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Sat, 24 Oct 2020
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Bizarro Earth

Italian appellate judge stands by Amanda Knox's acquittal

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© AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Amanda Knox talks to reporters, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011, in Seattle. Knox was freed Monday after an Italian appeals court threw out her murder conviction for the death of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher.
The Italian presiding appellate judge who acquitted American student Amanda Knox in the murder of her British roommate says he remains certain there is no evidence of her guilt.

Now retired, Judge Pratillo Hellmann was quoted Thursday by Italian newspapers as saying the only evidence that tied Knox and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito to the crime was refuted by new expert testimony entered on appeal.

Family

As U.S. economy flails, debtors' prisons thrive

prison
© iStockphoto
Thousands of Americans are sent to jail not for committing a crime, but because they can't afford to pay for traffic tickets, medical bills and court fees.

If that sounds like a debtors' prison, a legal relic which was abolished in this country in the 1830s, that's because it is. And courts and judges in states across the land are violating the Constitution by incarcerating people for being unable to pay such debts.

Pistol

Intruder killed while breaking into Colorado prosecutor's home

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An intruder who forced his way into the mountain home of a Colorado deputy district attorney was shot dead by either the prosecutor or her police officer husband, authorities said on Tuesday.

The shooting, shortly before midnight Monday, comes two weeks after Colorado's prisons director was slain as he answered the front door to his home, and two days after the district attorney of Kaufman County in Texas was found shot to death with his wife.

An assistant prosecutor in the Kaufman County district attorney's office was shot to death on January 31, and authorities have said both Texas murders and the March 19 slaying of Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements appeared to be targeted killings rather than random acts of violence.

In light of the three previous cases, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation is leading the probe into the latest shooting, which occurred in Hot Sulphur Springs, about 95 miles northwest of Denver.

"There are no apparent ties to recent shootings; however, investigators continue to pursue all possible leads and background information on this (dead) person," the bureau said in a written statement.

Health

Ft. Knox civilian shot and killed, investigation expands to Radcliff

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U.S. Army Human Resources Command headquarters at Fort Knox
An Army civilian employee is dead after a shooting incident that occurred Wednesday afternoon in a parking lot outside U.S. Army Human Resources Command headquarters at Fort Knox.

The victim, who was an employee of U.S. Army Human Resources Command, was transported by ambulance to Ireland Army Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead, officials said.

"Special Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command are investigating a personal incident and not a random act of violence," said Chris Grey, spokesperson for the independent Army investigative agency, in a news release.

The incident prompted a lockdown of post, and security still is heightened at entrance and exit gates overnight. Those coming to Fort Knox should expect delays.

The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of family, the post statement said.

Sheriff

West Virginia sheriff shot and killed outside courthouse

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© eugene.crum/Facebook
Sheriff Eugene Crum is seen in this photo from his Facebook page.
A West Virginia sheriff with a reputation for cracking down on drug dealers was shot in the head at point blank range and killed outside a county courthouse today, officials and witnesses said.

Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum was shot and killed while sitting in his vehicle during his lunch break in the town of Williamson, state Delegate Harry Keith White told ABC News.

A witness told ABC News that he watched the suspect approach Crum's car, where he was known to eat lunch, and fire twice into the vehicle. The suspect then calmly walked to his truck, described as a tan Ford ranger, and drove away.

Another witness, Larry Dove, told the West Virginia Gazette he saw a man shoot Crum "right in the head."

Attention

Carnival Triumph shipyard worker missing after cruise liner breaks free

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© Bill Starling/AP
Tug boats maneuver around the Carnival Triumph on the Mobile River after it broke free on Wednesday.
One of two men still missing after winds also topple guard shack at Alabama port where troubled cruise ship is being repaired

Authorities were searching for a shipyard worker who was thrown into the water in strong winds that also tore a troubled Carnival cruise ship away from its mooring at an Alabama port.

The man was one of two people in a guard shack that blew into the water Wednesday at the shipyard in downtown Mobile, Alabama, where the 900-foot (275-meter) Carnival Triumph had been moored for repairs after being stranded off the coast of Mexico for five days in February.

A second worker was rescued, a US coast guard spokesman said. Aside from the weather, the two incidents were unrelated, the coast guard said. Both men work for BAE Systems, which runs the shipyard.

Authorities are unsure of how deep the water is where the men fell in, but Carnival Cruise Lines said on its website that its ship-repairing operation is adjacent to a 42-foot (13-meter), deep-ship channel.

Apple Red

School forces 25 hungry students to throw away lunches when they couldn't pay

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A group Massachusetts parents are outraged and at least one worker has been placed on administrative leave after about 25 students Robert J. Coelho Middle School in Attleboro were forced to throw away their lunches over concerns that they could not pay for the food.

Parents said that some students cried and went home hungry.

School officials told The Sun Chronicle that Whitson's, the contractor responsible for providing lunches, made the decision to stop students from eating their lunch if there was not enough credit in the student's pre-paid account or they were not able to provide cash for the meal.

Superintendent Pia Durkin on Wednesday said that the on-site director had been placed on administrative leave and Whitson's had been instructed not to deny lunch to any student in the future.

Bizarro Earth

Louisiana smells 'burning tires and oil' as Exxon refinery spills unknown amount of chemicals

Exxon
© Mark Wilson / Getty Images / AFP
As ExxonMobil's week from hell continues after a spill of Canadian crude oil and questions on why the energy giant is exempt from contributing to a federal cleanup fund, it is now dealing with a fresh chemical leak at a refinery in Chalmette, Louisiana.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, residents of the New Orleans suburb began reporting strong odor of "burning tires and oil" to the local Coast Guard on Wednesday.

The claims were soon connected to a report issued by the ExxonMobil refinery the same day.

Confusion remained, though, over the amounts and types of chemicals dumped as a result of a break in a pipeline connecting a drum used to store "liquid flare condensate" with a flare. At oil refineries, flares are gas combustion devices generally used to burn off flammable gas released by pressure relief valves. In this case, the spill itself was of the condensate water.

Once the refinery's leak reached the threshold that would require it to be reported, ExxonMobil announced that it had released 100 pounds of hydrogen sulfide and 10 pounds of benzene, a volatile compound known to cause cancer.

People 2

Nearly 30% of U.S. African-Americans with children suffer poverty, food insecurity

world vision international
© Unknown
Four young members of World Vision International, which seeks to provide resources and aid to girls struggling with education and poverty, attend the 10x10 campaign gala in New York City, New York on October 10.
Alarming statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this month revealed that hunger and poverty rates in the country remain high, particularly among African-American children.

The U.S. Census Bureau determined that 25.1 percent of African-American households and 29.2 percent of households with children are food insecure.

"While there are indicators that the economy is recovering, children and ethnic minorities that were disproportionately impacted during the recession continue to struggle and lag behind in the recovery," explained Leonetta Elaiho, director of Youth and Community Engagement, U.S. Programs at World Vision, in an email statement to The Christian Post.

The U.S. average of households with children who are food insecure is lower, but still high - up to 20.6 percent.

Comment: To put the above U.S. poverty statistics into perspective: Wealth inequality in America




Arrow Down

Body of North Carolina missing woman found in wrecked car days after it was towed

Dead Body In Car
© ABC News
Carolyn Ann Watkins body was found in her car days after it was towed from an accident scene, Johnson County, North Carolina.
The family of a North Carolina grandmother whose body was found inside her wrecked car three days after it was towed said today they believe she would still be alive if a state trooper had noticed her.

Carolyn Ann Watkins, 62, was found dead inside her 2000 Pontiac at a towing lot on Monday.

"There was not much swelling and stuff like that, so we think she was living in that vehicle," Patricia Parker, Watkins' daughter-in-law, told ABCNews.com.

State Trooper M.D. Williams found Watkins' car Friday morning in a ditch near Smithfield, a town 30 miles southeast of Raleigh.

"Note: No driver at the scene of this collision," Williams wrote in a copy of the accident report obtained by ABCNews.com.