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US: Arrest Ends Manhunt in New York Drug Store Shooting; 4 people Killed in Botched Long Island Robbery

© Stephen Barcelo for Daily News
David Laffer is removed by police from his Medford, L.I., home which was raided by cops Wednesday morning in connection with the quadruple homicide at a pharmacy.
Medford - The tall, gaunt man entered the pharmacy cloaked in a loose sweat shirt, baseball cap and glasses. His thin face was hidden under a bushy beard as he opened fire, killing all four people inside during a robbery for painkillers.

Police circulated clear surveillance photos of the suspect after the weekend shooting, and received hundreds of tips in an intense manhunt that ended Wednesday with the capture of a 33-year-old who was led from his Long Island home in handcuffs.

David Laffer, who a few years ago proposed to his now-wife at a New York Islanders hockey game, was later arrested and charged with first-degree murder and resisting arrest, according to Suffolk County Police. He was being held overnight at the Fifth Precinct and was scheduled for arraignment Thursday, police said.

Laffer said nothing as he was led from police headquarters Wednesday wearing a white jumpsuit. He was later briefly hospitalized, but officials did not say why.

His wife, 29-year-old Melinda Brady, also was taken away. She was arrested on charges of robbery for her involvement in the drug store heist and obstructing governmental administration. Her role in the robbery wasn't specified. Police said she was being held overnight and also is to be arraigned Thursday.

Bad Guys

US: Why is there a Media Blackout on Nuclear Incident at Fort Calhoun in Nebraska?

Since flooding began on June 6th, there has been a disturbingly low level of media attention given to the crisis at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Facility near Omaha, Nebraska. But evidence strongly suggests that something very serious has in fact happened there.

On June 7th, there was a fire reported at Fort Calhoun. The official story is that the fire was in an electrical switchgear room at the plant. The apparently facility lost power to a pump that cools the spent fuel rod pool, allegedly for a duration of approximately 90 minutes.


US - Post office suspends retirement contributions

© Unknown
Washington - The financially troubled Postal Service is suspending its contributions to its employees' pension fund.

The agency said Wednesday it is acting to conserve cash as it continues to lose money. The post office was $8 billion in the red last year because of the combined effects of the recession and the switch of much mail business to the Internet. It faces the possibility of running short of money by the end of this fiscal year in September.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., called the announcement "the canary in the coal mine moment for the Postal Service."

"If we don't heed this warning and act quickly, the Postal Service as we know it will cease to exist in the very near future," said Carper, chairman of the Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over the agency.

The post office needs reforms "to cut costs and protect taxpayers from an expensive bailout," said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The mailing industry echoed their comments.

Comment: One wonders why this is. Absent this singular regulation, the US Postal Service is one of the few profitable departments in the government

Bizarro Earth

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faces impeachment threat

Iranian president under increasing pressure from MPs after supporting foreign minister's controversial appointment of deputy

© Reuters
Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the Iranian parliament on Tuesday, where many MPs are said to be ready to begin impeachent proceedings against him.
Ministers in Iran moved a step closer towards impeaching the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, after a series of clashes with supporters of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Impeachment proceedings were launched against foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi for appointing a man close to Ahmadinejad's chief-of-staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, as his deputy.

Supporters of Khamenei, including the overwhelming majority of parliament, say Ahmadinejad is under the spell of Mashaei, who is accused of attempting to undermine clerical power and increase his own political influence.

A power struggle between Ahmadinejad and the establishment, especially the clerics, has come to light after the controversies surrounding Mashaei became public. Muhammad Sharif Malekzadeh, the deputy foreign minister in the middle of the row, was appointed last week but has already resigned. Despite that, Iranian MPs went ahead with their motion to impeach Salehi, signed by 33 deputies, which was officially read out in the parliament.

Bizarro Earth

US: Self-help guru convicted in Arizona sweat lodge deaths

A jury finds James Arthur Ray guilty of negligent homicide in the 2009 deaths of three clients. He is acquitted of the more serious manslaughter charges.

© Tom Tingle / Associated Press
James Arthur Ray, left, and his attorney, Thomas Kelly, right, stand in the courtroom of Judge Warren R. Darrow, in the Yavapai County Courthouse in Camp Verde, Arizona on June 22, 2011.
A jury in Arizona on Wednesday convicted a bestselling author and self-help guru in the deaths of three clients during a sweat lodge ceremony in 2009 that was intended to help participants overcome adversity to reach their full potential.

After hearing four months of testimony, the eight-man, four-woman jury deliberated for fewer than 12 hours before finding James Arthur Ray guilty of three counts of negligent homicide. The panel acquitted Ray of the more serious charges of manslaughter.


Belarus Police Break Up Peaceful Protest

© The Associated Press
Belarusian policemen detain protesters during the 'Revolution via social network' protest in Minsk, June 22, 2011
Six months after protests against fraudulent elections led to a brutal crackdown against Belarus' political opposition, Belarusians are coming out to protest again - this time against the nation's economic collapse.

This is a protest Belarus-style. The loudest voices are those of the police, telling people to disperse.

Protesters do not chant slogans. They do not carry signs. They do not wear political T-shirts or buttons. They just walk on the sidewalks, mingle and chat on a summer evening.

But that apparently was too much for the government of Belarus - on edge after a 50-percent devaluation of the Belarusian ruble in recent weeks.

To break up what is now a weekly protest, police in Minsk detained scores of people Wednesday night, including Oleg Gruzdilovich, a correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

The arrests came after President Alexander Lukashenko, the long-running dictator of Belarus, threatened to fire his interior minister if another protest took place against his government. In a rambling, five-hour press conference, the president denounced social networks and threatened to shut down the Internet.


US: Mother Who Hid 5 Kids for Years Gets Prison Time

© submitted
Louann Bowers
She will be released having served the time once a parole plan is done.

Louann Emma Bowers, the mother who hid her five children from the world, apologized to them in York County Court Wednesday before she was sentenced to 11½ to 23 months in county prison.

She said she kept her children from public life, choosing to live with them "underground" in sometimes squalid conditions because she was "selfish."

She said she ran away at 16 because she had been sexually abused.

She watched her father beat her mother "night after night after night."

She said her father's nickname for her was "My failure."

"No, I'm not a failure," she said. "I have to show my children I'm not a bad mother. I also have to show the world I'm not a bad mother."

Bowers, 34, and her husband, Sinhue Johnson, 46, an uncle by marriage, both were charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child in September 2010. Bowers pleaded no contest in May. Johnson's case is still pending.

Heart - Black

Brazil: Jealous Husband Hits Wife with Pet Poodle Killing Dog

Police in southern Brazil say a jealous husband hit his wife in the head with a pet poodle.

Insp. Thais Postiglione says the man picked up the dog and swung it into his wife's head twice because he suspected she was having an affair.

The two-kilogram dog died. The inspector says Carla de Camargo Oliveira suffered only minor bruises.

Postiglione says she cannot release the name of the alleged assailant because he was not arrested.

Officers decided the attack was not highly dangerous to the woman and he was not caught in the act.

But Postiglione said Wednesday that police are urging prosecutors to charge him with assault and battery and cruelty to animals.

Source: The Canadian Press

Evil Rays

US, Alabama: Woman abandons three children along I-65

Shell Station
© Unknown
The Shell Station in Hayden where a mother abandoned two of her children earlier today.
A woman dropped off her three children ages five and under along the side of I-65 in Blount Count this morning, then disappeared into the woods, leaving her car and clothing behind.

The Blount Count Sheriff's Department investigated the bizarre series of events. They discovered the woman, Summer Delane Chaney, around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday after searching for hours in the woods where she was last seen.

State troopers from Mobile County issued a lookout call for Chaney's vehicle this morning. The woman's family members contacted authorities because they were concerned about her and her children's welfare. Mobile state troopers asked other law enforcement agencies to check on the woman and her children if they were found.

Around 9:30 a.m., Blount County deputies responded to the Shell station off of the Hayden/Corner exit on I-65 in Blount County. Chaney pulled off the interstate and into the gas station, where she dropped off two of her children, a five-year-old and two-year-old.


"Anti-Sec" Group Spreads Message Through Graffiti in Mission Beach

Mysterious graffiti appearing on the Mission Beach boardwalk belongs to a group protesting computer security practices.

People living near Mission Beach say the unusual "Anti-Sec" graffiti first appeared last week on the boardwalk. It was quickly painted over, but the stenciled words were back Monday morning.

A computer security expert who spoke with News 8 says "Anti-Sec" stands for "Anti-Security Revolution". The organization claims it recently shut down several gamer sites, as well as websites for the CIA and FBI.

According to the group's mission statement, it believes the security industry uses full disclosure to profit and develop scare tactics to manipulate consumers into buying firewalls, then overcharges for products.

The group says it believes in spreading its message through mayhem.