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New York Woman Sentenced to 12 Years in Jail for Kidnapping, Raising Baby

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© Michael Appleton / The New York Times
Joy White, speaking to reporters on Monday. Her daughter Carlina White was taken in 1987 from Harlem Hospital 19 days after her birth.
A woman who audaciously kidnapped a 3-week-old girl from a Manhattan hospital on a summer day a quarter-century ago and raised her to adulthood was sentenced on Monday to 12 years in prison.

"This was not a crime of greed, this was not a crime of vengeance," Judge P. Kevin Castel of Federal District Court in Manhattan said in imposing the sentence on the woman, Ann Pettway. "But it was an act of selfishness, a crime of selfishness" that he said "inflicted a parent's worst nightmare on a couple."

The sentence drew a muted response from a packed courtroom populated with friends and relatives on both sides of the harrowing case.

In terse remarks before sentencing, Ms. Pettway, 50, apologized to the family of the kidnapped girl, Carlina White, and said, "I am here today to right my wrong and ask for forgiveness."

Ms. White, who is now 25 and lives in Atlanta, did not attend the hearing and has distanced herself from the case. According to Ms. Pettway's lawyers, she has a movie deal.

The parents, Joy White and Carl Tyson, who separated a year after the kidnapping, made emotional pleas for a prolonged prison term.

Stormtrooper

Colorado Shooting Defendant Charged

james holmes
© unknown
James Holmes
James Holmes showed no visible reaction Monday as he learned that he faced 142 criminal charges and the possibility of the death penalty for a deadly shooting rampage inside a Colorado movie theater.

Holmes, making his second court appearance, was formally charged with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder - two for each of the 12 people killed and 58 wounded. For each victim, Holmes was charged once for showing deliberation and once for showing extreme indifference to human life.

He was also charged with illegally possessing explosives, a nod to the hive of explosive booby traps that police found inside his apartment after he was arrested outside the movie theater, just moments after the July 20 shooting.

The court hearing focused mostly on procedural issues and offered a glimpse of how slowly the complex and voluminous legal case against Holmes will probably move in the months ahead.

It could be a year or more before a jury sits to decide whether Holmes is guilty of walking into a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises and opening fire on the sold-out crowd. When he was apprehended outside the Century 16 multiplex, he had three weapons, with one weapon left behind in the theater, and was wearing a black commando-style outfit, authorities said.

2 + 2 = 4

D.C. Pays Students $5.25 an Hour to Attend Summer School

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© unknown
The District is paying 305 students with poor academic and behavioral records to attend summer school, The Washington Examiner has learned.

The rising ninth-graders are earning $5.25 an hour to participate in the "Summer Bridge" program, which targets students identified by D.C. Public Schools as less likely than their peers to graduate high school within four years.

The 95 students who voluntarily signed up for the summer school program will receive half of an elective credit. But to fill the 400-student session with at-risk students, DCPS reached out to the Department of Employment Services. More than 300 students flagged by DCPS and who had signed up for the Summer Youth Employment Program were told that school would be their jobs this summer.

Melissa Salmanowitz, a spokeswoman for Chancellor Kaya Henderson, said DCPS officials are going to study this year's results, with the intention of expanding the program next summer.

Mail

Post Office Nears Historic Default on $5B Payment

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© The Associated Press/Robert Ray
This photo taken July 27, 2012 shows Jim Husa, 87, of Lawrence, Mich. outside a US Post Office in Lawrence, Mich.
Washington - The U.S. Postal Service is bracing for a first-ever default on billions in payments due to the Treasury, adding to widening uncertainty about the mail agency's solvency as first-class letters plummet and Congress deadlocks on ways to stem the red ink.

With cash running perilously low, two legally required payments for future postal retirees' health benefits - $5.5 billion due Wednesday, and another $5.6 billion due in September - will be left unpaid, the mail agency said Monday. Postal officials said they also are studying whether they may need to delay other obligations. In the coming months, a $1.5 billion payment is due to the Labor Department for workers compensation, which for now it expects to make, as well as millions in interest payments to the Treasury.

The defaults won't stir any kind of catastrophe in day-to-day mail service. Post offices will stay open, mail trucks will run, employees will get paid, current retirees will get health benefits.

But a growing chorus of analysts, labor unions and business customers are troubled by continuing losses that point to deeper, longer-term financial damage, as the mail agency finds it increasingly preoccupied with staving off immediate bankruptcy while Congress delays on a postal overhaul bill.

Arrow Down

Colosseum in Rome is Leaning, Officials Say

Experts say ancient building has started to tilt, with south side 40cm lower than north, and may need urgent repairs.
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© Ray Tang/Rex Features
The Colosseum in Rome
The ancient Colosseum in Rome is slanting about 40cm lower on the south side than on the north, and authorities are investigating whether it needs urgent repairs.

Experts first noticed the incline about a year ago and have been monitoring it for the past few months, Rossella Rea, director at the 2,000-year-old monument, said in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, another of Italy's most popular attractions, was reopened in 2001 after being shut for more than a decade as engineers worked to prevent it from falling over and to make it safe for visitors.

Rea has asked La Sapienza University and the environmental geology institute IGAG to study the problem and report back in a year.

Heart

Summer of So Many Sad Goodbye's

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© sassywire.wordpress.com
The news of Alexander Cockburn's death went through me like an arrow Saturday morning. Some deaths you're prepared for, the whispers are on the wing before the final word arrives. This wasn't one of them. He bore his illness under a cloak of stoic all-is-well. It was only with the announcement from Jeffrey St. Clair, Cockburn's co-editor at Counterpunch, the radical website and newsletter, that we learned that Alex had been racked by cancer these last few years. Alex and I had been in light contact over the last few years and there was no hint of his condition in his emails. But then I wouldn't have expected any. He was not one given to personal divulgence, certainly not with a long-lost colleague like myself, and not someone you would describe as an emotional "sharer." That wasn't his style, any more than it is, say, Gore Vidal's.

Heart - Black

Wisconsin Sexual Assault Victims Charged Up To $1,200 For Cost Of Rape Kits

rape victim
© PA
For years, hospitals in northeastern Wisconsin have billed sexual assault victims as much as $1,200 for the cost of their examinations, according to a new investigation.

The Post-Crescent newspaper found that, despite the availability of government funds to cover the cost of sexual assault examinations, many hospitals were sending the bill to victims. The AP has more:
When someone is sexually assaulted, the process of collecting forensic evidence can include taking pictures of bruises, swabs of sexual fluids or hair. Other expenses, which can include a pregnancy test, antibiotics and medical supplies, can bring the final price tag to about $1,200. [...]

For example, hospitals in the ThedaCare system used to absorb the cost for years as part of their charity care, said Jean Coopman-Jansen a program coordinator at Appleton Medical Center. After a change to comply with the health system's billing rules, some victims last year were forced to pay the costs themselves, she said.

Handcuffs

New wave of Anaheim protests: 9 arrested as police disperse crowds


A protester is taken into custody by Orange County Police Officers during a demonstration to show outrage for the several recent officer involved shootings on July 29, 2012 in Anaheim, California. (Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images/AFP)

At least nine people have been arrested by Orange County Police as they pushed protesters back during a street rally in outrage over the recent officer-involved shootings that left two locals dead.

­More than 200 people have gathered outside Anaheim police headquarters chanting slogans condemning the police and taking over a parking lot, where they drew outlines of bodies.

"The whole system is guilty" and "Am I next?" the angry crowds were chanting in rage, says the LA Times.
Anaheim protest
© Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images/AFP

Comment: Although the article makes no mention of it, it is interesting to see a military uniform in the last picture. Is the US military now actively being used to supress dissent?


USA

Judge defends breaking rules to support Amanda Knox, despite allegations of misconduct

Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox
King County Superior Court Judge Michael Heavey, who became a staunch defender of Amanda Knox from the bench, says in Yakima that he was willing to break a few rules in order to see justice served.

Standing in front of a large crowd at the Yakima Convention Center, he told Downtown Rotary members Thursday how he was compelled to support what he considered to be the wrongfully convicted murder suspect Knox from his Superior Court office, and that despite allegations of misconduct for doing so, he did the right thing.

"I always felt and still feel this way, is that I did the right thing - imperfect at times - but still the right thing," he said.

Knox, now 26, made national headlines when she and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were accused of cutting the throat of her roommate, Meredith Kercher, in Italy where she was a student. After serving four years - she was sentenced to 26 years, while he was sentenced to 25 years - their convictions were overturned Oct. 3, 2011.

Comment: What a shame that Judge Heavey cannot extend the same level of support and scrutiny to those caged without charge or trial for over a decade in Guantanamo Bay. Who equally may under torture may have told "what the interrogator wants to hear" and who equally suffer at the hands of psychopaths that control the system.


Info

Modern-Day Noah Opens Doors Of Ark Creation

Ark_1
© Sky News
A faithful reproduction of Noah's ark, using the dimensions in The Bible, has just opened to the public in The Netherlands.

It was constructed by the Dutch creationist and millionaire building contractor Johan Huibers, after he dreamt that Holland would be flooded once again.

He used the ancient measurement of the cubit - the length of a man's arm from the elbow to the fingertips - to build the craft according to Biblical proportions.

In Genesis the ark is described as being 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high so the mammoth effort took him and his team of five just over four years to finish.

Using Mr Huiber's arm, the craft, which is moored in the southern Netherlands town of Dordrecht, is just over 450 feet in length, dwarfing buildings along the waterfront.