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US: Police Identify Gunman in Virginia Tech Murder-Suicide

Image
© Reuters/Virginia State Police
Ross Truett Ashley, 22, of Partlow, Virginia is pictured in this undated photograph released by Virginia State Police on December 9, 2011.
The man who shot dead a campus police officer at Virginia Tech on Thursday before killing himself was a student at a nearby university who had stolen an SUV at gunpoint the day before, officials said.

Virginia State Police on Friday identified the gunman as 22-year-old Ross Truett Ashley, a part-time student at Radford University in Radford, Va.

Ashley had entered a real estate office in Radford on Wednesday and demanded the keys to an employee's white 2011 Mercedes Benz at gunpoint.

He drove off in the vehicle and later dumped it on the campus of Virginia Tech some time before his deadly confrontation with 39-year-old Deriek W. Crouse, an officer with the Virginia Tech campus police.

The state police said they have not been able to establish any prior contact or connection between Ashley and Crouse and still do not know why the part-time student walked up to the officer and shot him before turning the gun on himself in a nearby parking lot.

The incident prompted a lockdown of the campus on Thursday and revived memories of a gunman's 2007 rampage that left 33 people dead in one of the worst shooting incidents in U.S. history.

Syringe

Sterilization: Peru's Darkest Secret

women in peru demonstrating
© n/a
An investigation into whether Alberto Fujimori's government carried out mass forced sterilisations in the 1990s has been reopened

Victoria Vigo shows no flicker of emotion as she recounts how she discovered - by chance - that she had been surgically sterilised against her will. Heavily pregnant, she was admitted to a public hospital in the city of Piura, on Peru's northern coast, in April 1996 to undergo a Caesarian section. Within hours of the procedure, her ailing new-born child had died and Ms Vigo, 32 at the time, was being consoled by two doctors.

"I was exhausted and just wanted to go home," Ms Vigo says. "The doctors were trying to comfort me and one told me I was still very young and could have more children. But then, afterwards, I overheard them talking and the other said that it would not be possible for me to conceive as he had sterilised me."

Not only had Ms Vigo never given her permission for the procedure. The doctor had omitted it from her clinical records and failed to inform her. "I felt totally violated and brutalised. I still cannot understand what motivated him," Ms Vigo says. "He sterilised me and then hid the evidence. I could have tried for years to have another child without even knowing I could never conceive."

Dollar

Max Keiser: Crazy Cameron suicidal with knife in Euro gunfight!

The Euro's future has been dealt a severe blow at eleventh hour talks in Brussels, as the UK refused to sign up to new EU treaties, leaving the rest of Europe to figure out a different approach. Marathon overnight talks mean the core Eurozone states will now make any further agreements among themselves, while other European countries can still join in to work out budget rules and changes. Max Keiser, financial analyst and the host of the 'Keiser Report' here on RT, says PM Cameron wants the whole world tolerate London as capital of fraud and sponsor it.

Arrow Down

Average US household lost $21,261 of net worth during 2011 Summer

The average US household lost $21,261 of net worth this summer, the largest decline in family wealth in nearly three years.

The drop in the third quarter, tied to falling home values and a cratering stock market, is the second straight quarter of eroding wealth, according to the Federal Reserve's quarterly report released yesterday.

Prior to the back-to-back quarterly declines in household net worth, which wiped out $2.55 trillion of hard-earned wealth from families' ledgers, Main Street had experienced three straight quarters of growth, the report said.

Arrow Down

China warns of 'severe challenges' to exports to West

Falling China exports
© Getty Images
Sales to Europe and the US comprise just under 40% of China's total exports, but have been falling
China faces "severe challenges" to its exports due to economic difficulties in key Western markets, the country's commerce ministry has warned.

Data due to be released on Saturday will show a sharp slowdown in export growth in November, the ministry said.

Sales to Europe and the US, which comprise about 40% of total exports, were not expected to recover next year.

The ministry said China would instead target exports to developing markets in Asia and Latin America.

Airplane

Plane Crashes into Philippine Slum Killing 12

Image
© Cheryl Ravelo/Reuters
Fire-fighters spray water as investigators examine the site of an aircraft crash in Paranaque City, Metro Manila December 10, 2011. Thirteen people were reported killed when a light aircraft crash-landed in a residential area, resulting in a fire that razed 50 houses, local media reported.
A four-seater cargo plane crashed into a crowded Philippine slum on Saturday, sparking a fire that killed 12 people including three children and left at least another 20 injured, officials said.

The crash killed the pilot and co-pilot, while the rest of the victims are thought to be residents of the shanty town, said police chief inspector Enrique Sy.

"The plane struck one house but the others also went up in flames. These are informal settlers, packed into rows of houses," Sy told reporters.

Resident Maribel Savedoria tearfully recounted on local radio how her husband perished in the blaze after pushing her and their four children out through the window of their rented room.

Che Guevara

Thousands Gather in Russia to Protest Legislative Elections

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© Yuri Kadobnov/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Protesters gathered in Bolotnaya Square in central Moscow on Saturday.
Tens of thousands of Russians gathered peacefully in central Moscow on Saturday to shout "Putin is a thief" and "Russia without Putin," forcing the Kremlin to confront a level of public discontent that has not been seen here since Vladimir V. Putin first became president 12 years ago.

The crowd overflowed the square where it was held, forcing stragglers to climb trees or watch from the opposite riverbank, and organizers repeatedly cleared a footbridge out of fear it would collapse. It was the largest anti-Kremlin protest since the early 1990s.

The crowd united liberals, nationalists and Communists, a group best described as the urban middle class, so digitally connected that some were broadcasting the rally live using iPads held over their heads. The police estimated the crowd at 25,000 while organizers put the figure much higher, at 40,000 or more.

The rally was a significant moment in Russia's political life, suggesting that the authorities have lost the power to control the national agenda. The event was too large to be edited out of the evening news, which does not report criticism of Mr. Putin, and was accompanied by smaller demonstrations dozens of other cities, including St. Petersburg.

Pistol

Fears of US-Israeli Attack Rise in Iran

The constant rhetoric in the U.S. and Israel about potential military strikes against Iran, along with recent revelations about covert U.S. action inside Iran, has terrified a nation staring down the barrel of a superpowers gun.

Iran map
© n/a
"I don't think we can know just yet if war will break out, but I am concerned for my family and my country," university teacher Maryam Sofi, a mother of two, told Reuters. "I cannot sleep at night, thinking about destruction and bloodshed if Israel and America attack Iran."

Hyperbolic reactions to the recent IAEA report on Iran's nuclear program have prompted heightened war rhetoric from Israel and the United States. On Thursday, President Obama used a popular euphemism for international aggression, saying "No options off the table means I'm considering all options."

But the IAEA report put forth no definitive evidence of an imminent Iranian nuclear weapons capability, and in fact confirmed the non-diversion of fissile material.

Eye 1

Monsanto PR Firm Reportedly 'Ended' by Anonymous

hacking
© Unknown
It seems that Monsanto may be having a rough week. Not only was the company hit by a press release declaring them the worst company of 2011, but a group of Anonymous hackers claim to have actually completely disrupted the operations of a PR firm which manages Monsanto's own PR. The hackers infiltrated the PR firm, known as The Biving Group, due to "15+years of running marketing campaigns and helping some of the most corrupt corporations on the planet, as well as several governmental agencies, cover up their dirt."

Heart - Black

US: Ex-Amateur Athletic Union Leader Accused of Child Sex Abuse


Bobby Dodd
© ESPN
AAU president and chief executive officer Bobby Dodd, shown in a 2000 Outside the Lines report.
Two former basketball players have accused ex-Amateur Athletic Union president Robert "Bobby" Dodd of molesting them as children, according to an ESPN report.

The AAU confirmed late Friday that it is investigating the claims, which reportedly date from the 1980s. One of the players, 43-year-old Ralph West, told ESPN's Outside the Lines he was assaulted in Memphis in 1984.

Both West and a second unidentified man said news reports about the Penn State child sex abuse case prompted them to independently confront Dodd in November. The player, who spoke to ESPN on the condition of anonymity, said he called Dodd on Nov. 11 and that Dodd apologized for the alleged abuse. ESPN confirmed an eight-minute call to Dodd by examining telephone records.

Memphis police said in a statement that it had been contacted by the AAU and was looking into the allegations.