(FOXNEWS) A federal judge said Friday he will allow prison doctors to continue forcibly medicating the man accused in the deadly Arizona shooting rampage, to prevent the man from hurting himself.
U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ruled after hearing arguments on a request by Jared Lee Loughner’s defense team to halt the pychotropic medications.
The judge rejected a similar request by Loughner’s attorneys in late June. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeal halted the medication but later allowed it to resume after prison officials determined Loughner’s outbursts there posed a danger.
Loughner has pleaded not guilty to 49 charges in the Jan. 8 shooting that killed six people and wounded 13 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, at a meet-and-greet event held by the congresswoman outside a Tucson grocery store.
Loughner has been at a federal prison facility in Springfield, Mo., since late May after mental health experts determined he suffers from schizophrenia. A judge ruled him mentally unfit to stand trial.
Loughner was forcibly medicated between June 21 and July 1. The prison resumed his forced medication on July 19.
On Friday, Burns said he didn’t want to second-guess the decision by doctors at the Missouri prison that Loughner’s forcible medication should resume. The doctors found Loughner’s condition significantly deteriorated in the three weeks after the appeals court halted his medication.
Loughner kept himself awake for 50 hours straight before medications resumed, Burns said. He cried and walked in his cell until he had sores on his feet.
Burns said the decision to resume medication “seems entirely appropriate and reasonable to me” to prevent Loughner from hurting himself.
Loughner’s attorneys also are fighting the forced medication at the 9th Circuit. The key question is whether prison officials or a judge should decide whether a mentally ill person who poses a danger in prison should be forcibly medicated. Prosecutors say the decision is for prison officials to make, while Loughner’s lawyers say it’s up to a judge.
The appeals court will hold a hearing Tuesday over Loughner’s forced medication.
(FOXNEWS) New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will not reconsider his decision to exclude clergy from the ceremony marking 10 years since the Sept. 11 attacks, a spokesman said Friday.
The statement comes despite increased pressure from religious and conservative leaders who say that even though the mayor has not allowed clergy at other services, he should make an exception this time.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said Americans “turned to God for solace” after the 2001 attacks, and clergy were intimately involved in helping the nation heal.
“Unfortunately, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg would have us look the other way,” Perkins said in a statement. “At a Ground Zero commemoration for the families of victims, Mayor Bloomberg is allowing the presence of politicians and presidents, but no pastors or prayer. The mayor of course will be there, but politicians weren’t then — and are not now — nearly enough.”
Perkins is gathering signatures for a petition in opposition to the decision.
City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, who is a pastor in the Bronx, has also launched a petition on his website urging Bloomberg to “allow prayer to be included in the 9/11 ceremony.”
But Bloomberg spokesman Marc LaVorgna told FoxNews.com the mayor is not reconsidering. LaVorgna noted none of the other nine services included clergy. Bloomberg’s office has argued the service should stay focused on the families of the victims.
“There’s an awful lot of people who would like to participate and you just can’t do that … so the argument here is elected officials and those who were there at the time,” Bloomberg said in a radio interview late last month.
The decision even prompted a response from the GOP presidential field.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum, one of the most religiously conservative candidates in the race, issued a statement calling the exclusion of clergy “disconcerting.”
“I urge Mayor Bloomberg to reconsider his unfortunate decision. It is important to allow clergy to attend and take part in the memorial intended to bind the wounds of a still healing nation,” Santorum said.
Catholic League President Bill Donohue also urged the mayor to reverse course and allow a “short statement” from a priest, minister, rabbi and imam at the service.
(Evan Lips) John, a Vietnam War veteran, says the memory of Tuesday, Aug. 9 will stick in his memory until the end of his days.
That was the day when Veterans Affairs officials closed down the East Merrimack Street community residential home where he and three other disabled veterans were living. VA officials transferred the veterans to other residential homes.
John, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was moved to an Appleton Street residential home, but hasn’t seen or heard about the other disabled vets. He alleges that he and the other veterans were being abused by the residential home’s sponsor, Doris “Dody” Machado.
A VA official declined to tell The Sun why the the disabled veterans were moved from the East Merrimack Street home, but did acknowledge that an investigation is under way.
Kristin Pressly, a spokeswoman for the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, said she could not confirm or deny any incidents that may have taken place at the veterans home at 514 East Merrimack St.
“Commenting on anything right now might jeopardize the case,” she said, adding that the matter is under investigation.
John alleges that Machado abused him and his housemates. John said that Machado once emptied a glass of water on top of his head to “teach him a lesson.”
Stackpole Street resident Tom Green, who said he’s a friend of John’s, said Friday that when he first met Machado he “thought she was a saint.”
But he then talked about the time Machado asked him if he could loan her $400.
“She gave me a sob story and I got suckered,” he said. “I’ll never see that money again.”
Machado was reached last Friday on her cellphone. As soon as she was asked about the East Merrimack Street home, Machado hung up her phone.
The East Merrimack Street home was part of the VA’s community residential-care program, which provides veterans who do not require hospital care — but are unable to live independently — the ability to live in a communal atmosphere. The veterans are responsible for room-and-board costs, but a provider must also live at the house.
All CRC houses are inspected annually by VA inspection teams, according to a March 2007 copy of the VA’s Community Residential Care Program handbook. Pressly said she could not comment on Machado’s CRC application or her history sponsoring the East Merrimack Street home.
On Tuesday, Pressly agreed to proceed with a Sun reporter’s request to interview another CRC sponsor at a different home. But on Wednesday, Pressly said she had to deny the request out “of respect for the pending investigation.”
“As soon as it’s over and the matter is cleared and it won’t compromise our case I would be happy to do so,” she said about the request.
According to the VA’s CRC sponsorship application, applicants are required to list four references, including two neighbors, agree to an initial home inspection “by a healthcare team from a VA facility,” and “comply with VA standards for residential care.”
The VA’s CRC handbook states that all formal applications must be reviewed by the CRC program coordinator, who then must contact the applicant to arrange for a site visit.
Jennifer Demaio, the Bedford VA Medical Center’s program coordinator, said last week she could not comment on the situation at 514 East Merrimack St. and referred all questions to Pressly.
John, the veteran who was moved from the East Merrimack Street home, said Demaio made a surprise inspection visit to the home on the night of Monday, Aug. 8. The next morning he and the three other veterans were dispersed to other homes. John said they were given 10 minutes to pack their belongings.
Dracut Veterans Agent Bill Zounes said veterans who participate in a CRC program must agree to have a portion of their disability pension or Social Security pay for their room and board.
John said he’s not sure where Machado resides, but that she is active with the Lowell Elks Lodge. Elks Exalted Ruler Paul Savary confirmed last week that Machado serves as the organization’s chaplain. Her responsibilities include leading group prayer and organizing donation efforts for local veterans.
“The only thing I know is that I was told a few weeks ago if I ever needed to reach Dody (Machado) I had to call her cellphone and not the house phone number,” Savary said.
According to Lowell’s online assessor’s database, the East Merrimack Street house is owned by Charles Emanouil, a Chelmsford landscaper and developer. Reached at home on Thursday, Emanouil said he and his family recently decided not to renew their lease with the VA.
“We weren’t getting enough vets living there and it’s such a small house that we were losing money every year,” he said. “It is a rooming house with a license.”
Emanouil said he is unaware of any investigation related to Machado.
(INFOWARS) The Obama administration allows Mexican police to stage drug raids from within the United States, according to the New York Times.
Mexican military commandos have “discreetly traveled to the United States, assembled at designated areas and dispatched helicopter missions back across the border aimed at suspected drug traffickers.” The DEA is providing logistical support and sharing intelligence.
The Times describes the “boomerang” operations as part of a broadening American campaign aimed at the drug cartels. The strategy is based on earlier operations when the Mexican police worked with the U.S. military and raids were staged at Camp Pendleton in San Diego. A DEA official characterized the Mexican paramilitary police as a “rapid-reaction force.”
In response, the Tijuana Cartel kidnapped, tortured and killed a counternarcotics official in the Mexican attorney general’s office, along with two fellow drug agents.
The DEA works closely with the CIA and the Pentagon in the supposed war on the Mexican drug cartels. In addition to flying Global Hawk missions over Mexico, the CIA mans an “intelligence outpost” on a Mexican military base. Mexican officials told the Times Pentagon is not involved in the cross-border operations and Americans do not take part in drug raids on Mexican territory.
The Pentagon used the war on drugs to establish a military presence in Colombia. In 2009, it was reported that seven new bases in the South American country are used to expand the U.S. military’s counter-narcotic operations in the region, deepen involvement in Colombia’s counterinsurgency war, and combat “other international crimes,” according to Colombia’s Foreign Minister.
The Pentagon is busy merging the war on terror with the war on drugs. It is “overhauling the parts of the military responsible for the drug fight, paying particular attention to some lessons of nearly a decade of counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. At Northern Command — the military’s Colorado Springs headquarters responsible for North American operations — several top officers with years of experience in fighting Al Qaeda and affiliated groups are poring over intelligence about Mexican drug networks.”
“The military is trying to take what it did in Afghanistan and do the same in Mexico,” an officer told the Times.
In 2010, the U.S. military admitted it has has turned a blind eye to Afghan opium cultivation and production. “The Golden Crescent drug trade, launched by the CIA in the early 1980s, continues to be protected by US intelligence, in liaison with NATO occupation forces and the British military,” writes author Michel Chossudovsky. “The proceeds of this lucrative multimillion dollar contraband are deposited in Western banks. Almost the totality of revenues accrue to corporate interests and criminal syndicates outside Afghanistan.”
Last year it was discovered that two large U.S. banks, Wachovia and Bank of America, were involved in money laundering cartel drug money. Wachovia had laundered $378.4 billion, a sum equal to one-third of Mexico’s gross domestic product.
(THE INTEL HUB) You’ve got your food, water, supplies, weapons, ammo and self defense plan.
But how sure are you of your security preparations and will they be enough to defend your survival retreat?
If the worst were to happen you can be assured that organized bands of looters will be ready to take everything you have, including your life. They’ll be heavily armed, well versed in their tactics, fully committed to the mission at hand, and they won’t be taking prisoners.
(PRISON PLANET) For what it’s worth here is a response from the BBC concerning footage it ran on August 24, claiming a gathering in India, with people waving Indian flags, was actually footage of celebrations from a liberated Green Square in Tripoli:
Dear Mr Watson,
Thanks for contacting us regarding ‘Breakfast’ broadcast on 24 August on BBC One.
We understand you were concerned that incorrect footage was shown during a report on the latest developments from Tripoli, and that images from India were broadcast instead.
We forwarded your complaint to ‘Breakfast’ Editors who explained in response that they realized within moments that they were showing the wrong footage and quickly took it down.
They also apologized immediately and pointed to how the problem was caused by confusion over a “feed” coming in to television center from the international agencies.
We apologize for any concern this may have caused and we’d like to assure you that your feedback has been registered on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that’s made available to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, program makers, channel controllers and other senior managers. The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.
Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.
Finally, I have attached an invitation from the Head of BBC Audience Services, asking you to participate in our customer survey. We would welcome your views on our service.
So in summary: Sorry, we got “confused”. Here is video of the broadcast
(Xinhua News) A U.S. newspaper reported on Thursday that oil may be again leaking from BP’s Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Hundreds of small, circular patches of oily sheen dotted the surface within a mile of the well head,” said The Mobile Press- Register, an Alabama newspaper.
Its reporters visited the site on Thursday and watched “blobs of oil rise to the surface and bloom into iridescent yellow patches,” the newspaper said.
Most of the oil was located in a patch about 50 yards wide and a quarter of a mile long,and reporters found a “pronounced and pungent petroleum smell,” the paper said.
While the source of the oil remained unclear, a chemical analysis by Louisiana State University scientists confirmed that the oil was a sweet Louisiana crude and could be from BP’s Macondo well, said the newspaper.
However, the newspaper quoted experts as saying that the oil could be flowing from a natural seep on the seafloor near the BP wellhead.
Other possibilities include oil trapped within the wreckage of the well, or oil deposited on the bottom during the spill that is slowly working its way to the surface, the paper said.
The most troubling possibility, according to petroleum engineers, is that oil is leaking up through the seafloor surrounding the sealed Macondo well, the newspaper said.
Last week, in response to online reports suggesting the well had begun to leak again,BP issued a statement, stating: “none of this is true.”
In an emailed statement, BP spokesman Justin Saia said Wednesday that the company stands by its previous statement, and that “neither BP nor the Coast Guard has seen any scientific evidence that oil is leaking from the Macondo well.”
BP’s Macondo well ruptured after an oil rig exploded and sank on April 20 last year,spewing up to 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly three months in the world’s worst marine oil spill.
(CNN) Steven Galeano was a problem child. He couldn’t stay out of fights and was “off the hook,” his father Edwin recalls.
But then Steven decided he wanted to start boxing, like his brothers. For the last four years, he has been venting his anger and frustration on the heavy bag at John’s Boxing Gym, in the Bronx, New York, rather than on other neighborhood kids.
“I [learned] how to control myself,” Steven says. “If I have something on my mind, a little stress, I just take it out on the bag.”
Along the way, he and his trainers also noticed that he has talent. He’s now a ranked 12-year-old boxer in the U.S. and proud — “so far” — of what he’s accomplished.
Boxing has turned Steven around, according to his father, but if the nation’s leading organization of pediatricians has its way, Steven would trade in his boxing gloves for a basketball, tennis racket, or swim goggles.
In a new policy statement published today in the journal Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics, along with the Canadian Paediatric Society, is recommending that doctors “vigorously oppose boxing for any child or adolescent” under the age of 19 because of the risk of concussions and other injuries, and instead steer kids toward non-collision sports.
“There’s no reason why we as pediatricians should be condoning such a thing, when we know that the risk is not zero for these kids, and perhaps the damage may be more long lasting,” says Claire LeBlanc, M.D., the lead author of the statement and the chair of a CPS committee on sports medicine and active living.
The pediatricians based their recommendation, in part, on the number of boxing injuries recorded by U.S. and Canadian health officials. In 2003, for instance, there were roughly 14 boxing-related hospital visits for every 1,000 people between the ages of 12 and 34 who participate in the sport, according to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The main concern is serious head injuries among kids and teens. Young boxers have been known to suffer concussions, just like the pros, but the data on head injuries is scarce, LeBlanc says. The limited government records in the U.S. suggest that the rate of head injuries among 12- to 17-year-olds, as well as older boxers, is about 3 for every 1,000 participants.
Perhaps even more alarming to pediatricians is the creeping possibility, based on studies of professional boxers, that young boxers could develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a condition caused by repetitive blows to the head that can lead to dementia-like symptoms later in life.
“I think it’s extremely important to continue to survey boxing as a sport until it shows evidence that it’s not a danger,” LeBlanc says.
Though real, the safety risks enumerated by LeBlanc and her colleagues seem to be a world apart from the day-to-day experience of youth boxers and boxing trainers.
Minor injuries such as bloody noses, tennis elbow, and cuts are not uncommon, but thanks to protective headgear that covers most of the face and padded boxing gloves that absorb punches, serious injuries are highly unusual, says Joe DeGuardia, the owner of the Morris Park Boxing Club, in the Bronx.
Moreover, sparring makes up only a fraction of training. Young boxers spend most of their time stretching, conditioning, and practicing punch combinations outside the ring, where injuries are “very rare,” says DeGuardia, who is also the president of the Boxing Promoters Association and has been training young boxers for more than two decades.
More to the point, DeGuardia adds, the benefits young people derive from boxing — such as confidence, motivation, physical fitness, and especially self-discipline — “certainly outweigh the risks.”
In her corner, LeBlanc notes that safer sports can provide these benefits. Other solo pursuits such as long-distance cycling and triathlons also foster self-discipline and a work ethic without as much risk, she says, and underprivileged youth without access to such activities can get a lot of benefit from basketball.
The AAP and CPS even consider collision sports like football and hockey that carry a risk of head injury and concussion to be fair game for kids, because unlike boxing they do not encourage intentional blows to the head.
“We disagree with sports that promote violence,” LeBlanc says, noting that if boxing rules were changed to prohibit punching above the neck — as they were to protect the testicles, in 1938 — pediatric organizations might rethink their opposition to the sport.
Youth-boxing supporters claim that the perception that boxing promotes violence is out of touch with the reality of neighborhoods like the South Bronx. On the contrary, they say, boxing can help reduce violence outside of the gym.
One of the main reasons that kids walk through the door of John’s Boxing Gym is because they are getting picked on and want to protect themselves, says Pashk Gjini, 17, a manager at the gym. But most kids, like 12-year-old Steven, actually calm down when they start to train, he adds.
“They don’t have to fight on the street and in school,” Gjini says. “They’re fighting here.”
Another reason kids take up boxing is to get (or stay) in shape. At a time when school sports programs are being downsized and the rate of childhood obesity is about 17%, boxing offers a way to bring exercise back into some kids’ lives, supporters say.
Edwin, Steven’s dad, first introduced Steven’s older brother, Christopher, to boxing because he was overweight and not exercising. Christopher, now 18, eats salad instead of pizza every day and is a Golden Gloves amateur boxing champion.
“I was getting sick to see them just doing nothing,” Edwin says. “Now they don’t even have time for TV.”
(FOXNEWS) Norwegian police say they have arrested a right-wing extremist who has been stockpiling weapons and explosives at his home in Oslo, but has no connection to mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.
“The police have no information linking him to Breivik, but after the terrorist attacks, they did not want to take any risks and made the resources available to find this person as quickly as possible,” the Daily Verdens Gang reports.
The man is being investigated for the “possession of unauthorized weapons, possession of explosives and making threats,” according to his lawyer, Vidar Lind Iversen.
Breivik killed 77 people on July 22 in a bombing in Oslo and shooting rampage on a nearby island, and has since confessed to the killings.
“It seems – in what would be the worst luck of all – that Omed may have survived the suicide bombs only to be shot dead by US special forces when they entered the ruined RTA building,” the ANN investigation, published on Wednesday, said.
“Evidence for this centres on the nature of his wounds, the timing of his death, ballistics and (hearsay) comments from police.”
The investigation, by the AAN senior analyst Kate Clark, said it was clear that Khpulwak had died from gunshot wounds, but that “who pulled the trigger is less clear”.
It said: “From the timing of Omed’s death, it seems likely that both the Taliban attackers, who were initially blamed for his death, were already themselves dead, but that still leaves the counter-attacking force, as made up of Afghan and international, probably US, forces.
“The ballistics evidence points to Omed having been killed by a weapon used by the US military, although the possibility that such a weapon was used by Afghan security forces or even [the] Taliban has to be borne in mind.”
The investigation concluded that the “vast majority” of people killed in the attack “died at the hands of the Taliban”, but added that “one civilian may have been killed by international forces”.
The report said: “This case raises questions as to whether, in an admittedly dangerous and difficult situation, ‘looking Afghan’ can be enough for international forces to believe there is hostile intent and an imminent threat.”
The BBC said it had made an official request for the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force to carry out an urgent investigation into the facts surrounding Khpulwak’s death.
A spokesman for the BBC said: “Following the death of BBC stringer Ahmed Omed Khpulwak in southern Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province last month, various conflicting reports have emerged regarding the facts surrounding his death.
“The BBC officially requested that [the coalition] inquires into the circumstances of his death and reports the findings to the BBC and to his family as urgently as possible.”
Khpulwak joined the BBC in May 2008 as a stringer, and also worked for the Telegraph and the Pajhwok Afghan news agency.
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