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US: Uzbek Man Pleads Guilty in Plot to Kill Obama

Ulugbek Kodirov
© The Associated Press/Shelby County Sheriff's Dept
22-year-old Ulugbek Kodirov, who is scheduled for a hearing Friday, Feb.10, 2012 in Birmingham, Ala.
A man from Uzbekistan who pleaded guilty Friday to plotting to kill President Barack Obama with an automatic rifle claimed he was acting at the direction of an Islamic terror group in his home country.

Authorities said Ulugbek Kodirov had discussed trying to kill the president as he campaigned for re-election because he would be out in public more often. Kodirov entered the plea during a hearing in Birmingham before U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon, an Obama appointee.

Defense attorney Lance Bell said the 22-year-old Kodirov avoided a potential life sentence by pleading guilty. He faces up to 30 years in prison, though Bell expected Kodirov to receive about half that. The judge also told Kodirov that he will face deportation once he's released from prison.

Kodirov pleaded guilty to three counts: Threatening to kill the president, possessing an automatic weapon, and providing material support to terrorists. Four other charges were dropped as part of the deal.

Area Muslims who knew Kodirov were stunned to learn of his plans.

Crusader

US: Obama Shift Seeks to Defuse Birth-Control Fight

Obama
© Reuters/Larry Downing
President Barack Obama, in an abrupt policy shift aimed at quelling an election-year firestorm, announced on Friday that religious employers would not be required to offer free birth control to workers and the onus would instead be put on insurers.

But Catholic Church leaders and Obama's Republican opponents, who had railed against the Democratic president's new rule on contraceptives as a violation of religious freedom, signaled that divisions remain over the hot-button social issue.

The compromise by the Obama administration sought to accommodate religious organizations, such as Catholic hospitals and universities, outraged by a new rule that would have required them to offer free contraceptive coverage to women employees.

Instead, the new approach puts the burden on insurance companies, ordering them to provide workers at religious-affiliated institutions with free family planning if they request it, without involving their employer at all, the White House said.

"Religious liberty will be protected, and a law that requires free preventive care will not discriminate against women," Obama told reporters in the White House briefing room as he sought to put the political furor to rest.

Laptop

Canada, British Columbia: Emailed Rave Rape Pictures Earn Teen Probation

A teen convicted of emailing pictures of an alleged rape at a rave in Pitt Meadows, B.C., that were eventually posted by others on Facebook has been sentenced to 12 months probation for distributing obscene material.

The teen, who cannot be named because of his age, was also sentenced to write an essay on the harmful impact of social media by the judge on Friday in provincial court in Port Coquitlam.

He was initially charged with production and distribution of child pornography, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge in December.

Radar

US: Girls excluded from 'Red Tails' field trip; Thousands of Texas schoolboys brought to see the WWII film

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© Associated Press
A scene from "Red Tails," a new film about black fighter pilots in World War II.

Female students stayed in classroom and watched Akeelah and the Bee

Dallas, Texas: When 5,700 fifth-grade boys in Dallas' public schools recently went to see a movie about black fighter pilots in World War II, the girls stayed in school and saw a different movie instead.

One of the pilots is among those asking why.

A spokesman for the Dallas Independent School District said officials took only boys to see Red Tails Thursday because space at the movie theater was limited. Jon Dahlander told The Dallas Morning News that leaders of the district also thought boys would enjoy the movie more than girls.

Red Tails tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the legendary pilots during World War II who become the first black aviators to serve in the U.S. military. The movie opened last month.

Some female students were shown a different movie instead: Akeelah and the Bee, about an 11-year-old girl who competes in a national spelling bee.

Pistol

US: Video of gun-toting dad blasting away at daughter's laptop goes viral

A viral video of a father firing his .45 at his daughter's laptop after she blasted him on her Facebook page has sparked a fiery debate about parenting and tough love.

Tommy Jordan posted the video entitled, "Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen" on YouTube on Wednesday. By Friday, it was closing in on two million views. Jordan went public with the clip after daughter Hannah posted on Facebook an open letter to her parents griping about what most 16-year-olds would complain about at that age: having to do chores and not having the latest gadgets bought for her.

In the video, Jordan sits on a chair with a cigarette in hand and a printed-out copy of his daughter's posting in the other. He also has a .45 caliber holstered to his belt.

The angry dad starts off with a message to his daughter.

Pistol

US: Detroit Citizens No Longer Rely on Police as Self-Defense Killings Skyrocket

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© James Fassinger/The Daily
Dale Brown, the owner of Threat Management Group, says the private security business is booming in Detroit.
The people of Detroit, Michigan are taking no prisoners.

Justifiable homicide in the city shot up 79 percent in 2011 from the previous year, as citizens in the long-suffering city armed themselves and took matters into their own hands. The local rate of self-defense killings now stands 2,200 percent above the national average. Residents, unable to rely on a dwindling police force to keep them safe, are fighting back against the criminal scourge on their own. And they're offering no apologies.

"We got to have a little Old West up here in Detroit. That's what it's gonna take," Detroit resident Julia Brown told The Daily.

The last time Brown, 73, called the Detroit police, they didn't show up until the next day. So she applied for a permit to carry a handgun and says she's prepared to use it against the young thugs who have taken over her neighborhood, burglarizing entire blocks, opening fire at will and terrorizing the elderly with impunity.

"I don't intend to be one of their victims," said Brown, who has lived in Detroit since the late 1950s. "I'm planning on taking one out."

2 + 2 = 4

Canada, Newfoundland: Teacher Who Sprayed Air-Freshener on Boy Suspended

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A Newfoundland teacher who sprayed one of her students with air freshener has been suspended with pay from her job, according to a statement from the school board responsible for Twillingate Island Elementary School.

The Nova Central School District also said that a representative from the board met with the student's mother, Patti Rideout, on Monday and issued an apology to Rideout and her son.

Rideout said that her 10-year-old son was sprayed with Febreeze by his teacher in early February when he returned to class after eating a lunch of cooked capelin.

Rideout said her son's classmates starting teasing him about the fishy smell. The teacher sent her son out of class for one period and then sprayed the air freshener on him.

V

US: Conservative Political Action Conference Braces for Possible 'Occupy' Infiltration

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© The Associated Press/Jacquelyn Martin
Occupy DC supporter Joseph Moehrl, 23, waves an American flag at a recent demonstration
If liberal demonstrators try to crash this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, the largest annual gathering of conservatives, attendees here say they'll be ready.

For weeks before the conference, conservative activists donned old jeans and hooded sweatshirts and went "undercover" at Occupy DC's downtown encampment. They sat in on meetings where Occupiers discussed plans to disrupt CPAC. Each day, the infiltrators posted what they heard to a private Google group of CPAC attendees and bloggers. Those who attended the meetings said they heard plans to cause "mayhem" at the upcoming conference and even threats of physical violence. Lachlan Markay of the conservative Heritage Foundation documented the reports and now conference attendees and organizers say they have made preparations to absorb any demonstrations.

At the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, where the conference is running until Saturday, security agents are stationed across the campus. Each entrance is manned by guards wearing ear-pieces, with others outside near the metro station.

"Let's just say we've adapted to everything," CPAC Security Director Floyd Resnick told Yahoo News Thursday, adding that he was not able to provide details about the conference security. Mark Indre, a spokesman for the hotel, confirmed that Marriott was taking security precautions.

X

Big NASA Budget Cuts to Slash Mars Missions, Experts Say

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© unknown
NASA's budget for the next fiscal year is likely to include deep cuts to planetary science programs, forcing the space agency to withdraw altogether from an international effort to send two new missions to Mars, experts say.

President Barack Obama is slated to submit his administration's federal budget request for fiscal year 2013 on Monday (Feb. 13), and NASA will hold a series of briefings to discuss its share on the same day. While exactly how much money is allocated to NASA is unknown, insiders expect a significant reduction in the portion slotted for robotic exploration of Mars and other solar system bodies.

The cuts probably will compel NASA to bow out of the European Space Agency-led ExoMars missions, which aim to launch an orbiter and a drill-toting rover to the Red Planet in 2016 and 2018, respectively, says one space policy expert.

"NASA has, I think, already told ESA it's not going to be able to provide a launch vehicle in 2016," said John Logsdon, professor emeritus at George Washington University. "So that is going to cause a big international uproar on one dimension. And the planetary community in the U.S. is going to be very unhappy about the fact that there's no money for major new planetary missions."

Crusader

US: Cardinal-Designate Dolan: Obama Reneging On Birth Control Provision

Sources: President Promised Dolan That He Would 'Get Most Of What He Wanted'


Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan says President Barack Obama hasn't kept his promise, when it comes to the new White House policy on contraception.

Sources told CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer that Archbishop Dolan feels betrayed after his meeting with the president on the issue late last year.

A Catholic group in Alabama filed the first lawsuit against the Obama administration's new birth control regulations as the controversy got even more heated Thursday.