Archives for FUBAR

U.S. building case against Russia in downing of jet

Video of a rocket launcher, one surface-to-air missile missing, leaving the likely launch site. Imagery showing the firing. Calls claiming credit for the strike. Recordings said to reveal a cover-up at the crash site. “A buildup of extraordinary circumstantial evidence … it’s powerful here,” said Secretary of State John Kerry, a former prosecutor, and it holds Russian-supported rebels in eastern Ukraine responsible for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, with the Kremlin complicit in the deaths of nearly 300 passengers and crew members. “This is the moment of truth for Russia,” said Kerry, leveling some of Washington’s harshest criticism of
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U.S. communities divided over migrant children

As thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children have poured into South Texas, community leaders from Dallas to Los Angeles to Syracuse, N.Y., have offered to set up temporary shelters to relieve the Army bases, holding cells and converted warehouses at the border. The outreach offers stand in sharp contrast to other places around the country, where some protested having immigrants from Central America come to their towns while the nation’s leaders attempt to find solutions to the issue. In Dallas County, Judge Clay Jenkins has offered three county buildings that could hold as many as 2,000 migrants at one time. “These
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Lerner’s hard drive with lost IRS emails destroyed

The IRS said Friday that Lois Lerner’s computer hard drive was destroyed three years ago, ending any chance of retrieving her lost emails. In court papers, the IRS said the hard drive was destroyed after two sets of trained technicians tried to retrieve the data. The tax agency said it was standard procedure to destroy old data storage equipment that may have contained confidential taxpayer information. The IRS says Lerner’s computer crashed in 2011, destroying an untold number of emails. At the time, Lerner headed the division that handles applications for tax-exempt status. Lerner is a central figure in congressional
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Panel supports early release of many drug felons

Tens of thousands of federal inmates serving time for drug crimes may be eligible for early release under a cost-cutting proposal adopted Friday that would dramatically reduce the nation’s prison population over time. The U.S. Sentencing Commission, which earlier this year voted to substantially lower recommended sentences for drug-dealing felons, voted unanimously to retroactively apply that change to prisoners now behind bars. More than 46,000 inmates, including many who have already served a decade or longer in prison, would be eligible to seek early release under the commission’s decision. A judge would review the case of each prisoner seeking to
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Leaders want answers on airliner downing

World leaders demanded an international investigation into the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner with 298 people on board over eastern Ukraine in a tragedy that could mark a pivotal moment in the worst crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War. Two U.S. officials said Washington strongly suspected the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 was downed by a sophisticated surface-to-air missile fired by Ukrainian separatists backed by Moscow. There were no survivors from Thursday’s crash, which left wreckage and bodies scattered across miles of rebel-held territory near the border with Russia. Makeshift white flags marked where bodies lay
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Threatened for not watering lawn in a drought

Laura Whitney and her husband, Michael Korte, don’t know whether they’re being good citizens during a drought or scofflaws. On the same day the state approved mandatory outdoor watering restrictions with the threat of $500 fines, the Southern California couple received a letter from their city threatening a $500 penalty for not watering their brown lawn. It’s brown because of their conservation, which, besides a twice-a-week lawn watering regimen, includes shorter showers and larger loads of laundry. They’re encouraged by the state’s new drought-busting, public service slogan: Brown is the new green. The city of Glendora sees it differently. “Despite
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Sandusky’s son tells of sexual abuse by dad

An adopted son of convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky recounted to Oprah Winfrey in often graphic detail how the former Penn State University assistant football coach had molested him as a teenager in what became a “bedtime ritual.” In an interview broadcast on Thursday in a segment of Winfrey’s “Oprah Prime” program, Matthew Sandusky, the youngest of the family’s six adopted children, also said he found it hard to believe that his adoptive mother, Jerry Sandusky’s wife Dottie, had been unaware of the abuse. “She has walked into the bedroom when I was laying on top of Jerry Sandusky in
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Should your online presence die when you do?

Should your emails, web albums and other online accounts die when you do? Or should you be able to pass them down to a family member much as you would a house or a box of letters? A leading group of lawyers says that families should immediately get access to everything online unless otherwise specified in a will. They are urging state lawmakers to enact their proposal so loved ones don’t get shut out as American lives move increasingly online. “Our email accounts are our filing cabinets these days,” said Suzanne Brown Walsh, a Cummings & Lockwood attorney who led
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Two Florida police officers tied to the Ku Klux Klan

Two police officers are no longer with the city department here after a law enforcement report tied them to the Ku Klux Klan, an official said Monday. Deputy Chief David Borst resigned and Officer George Hunnewell was fired last week, City Manager Gary La Venia said. The link surfaced in a report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement based on information from the FBI, which learned about the connection during a broader investigation, La Venia said. He didn’t know what it was focused on. Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokewoman Gretl Plessinger said she couldn’t say what was in
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Feds may nail General Motors for ‘criminal fraud’

Federal prosecutors are developing a criminal fraud case hinged on whether General Motors made misleading statements about a deadly ignition switch flaw, and are examining activity dating back a decade, before GM’s 2009 bankruptcy, according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation. At the same time, at least a dozen states are investigating the automaker. Two state officials said that effort is likely to focus on whether GM broke consumer protection laws. Both federal and state investigations into the switch, which is linked to at least 13 deaths and 54 crashes, are at early stages, and it is possible that
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