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Friday, 30 September 2011

Police warn they may not be able to afford Tesco's £3m riot compensation bill

 

In total, the retailer has asked for nearly £3m in compensation from police forces around the country, following the riots that tore through some high streets in August. It is likely that this is the biggest request from a single retailer. The company is claiming under the Riot Damages Act, a piece of Victorian legislation that allows businesses and individuals affected by riot damage to claim directly from the police, rather than their own insurer. In the immediate aftermath of the civil disturbances, the British Retail Consortium urged small retailers to put in their claims to make sure their businesses were not harmed. However, the Greater Manchester Police Authority, which has been hit with 280 claims totalling £4.4m, has criticised Tesco for using the Act, saying there was no guarantee the police force would be able to afford all of the compensation. The force faces £134m budget cuts in the next five years. It added that J Sainsbury was one of a number of large companies that had chosen not to submit any compensation claims. Tesco has submitted more than 20 claims for compensation to Manchester police, including one for £40-worth of looted stock.

Hell's Angels biker gangs shut down in Frankfurt

 

Hell's Angels motorbike gangs have been outlawed from the German city of Frankfurt. State authorities banned the bikers after accusing of them of criminal activity and seizing control of the streets.

 

 

State authorities have banned the Hell's Angels motorbike gangs in Frankfurt, on the grounds that they were engaged in criminal activity.

Boris Rhein, interior minister for the state of Hesse, accused the gangs of running drug and prosecution rackets through which they had seized control of the streets.

"This is a clear signal that we won't allow a state within the state," said Rhein, adding that the gangs were disciplined by a vow of silence.

All assets of the outlawed Westend and Frankfurt chapters of the Hell's Angels were seized under the ban. Each chapter is believed that have around 90 members.

Two other Hell's Angels groups were banned in other parts of Germany in June and last year, although gangs in the rest of Germany remain legal.

Firebombing probed in east-end Montreal

 

Montreal police believe a firebombing in the east-end borough of Pointe-aux-Trembles Wednesday night may be linked to street gangs. Police are investigating after someone threw a Molotov cocktail between two vehicles parked behind and apartment building on the corner of Marien Avenue and De la Gauchetière Street at around 8:30 p.m. “It's a citizen who was near the scene who put out the fire,” said Const. Danny Richer of the Montreal police. “So far the investigation seems to indicate that the vehicle targeted is linked to street gangs. That's why the investigation has been transferred to the Montreal police arson squad.” One of the vehicles belongs to a suspected member of a street gang, he said. No one was injured in the attack. Arson investigators are now speaking to witnesses.

Evansville police have arrested one person and are looking for two others in connection with a rash of what officers say are gang-related shootings this week on the city's South Side.

At least two people have been wounded by the gunfire since Tuesday.

Police say there have been multiple fights and shooting incidents involving two South Side gangs, "Wag Block" and "J Block," over the past several months, but this is the first time two people have been shot within a 24-hour period.

Kenneth Fox was arrested in connection with Wednesday night's shooting.

Kenneth Fox was arrested in connection with Wednesday night's shooting.

The shootings have occurred in four-block area between Madison and Jackson avenues west of U.S. 41.

"Pretty soon, somebody's child is going to get shot," said Jerry Dejarnett, 58, one of the few residents of the area willing to talk about the shootings. Dejarnett said this is the most violent period he's witnessed in his three years of living there.

In the most recent shooting Wednesday night, two women and two girls — ages 3 and 4 — were targeted.

No one in that incident was injured, police said, and the two people shot earlier are recovering fine, according to police, but officers doubt the retaliations they suspect are happening are over.

"I think things may be quiet for a day or two," said Sgt. Larry Nelson, "but you can always expect more violence when you have drugs and you have gangs."

Nelson wouldn't disclose how police plan to respond, but he noted that there has been a "heavy concentration" of marked and unmarked police cars in that area.

Police arrested Kenneth Fox, 25, early Thursday in connection with Wednesday night's shooting. He remains in Vanderburgh County Jail without bond on preliminary charges of attempted murder with a firearm and criminal gang activity.

Police are looking for David "Buck" Burge, 30, and Rayshaad L. Bushrod, 23, both of whom reportedly accompanied Fox and are reportedly in the "J Block" gang, according to an Evansville Police Department probable cause affidavit.

According to Fox's arrest affidavit, Wednesday's drive-by shooting happened in the 1000 block of Jefferson Avenue about 9:42 p.m.

Police found multiple shell casings in the street. One of the women, who lives on that street, told officers that Fox, Burge and Bushrod were in a gray Chevrolet Avalanche when they fired handguns from the vehicle at her, another woman and the two children.

Police found the gray Chevy Avalanche abandoned with its motor running in the 300 block of West Oregon Street near Harriett Street.

Officers learned Fox had a girlfriend who lived in the 1200 block of North Harriett St. about two blocks from where the vehicle was found.

Officers surrounded the house and Fox surrendered without incident.Sgt. Larry Nelson said that victim "knew of" the three men, and according to Fox's affidavit, she told 911 dispatchers, "It was the same subjects who were shooting last night."

That earlier shooting occurred near the intersection of Jackson and Evans avenues about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday when a man was shot in the right shoulder. Three black males were reported to have been seen running away from the area.

Lt. Monty Guenin said the 26-year-old man who was wounded in the shoulder, had refused to cooperate with police.

Fox has not been charged in connection with that incident, but police believe Wednesday's incidents are related.

The victim of Tuesday's afternoon shooting was also uncooperative, police on scene said. This shooting happened in the 700 block of Madison Avenue about 12:30 p.m., and, responding to a report of shots fired, police initially didn't know there was a victim.

The shooting suspect, 20-year-old Royce Oneal Calvin, was located and arrested a short while later.

Then officials received a call from St. Mary's Hospital about a 23-year-old man from that area man who had been shot in the leg.

He told police he had seen some men arguing, heard gunshots and then got shot. He got a ride to the hospital, police said, and he refused to press charges when police mentioned they had arrested Calvin.

Calvin admitted to shooting in that area around that time and said he possibly had shot someone, according to his arrest affidavit.

He remains in Vanderburgh County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail and was preliminarily charged with criminal recklessness, possessing a handgun without a license and battery with a firearm resulting injury.

According to that police report, Calvin has a tattoo on his arm that reads "300 WNG BLOCK."

Nelson said they've been tracking several other gangs on the city's South Side, and he said the fights, shootings and bullets that have struck homes and vehicles in that area are all likely gang-related.

"They're not random," he said. "I can tell you that."

"I'm very scared and nervous," said Hazel Hooker, a 60-year-old woman who lives in the 700 block of Madison Avenue.

"I'm worried about the small children for one thing," she said, "because bullets don't have eyes."

Gun charges filed: A known gang member was charged with several gun violations including aggravated unlawful possession of a weapon by a gang member

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Mario A. Prado, 19, of the 400 block of St. Charles Street, Elgin, was arrested by Elgin police on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm by a street gang member, possession of a firearm without a firearm owners identification card, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, possession of a firearm under the age of 21, unlawful contact with a street gang member and resisting a police officer following an arrest Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011.

Updated: September 29, 2011 2:23AM

 

 

Gun charges filed: A known gang member was charged with several gun violations including aggravated unlawful possession of a weapon by a gang member, after officers found a loaded sawed-off shotgun up his sleeve Tuesday night, police said. Mario A. Prado, 20, of the 400 block of St. Charles Street, Elgin, was stopped by police at National and Raymond streets about 7 p.m. while driving with another known gang member, police said. Prado also was charged with possession of a firearm without a firearm owners identification card, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, possession of a firearm under the age of 21, unlawful contact with a street gang member and resisting a police officer. “The Elgin Police Department will continue to aggressively pursue gangs — especially with our gang and drug units,” said Police Chief Jeff Swoboda. “We’re sending a very clear message: Gangs and gang activity will not be tolerated in our city.” Prado was in the Kane County jail Wednesday in lieu of $250,000 bond; he is to appear in court Oct. 6.

Accused killer teen shows young face of Winnipeg gang war

 

Winnipeg's street-gang war took another tragic turn this week when police announced a 14-year-old boy is the suspected shooter in the city's 32nd homicide of 2011. The teenage is facing a first-degree murder charge in a homicide Sunday morning that police say was sparked by tension between rival gangs. David Michael Vincett, 20, was gunned down while walking on the city's Boyd Avenue around 3 a.m. Police arrested the 14-year-old suspect Tuesday evening. He has been detained at the Manitoba Youth Centre. He cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Const. Jason Michalyshen, spokesman for the Winnipeg Police Service, said police believe the homicide is tied to another recent killing. Clark Stevenson, 15, was stabbed to death as he rode his bike Sept. 10, in what police say was a gang-related confrontation. Days later, an 18-year-old man and 14-year-old boy were arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Before his death, Stevenson had boasted online about being a member of a local street gang. After the arrests, police acknowledged the homicide was motivated by gang tensions. "These groups appear to be in conflict with one another right now, and we're aware of that . . . and unfortunately we have two incidents where we have openly acknowledged that's the case," said Michalyshen. The boy accused of shooting Vincett was affiliated with gangs and may have had "similar associations" as Stevenson, police said. "These don't appear to be random acts, certain individuals appear to be targeted," Michalyshen said. He said before the shooting, Vincett and another teenager traded words about belonging to rival street gangs, before, it's alleged, a gun was pulled out and fired. Police said Vincett was dead by the time officers arrived. There was no indication the two knew each other before the shooting, police said. Michalyshen didn't describe Vincett as a gang associate, but did say "at the time he may have associated himself or verbalized that he was associated to a particular street gang." Winnipeg has had 10 more homicides this year than in all of 2010. On Wednesday, a woman whose own teenage son was shot to death 16 years ago said nothing has changed in the city since the day he died. Nancy Flett, the assistant executive director of the Indian Metis Friendship Centre, is also the mother of Joseph Beeper Spence, a 13-year-old who was slain in 1995. She said the violence in the city "sickens her." "People don't want to be out on the streets, people don't want to walk around on the streets. The only ones you see are a bunch of youth either on bikes, or people driving around," said Flett. "They just randomly go after people. They don't care if they're innocent or not, or if they're not connected in any way." She said society has to be concerned because "all the youth involved in gangs are getting to be younger and younger." Vincett's sister, Judith Ree, described him as a "good kid" in a message to the Winnipeg Free Press. Vincett, the father of a 10-month-old baby, had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. "He was the kind of person who would give the shirt off his back to keep (you) warm or his last five bucks to feed (you)," Ree said. "Everyone makes mistakes in life . . . he just wanted everyone to like him."

Teenage girl shot as she holds baby boy in her arms

 

teenage girl was shot in the street with two friends while clutching her baby son in her arms. Jessica Chrichlow, 18, collapsed to the ground alongside two sisters – named locally as Sammy, 17, and Alex, 19 – after being caught in the crossfire of a botched gangland attack, witnesses said. Police said it was “hugely fortunate” that the 11-month-old baby escaped injury. Detective Chief Inspector Mick Foote said: “It was a random, reckless act and we are fortunate we are not dealing with a fatal shooting here.” The three victims had been outside in John Fearon Walk, North Kensington, west London, enjoying balmy temperatures on Thursday evening when the attacker got off a bike and screamed “mother f****r” at the group, a neighbour, who did not want to be named, said. Police said the child may have been missed by inches as the bullet hit his mother. Mr Foote added: “I do not believe the girls were the intended targets. What’s particularly devastating is that the young girl was carrying a young child. This was totally unprovoked.” As a hunt was launched for several young men seen on bicycles on the west London housing estate on Thursday night, the officer said he was “working on the basis” that the shooting was gang-related. One neighbour said her 12-year-old daughter saw the shooting from her bedroom window. Jacky Cinesey said: “I have sent her to school in tears today. These girls were just outside enjoying the sunshine. It’s horrifying.” The girls had been enjoying the weather in a back garden when they began talking to a “large group” of boys outside, Mr Foote said. “It appears that a man on his own has gone towards the crowds and discharged a single shot from a shotgun,” he said. The gunman fled the scene and joined three other hooded males on bicycles, he added. Miss Chrichlow’s mother Isabel, who lives nearby, spoke only to confirm her daughter had been shot. Another local, Jenny Kantinda, 30, said she knew the three victims. “They were just sweet girls, we have had enough,” she said. Neighbour Leslie Arandi, 55, added: “The gangs are always cycling around here smoking drugs. I’m fed-up with it. Hopefully now the authorities will take notice.” Sammy has been discharged from hospital while the other two victims remain in a stable condition. The investigation is being led by Trident detectives, who deal with gang crime in the black community. Karen Buck, MP for Westminster North, expressed her concern as she visited the troubled Mozart Estate where the attack took place.

Authorities say they have arrested a former Hells Angels leader at a park in Honolulu.

 FBI agents and Honolulu police took Stephen Sanders, former head of the San Diego Hells Angels, into custody without incident in Ala Moana Park on Thursday, Agent Tom Simon said. The 42-year-old Sanders was wanted in California in connection with a 2007 robbery and kidnapping. The Hawaii arrest comes the same day that more than two dozen members of the Hells Angels and their associates were apprehended in a series of San Diego County raids. FBI spokesman Darrell Foxworth told the San Diego Union-Tribune (http://bit.ly/rmikpu ) that the 26 arrests came at the end of a violent crimes task force investigation. Simon said Sanders' arrest on the same day of the raids was a coincidence.

Hells Angel slaying suspect arrested in San Fran

 

University of California, San Francisco police have arrested the suspect in the slaying of the president of a Hells Angels chapter at a Nevada casino. UCSF Assistant Police Chief Paul Berlin says 53-year-old Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez was taken into custody after he was spotted by an officer just a block from campus police headquarters around 8:20 p.m. Thursday. Gonzalez was apparently in a parked 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. He is being held pending the arrival of police from Sparks, Nev., where he is accused of killing Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew inside a casino on Sept. 23. Authorities say Gonzalez is an alleged member of the Vagos gang and shot the 51-year-old Pettigrew four times in the back. Pettigrew was the president of the San Jose chapter of the Hells Angels.

Prosecutors demand tough sentences in Hell's Angels drug case

 

Prosecutors are demanding long prison sentences for those suspected of involvement in an international drug smuggling case. The proceedings got underway on Thursday at the Helsinki District Court. Nine defendants, all of whom belong to the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang face a variety of charges. Eight are accused of aggravated narcotic offences. Other offences include drug offences, money laundering, and the importation of illegal goods and firearms offences. One of the accused is a member of the Rogues Gallery group while two others belong to the 1-800 gang. The proceedings are taking place in a secured court room. Prosecutors are demanding jail terms for the accused and financial compensation to the state for losses incurred. In one case, a 12 year prison term is being demanded. It is thought one of the accused is the president of the Hell’s Angels Finnish organization. The gang is suspected to have made millions of euros on drug trafficking over a period of several years. Earlier this month, police confiscated several kilos of amphetamines and cocaine with a potential street value of 800,000 euros. Officials also seized illegal weapons and 200,000 euros in cash.

Police say they have dismantled one branch of the Hells Angels bike gang in eastern Ontario after a series of raids.

 

In a news conference Thursday morning, Ottawa police, Ontario Provincial Police and the RCMP announced they had worked together in a yearlong investigation called "Project Finale."

Police towed away this Hells Angels motorcycle from a clubhouse Wednesday after a raid also found drugs, weapons and Hells Angels paraphernalia.Police towed away this Hells Angels motorcycle from a clubhouse Wednesday after a raid also found drugs, weapons and Hells Angels paraphernalia. Ottawa police

The culmination of that work ended up in all three tactical units executing 16 search warrants, including one at the Hells Angels clubhouse at 5416 8 Line Rd. in south Ottawa.

Police were seen taking away a Harley Davidson motorcycle and revealed they also confiscated illegal drugs, cash and weapons.

There were 107 charges laid against 12 people including a 37-year-old Ottawa man police say is a full patch member of the Hells Angels. He faces five charges.

"It's going to have a major dent in the Ottawa region and eastern Ontario region. The numbers seized yesterday, we're very pleased with the numbers," said Insp. Samir Bhatnagar from Ottawa police.

"This group is known to potentially move $300,000 to $400,000 a month of illegal substances."

Family and friends mourn local Hells Angel president

 

Police are preparing for hundreds, perhaps thousands of bikers expected to ride into Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose sometime next month to honor the memory of Jeff "Jethro" Pettigrew, the president of the city's Hells Angels chapter who was shot to death in a gun battle at a Sparks casino. There will be Henchmen, East Side Riders Car Club, Devil Dolls, Top Hatters and more. Alongside them, also paying their respects, will be members of the South Yard Heavy Equipment Crew. That is not a motorcycle club. It is the San Jose Department of Transportation's pavement repair team. They knew Pettigrew from his day job. To them, he was not the local president of a biker club that law enforcement sees as a violent criminal motorcycle gang. He was as a veteran backhoe operator who paved potholes. Hans Larsen, director of the city's Department of Transportation, said he was not even aware that Pettigrew was a Hells Angel. Nor did he care. "We have many employees who are motorcycle enthusiasts. What they do in their private lives doesn't concern us as long as it doesn't affect their work,'' Hansen said. "From what I am hearing he was a nice person with a good attitude, very professional in his work and he did it well.'' Funeral arrangements are still being made. And Pettigrew's shooting death Friday night at John Ascuaga's Nugget Casino, which has law enforcement on high alert for a brewing bloodshed between outlaw Advertisement motorcycle clubs, is still under investigation.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Rio hit with £500k bill after losing court battle


The England and Manchester United star will now be saddled with paying the estimated £500,000 legal bills incurred by the Sunday Mirror in defence of the lawsuit.

Ferdinand sued the newspaper for misuse of private information after they published details of his 13-year relationship with interior designer Carly Storey, who accepted £16,000 for telling the tale of her liaisons with the defender.

But Mr Justice Nicol dismissed the case at London's high court on Thursday, and refused Ferdinand's legal team permission to appeal.

"Overall, in my judgment, the balancing exercise favours the defendant's right of freedom of expression over the claimant's right of privacy," he said.

The judge was not swayed by Ferdinand's claims that he had not tried to meet Storey after being made England captain, despite claims in the newspaper that he had snuck Storey into the team hotel.

"I did not find this answer persuasive. In his evidence the claimant said that (Fabio) Capello had told him to be professional, not only on the pitch but 'around the hotel'," the judge said.

"In the past, the Claimant (Ferdinand) had not behaved in a professional manner around the hotels into which he had tried to sneak Ms Storey.

"Whether or not he had done that in the few weeks since he had been made the permanent captain of England, his relative recent past failings could legitimately be used to call into question his suitability for the role."

Former England captain Ferdinand, who has three children with wife Rebecca, had told the judge at an earlier hearing that, "I do not see why I should not be entitled to a private life just because I am a famous footballer."

Sunday Mirror editor Tina Weaver hailed the judge's decision.

"The Sunday Mirror is very pleased that the court has rejected Rio Ferdinand's privacy claim," she said.

"The judge found that there was a justified public interest in reporting the off-pitch behaviour of the then England captain and discussion of his suitability for such an important and ambassadorial role representing the country.

"We are pleased the judge ruled that Mr Ferdinand had perpetuated a misleading public image and the Sunday Mirror was entitled to correct this impression.

"There has never been greater scrutiny of the media than now, and we applaud this ruling in recognising the important role a free press has to play in a democratic society."

Paramedics Who Tried To Save Singer's Life Give Evidence

 

Alberto Alvarez was in charge of back stage during Jackson's final rehearsal on June 24, 2009. He described Jackson as "happy and in good spirits" during the performance. "He was doing very well for the most part," he told the Los Angeles court. He explained that he later drove Jackson back to his rented Holmby Hills home and saw Dr Murray's car parked there. He said the last time he saw Jackson alive was when he said "good night" to the singer. Mr Alvarez was the first person who went into Jackson's bedroom after Dr Murray telephoned for help as he was trying to resuscitate the singer. He said Jackson was lying on his back, with his hands extended out to his side, and his eyes and mouth open. "When I came into the room, Dr Murray said 'Alberto, hurry, we have to get to hospital, we have to get an ambulance'." Jackson's logistics director Alberto Alvarez He then described how Jackson's children Paris and Prince entered the room behind him. "Paris screamed out 'Daddy' and she was crying. "Dr Murray said to me 'Don't let them see their dad like this see'. "I ushered the children out and told them 'Don't worry, we will take care of it, everything is going to be OK'." Mr Alvarez asked what had happened, to which Dr Murray replied: "He had a bad reaction". Two paramedics who tried to save Jackson's life are also due to give evidence on day three of the trial. Martin Blount and Richard Senneff are expected to say that Jackson already appeared to be dead when they arrived at his home on June 25, 2009. The court will also hear from another key witness - Jackson's personal chef Kai Chase. Sky's US correspondent Greg Milam, who is at the court, said: "There are fewer demonstrators, fans of Michael Jackson, and supporters of Dr Murray here today - but they are still being very vocal in their support of both sides in the case." On Wednesday, Jackson's security chief revealed how the star's children crumpled in shock, as they saw their apparently dead father being given heart massage in his bedroom. The court also heard that Dr Conrad Murray, accused of involuntary manslaughter over Jackson's death two years ago, asked aides if any of them knew how to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). "Paris was on the ground balled up crying, and Prince was standing there, and he just had a real shocked, you know just slowly crying type of look on his face," bodyguard Faheem Muhammad, referring to two of Jackson's three children, said. "I went and gathered them together, and I kind of talked to them for a second, got the nanny... and we walked downstairs and put them in a different location," he said. He was describing the scene after he was called up to the master bedroom of Jackson's rented Los Angeles mansion where the star died after an overdose of a powerful sedative. The defence team for the doctor insists Jackson self-administered other sedatives, prompting the overdose while his physician was outside the bedroom. Dr Murray, 58, faces up to four years in jail if convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering the overdose of Propofol.

Raids in 7 countries in $200M investment fraud

 

Dutch authorities say raids have been conducted in seven countries in connection with an alleged $200 million investment fraud scheme, and four men have been arrested. The country's financial crime prosecutors say they suspect hundreds of investors were conned into fraudulent investments in U.S. life insurance policies by a firm called Quality Investments BV. Prosecutors said Wednesday four Dutch men have been arrested, two in the Netherlands and one each in Switzerland and Turkey. Raids were also conducted in Spain, Dubai, England and the United States, in which millions of euros in assets were seized in hopes of recovering some money for duped investors.

Global swoop nets huge haul of fake drugs: Interpol

 

Police and customs officers from 81 countries have seized 2.4 million doses of counterfeit medicine sold over the Internet during a one-week operation, international police body Interpol said Thursday. Fifty-five people were arrested during the September 20-27 operation, codenamed Pangea 4, and more than 13,000 websites closed down, Interpol said. More than 100,000 illegal doses were seized in France, over half of which were for supposed to be for treating male erection problems, France's medical security agency that took part in the operation, AFSSAPS, said. The operation was carried out for the fourth successive year in an effort to inform the public about the risks of buying medicines online. "Interpol's member countries and partners have shown through the success of Operation Pangea IV the Internet is not an anonymous safe haven for criminals trafficking illicit medicines," said Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble. The agency said it had targeted Internet service providers, online payment companies and delivery companies during the operation, in order that the whole supply chain of fake drugs be broken down. "We cannot halt the illicit online supply of medicines without a consistent, constant and collective international effort involving all sectors," said Aline Plancon, head of Interpol's fake drugs department. "The operation itself was only made possible thanks to a combined effort involving the 165 different participating agencies sharing and exchanging live information via Interpol's headquarters in Lyon," she said. Interpol has also posted messages on Internet video sharing sites warning punters "Don't Be Your Own Killer" by buying unlicensed pharmaceuticals.

Motorway speed limit to be raised

 

The speed limit on Britain’s motorways is set to rise to 80mph but with a big expansion in the number 20mph zones in cities and towns, The Independent has learnt. As part of a deal negotiated with the Liberal Democrats the Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond is expected to announce the Government’s intention to bring in the new speed limit at the Conservative conference. Ministers will then consult on the proposal later in the year along with plans to significantly expand the number of areas in Britain covered by 20mph zones.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Missourian, "soldiers ... shot Crips gang members; in retaliation Crips has asked its members to shoot any soldiers on sight.

 

Missouri National Guard soldiers and airmen were still on "alert" Saturday afternoon to "avoid wearing a military uniform in public" because of a "direct threat" in retaliation to a gang-related shooting around Fort Sill, Okla., earlier in the week. The cautionary warning  was issued Friday. According to an internal memo leaked to the Columbia Missourian, "soldiers ... shot Crips gang members; in retaliation Crips has asked its members to shoot any soldiers on sight." MoreStory Related Articles Oklahoma shooting leads gang to threaten Missouri National Guard According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Crips is a collection of gangs throughout the U.S. with an estimated membership between 30,000 and 35,000 operating out of 221 cities in 41 states. Missouri is one of those states. Lt. Col. Levon E. Cumpton, who issued the memo, said the message "came out through Army channels"; Fort Sill is an Army base in Lawton, Okla. He called the action a "precautionary measure." According to Cumpton's memo, National Guard troops were instructed not to "wear a military uniform out for evening dining, shopping, and other personal matters." Full-time members were cautioned to "consider commuting to/from work in civilian clothes — specifically, if they need to make personal stops between home and work." Spokesmen for the Missouri National Guard and Fort Sill declined to elaborate on the incident, saying the investigation is in the hands of the Lawton, Okla., Police Department. Yet as of Saturday afternoon, "the alert has not been rescinded," said Maj. Tammy Spicer, the public affairs officer for the Missouri National Guard.  The decision to call off the alert will come from the Joint Operations Center in Jefferson City.  "As far as we know, and even the Lawton Police Department know," the gang’s threat is "just an unsubstantiated rumor," said Fort Sill Public Affairs Officer Keith Pannell during a phone call late Friday night. KSWO-TV 7 News in Lawton reported two Air Force bases in Oklahoma, Tinker and Altus, issued similar orders to enlisted soldiers. The Altus Air Force Base Facebook page commented Friday night on receiving "information on a criminal threat to military members in the Lawton-Fort Sill area." The incident that sparked the direct threat seems to be tied to a "brutal” home invasion in Lawton earlier in the week, with the four main suspects in the invasion being Fort Sill soldiers. They are believed to be responsible for shooting four people and injuring two others early Tuesday morning who, according to rumors circulating in the city, were gang members with ties to the Crips. The Missourian was unable to reach the chief of police who is handling the case.

Settling in Britain is a privilege not a right

 

THE following is the summary of a speech delivered on September 15, 2011, by Britain’s Immigration Minister Damian Green at the Centre for Policy Studies [see full speech]. The speech is an indicator of the possible policy changes that will come out of the consultation currently underway into the reform of family migration. The consultation opened on July 13, 2011, and will close on October 6, 2011. It is important that as migrants to this country, we take time out to respond to this consultation as judging from Green’s speech it will have far reaching consequences for immigrants . Some of the proposals on the table include the following: # Whilst recognising that marriage is a personal decision, it is argued that it has implications on the wider society and therefore the spouse seeking settlement will be expected to demonstrate that they have integrated into British society. It is proposed to increase the probationary period for a non-EEA spouse or partner to apply for settlement from two to five years. It is argued that, this will allow additional time to integrate into British life and give authorities a longer period in which to test the genuineness of the relationship before permanent residence in the UK is granted on the basis of it. Ministers also believe this will also make the route less attractive to those whose sole purpose is to gain settlement in Britain. It is also argued that extending the probationary period will reduce the burden to the taxpayer by postponing access to non-contributory benefits like income support. # Immediate settlement for adult dependents will be stopped. Currently under paragraph 317 of the immigration rules, a sponsor who is settled in the UK can sponsor adult dependents in certain circumstances. Instead, a probationary period of five years will be introduced before they can apply for settlement. As a result, their in-country application for settlement will be subject to meeting the English language skills requirement. # In fact the English language test is to be extended to all adult family migrants under 65 as well as dependents aged 16 and 17. The justification Green uses for this is the rather shock data that in one year, 2009-10, the Department of Work and Pensions spent £2.6 million on telephone interpreting services and nearly £400,000 on document translation. # The outcome of the consultation is likely to come up with a minimum maintenance threshold. Presently, it has been safe to argue that if the income meets the income support threshold then it demonstrates sufficiently that they can be accommodated and maintained without recourse to public funds. The Migration Advisory Committee has been tasked to come up with a new minimum income threshold for sponsors of dependents for maintenance and accommodation. The new threshold will take into account the number and age of the dependents sponsored. # It looks like third party support is on its way out except in compelling and compassionate circumstances. Presently, it has been possible to show that a third party will assist with the maintenance requirements. But Green argues that it is not easy for the UK Border Agency to verify this. # The dependents of points-based migrants are to face a probationary period increase of two to five years before settlement. # For some time now, there has been an expression of dissatisfaction by the UK Border Agency about the right of appeal in family visit visa matters. It will come as a surprise given what appears to be routine refusals from the Pretoria entry clearance team that a staggering 73% of the family visits applications are granted. Green argues that the tax payer has to foot the bill for the right of appeal where people produce better evidence than they could have produced at the initial application stage. His argument is reinforced by the statics that family visit appeals made up 40% of all immigration appeals and that it cost the taxpayer around £40 million a year. About 63% of the family visits matters are allowed on appeal. The consultation proposes to end the right of appeal and argues that one can submit a new application instead. As I stated above, it is a good idea to read the consultation and respond to it. At first blush, the 77-page consultation document can appear daunting but it does provide a useful insight into where this government intends to take its immigration policy

Saturday, 24 September 2011

UBS CEO Gruebel resigns over rogue trading loss

 

UBS chief executive Oswald Gruebel has resigned over a $2.3 billion loss caused by rogue trading at its investment division, which is to be restructured now to prevent similar incidents in future, the Swiss bank said Saturday. Gruebel, who had come under heavy pressure from shareholders over the scandal, said he hoped his resignation would allow the bank to restore its reputation in the eyes of clients and investors. Article Controls EMAIL REPRINT NEWSLETTER SHARE "As CEO, I bear full responsibility for what occurs at UBS ( UBS - news - people )," he said in a memo to staff. "From my first day on the job I placed the reputation of the bank above all else. That is why I want to and must act according to my convictions." UBS Europe chief Sergio P. Ermotti will take over immediately as interim chief executive until Gruebel's replacement is appointed. Gruebel's departure caps 10 days of speculation over his future following the bank's announcement that a single London-based trader had evaded internal control systems and gambled away $2.3 billion. The trader, 31-year-old Kweku Adoboli, was arrested Sept. 15 and charged with fraud and false accounting. A judge ordered him Thursday to be held in jail until a hearing next month.

FALKLANDS war veteran went on a lavish £1million spending spree after ripping off two gangsters

 

FALKLANDS war veteran went on a lavish £1million spending spree after ripping off two gangsters. Ex-Royal Navy officer Dean Priestley had been asked by the crooks to drive the used notes across the Channel to Spain. But instead of sticking to the plan the 47-year-old went on the run and set about leading a life of luxury for six months. Advertisement >> Priestley splashed out on holidays, homes, cars, boats and jewellery as he hid from the villains who put out a hit on him. A court heard the furious crooks, known only as Mull and Steve, vowed to spend £5million hunting him down. The extraordinary case emerged as wife Derry, 48, was convicted of conspiracy to launder money. Her husband was jailed for three and a half years earlier this year after pleading guilty to conspiring to convert criminal property. Detective Constable Graham Duncan said: “This is the first case I have come across in 25 years of someone who allegedly stole £1million from criminals and has not given it back. “Dean Priestley was spending money like it was going out of fashion. He has shown a brass neck to the criminals he stole money from and shown no remorse.” Dad-of-two Priestley fled his £900,000 home in a water mill in Bielby, East Yorks, after stealing the cash. He called his wife to say: “I’ve done something really bad. I’m going to have to stay away for a long time.” He opened bank accounts in his privately-educated son’s names before depositing thousands of pounds in stolen cash. Priestley quickly splashed out on a luxury £230,000 Sealine S48 motor cruiser on Lake Windermere to hide from the villains. He also bought a £162,000 stone cottage for son Nathan, a semi-pro rugby player, in Wilsden, Bradford. He blew £20,000 on a Land Rover Defender 90 to drive between Lake District marinas and two £23,000 Audi A3s for cash from showroom dealers. He soon traded in one of the Audis, swapping it for a £32,000 black BMW 630 cabriolet picked out by his wife. At the time, Priestley was also being hunted by the police as he was wanted for extradition to France after being convicted in his absence of cannabis smuggling in his lorry. Wife Derry told Hull crown court she was threatened by two men from Manchester’s underworld to tell them where her husband was. She was told to take his birth and medical certificates to them just before they attacked his two sons with spray paint and an iron bar at their home. She said: “I got very depressed and suicidal. I was very low for a long time. I fled my home.” She remained in contact with her husband by mobile phone and made repeated visits to the Lake District to see him. The court heard Priestley bought a £5,000 diamond and 18 carat gold pendant from a jeweller for his wife’s birthday. He then paid for holidays to Spain, Amsterdam and a £4,000 trip to Australia. He even roped in his nephews, paying them £1,000 for every £10,000 they could put into banks. Mrs Priestley stopped using her Range Rover after finding a tracking device put on it by the Manchester criminals. It was Mrs Priestley’s call to the police saying the gangsters had told her that her husband had stolen £1million which started the investigation. Twice-married Mrs Priestley denied joining him when he ran up credit card bills on shopping trips. Prosecutor Timothy Capstick said her husband’s empire came crashing down when he was arrested by police coming out of a Leeds Hotel. They knew criminals had put a price on his head. The jury took less than 60 minutes to find Derry Priestley guilty. As well as the money laundering charge, she was also convicted of attempting to convert criminal property and converting criminal property. She will be sentenced at a later date. Her luxury home in Bielby, which the family had a mortgage on, has since been repossessed and sold on. Dean Priestley along with sons James, 23, Nathan, 22, and nephews Simon Taylor, 35, and Christopher Taylor, 32, all pleaded guilty to conspiring to convert criminal property before the start of their trial in March. His sons and nephews got suspended prison sentences. Priestley now faces an assets recovery hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize any criminal cash he has left.

Former deputy editor received £25,000 from News of the World publisher after starting work as consultant with police force

news-world-paid-wallis-met
Former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis leaving Hammersmith police station in July. Photograph: Murray Sanders/Mail On Sunday

The relationship between the police and the News of the World has come under fire again amid revelations that Neil Wallis, the former deputy editor of the News of the World, was paid by the paper's publisher for "crime exclusives" while working for the Metropolitan police.

Wallis was secretly paid more than £25,000 by News International after he left the paper and got a contract to work two days a month as a PR consultant with the Met. One story earned him a single payment of £10,000.

The Daily Telegraph claims that internal records obtained by Scotland Yard show that he was paid for providing News International with details of a suspected assassination attempt on the Pope during his visit to the UK last year.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said the contract it had with Wallis's PR firm, Chamy Media, "had a confidentiality clause, a data protection act clause and a conflict of interest clause within it".

He added that Wallis did not have access to the Met's IT systems.

The revelations that Wallis received money from News International while working for Scotland Yard will raise questions about conflicts of interest.

Last month, it emerged that Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World, continued to receive payments from News International as part of a severance deal after he was employed by the Tory party as its director of communications.

Wallis's solicitor has made a complaint alleging that the police had leaked the information regarding the payments.

 

 

Media group faces new hacking blows

 

New allegations about the phone-hacking scandal have hit News International, with claims of more victims and fresh legal rows. It was revealed tonight that former News of the World editor Andy Coulson is suing News Group Newspapers, the publishing arm of the media giant. Papers were served at the High Court on Thursday "regarding the termination of the payment for his legal action". A spokesman for law firm DLA Piper, which represents Mr Coulson, said: "We can confirm that proceedings have been issued." News International declined to comment. It had been reported earlier this month that News International was paying DLA Piper for their legal advice to Mr Coulson following his arrest. Mr Coulson resigned from his position as Prime Minister David Cameron's spin chief in January and was later arrested on suspicion of corruption and phone hacking. He is on police bail. It has also emerged that the family of Jade Goody fear the late celebrity could have had her phone hacked and are reportedly set to contact Scotland Yard. The police force said it would not comment on individual cases. Publicist Max Clifford told The Guardian that Ms Goody's mother Jackiey Budden also believes she was targeted. He said: "She will be going to the police. She believes her phone was hacked by the News of the World, and Jade's. Jade told me, 'I'm convinced my phone is being hacked'." News International also declined to comment on the allegations. In addition, it has been alleged tonight that Neil Wallis, the former deputy editor of News of the World was paid more than £25,000 by News International while working at Scotland Yard as a police consultant. A Scotland Yard spokesman said that Mr Wallis's contract with the police force included confidentiality, data protection and conflict of interest clauses, all of which would have prohibited him from selling on any information while employed by them.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Spanish jail-house film shows without on-the-run actor

 

A Spanish prison screened a short film made by inmates Friday with one missing ingredient -- a key actor in the jail-house drama is on the run. Inmates spent months making "Guilty", about a murderer haunted by his victim, to show in an annual festival behind bars in Leon, northern Spain, a prison official and media here said. "Among the inmates taking part, there was one in the final stages of his sentence who was allowed out regularly with leave, but who did not come back from one of those leaves," said a prison service spokeswoman. Prisoners completed the film without the missing actor who disappeared at least two months ago, said the spokeswoman for the Secretary General of Penitentiary Institutions. She denied reports he had the leading role. "He may have had some more important scenes but he was not not necessarily the hero." The actor is being sought for breach of a six-year drug-dealing sentence, which had been due for completion in 2012, she said, stressing that he was not considered a danger.

Langley gangster linked to both the Red Scorpion gang and the Independent Soldiers was sentenced to 14 months in jail this week

 

Langley gangster linked to both the Red Scorpion gang and the Independent Soldiers was sentenced to 14 months in jail this week on two firearms counts. Tyler Willock, 30, was also hit with a mandatory 10-year firearms prohibition after pleading guilty to occupying a vehicle with a firearm in it and careless use of a firearm. He appeared in Surrey Provincial Court to be sentenced Thursday morning. The charges were laid after a Gang Task Force investigation in the summer of 2008 during which Willock was stopped in a vehicle in Langley . Several months later in February 2009, Willock was shot at while in a vehicle with friends in Surrey, resulting in charges being laid against rival gangsters in the United Nations gang. That case is yet to go to court and Willock was not injured. And then on March 8, 2009, Willock's Red Scorpion associate Albert Jackman viciously attacked Willock with a sledge hammer, striking him more than 20 times. Jackman was livid over comments Willock made about their associate Kevin LeClair who was shot to death a few weeks earlier. Jackman had been told Willock said that he wouldn't have to repay LeClair $40,000 he owed him. Willock didn't testify at Jackman's trial or provide a victim impact statement. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Crawford said in his decision that he could only imagine the impact of the attack on Willock's life from the photos the Crown entered at trial. Willock suffered broken bones and other injures and has not fully recovered. Crawford heard how Jackman arrived at Willock's house with an associate and ordered Willock to the floor of his bedroom. Jackman then tied him up using zap straps and duct-taped his mouth and eyes. He then struck Willock more than 20 times with the sledgehammer. "Willock was literally smashed to pieces," Crawford said in his decision. Willock's bedroom walls and ceiling were splattered with blood. In July, Jackman was sentenced to 10 years for the attack on Willock. Jackman, 25, is also serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in a stabbing death that took place 20 days later in March 2009.

Gangster who bragged that he “ran Tottenham” after opening fire on his rivals with a machine gun in the street

 

Gangster who bragged that he “ran Tottenham” after opening fire on his rivals with a machine gun in the street has had his appeal against conviction turned down by top judges.   Former decorator Yusuf Arslan, now 21, was put behind bars indefinitely for public protection at Kingston Crown Court last September. Arslan belonged to the “Tottenham Boys” gang, which had a long-running feud with a rival Hackney gang, said Mr Justice Wilkie, sitting at London’s Appeal Court. He had opened fire with the sub-machine gun in Lansdowne Road, Tottenham, on September 30, 2009, in revenge for the shooting of a friend who ran a nearby shop. He had blocked his victim’s car in before letting off a volley of shots. A fragment of shell hit one of his targets’ left arm, but the majority of the shots hit their car’s body and windscreen. Arslan, of Oxford Close, Edmonton, was also prosecuted over an incident in December that year in which he and others were stopped in a car wearing body armour and carrying a revolver. One police officer said he heard Arslan brag he “ran Tottenham” and had access to more guns than the police. He was convicted of attempted murder, possessing guns and ammunition and was ordered to serve a minimum 10 years before being considered for parole. His lawyers challenged the convictions on Friday, claiming the identification evidence against him was flawed. But Mr Justice Wilkie, sitting with Lord Justice Pitchford and Mr Justice Holroyde, said the “sure identification” had been made by one of the men Arslan shot at. “This appeal against conviction is unarguable,” he concluded.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Bloody Sunday family rejects payout

 

Relatives of one of the Bloody Sunday victims have firmly rejected any offer of Government compensation. Sisters Linda and Kate Nash, whose teenage brother William was among 14 men who died after paratroopers opened fire on civil rights protesters in Londonderry in January 1972, said: "I find it repulsive." The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that moves are under way to compensate the families following representation from solicitors acting on behalf of some of the relatives. The Nash sisters said they would not take money for personal financial gain: "Not under any circumstances will I ever accept money for the loss of my brother. "I find it repulsive, taking anything from the MoD. If the MoD wants to set up bursaries they can, but not in my brother's name," Ms Nash said. Prime Minister David Cameron has already apologised to victims and said the shootings were wrong. An MOD spokesman said: "We acknowledge the pain felt by these families for nearly 40 years, and that members of the armed forces acted wrongly. For that, the Government is deeply sorry. We are in contact with the families' solicitors and where there is a legal liability to pay compensation, we will do so." Lord Saville drew up a landmark report last year which criticised the Army over the killings. His panel ruled that the Army fired first and without provocation. It found that all 14 who died and the others who were injured almost four decades ago were unarmed and completely innocent. The MoD's move followed a letter sent to the Prime Minister by solicitors for the families, asking what he was going to do about Bloody Sunday. He described the killings as unjustified and unjustifiable. Defining who would be eligible for compensation could be complicated as many immediate family members are already dead. Relatives received a small payment worth a few hundred pounds from the MOD, without admitting liability, shortly after the event.

Troy Davis execution goes ahead despite serious doubts about his guilt

 

Moments before he was put to death, Troy Davis lifted his head from the gurney to which he was strapped and looked the family of Mark MacPhail, the police officer for whose murder he was convicted, directly in the eyes. "I want to talk to the MacPhail family," he said. "I was not responsible for what happened that night. I did not have a gun. I was not the one who took the life of your father, son, brother." He then appealed to his own family and friends to "keep the faith", said to the medical personnel who were about to kill him "may God have mercy on your souls", and laid his head down again. He was administered with a triple lethal injection of pentobarbital, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride, and at 11.08pm he was pronounced dead. The debate about what happened in Georgia's Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson late on Wednesday night will continue long after the gurney has been put away. In the final gruesome hours of waiting, the American judicial system at its very highest echelons was involved – including the US supreme court, which issued the decisive final ruling. The decision to press ahead with the death sentence despite serious doubts over Davis's guilt drew accusations that this was the system at its most grotesque. It was Davis's fourth execution date, and it was dragged out, for more than four hours, to what must have been tortuous effect for the prisoner and his family. Davis, 42, became the 52nd man to be executed in Georgia since the same supreme court reinstated the death penalty in 1973. His lawyers and thousands of supporters around the world were convinced that an innocent man had been sent to his death. As news of his death filtered out of the maximum security prison, his family was still huddled in an area of the prison grounds, surrounded by well-wishers. His sister, Martina Correia, had earlier vowed to continue the fight to end all capital punishment in America and said her brother's story would be a galvanising force for others. "His message to young people is – you can lie down or you can stand up and fight," she said. After the execution, Davis's lawyers lamented what one described as a "legal lynching". Thomas Ruffin said that the execution was "racially bigoted". "In the state of Georgia 48.4% of people on death row this morning were black males, and in Georgia they make up no more than 15% of the population." Ruffin said that seven of the nine witnesses at Davis's 1991 trial had since recanted. They included a man who said under oath that he had seen MacPhail being killed, and that it was not Davis who shot him but another man called Sylvester Cole. Another witness said under oath that she had heard Coles confess three times to killing MacPhail and using Davis as the fall guy. But throughout Wednesday last-ditch legal manoeuvres by Davis's defence team failed one by one as both state and federal judges ruled against them. First, a request for Davis to undergo a lie-detector test was rejected. A Georgia judge refused an appeal, then the state supreme court followed suit. In the end his only hope was the US supreme court, and for a moment at 7pm, just as the execution was due to take place, it seemed that the justices had ordered a stay. But the delay was only temporary and at around 10.15pm the court ruled that the execution should go ahead. The decision was welcomed by the MacPhail family. "He [Davis] had all the chances in the world," the officer's mother, Anneliese MacPhail, told the Associated Press. "It has got to come to an end." But a second lawyer for Davis, Jason Ewart, said that as he died he took with him "his quest for justice. In the midst of all the newspaper headlines and vigils you can sometimes lose sight of the man who was on death row. Troy Davis was a family man, and his family mourns tonight." John Lewis, a local radio reporter who was present at the execution, said that while the prisoner was being killed MacPhail family members sat in the front row looking intently at him. As they left the room after he was pronounced dead, some of them smiled. "So at least someone got some satisfaction out of this," Lewis said.

Prescription Drug Arrest

 

Yancey County authorities are calling it one of their biggest prescription drug arrests this summer.  A man they suspect as one of the top dealers in the area was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon. Authorities arrested 24-year-old Christopher Elliott at his home on Satin Wood Drive in Burnsville.  Law enforcement believe Christopher and his older brother, James, traveled to South Carolina to get Oxycodone pills and then returned to the area to sell them.  They tell us the brothers have nearly a hundred clients. Christopher Elliot's arrest was part of "Operation Slinger."  The round up effort was launched back in June.  The Burnsville police department teamed up with the Yancey County Sheriff'f office to get prescription drugs of the streets. So far, 40 dealers have been arrested or charged in the operation.

if arresting people for drugs was a sign of success in The War on Drugs, then I guess our government has won.

The United States arrests a lot of people on drug charges. The answer to the failure of The War on Drugs is always spend more money and arrest more people.

In fact, if arresting people for drugs was a sign of success in The War on Drugs, then I guess our government has won. Here is a press release from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition on a new report from the FBI on just how many people are arrested for drugs in this country.

New FBI Numbers Reveal Failure of “War on Drugs”

420times 000002362202XSmall 150x150 FBI: One Drug Arrest Every 19 Seconds In U.S.WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new FBI report released today shows that there is a drug arrest every 19 seconds in the U.S. A group of police and judges who have been campaigning to legalize and regulate drugs pointed to the figures showing more than 1.6 million drug arrests in 2010 as evidence that the “war on drugs” is a failure that can never be won.

“Since the declaration of the ‘war on drugs’ 40 years ago we’ve arrested tens of millions of people in an effort to reduce drug use. The fact that cops had to spend time arresting another 1.6 million of our fellow citizens last year shows that it simply hasn’t worked. In the current economy we simply cannot afford to keep arresting three people every minute in the failed ‘war on drugs,’” said Neill Franklin, a retired Baltimore narcotics cop who now heads the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). “If we legalized and taxed drugs, we could not only create new revenue in addition to the money we’d save from ending the cruel policy of arresting users, but we’d make society safer by bankrupting the cartels and gangs who control the currently illegal marketplace.”

Today’s FBI report, which can be found athttp://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010, shows that 81.9 percent of all drug arrests in 2010 were for possession only, and 45.8 percent of all drug arrests were for possession of marijuana.

A separate Department of Justice report released last month shows that Mexican drug cartels are currently operating in more than 1,000 U.S. cities, whereas two years ago they were in 230 U.S. cities. Meanwhile, a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report released earlier this month shows that nearly one in 10 Americans admit to regularly using illegal drugs.

Sadly, arrests are not a sign of success but a sign of a cycle of waste and idiocy that has our country locked in a downward spiral of drug abuse and violence.

The unmitigated failure of The War on Drugs is on display every day in a multitude of ways. This report is yet another example of the government highlighting their massive failure.

More Than Half Of All Drug Arrests In U.S. Are For Marijuana

 

We all know marijuana is the most used illegal drug in The United States. It stands to reason that marijuana is responsible for the most arrests out of all of the illegal drugs. But according to new statistics from the F.B.I., marijuana arrests account for more than half of all drugs arrested, meaning more people are arrested for marijuana than all other illicit drugs combined. Of the 854,000 arrests for marijuana, 88% were for possession. Opponents of marijuana legalization like to pretend that The War on Drugs is aimed at gang leaders and dealers, but the simple fact is the drug war budgets of law enforcement agencies are built on the backs of people whose only crime was having some weed on their person.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Gunmen Dump 35 Bodies on Avenue

 

Suspected drug traffickers dumped 35 bodies at rush hour beneath a busy overpass in the heart of a major Gulf coast city as gunmen pointed weapons at frightened drivers. Mexican authorities said Wednesday they are examining surveillance video for clues to who committed the crime. Horrified motorists grabbed cell phones and sent Twitter messages warning others to avoid the area near the biggest shopping mall in Boca del Rio, part of the metropolitan area of Veracruz city. The gruesome gesture marked a sharp escalation in cartel violence in Veracruz state, which sits on an important route for drugs and Central American migrants heading north. The Zetas drug cartel has been battling other gangs for control of the state. Prosecutors said it's too soon to draw conclusions from the surveillance video. "We're not going to confirm or deny anything," Veracruz state Attorney General Reynaldo Escobar Perez told the Televisa network Wednesday. "We're looking at it in different ways, we're seeing different numbers, that's why we don't want to get ahead of ourselves." Escobar said the bodies were left piled in two trucks and on the ground under the overpass near the statue of the Voladores de Papantla, ritual dancers from Veracruz state. He said some of the victims had their heads covered with black plastic bags and showed signs of torture. Police had identified seven of the victims so far and all had criminal records for murder, drug dealing, kidnapping and extortion and were linked to organized crime, Escobar said. Motorists posted Twitter warnings said the masked gunmen were in military uniforms and were blocking Manuel Avila Camacho Boulevard. "They don't seem to be soldiers or police," one tweet read. Another said, "Don't go through that area, there is danger." Veracruz is currently hosting a conference of Mexico's top state and federal prosecutors and judiciary officials. Local media said that 12 of the victims were women and that some of the dead men had been among prisoners who escaped from three Veracruz prisons on Monday, but Escobar denied the escaped convicts were among the dead. At least 32 inmates got away from the three Veracruz prisons. Police recaptured 14 of them. Drug violence has claimed more than 35,000 lives across Mexico since 2006, according to government figures. Others put the number at more than 40,000.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Briton dies in Cannes after brawl 'over cost of drinks at lapdancing club'

 

Thirty-seven-year-old Lee Elton Fischer, a trade delegate from London, was visiting the French Riviera city, home of the world-famous Cannes Film Festival, with two friends. It has been claimed that Mr Fischer sparked a fight in the belief that he had been 'ripped off' during a night out with colleagues on Sunday. A spokesperson for the local police confirmed that Mr Fischer appeared to have been hit several times in the face, before dying after his head struck the pavement. Police have arrested three French nationals in connection with the incident and the men, all aged between 25 and 30, are now being questioned on suspicion of manslaughter. Officers investigating his death said Mr Fischer and three friends drank five or six pints at a bar before they arrived at the lap-dancing club. But Mr Fischer left after just one drink, apparently outraged by the price. 'He believed he had been ripped off so he left the bar,' a police source said. 'Outside he saw a guy who was handing out fliers for another lap-dancing club. 'He was very angry so he started to shout at the man.' A fight broke out, which drew in friends of both men, and Mr Fischer was dealt a blow which knocked him to the ground. He died at the scene around 3.30am. A Foreign Office spokesman said: 'We can confirm the death of a British national in Cannes on September 18th. 'Next of kin are aware and we are providing consular assistance.' An investigation has been launched into exactly what happened to Mr Fischer and a post-mortem examination will now be held

NAVY recruit flipped and killed an officer in a gun rampage on a nuclear sub after he was told off for his cleaning work.

Ryan Donovan, 23, fired his SA80 semi-automatic rifle after his hopes of a voyage on a surface ship were dashed as punishment for his shoddy work.

He was also obsessed with violent video games and told a friend he wanted to carry out a Grand Theft Auto-style "kill frenzy".

Yesterday the HMS Astute able seaman was jailed for life by a judge who heard he opened fire on two superiors he blamed — only to miss.

 

Victim ... Ian Molyneux with wife Gill
Victim ... Ian Molyneux 
with wife Gill

 

The shots were heard by Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux, 36, who rushed to tackle him during a goodwill visit by the sub to Southampton in April.

Donovan murdered him with a bullet to the head, then stepped over his body to the control room.

There he wounded Lt Cdr Christopher Hodge, 45, in the stomach before being wrestled to the ground by Southampton council leader Royston Smith and chief executive Alistair Neill — who were touring the sub.

Three days earlier Donovan of Dartford, Kent, disobeyed a direct order to clean a section of the sub after it failed inspections, Winchester Crown Court heard.

 

Hero ... Royston Smith, right, on sub visit
Hero ... Royston Smith, right, on sub visit

 

Gangsta rap fan Donovan — who called himself Reggie Moondog — told a fellow sailor hours before his rampage: "I'm going to kill somebody. I'm not f****** kidding, and then watch the news."

He admitted murder and attempted murder and was caged for a minimum of 25 years. The widow of the dead officer — a dad of four — wept just feet away.

Outside court Gill Molyneux paid tribute to her Weapons Engineer Officer husband, describing him as "my hero and true love".

 

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