wing Hindu militia group. The murder came only 10 days after another failed attempt on Gandhi's life.

Mexico Breaks up Alleged Border Sex-Slavery Cult
Jan 29, 2013, - 0 Comments

January 29, 2013 Associated Press

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican officials say they have broken up a bizarre cult that allegedly ran a sex-slavery ring among its followers on the U.S. border.

Mexico's National Immigration Institute says 14 foreigners have been detained in the raid on a house near Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Laredo, Texas.

Those detained include six Spaniards, and two people each from Brazil, Bolivia and Venezuela. One person from Argentina and one from Ecuador were also detained, the institute announced Tuesday.

The institute said Tuesday that 10 Mexicans were also found at the house in filthy conditions, and are presumably among the victims of the cult.

The institute said the sect's leaders called themselves "The Defenders of Christ" and made members of the cult pay quotas, which they apparently paid with forced labor or sex.

Ohio police captain exonerated of ex-wife's murder after 14 years in prison
Jan 29, 2013, - 0 Comments

Jan. 29, 2013 Fox News/AP

A former Ohio police captain who has spent nearly 15 years in prison in his ex-wife's killing was exonerated Tuesday by a judge who said that new DNA tests proved his innocence and that no reasonable jury that saw the test results would have convicted him.

Doug Prade should be set free because the new DNA results are "clear and convincing," said Summit County Court of Common Pleas Judge Judy Hunter in Akron.

Hunter could have ordered a new trial for the 66-year-old Prade, or found that the DNA results weren't strong enough and allowed his conviction and sentence of life in prison to stand.

Prade's attorney, Carrie Wood, said when she called Prade to give him the news, he broke down in tears and couldn't speak for a while.

"This was a very humble and thankful Doug," said Wood, who works for the Cincinnati-based Ohio Innocence Project and has been working for years to get Prade freed.

"There was no `I told you so,"' Wood said. "There was only joy that it was finally recognized by the court and that he might get to come home to his family today."

Ukraine Gongadze case: Court convicts journalist's killer
Jan 29, 2013, - 0 Comments

Jan. 29, 2013 BBC

A Ukrainian court has convicted a former police chief of murdering journalist Georgy Gongadze in 2000, a crime which rocked the country.

The court in Kiev found that Olexiy Pukach had killed the journalist, then cut off his head. It sentenced Pukach to life imprisonment.

Pukach confessed but said he had acted on the orders of the late Interior Minister, Yuri Kravchenko.

The murder sparked protests against the president at the time, Leonid Kuchma.

An attempt to prosecute Mr Kuchma for ordering the killing collapsed in December 2011 when a judge ruled that secret audio recordings which apparently incriminated him could not be used as evidence, as they had been obtained through "illegal means".

Mr Kuchma has always denied involvement in the journalist's murder.

A few months before his death, Georgy Gongadze founded the news website Ukrainskaya Pravda, which was sharply critical of the Kuchma presidency.

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