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Trinidad Declares State of Emergency in Crime Hot-Spots

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A limited state of emergency is in force in several areas of Trinidad, as the government moves to tackle a recent spike in violent crime.

The measures, announced on Sunday by Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, include an overnight curfew.

She said they were targeting what she called "hot spots" as part of efforts to tackle "wanton acts of lawlessness".

The opposition said it was a "panic response" by the government.

The declaration of emergency rule in six areas in Trinidad, which will last 15 days, came after the country saw 11 murders in just a couple of days.

Ms Persad-Bissessar said the killings were a reaction by drug gangs to recent major seizures by the police of consignments worth millions of dollars.

Sheriff

US, New Mexico: State Cop Gets Ax Over Sex Scandal

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© Clyde Mueller
New Mexico State Police officer Bert Lawrence Lopez, left, pictured during a January DWI checkpoint on Agua Fría Street, has been fired. A surveillance camera caught him having sex with a woman on the hood of a car at La Bajada Ranch while in uniform.
The New Mexico State Police officer who was photographed having sex on the hood of a Honda is no longer a cop.

Bert Lopez was informed late this week that the Department of Public Safety has fired him, The New Mexican has learned.

It is unclear when that decision was made as agency spokesman Sgt. Tim Johnson has declined to comment until all appeals have been exhausted.

"It is an embarrassing situation for the department, but we have to remember the rights of the employee afford him due process we must follow so we won't be commenting further," Johnson said.

But when asked Friday evening if Lopez was still employed with the New Mexico State Police, Johnson said, "No."

Padlock

Media Rights Group Warns Egypt Blogger May Die in Jail

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© unknown
Muzzled: Maikel Nabil Sanad is serving a three-year sentence for speaking out.
A media watchdog on Saturday called for the immediate release of a blogger sentenced by Egypt's military to three years in jail, warning that he might die after he stopped eating and drinking.

The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said in a statement that Maikel Nabil Sanad, who began his hunger strike on August 23 and more recently started refusing to drink, "could very soon die."

"The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces would have to take full responsibility. Held for exercising his right to freedom of expression, Sanad must not become the symbol of a repressive and unjust post-Mubarak Egypt," it said.

A military court convicted Nabil in April on charges of insulting the armed forces, prompting US lawmakers to send a letter to the military ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, demanding his release.

Handcuffs

American Jailed in Cuba: I was 'Trusting Fool'

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© US State Dept.
Alan Gross and his wife Judy
An American government subcontractor sentenced to 15 years in prison after illegally bringing communications equipment into Cuba told a Havana court he was a "trusting fool" and never meant any harm to the government, according to excerpts from his testimony released Friday by his lawyer.

Alan Gross, a 62-year-old Maryland native who has been jailed here since December 2009, said he had no idea his actions while on a USAID-funded democracy-building program would raise the ire of Havana authorities.

Cuba says he was distributing satellite telephones and other communications equipment that are illegal to use without authorization. The island's government says the U.S. democracy programs in general are an assault by Washington on the country's sovereignty. Gross has maintained he was only trying to help the Cuba's tiny Jewish community improve Internet access.

"I do deeply regret that my actions have been misinterpreted as harmful and a threat against the security and independence of Cuba. Surely, this runs counter to what I had intended," Gross told the court on March 4, according to the transcript released by his Washington-based lawyer, Peter J. Kahn.

Info

US: Rebecca Zahau Suicide Likely Tied to Boy's Injuries, Officials Say

Rebecca Zahau
© unknown
Rebecca Zahau's family doesn't believe her death was a suicide.
Rebecca Zahau, the girlfriend of pharmaceutical executive Jonah Shacknai who committed suicide at his Coronado mansion, was distraught over injuries his son suffered in her care and that is apparently why she decided to hang herself, authorities said Friday.

Zahau's nude body was found in the courtyard of the historic Spreckels mansion on Ocean Boulevard on the morning of July 13. Her hands and feet had been loosely tied, and a noose was around her neck and tied to a second-story balcony, officials said.

Although how she killed herself may seem unusual, it is not unprecedented and there is no evidence that there was foul play, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said at a Friday morning news conference.

Her fingerprints and DNA were the only ones found on the rope as well as the knife she used to cut it into pieces and place sections around her feet, hands and around her neck, Gore and other authorities said. Investigators also conducted an experiment with a woman of similar size to see if she could tie herself up in the same way with the same knots, and they concluded that she could, authorities said.

"Science does not lie," Gore said.

Pistol

US, New York: Cops eye wounded son in bizarre slaying of couple in Queens home

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© unknown
Sugrim Jaggarnauth, 64, and Rosie Jaggarnauth, 56, who were both found murdered, and their son Shane Jaggarnauth, 23, who was shot in the shoulder twice at their home in Queens.
Cops are investigating whether a 23-year-old Queens man played a role in the execution-style slayings of his parents, police sources said.

A cloud of suspicion surrounds Shane Jaggarnauth, who was also shot during what he described as an early morning ambush in Springfield Gardens.

Police said a gunman blasted Jaggarnauth in the shoulder about 4 a.m., piercing the silence of a normally quiet neighborhood. The shooter went upstairs and found a panicked couple in their bedroom before blasting each of them at least once in the head, a police source said.

Sugrim (Jay) Jaggarnauth, 64, and his wife, Rosie, 56, died at the scene on Grayson St. Before the wife died, she made a chilling call to 911, telling a dispatcher she was shot.

"Help," she whispered into the phone, according to a high-ranking police source. "Hurry."

Family

Giant Plastic Bag Makers Sue Reusable Bag Company for Telling the Truth about Disposables

plastic shopping bag
© Unknown
More and more, the courts are being used to drive smaller eco-friendly and humane companies out of business. At risk is our access to humane and eco-friendly products.

ChicoBag Company makes easy-to-carry reusable bags because they know how devastating disposable plastic shopping bags are. Their advertising focuses primarily on the importance of using recyclables and uses information documented by respected sources to back its claims. Their award for trying to do the right thing is a lawsuit against them by three of the largest manufacturers of disposable plastic shopping bags.

Hilex Poly Company, LLC, Superbag Operating, LTD., and Advance Polybag, Inc. claim that ChicoBag has "irreparably harmed" their businesses. They're claiming that little ChicoBag is making false advertising claims and that their existence is unfair competition.

Light Sabers

Fox News asks: 'Could a Cyberwar Take Out WikiLeaks?'

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© AP
WikiLeaks head Julian Assage is once again under fire after the group's latest leak -- the entire, unredacted database of U.S. diplomatic cables -- sparked outrage.
A massive release from WikiLeaks of the entire unredacted database of U.S. diplomatic cables has brought renewed vigor to those calling for the government to take decisive cyber-action against what some have described as a terrorist organization.

"The latest release of stolen American secrets by the organization WikiLeaks once again proves that they are a terrorist operation that puts the lives of Americans and our allies at risk," U.S. Rep Candice Miller (R-Mich.) said in a statement in response to the latest leak.

"It is long past time for the Obama administration to take decisive action to shut this criminal operation down and to bring those who steal and release America's secrets and put our allies at risk to justice," Miller continued.

But is that even possible?

Yes and no, explained David Aitel, a former NSA cyberoperative, current president and CEO of software security outfit Immunity, and author of "The Hacker's Handbook."

"You could theoretically stop WikiLeaks with cyber-operations," Aitel told FoxNews.com. "However, it would be extremely expensive and difficult. It's not the sort of thing you do when you have other options available."

Vader

UK: Parents of seven told: Your children are too fat, so you will never see them again

fat family
© Mike Gibbons/Spindrift
Torn apart: The parents, left and right, with six of their children who they fear will be taken away from them

Four obese children are on the brink of being permanently removed from their family by social workers after their parents failed to bring their weight under control.

In the first case of its kind, their mother and father now face what they call the 'unbearable' likelihood of never seeing them again.

Their three daughters, aged 11, seven and one, and five-year-old son, will either be 'fostered without contact' or adopted.

Either way, the family's only hope of being reunited will be if the children attempt to track down their parents when they become adults.

Gear

Same lady, different dress: Obama's speechwriter leaves for Hollywood comedy

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© REUTERS/ Kevin Lamarque
Barack Obama
A speechwriter for U.S. President Barack Obama is quitting the White House to move to Hollywood and take up TV comedies, the Washington Post said on Friday.

"It's always been a dream of mine to write comedy and be creative," 29-year-old Jon Lovett told the Post. "I would like to be able to write in my own voice."

Lovett said his departure was not connected with the current shakeup in the U.S. Administration ahead of the 2012 presidential elections.