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30,000 prisoners in California are refusing food
Tue, 07/09/2013 - 14:50, - 0 Comments

July 9, 2013 Libcom

Over 30,000 inmates across California’s vast prison estate have been refusing meals since yesterday morning. A further 2,300 prisoners have refused to attend work or educational classes – claiming they are sick. Prisoners are protesting against the use of a draconian solitary confinement policy that can see prisoners held in solitary for several decades – often with little or no attempt at a justification.

California currently has 10,000 prisoners in solitary confinement, and several dozen who have spent more than 20 years each in solitary.

The protest has been organised by a small group of prisoners held in solitary at Pelican Bay State Prison. They are demanding a 5 year limit on solitary confinement, the right to educational, rehabilitation opportunities, and the right to monthly phone-calls. The organisers have released the following statement:

Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez charged with murder
Wed, 06/26/2013 - 12:58, - 0 Comments

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was formally charged Wednesday afternoon with murder, more than a week after a body was found near his Massachusetts home.

Hernandez was also charged with several counts of unlawful possession of firearms. A judge ordered him to be held without bail.

Wearing a white V-neck shirt, red sports shorts, and handcuffs in Attleboro District Court, Hernandez showed no emotion as attorneys for the victim laid out a bruising account of what allegedly happened the night semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd was killed, citing what they say is surveillance camera footage, text messages, and witnesses who were working the overnight shift who heard gunshots as evidence. He wiped tears from his face at the very end of the arraignment.

The body of Lloyd, 27, was found June 17 in an industrial park about one mile away from the ex-tight end's North Attleborough home. The death was ruled a homicide.

Hernandez, 23, was placed in handcuffs and put in a police cruiser just before 9 a.m. on Wednesday by Massachusetts State Police and North Attleborough police. Authorities have searched his home, on the Rhode Island line not far from the Patriots' stadium, several times over the past week.

Less than two hours after the arrest, the Patriots announced they were releasing Hernandez.

U.S. files criminal charges against Snowden over leaks
Fri, 06/21/2013 - 17:35, - 0 Comments

June 21, 2013 Rueters

WASHINGTON  - The government has filed sealed criminal charges against former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who admitted leaking secrets about classified U.S. surveillance programs, U.S. sources said on Friday.

A U.S. Justice Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a criminal complaint had been filed against Snowden, who disclosed documents detailing U.S. telephone and internet surveillance efforts.

Another U.S. source, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States was preparing to seek Snowden's extradition from Hong Kong, where he is believed to be in hiding.

Earlier, the Washington Post reported that U.S. prosecutors have filed a sealed criminal complaint charging Snowden with espionage, theft and conversion of government property. The Post also reported that the United States has asked Hong Kong to detain Snowden on a provisional arrest warrant.

The criminal complaint was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, where Snowden's former employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, is located, the Post reported.

Documents leaked by Snowden revealed that U.S. security services had monitored data about phone calls from Verizon and Internet data from large companies such as Google and Facebook as part of counterterrorism efforts.

Ryan Ferguson's fight for freedom
Sun, 06/16/2013 - 01:43, - 0 Comments

[This story previously aired on Feb. 23, 2013. It was updated on June 15.]

(CBS NEWS) JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- I'm Erin Moriarty. I have been covering Ryan Ferguson's case now for more than seven years. Ferguson was charged with killing a man named Kent Heitholt on Halloween night 2001.

From the beginning, there was just something not right about this case. There was plenty of physical evidence at the crime scene -- hair, fingerprints and bloody shoe prints -- but none of it matched him.

The entire case hinged on one troubled accuser: Charles Erickson.

Bit by bit, the case against Ferguson has fallen apart, and yet, his conviction has been upheld time and time again. This time, however, an unexpected development may make a difference.

For the first time, Ferguson's accuser spoke publicly ... and what a story he told.

Four fatally shot in apparent murder-suicide at St. Louis business
Thu, 06/13/2013 - 17:35, - 0 Comments

The male shooter is among the four dead, police say. Officers recovered a semiautomatic handgun from the crime scene.

St. Louis Police Capt. Michael Sack said the dead were in their early 40s to mid-50s.

The shots were fired about 1:40 p.m. at the business, police say. Sack said surveillance video showed the shooter opened fire after having a brief argument with people inside the business.

“We don’t know if this is a prior thing that carried over,” Sack said.

Michael Graff, who has a law office in the same building, said the health care business was owned and staffed by Somalian immigrants. He said he had heard heated arguing there on past occasions. Graff was not in the building Thursday when the shooting occurred.

Sack said the shooter appeared to be an employee or owner of the health care business, and that the victims were employees. No one else was injured.

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