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Pistol

Illinois, US: Family Furious After Calumet City Police Shoot, Kill Boy With Autism

Police in Calumet City were defending their actions Wednesday after officers shot and killed a 15-year-old boy, who has a form of autism, after he threatened them with a knife.

Stephon Watts' family said he suffered from Asperger's Syndrome - a high-functioning form of autism - and attention deficit disorder.

As CBS 2′s Susanna Song and WBBM Newsradio's Steve Miller report, they claimed the boy was only holding a butter knife. Police would only describe it as a "kitchen knife."

The deadly encounter happened at the boy's home at 541 Forsythe Av. in Calumet City, police said.

People

French Elle denies Obama fashion piece 'racist'

black fashion power
© Elle
French fashion bible Elle has denied charges of racism after unleashing a storm by suggesting that a black American elite, inspired by the Obama couple, was finally embracing "white" fashion.

The January 13 blog post entitled "Black fashion power" has drawn volleys of angry protest on both side of the Atlantic, with the New York Daily News tabloid saying it managed to "insult black Americans as a whole".

In the piece, which has since been removed from Elle's website, journalist Nathalie Dolivo cited singers Erykah Badu or Rihanna and the actress Zoe Saldana, as black Americans who understood "the importance of style".

"In an America governed for the first time by a black American president, chic has become a plausible option for a community up until then bound by its streetwear codes," she wrote.
X

US: Stolen Babies? Immigrant Mother Loses Four Kids


The scars of childbirth were still healing on Amelia Reyes Jimenez's stomach in 2008 when police came to her Phoenix apartment and took her three-month-old daughter from her arms.
Laptop

Do You Like Online Privacy? You May Be a Terrorist

surveillance graphic
© n/a
A flyer designed by the FBI and the Department of Justice to promote suspicious activity reporting in internet cafes lists basic tools used for online privacy as potential signs of terrorist activity. The document, part of a program called "Communities Against Terrorism", lists the use of "anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address" as a sign that a person could be engaged in or supporting terrorist activity. The use of encryption is also listed as a suspicious activity along with steganography, the practice of using "software to hide encrypted data in digital photos" or other media. In fact, the flyer recommends that anyone "overly concerned about privacy" or attempting to "shield the screen from view of others" should be considered suspicious and potentially engaged in terrorist activities.

Logging into an account associated with a residential internet service provider (such as Comcast or AOL), an activity that could simply indicate that you are on a trip, is also considered a suspicious activity. Viewing any content related to "military tactics" including manuals or "revolutionary literature" is also considered a potential indicator of terrorist activity. This would mean that viewing a number of websites, including the one you are on right now, could be construed by a hapless employee as an highly suspicious activity potentially linking you to terrorism.

The "Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities" contained in the flyer are not to be construed alone as a sign of terrorist activity and the document notes that "just because someone's speech, actions, beliefs, appearance, or way of life is different; it does not mean that he or she is suspicious." However, many of the activities described in the document are basic practices of any individual concerned with security or privacy online. The use of PGP, VPNs, Tor or any of the many other technologies for anonymity and privacy online are directly targeted by the flyer, which is distributed to businesses in an effort to promote the reporting of these activities.
Nuke

'US Uses Depleted Uranium, Makes Graveyards in Afghanistan'

Afgan father with ill child
© n/a
An Afghan activist reveals the US is still using horrific depleted uranium weapons in Afghanistan, creating graveyards of people who die of cancer and other unusual diseases, Press TV reports.

"These weapons are still used. In fact, a US aircraft called A-10 warthog, normally, even if it doesn't use a uranium projectile in the machine gun, every third projectile is a uranium projectile and that's the working horse of the US army in Afghanistan. They use it left and right," Dr. Mohammad Daud Miraki said in an interview with Press TV.

"Apache helicopters and Bradley vehicles also utilize these projectiles in these weapons," he added.

The activist also noted that 62.7 percent of the population of Afghanistan has been targeted by the dangerous radioactive ammunitions.
Dollar

5.6 Million Americans Have Switched Their Banks In The Last 90 Days

protest sign
© n/a
Back in November, the Occupy Wall Street movement inspired "Bank Transfer Day," a day for Americans fed up with the actions of the nation's biggest banks to move their money to a different institution. Initial estimates of the impact of Bank Transfer Day placed the number of accounts moved at around 600,000, but later estimates revised that downward to around 200,000.

However, new estimates from Javelin Strategy and Research, a research and consulting firm, show that the original numbers were closer to the truth. Javelin found that 5.6 million people have moved their bank accounts in the last 90 days, with 610,000 citing Bank Transfer Day as their reason:
Bank Transfer Day and the Occupy Movement have received tremendous attention, and for the first time we have market research data to measure the impact on the financial services industry. Javelin's research estimates that 5.6 million U.S. adults with a banking relationship changed providers in the past 90 days. Of those switchers, 610,000 US adults (or 11% of the 5.6 million) cited Bank Transfer Day as their reason and actually moved their accounts from a large to a small institution.
Megaphone

Obama More Press-Friendly than Bush, but Controls the Message

© Reuters
The president has granted 408 media interviews with journalists in his first three years in office, exactly three times as many as his predecesor, according to a study cited by The New York Times. Towson University's Martha Kumar has tallied 136 one-on-ones for George W. Bush's first three years, and 166 for Bill Clinton's.

This stat confirms what we already knew: Obama is a press-friendly president, but perhaps not in the way that we thought. Obama's given far fewer general Q&As with the White House press corp (94) than Bush (307) or Clinton (493). The reason? "He prefers interviews because he prefers speaking on a particular topic," says Kumar. So this statistic is less about volume and more about message control.
Gift

BBC admits receiving millions in grants from EU and councils

EU flags
© Alamy
BBC received nearly £3million in grant money from the European Union over the past four years
The news prompted MPs to raise questions about the BBC's impartiality when its journalists report on events in the EU.

The BBC admitted in a letter to a Tory MP that it has received nearly £3million in grant money from the European Union over the past four years.

Other grants totalling £16million came from local authorities across the UK. The money was spent on "research and development projects".

The broadcaster also disclosed that its commercial arm BBC Worldwide borrowed over £141million from the European Investment Bank since 2003. Of that figure £30million is still due to be repaid by the end of May this year.

These figures are disclosed in the commercial arm's annual report, while the BBC's annual report does not make clear where the grant money comes from.
Airplane

US 'No-Fly' List of Suspected Terrorists Doubles in 12 Months

Dulles airport, Washington DC
© Jeff Greenberg/Alamy
Dulles airport, Washington DC: the US no-fly list stands at about 21,000.
Classified log of individuals banned from flying into or within America as they are considered a threat stands at 21,000

The size of the US government's secret list of suspected terrorists who are banned from flying to or within the country has more than doubled in the past year.

The no-fly list jumped from about 10,000 known or suspected terrorists one year ago to about 21,000 according to government figures. About 500 are US nationals.

The flood of new names began after the failed Christmas 2009 bombing of a Detroit-bound jetliner when the US government lowered the standard for putting people on the list and scoured its files for anyone who qualified. "We learned a lot about the watch listing process and made strong improvements, which continue to this day," said Timothy Healy, director of the Terrorist Screening Center, which produces the no-fly list.

Among the most significant new standard is that a person doesn't have to be considered only a threat to aviation to be placed on the list.

People considered a broader threat to domestic or international security or who attended a terror training camp are also included, said a US counter-terrorism official who spoke on condition of anonymity. As agencies complete the reviews of their files, the pace of growth is expected to slow, the counter-terrorism official said.

The American Civil Liberties Union has previously sued the US government on behalf of Americans who believe they are on the no-fly list and have not been able to travel by air for work or to see family.
Handcuffs

US: New York City Agent Arrested in Latest TSA Theft Allegation

TSA
© Stephen Chernin/Getty Images
A Transportation Security Administration agent stole $5,000 in cash from a passenger's jacket as he was going through security at John F. Kennedy International Airport, authorities said Thursday, the latest in a string of thefts that has embarrassed the agency.

Alexandra Schmid took the cash from a Bangladeshi passenger's jacket as it went along an X-ray conveyor belt Wednesday night in Terminal 4, said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's police force.

Surveillance video showed Schmid taking the money from a jacket pocket, wrapping the cash in a plastic glove and taking it to a bathroom, Della Fave said.

The money hasn't been recovered, he said. Police are investigating whether Schmid gave it to another person in the bathroom.

The 31-year-old Schmid was arrested on a charge of grand larceny and suspended pending an investigation. Her attorney's name wasn't immediately known.
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