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Bad Guys

Alabama hostage crisis enters second week of standstill

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© Reuters
Jimmy Lee Dykes is shown in this undated handout photo. The man is suspected of shooting a school bus driver to death and taking a five-year-old boy hostage in an underground bunker as the standoff with police continues in Midland City, Alabama.
As the Alabama hostage crisis continues into its seventh day, police say they have discovered more details about the captor holding a 5-year-old boy in an underground bunker after taking him off a school bus.

Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old Vietnam veteran, fatally shot an Alabama school bus driver and took the 5-year-old boy from the bus, taking him to the bunker underneath his home. Holding the boy hostage, Dykes promised not to hurt him and kept an open line of communication with authorities.

Authorities delivered items including medicine, a Hot Wheels toy car, and food, including Cheez-Its, to the 5-year-old using a ventilation pipe. The boy suffers from a mild form of autism, but the captor has done his best "to make the environment as comfortable as possible for the child," the FBI said.

The FBI has not discussed a motive for the kidnapping, but neighbors described the assailant as a loner with no children of his own. Dykes lives along a dirt road outside of Dothan, a small town in southeast Alabama. The 65-year-old is estranged from his family and told some of his family member "to go to hell", said Mel Adams, a Midland City Council member who has known Dykes since they were ages 3 and 4, in an AP interview. The man has an adult daughter, but lost touch with her two years ago. He also has a brother and a sister that he has lost contact with.

The kidnapper's neighbors told AP that Dykes once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children for stepping onto his property, and guarded his property at night with a gun and a flashlight.

Birthday Cake

Oregon baker denies lesbian couple a wedding cake

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© Credit: YouTube
He isn't the first, either. How bakeries are becoming an unlikely battleground in the struggle for gay rights

Oregon baker Aaron Klein could face legal action after refusing to do business with a lesbian couple who sought a cake for their upcoming wedding.

As reported by KATU, the woman who filed the complaint says she had previously purchased a wedding cake from Sweet Cakes Bakery for her mother without incident, but was denied service after she told Klein the cake she wanted to buy was for her same-sex wedding.

Cue inevitable pun about this guy being anything but sweet.


Pistol

Gun Control USA: Sandy Hook father owns Congress

A father of a student at the Sandy Hook elementary school sets the record straight for politicians regarding the right to bear arms in the US.


Comment: See also: SOTT Talk Radio: Gun Control USA: Do Guns Protect Freedoms?


Eye 2

Florida father with assault weapon forces wife to watch as he kills two sons

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Isidro Zavala
A Florida man armed with an weapon that had once been banned under federal law forced his wife to watch as he strangled one of his sons and then shot a second before turning a gun on himself.

Victoria Flores Zavala told Boynton Beach police that 45-year-old Isidro Zavala went to her home on Saturday with a plan to kill her and their two boys because she had filed for divorce last year, according to WTVJ. But Isidro Zavala decide to spare his wife at the last minute so she could suffer while watching him murder 12-year-old Eduardo Zavala and 11-year-old Mario Zavala.

"What Mrs. Zavala had to go through - watch her children killed before her - is probably the most horrific thing you could ever imagine, at least for me," Boynton Beach Police Chief G. Matthew Immler explained at a press conference.

Bizarro Earth

New Jersey school asks girls - not boys - to take no-cursing pledge

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© Shutterstock
A New Jersey high school asked girls - but not boys - to take a pledge to refrain from cursing, reported northjersey.com.

Lori Flynn, the teacher who launched the pledge at Queen of Peace High School, said, "We want ladies to act like ladies."

Boat

French tanker likely hijacked off Ivory Coast

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© AP Photo/Sea Tanker Shipping
A French-owned oil tanker missing off Ivory Coast with 17 sailors on board likely has been hijacked, an official with an international piracy watchdog said Monday, in what may be the latest attack by criminal gangs targeting the ships to steal their valuable cargo.

Details remained scarce Monday about the fate of the ship, flagged in Luxembourg. The ship had been reported missing Sunday and officials believe it fell victim to the same pirates operating throughout the Gulf of Guinea, said Noel Choong, a spokesman for the International Maritime Bureau in Malaysia.

SEA Tankers, a shipping firm based in Merignac, France, issued a statement Monday afternoon identify the missing ship as the M/T Gascogne.

"The company (is) in contact with the relevant authorities in the region with the objective of re-establishing communication with the vessel's crew," the company said. "The safety of the crew and vessel remain the overriding priority."

Ambulance

Eight dead when California tour bus crashes with pickup truck on mountain highway east of Los Angeles

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© AP PHOTO
At least eight people are dead and dozens injured after a California bus carrying a tour group collided with a pickup truck Sunday night.
San Bernardino County Fire Department spokesman says 28 people were treated at the scene and injuries varied from minor to life-threatening. The twisted wreckage was still being searched for survivors hours after the 6:30 p.m. collision.

At least eight people were killed and 38 injured Sunday when a tour bus careened out of control while traveling down a Southern California mountain road, struck a car, flipped and plowed into a pickup truck, authorities said.

The accident occurred around 6:30 p.m. about 80 miles east of Los Angeles and left State Route 38 littered with debris, the bus sideways across the two lanes and its front end crushed. Emergency crews worked to free passengers who were trapped in the bus, which was returning to Tijuana, Mexico, California Highway Patrol spokesman Mario Lopez said.

The violence of the crash and severity of the injuries made for a chaotic scene, and authorities had a difficult time determining how many people were injured or killed. Lopez said at least eight and perhaps 10 were dead, and 38 transported to hospitals.

Padlock

Authorities shut down prostitution 'house of horrors'

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© Cook County State’s Attorney
Keith Williams, from left; Roman Kurek; Sylvia Topolewski
Police say they've broken up a prostitution "house of horrors" that did business in Schiller Park and on Chicago's west side.

Keith Williams, 52, allegedly served his prostitutes crack and heroin twice a day on a silver platter, but prosecutors say he was one brutal master, WBBM Newsradio's Bob Roberts reports.

He allegedly would beat women for rule infractions, real or imagined, with his fists and feet. He would choke them, handcuff them and lock them away for days at a time without food or drugs, making them ill, authorities said Friday.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez says the multi-agency investigation, dating back to May, showed a pattern of preying on women who were down-and-out. Some admitted they went to work for Williams despite a violent reputation.

Newspaper

The moment Taser police take down knifeman outside Buckingham Palace: Terror at Changing of the Guard as man breaks security cordon

  • Metropolitan Police confirm taser was used in central London at 11:50am
  • Photos show man holding knife to his throat during Changing of the Guard
  • Queen and Prince Philip were at Sandringham Estate in Norfolk at the time
  • Man arrested on suspicion of affray and has been taken to a police station
Holding a blade to his own throat, this was the moment a knifeman brought chaos to the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace yesterday.

The middle-aged man walked through crowds of tourists clutching two large kitchen knives before police surrounded him and used a Taser stun gun to disarm him.

As a policeman shouted a warning call of 'Taser, Taser, Taser' to his colleagues, the knifeman lunged forward, brandishing a six-inch blade in a series of swipes, before falling to the floor as he was stunned by the electrical charge.
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Dramatic: Police officers tasered a man holding a knife to his throat outside Buckingham Palace yesterday
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© Youtube/Grant Shepherd
Scary: The dramatic incident saw the man brandish two knives in front of hundreds of terrified tourists
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© Youtube/Grant Shepherd
Down: The man charged towards a police officer outside Buckingham Palace who fired a taser gun at him
A video showed the man, in his 50s, shouting and holding the knife to his throat as he walked past the Victoria Memorial, towards the gates of the palace.

Police officers shouted to tourists to keep away from the man as they raced to surround him.

The man, who clutched a set of wooden beads and wore a flat woollen hat similar to the pakuls traditionally worn by men in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan, was later arrested.

Pistol

Iraq war veteran charged in Texas shooting that killed author/ex-Navy SEAL Kyle, his friend

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© The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Paul Moseley/ Associated Press
In this April 6, 2012, photo, former Navy SEAL and author of the book American Sniper poses in Midlothian, Texas. A Texas sheriff has told local newspapers that Kyle has been fatally shot along with another man on a gun range, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.
Stephenville, Texas - A 25-year-old Iraq war veteran charged with murdering former Navy SEAL and American Sniper author Chris Kyle and his friend turned a gun onto the pair while they were at a Texas shooting range, authorities said Sunday.

Eddie Ray Routh of Lancaster was arraigned early Sunday in the deaths of Kyle, 38, and Chad Littlefield, 35, at a shooting range at Rough Creek Lodge, about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth. He was being held on one charge of capital murder and two charges of murder.

Capt. Jason Upshaw with the Erath County Sheriff's Office said Routh used a semi-automatic handgun, which authorities later found at his home. Upshaw said ballistics tests weren't complete Sunday, but authorities believe it was the gun used in the shootings. Upshaw declined to give any more details about the gun.

Routh has not made any comments indicating what his motive may have been, Upshaw said. Sheriff Tommy Bryant said Routh was unemployed and "may have been suffering from some type of mental illness from being in the military himself."

"I don't know that we'll ever know. He's the only one that knows that," Upshaw said.

Bryant didn't know if Routh was on any medication or whether he had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The U.S. military confirmed Sunday that Routh was a corporal in the Marines, serving in active duty from 2006 to 2010. He was deployed to Iraq in 2007 and Haiti in 2010. His current duty status is listed as reserve.

Routh is being held on $3 million bond. Authorities did not know whether Routh had a lawyer yet.