Published on Sep 1, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Here's the latest news for Saturday, Sept. 1: Obama campaigns in Iowa; Romney stumps in Ohio; Syrian warplanes target cities; Penn State loses season opener.
Published on Aug 30, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Here's the latest news for Thursday, Aug. 30: Mitt Romney takes center stage; New Orleans recovers from Isaac; Midwest hoping for some drought relief; Holiday travel set to pick up.
Published on Sep 1, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Here's the latest news for Saturday, Sept. 1: Obama campaigns in Iowa; Romney stumps in Ohio; Syrian warplanes target cities; Penn State loses season opener.
Published on Aug 31, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Here's the latest news for Friday, August 31: Romney visits Louisiana, Obama to follow; Ex-Marine kills 2, self at NJ supermarket; Syrian rebels launch new operation in Aleppo; Ex-Mich. rail worker claims $337M Powerball.
Published on Sep 4, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Here's the latest news for Tuesday, Sept. 4: Obama heads toward convention in Charlotte; Pentagon says book has secrets; Scores of homes damaged in Louisiana by Isaac; Big battle from long ago remembered.
Published on Sep 8, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Here's the latest news for Saturday, Sept. 8: President Barack Obama hits Florida; Mitt Romney stumps in Virginia; Pakistani Christian freed from jail; Paul McCartney honored in France.
Published on Sep 10, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Here's the latest news for Monday, September 10th: Chicago teachers on strike; Congress back in session; Flights for illegal migrants to end; Wyoming fire closes summer ski resort.
Published on Sep 13, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Here's the latest news for Thursday, Sept. 13: Anti-American protests grow in Mideast; White House deplores film, protests; Memorial service for Neil Armstrong; Jim Calhoun retiring.
Drifter Known for Menace Is Charged With Raping Woman, 73, in Central Park
By WENDY RUDERMAN and NATE SCHWEBER
A drifter who hailed from the South and spent most of his adult life in and out of prison on a grab bag of felonies, including kidnapping and abduction, was arrested on Thursday and charged with the rape, beating and robbery of a 73-year-old woman in Central Park.
The suspect, David Albert Mitchell, 42, was nothing if not distinctive. His body was a canvas of dark, mythical tattoos: a grim reaper, dragons, Nordic warriors, castles and ?some kind of deadly insect,? said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department?s chief spokesman. Other tattoos included two teardrops under Mr. Mitchell?s left eye and one small teardrop below his right.
Mr. Mitchell, a parolee from Virginia who arrived in New York City in July, found his way to Central Park, where he almost immediately inspired fear in park regulars, one of whom he threatened with a knife on Aug. 20, the authorities said.
?He?s a psycho,? said Ayrton dos Santos Jr., known as the mayor of Strawberry Fields, a section of the park where a memorial to John Lennon attracts throngs of tourists. ?He pulled a shank on me and said, ?I got no problem taking this knife and plugging it into you and spattering blood all over this circle in front of all these people.? ?
Video surveillance images of the suspect were distributed by the police on Wednesday afternoon, hours after the attack on the woman, a bird-watcher who the police said had been brutalized just before noon Wednesday on a wood-chip path not far from Strawberry Fields. By nightfall, three rookie police officers patrolling the Upper West Side recognized the suspect from a grainy photograph and apprehended the man only blocks from the park.
On Thursday, the victim, her face still swollen and bruised, picked out Mr. Mitchell in a lineup, Mr. Browne said. Prosecutors charged Mr. Mitchell with predatory sexual assault, rape, criminal sex act, robbery and criminal possession of stolen property. They also charged Mr. Mitchell, who went by Keith, with menacing in the knife-brandishing episode.
As officers escorted Mr. Mitchell from a Special Victims Unit building on Thursday, he spit in the direction of an assemblage of news reporters.
Early Friday morning, Mr. Mitchell was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court and ordered held without bail.
The heinous nature of the crime surprised New Yorkers, chilling even veteran members of law enforcement.
?Central Park is a well-policed precinct, with low crime,? Mr. Browne said. ?This attack, the viciousness of it, the fact that it was in broad daylight, stands out as an anomaly in many respects, including that it was the only rape in Central Park this year.?
The police said the victim had been scanning the treetops for birds, carrying a professional camera with a zoom lens in her backpack, when Mr. Mitchell appeared. Mr. Mitchell, the woman told police, posed a calculating question: ?Do you remember me??
The woman pretended that she did not, though she instantly recognized Mr. Mitchell as the man she photographed some nine days earlier in the forested Ramble when she caught him masturbating. In that first encounter, Mr. Mitchell ordered her to delete the image. She refused, and he tried unsuccessfully to wrest the camera away from her before she ran off. She did not report the encounter to the police, Mr. Browne said.
On Wednesday, Mr. Mitchell threw the woman to the ground, battered her with his fists and raped her, the police said. He fled with her backpack, which contained her camera, they said.
Mr. Browne said he did not know whether the camera that Mr. Mitchell stole was the same one she had used to photograph him. Investigators recovered the photo from the woman?s computer on Thursday, Mr. Browne said.
The three officers, Enmanuel A. Rodriguez and Steven F. Ourelio, both 26, and Sicelin Ortiz, 23, had been on the force since January. The officers usually patrol the Washington Heights area, but on Thursday they were among those sent to the area near the park in search of the rape suspect, Mr. Browne said.
They spotted Mr. Mitchell walking on Amsterdam Avenue, near 77th Street, where he was taken into custody.
Mr. Mitchell had an extensive criminal history. The authorities in West Virginia charged Mr. Mitchell with murder and sexual assault in January 1989, though a year later he was found not guilty, Mr. Browne said. He spent about a decade in a West Virginia prison after he was convicted of robbery in July 1990. Soon after he was paroled in 2000, he was convicted of larceny and spent another 13 months in prison, according to the West Virginia Parole Board.
In February 2004, he was sentenced to just over eight years in prison for abduction and kidnapping in Tazewell County, Va.
Last edited by Gregzs; 09-14-2012 at 11:07 PM. Reason: text
Published on Sep 21, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Here's the latest news for Friday, September 21, 2012: Romneys paid $1.94 million in fed taxes for 2011; 17 killed in anti-Islam-film protests; Pittsburgh hostage siege ends; iPhone 5 launch draws Apple fans worldwide.
Drug Makers Join Efforts in Research
By Andrew Pollack
September 19, 2012
Ten of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies said on Wednesday that they would cooperate on research aimed at accelerating drug development, starting with streamlining clinical trials.
Pharmaceutical companies have collaborated before on areas considered not directly competitive, like finding variants in the human genome and biomarkers to predict disease and the effectiveness of drugs. But the people behind the new effort said it would be the largest of its kind.
"There?s never been anything like this to take on these big challenges," said Garry Neil, the interim chief executive of the new nonprofit organization, TransCelerate BioPharma, which has been formed to carry on the work.
Mr. Neil, a former corporate vice president for science and technology at Johnson & Johnson, offered no details on the size of the effort, saying only that the budget would be in the millions of dollars.
The pharmaceutical industry has been struggling to come up with new drugs, despite a vast increase in spending on research and development over the last decade. In the meantime, sales from many big-selling drugs are evaporating as patents expire and generic competition kicks in.
Mr. Neil said that TransCelerate would initially take on five projects aimed at making clinical trials more efficient. Clinical trials are the most costly part of bringing a drug to market.
One project would be to standardize the way data from clinical trials are recorded. That would make it easier for clinical trial investigators to enter data without having to remember each company?s format and to compare data from clinical trials.
Similarly, TransCelerate will work on a common Internet portal that investigators can use to communicate with all drug companies, and also on standardizing efforts to qualify clinical trial sites and to train investigators. It will also work on a way for companies to easily procure one another?s already marketed drugs for use in comparative clinical trials.
"We started with things we think are important and also doable," Mr. Neil said, saying the goal is to make significant progress on each project by the middle of next year. He said that TransCelerate might eventually expand to collaborations on drug discovery research.
The 10 initial members are Abbott, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Roche?s Genentech division, and Sanofi. The heads of research and development at these companies sit on the board of TransCelerate.
Other companies, including smaller ones, will be able to join, Mr. Neil said.
The companies will contribute money and personnel to work on the various projects. While TransCelerate will have a headquarters in Philadelphia, the employees from different companies will not all work together at that location, instead meeting as necessary, Mr. Neil said.
TransCelerate said it would work with other organizations. At least two nonprofit organizations, each with pharmaceutical company participation, are already working on accelerating clinical trials and standardizing data. Just last week, those two organizations ? the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium and the Critical Path Institute ? announced that they would form the Coalition for Accelerating Standards and Therapies.
Mr. Neil said TransCelerate had been in the formative stage for about a year and had been in discussions with regulators.
"We applaud the companies in TransCelerate BioPharma for joining forces to address a series of longstanding challenges in new drug development," Dr. Janet Woodcock, the director of the drug division at the Food and Drug Administration, said in a statement issued by TransCelerate.
Published on Sep 26, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Here's the latest news for Wednesday, Sept. 26: NFL, referees could be near a deal; Egypt's president says freedom doesn't include religious attacks; Obama says Romney on China is not credible; Andy Williams has died.
A North Florida man pulled over for driving erratically told a deputy that a squirrel in his shirt was eating him.
Report: Florida DUI suspect blames squirrel in shirt - OrlandoSentinel.com
Christian school secretary accused of sex with student
Landmark Christian student sex - OrlandoSentinel.com
Kid was 17 btw.
Volusia deputies: Carjacker was trying to rush pregnant girlfriend to hospital
Carjacker pregnant girlfriend: Volusia deputies: Carjacker was trying to rush pregnant girlfriend to hospital - Orlando Sentinel
Published on Oct 3, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Here's the latest news for Wednesday, Oct. 3: Obama, Romney debate; Suicide bombings in Syria kill dozens; Chicago police find about 1,000 pot plants in city; New Zealand bars Mike Tyson.
Published on Oct 14, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Here's the latest news for Sunday, October 14th: Former Sen. Specter dies; 23 mile fall from stratosphere successful; 24 tons of Afghan drugs burned; Shuttle makes delayed journey to Calif. museum..
Published on Oct 18, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Here's the latest news for Thursday, October 18th: NY Terror suspect held; Denver bar deaths investigated; California fire 40% contained; New underwater camera.
Published on Nov 3, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Here's the latest news for Saturday Nov. 3: Power slowly returns to New York; Obama campaigns in Ohio; Romney hits New Hampshire, Iowa; Kenya settles U.S. election with bullfight.
Published on Nov 6, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Here's the latest news for Tuesday, November 6th: Election Day voting begins; Romney makes last minute stops, Obama concentrates on interviews; New storm heads for Northeast.
Published on Nov 18, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Here's the latest news for Sunday, November 18th: Israel targets homes of suspected militants; Obama says Israel has right to defend itself; Myanmar prisoners freed ahead of Obama visit; Same-sex demonstration turns violent in France.
Published on Nov 26, 2012 by AssociatedPress
Here's the latest news for Monday, Nov. 26: White House warns about fiscal cliff; Cyber Monday could be big; Bangladesh protesters decry conditions at clothing factory after fire; Big-time Powerball nears.
Explosives plant cleanup disrupts Louisiana town | US National Headlines | Comcast
Explosives plant cleanup disrupts Louisiana town
DOYLINE, La. ? The cleanup of 3,000 tons of explosives haphazardly stored at a munitions plant has frayed the nerves of residents who evacuated, closed the high school and spawned a criminal investigation of the company that owns the materials.
Authorities said about half the town's 800 residents had heeded requests that they leave during the cleanup that started Saturday, but some appeared to be returning to their homes. Some displaced residents were exasperated by the sheer volume of explosive material, which is more than authorities initially estimated. Adding to the uncertainty was a forecast of thunderstorms Tuesday that could slow efforts to move the propellant used in artillery shells to safer storage sites.
"We got outside the evacuation area when they said there was a million pounds. Now it's six million," said Frank Peetz, 71, who was staying with his wife in a camper at a nearby state park. "Maybe we ought to be up in Arkansas somewhere."
State police say some of the propellant was found spilling out of boxes crammed into buildings, and they have opened a criminal investigation into why the materials were not stored in bunkers at the state-owned site, leased by Explo Systems.
Weather could complicate the transfer of the roughly 6 million pounds of propellant. If lightning is spotted within five miles of the site, authorities will suspend efforts to move it, state police spokeswoman Lt. Julie Lewis said. No lightning was expected Monday, but the National Weather Service said there's a 30 percent chance of Thunderstorms on Tuesday.
Lewis said that as of late Monday, crews had segregated or safely stored 1.2 million pounds of the propellant since the cleanup started. The work has slowed because they are indoors moving the material, sometimes through narrow hallways.
State police said the material is stable and would need an ignition source to explode. Lewis said it would take something significant such as lightning or a brush fire ? and not static electricity ? to ignite it.
Col. Mike Edmonson, commander of the Louisiana State Police, said police weren't sure how much damage an explosion of the material could cause, even after consulting with Department of Defense officials.
"Nobody can tell you what 6 million pounds of explosives would do if it went up," Edmonson said in a telephone interview. "And I don't want to find out."
Police have checkpoints on roads leading into Doyline, though residents are allowed to come and go. The evacuation was voluntary, and some residents elected not to leave their homes in the town that has been used to film some scenes for the HBO vampire series "True Blood." The evacuation will remain in place at least until Tuesday.
Edmonson said that Explo Systems leases and controls about 400 acres of the 15,000-acre Camp Minden, a former ammunition plant that now is a state-owned industrial site and home to a National Guard training facility. He estimated that the M6 propellant was stored in an area of less than 10 acres.
It was discovered there, stored indoors and outdoors, sometimes in containers that had spilled open, by a trooper following up on an October explosion at the facility.
"It was stuffed in corners. It was stacked all over," Edmonson said.
Just outside the evacuation area, Doyline High School teacher Linda Watson stopped Monday to buy chicken strips at D&H Hardware, which has a small kitchen serving fare that also includes burgers.
Watson said she has not evacuated and has no plans to. Like some others around here, she's accustomed to living near an ammunition plant.
"I've been there the whole time," she said.
Her main concern is the school having to tack on days to the end of the year to make up for classes being out during the evacuation. The school was to remain closed Tuesday.
John Finklea, who was working the register at the store his family owns, said business is down because of the evacuation. He said there's too much being made of the situation.
"I understand people get scared," he said, adding that he considered leaving but ultimately chose not to.
Explo has not publicly commented on the investigation. Neither a company executive nor an attorney who represents the company returned calls Monday. Its website says the company has been in existence for seven years and that its management has been "demilitarizing" and recovering explosives and propellant for 15 years.
Authorities had initially estimated the total of M6 stored at the site at 1 million pounds after the first investigator saw cardboard boxes on long rows of pallets behind a building. Police found more stacked in sheds and warehouses when crews returned Saturday to begin moving the boxes into bunkers about two miles away on the former munitions site.
Lewis said the cause of the Oct. 15 explosion remained under investigation.
The company isn't currently allowed to manufacture any explosives, but can sell what it has. Authorities are hoping such sales could reduce the amount of the material in the area.
Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton said authorities have still not been in touch with the company's owners, though police officials previously said a company manager was working with them. He didn't know how many people were still displaced but said the majority of people in shelters had left them.
Sexton said explosions weren't uncommon in the years that the munitions plant has operated, but he lamented the danger posed by the improper storage of the propellant.
"They not only put their people in jeopardy, they put our people and the people around here in jeopardy," he said.
Evacuees were allowed to stay for free at Lake Bistineau State Park, but ranger Marc Massom said only a few had shown up by midday. Masson, a Doyline resident who lives outside the evacuation zone, said some stayed at their houses because of fears about looting.
Lewis, of the state police, said that security was tight throughout the town with help from neighboring agencies, and that crime hadn't been a problem.
Peetz, the retiree staying in the camper with his wife, said there should have been more oversight of the munitions storage.
"I'd like to see more state and federal checks on who is there and what the hell they're making," Peetz said.
Report: Michael Douglas’ Son Brutally Attacked in Prison | XFINITY Popcast by Comcast
Report: Michael Douglas? Son Brutally Attacked in Prison
Cameron Douglas, the son of Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas, was brutally attacked in prison while serving a 9 ? year sentence for selling drugs, according to the New York Post.
Sources say Cameron suffered a broken femur and finger after a mob captain placed a $100 bounty on him for being a ?rat.?
Cameron reportedly dropped out of the prison?s flag football league after hearing that there was a reward for causing him bodily harm. Not long after his resignation from the team, Douglas entered the infirmary badly beaten.
?He broke his femur, which is hard to snap, and had to have a rod inserted. He told health services staff that he hurt them playing handball. You don?t break a femur playing handball,? reported a source.
It may be that Douglas? psychiatrist inadvertently incited the assault on his patient. Dr. Robert Millman revealed in open court that Cameron had agreed to testify against the Mexicans from whom he had bought his narcotics.
No one has been punished for the crimes committed against Cameron Douglas, but according to a New York Post source the gangster involved ?is the self-proclaimed ?King of the Italians. They won?t tolerate rats, and Cameron testified against the people who gave him the drugs.?
Cameron?s celebrity father, Michael Douglas, has remained by his side during the stretch in prison. In 2010, the ?Wall Street? star regularly traveled 200 miles to see his imprisoned son while battling cancer. It is unknown if Michael Douglas has seen his son since the attack.
In addition to prison stripes, Cameron has also picked up a tough guy image. ?He recently had his initials inscribed on his neck and big stars on his shoulders, with each year of his incarceration in each star: ?10, ?11, ?12,? explains the New York Post source.
It looks like the tough guy image didn?t do much to prevent the beating. Cameron is still on crutches two months after the ordeal. He will be serving jail time until 2018 at the earliest.