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Prosecutors Say Colorado Theater Shooting Suspect was Angry Over Poor Academic Performance

James Holmes

James Holmes during his first court appearance on July 23. Was he 'greenbaumed'?
Centennial, Colorado - James Holmes was a promising neuroscience doctoral candidate, but by the end of the program's first year, he had fallen out of favor with professors and failed a key exam, prosecutors said.

Details of his behavior before he became a suspect in a suburban Denver theater shooting were not released. But it raised enough concerns for campus police to run a background check on Holmes, although University of Colorado spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery declined to elaborate on the reason Thursday.

Prosecutors went before a judge Thursday to seek the school's records on Holmes, including his application, grades and course schedules, and anything concerning his termination or withdrawal from the school in June. He had failed an oral board exam on June 7, then withdrew from the school three days later.

Holmes faces charges in a July 20 shooting during the new Batman movie that left 12 dead and 58 others wounded.

"What's going on in the defendant's life at the time is extremely relevant to this case," Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Pearson said of their need for the documents.

Holmes' defense lawyer, Daniel King, has said Holmes is mentally ill, setting up a possible insanity defense. But Pearson's arguments Thursday revealed a possible motive: Holmes' anger that he was failing at school, "at the same time he's buying an enormous amount of ammunition, body armor and explosives."

Comment: See also:
"A Coordinated Attack": July 20th Colorado Shooting Anomalies
FBI and DHS Warned in May of Terrorists Planning to Attack Movie Theaters
Suspect 'Eyewitnesses' - From 9/11 to the Colorado Massacre
Nurse Who "Saw Everything" At Hospital After Suspicious Batman Shooting Found Dead at 46


Mass Police Raids in Germany Signal Neo-Nazi Crackdown

© Agence France-Presse/Caroline Seidel/Germany Out
Nazi paraphernalia and weapons are on display at a press conference after they were seized by police during a raid on the right-extremist "Nationalen Widerstand Dortmund" on August 23, 2012 in Dortmund, western Germany
Over 900 police officers raided clubhouses and apartments of alleged neo-Nazis in Western Germany on Thursday, seizing far-right propaganda, weapons, and computer hard drives. The move follows the decision to ban three far-right groups in the region.

Police searched 146 premises, across 32 cities and towns in North-Rhine Westphalia, to collect evidence against the three neo-Nazi groups who recently found themselves on the wrong side of the law.

The regions interior minister, Ralf Jaeger, described the banned groups as "xenophobic, racist and anti-Semitic," adding: "They employ fists and knives against their political opponents," Reuters cites him as saying.

Election posters of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) were among the materials seized, which Jaeger says highlights the groups' links to Germany's neo-Nazi movement.

While no arrests were made, Jaegar said evidence collected during the raids could be used in forthcoming efforts to add the NPD to the list of banned groups, believing they secretly support the country's more violent far-right militants.

"These groups are anti-foreigner, they are racist and they are anti-Semitic," Jaeger said at a news conference. "We will continue to crack down on these enemies of the state and tread on their black leather boots," he continued.

The NPD has deputies in two state assemblies though they are yet to clinch any seats in the federal parliament. While the NPD have taken a staunchly anti-immigrant line, they have avoided attempts to be labeled a neo-Nazi party, which would facilitate their ban.


Mass-Killer Breivik Sane and Sentenced to Prison

Anders Breivik
© The Associated Press/Frank Augstein
Anders Behring Breivik talks to his lawyer Vibeke Hein Baera in the courtroom in Oslo where he was sentenced to prison.
Oslo, Norway - Anders Behring Breivik got what he wanted - a prison term instead of an insanity ruling - as he received his sentence Friday for bomb and gun attacks that killed 77 people last year.

Breivik, a self-styled anti-Muslim militant, looked pleased as Judge Wenche Elisabeth Arntzen read the ruling, declaring him sane enough to be held criminally responsible for Norway's worst peacetime attacks.

Going against the recommendation of prosecutors, who had asked for an insanity ruling, the five-judge panel in the Oslo district court convicted Breivik of terrorism and premeditated murder. They imposed a sentence of "preventive detention," a special prison term for criminals considered dangerous to society.

She set the minimum length of imprisonment to 10 years and the maximum at 21 years, the longest allowed under Norwegian law.


Chinese Fisherman Hooks £300,000 Fish

Bahaba Fish
© Alamy
The bahaba is listed as an endangered fish but its high market price is down to its value in Chinese medicine as its bladder can be used to cure diseases related to the lungs and heart.
A Chinese fisherman has netted a fortune after catching a critically endangered, but hugely prized, fish worth £300,000.

The fisherman, whose identity has not been revealed, caught a Chinese Bahaba, or Giant Yellow Croaker, off the coast of Fujian province last week.

After a bidding war, a local fishmonger paid him three million yuan (£300,000) for the 176lb fish, or £1,700 a pound, according to the Strait News, a local newspaper in Fujian.

The fisherman told the newspaper he had found the fish floating on the surface of the sea and had "picked it up". The size of the fish caught the attention of his fellow villagers, and the specimen was quickly identified. After the auction, the fisherman said he would use the windfall to buy a bigger boat.

The Chinese Bahaba (Bahaba taipingensis) can reach 6ft 7in in length and weigh more than 220lb. It is particularly prized for its swim bladder, which is used by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine to cure heart and lung ailments.


Detroit Palm Reader Threatens to Curse New Jersey Woman in Case of Psychic Ransom

© mLive.com
A case of supernatural blackmail has become a Detroit police matter.

Police in Hoboken, N.J. say a woman reported being cursed by three friends after she informed on someone regarding a police incident more than three years ago.

The victim was told, although it unclear by whom, that she would have to visit a palm reader on Arlington in Detroit to have the curse removed.

Hoboken Police Sgt. Sam Williams confirmed, based on the woman's statement, that she visited the palm reader as requested and paid $2,000 for the lifting of the curse.

It didn't work.

Two weeks later, the victim felt the curse still loomed and called the Detroit mystic again for help.

Williams said the palm reader told the New Jersey woman that the curse had been reinstated; to lift it would require a bit more money.

The victim obliged - for at least a while - paying over $2,000 throughout the next two years.

The victim stopped paying the clairvoyant's mystical ransom about four months ago, prompting the psychic to take action.


Faith in Army's direction falls to all-time low

© Unknown
The number of Army leaders who believe that the largest military branch is heading in the right direction has hit an all-time low, according to an independent survey of 17,000 commissioned and non-commissioned officers.

In a global survey conducted in November and December of 2011, only 26 percent of Army leaders who participated agreed with the statement that the Army "is headed in the right direction to prepare for the challenges of the next 10 years."

That compares to 33 percent who agreed with that statement in 2010 and 38 percent in 2006.

The survey was taken in the midst of more than a decade of war, a shrinking force and the development of a new U.S. defense strategy, announced by President

Evil Rays

2 Good Samaritans electrocuted trying to help car crash victim

© NBC News
An aerial view of the accident in Los Angeles which killed two people.
Two women were electrocuted Wednesday after trying to help the victims of a car accident in Los Angeles, fire department officials said.

The women, who have not been identified, were apparently responding separately to the scene of a crash in Valley Village in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles., where a vehicle slammed into a fire hydrant and a light pole which knocked down a power line around 8:30 p.m.

The SUV came to a stop about 10 feet away from the fire hydrant, which burst, shooting water two stories into the air, witnesses said. The gushing water quickly pooled underneath the vehicle where the damaged light pole left electrical wires sticking out of the ground.

Fire department officials said the wires were disguised by the darkness, the running water and the growing number of startled neighbors and passing drivers who came running to help. Unbeknownst to the first people who tried to help the victim of the crash, an adult male, the water was electrified.


Three Mile Island nuclear plant releases steam, but no radiation detected

Three Mile Island
© Chris Knight/The Patriot-News
Three Mile Island nuclear fa­cility along the Susquehanna River in Londonderry Township.
Pennsylvania, US - People who live near Three Mile Island in Londonderry Township may have heard a loud noise this morning when steam was released into the atmosphere during a shutdown of the nuclear power plant.

If there were traces of radiation in the steam, the amount was so low it was undetectable, Exelon Corp. spokesman Ralph DeSantis said.

The plant was being manually shut down today for repairs to a slight leak in a heater element when a pump in the non-nuclear section malfunctioned around 8 a.m., causing the plant to shut down immediately. When this happened, steam was released from valves, DeSantis said.

TMI will return to service after the repairs, inspections and testing on the heater element on the plant's pressurizer tank are complete, DeSantis said.

Electric customers were not affected by the plant being offline.

Comment: Comment: Now, here is a question; if electric customers were not affected by the plant being offline, why is it needed?

Arrow Down

New jobless claims take surprise jump

© Unknown
New claims for unemployment benefits took an unexpected jump in the latest week, raising more concerns about the struggling job market and providing further incentive for the Federal Reserve to jump in and help the economy.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that seasonally-adjusted initial claims rose 4,000 to 372,000. That's compared to a decline of 1,000 that economists on average had been expecting.

The data keeps pressure on President Barack Obama ahead of his November re-election bid. His Republican challenger is trying to focus voters' attention on a lofty unemployment rate that has dogged Obama's presidency.

"It's not a great number. The trend for jobless claims has been flat and has been erratic of late. But overall it does keep the odds for more quantitative easing from the Fed," said currency strategist Brian Kim of RBS Securities.

Arrow Up

United Church of Canada Clarifies its Boycott of Israeli Settlements

After months of controversy and negative media attention, the United Church of Canada, the country's largest Protestant denomination, finally made it official. The church's General Council voted today to call on its members to avoid buying products coming from Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Presbyterian and Methodist churches in the United States have made similar calls.

Despite the tameness of such proposals, we may expect a continuation of the widespread and exaggerated complaints that have saturated the Canadian press for the last few months. In the interests of honesty and clarity, I would like to address three common distortions.