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US: Three Arrested for Peddling Miracle Cure from Stem Cells


Three men were arrested and a fourth is being sought by the FBI in connection with what investigators said was a scheme to market stem cells as miracle cures to desperate people suffering from terminal diseases.

"Protecting the public from unproven and potentially dangerous drug and medical procedures is very important," said U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. "This office will continue to prosecute violations involving threats to the public health."

The arrests began in the last ten days after two indictments were issued in November charging the four with 39 counts of mail fraud and unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, and selling stem cells and stem cell procedures not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

One of the four men charged, Vincent Dammai, 40, of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, was identified as a researcher at the Medical University of South Carolina. The FBI said he used university facilities to create stem cells without obtaining permission from the FDA or university officials.

Francisco Morales, 52, of Brownsville, Texas, is charged with falsely saying that he was a medical doctor who operated a clinic in Brownsville that specialized in using stem cells to treat "incurable diseases."

Handcuffs

US, Texas: Man Arrested with Explosives at Airport was Army Expert

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© Reuters/Midland County Sheriffs Office
On January 2, 2012. Atwater, 30, was booked in the Midland County Jail after a routine TSA check noticed he had explosives in his carry on luggage while trying to board an American Eagle flight from Midland International Airport to Dallas Saturday morning, according to an FBI statement.
A man arrested on New Years Eve at a Texas airport with explosives is an Army-trained demolitions expert and member of the elite Green Berets who served in Afghanistan and is stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, military officials said on Monday.

Trey Scott Atwater, 30, was being held in the Midland, Texas County Jail on a federal charge of attempting to board an aircraft with an explosive, the FBI said.

He was detained after a routine Transportation Security Administration (TSA) check noticed he had explosives in his carry on luggage while trying to board an American Eagle flight from Midland International Airport to Dallas Saturday morning, according to an FBI statement.

Officials declined to speculate on the reason Atwater had the explosives, which city officials said were in "military grade explosives wrapping" in his bag.

"At no time was there any danger to the people at Midland International Airport or the people of Midland Texas," Mark Morgan, Special Agent in Charge of the El Paso office of the FBI said in a statement.

Sherlock

UK: Mystery as 'Human Remains' are Found by Dog Walker in Woodland on Sandringham Estate

  • Discovery close to Royal Stud where Queen oversees racehorse breeding
  • Norfolk police launches major investigation
Human remains have been discovered by a dog walker on the Queen's estate at Sandringham.

Police launched a major inquiry after the discovery near the village of Anmer on the Norfolk estate.

Officers cordoned off a large area of woodland less than a mile from where the Royal Family gathered for Christmas.
Image
© Getty Images
Grim discovery: Police guard the entrance to woods where a body was found on the Sandringham estate

V

US, California: Occupy Protest Follows 123rd Annual Rose Parade

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© The Associated Press/Ringo H.W. Chiu
Occupy protesters march along Colorado Boulevard during the 123rd Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Monday, Jan. 2, 2012. Several thousand Occupy protesters marched at the end of the Rose Parade in a pre-arranged demonstration.
The 2012 Tournament of Roses brought its flowery floats and strutting bands to a worldwide audience Monday under clear blue skies, and in its wake came a scruffier parade - hundreds of anti-Wall Street protesters.

The 123rd annual New Year's Day event, with the theme "Just Imagine," flowed along downtown Pasadena to the cheers of hundreds of thousands of sidewalk spectators.

An estimated 40 million people viewed this year's procession of 44 floats, 16 marching bands and 22 equestrian troupes on U.S. television.

There were 10 arrests overnight, including four felonies, as thousands of spectators staked out viewing places along the route but that figure was down from the previous year, police said.

"Everything went very, very well. We're very pleased," police Lt. Phlunte Riddle said.

On the heels of the two-hour parade came anti-Wall Street protesters in a pre-arranged demonstration.

Phoenix

US: Police in New York investigate arson attacks

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© AFP/ David Mcnew / Getty Images North America
An apartment complex that was burned in a spree of arson fires lies in ruins on January 2, 2012 in Los Angeles
Police in New York are investigating a series of bottle bomb attacks on five houses in the city that followed 53 arson fires across Los Angeles over the weekend, New York Daily News said on Tuesday.

The Queens arsons, including one at a mosque, took place within a mile of each other in Jamaica between 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. on Sunday, the paper said.

Police are handling the Queens bottle-bombings as possible hate crimes, officials said.

On Monday, police released a sketch of the suspect and dramatic video showing the man hurling a flaming bottle at a private home on 170th St. that doubles as a Hindu place of worship.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg condemned the attacks in Jamaica.

Pistol

US, California: Two Navy Pilots Among Those Killed in Murder-Suicide

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© The Associated Press/The San Diego Union-Tribune/Howard Lipin
A police sergeant stands near the condominium on Park Place in Coronado, Calif., where four people were found dead early Sunday morning, Jan. 1, 2012. Officers found a man in the doorway of the condo, and the bodies of two men and a woman were discovered inside. Homicide investigators have not determined how any of the four died, though police officers who were the first to arrive believe the man found in the doorway was shot.
Two Navy pilots were among four people killed in an apparent New Years Day murder-suicide on the wealthy island of Coronado off the coast of San Diego, officials said on Monday.

The two were F/A-18 pilots training at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, the base said.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office initially posted on its website that the both were male, and both 25 years old. The Medical Examiner's information said the third deceased man was a 31-year-old resident of nearby Chula Vista.

The Office later took the information off the website.

Authorities in Coronado, a wealthy island enclave off the coast of San Diego, were called to a condo shortly after 2 a.m. on Sunday to investigate a report of shots fired at the residence, according to the sheriff's department.

Phoenix

Arson Mystery: Who Is Setting Los Angeles, US on Fire?

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© Mike Meadows / Associated Press
A Los Angeles Fire Department firefighter is shown at a fire in West Hollywood, Calif., on Friday Dec.30, 2011.
Troy Patruno drove his 2011 Volkswagen Eos convertible from his hometown of Las Vegas to Los Angeles to celebrate New Year's. He won't be able to drive it back. With only a few hours to go until midnight, Patruno was in his friend's living room in West Hollywood getting ready to go out when he heard his car alarm go off. He approached the kitchen window, looked out at the carport and saw a giant orange glow engulfing his car. Minutes later, there was nothing left but a melted frame. "It was a raging fire," said Patruno, 44, a retail manager. "I just had my hands on my head. I think I was in shock."

Patruno's car was one of 55 unsolved fires set around Los Angeles over the past four nights, the worst wave of arson since the 1992 riots. While most fires have occurred in Hollywood and West Hollywood, they have spread to a wider area including the San Fernando Valley and even an area near Los Angeles International airport. Almost all of them started with vehicles being set aflame, and some spread to apartment buildings. One blaze even damaged a home where The Doors' Jim Morrison once lived. So far, there have been no deaths or serious injuries.

Stormtrooper

Police State: 2011 Worst US Police Misconduct Video of the Year Poll

police state
© benfrank.net
Once again it's time for our annual "Worst Police Misconduct Videos of the Year" reader's poll. Here we post some, but not all, of the over 80 videos associated with claims of police misconduct that we were able to present on our site in 2011. While some of the incidents tied to these videos did not occur in 2011, the videos for those reports weren't released to the public until this year so they are included.

Each video is associated with a number and are listed in no specific order. At the end of the post there is a poll where each visitor may select up to three of the videos that they consider the worst examples of police misconduct caught on video for the year. At the end of the voting period, 11:59pm on Friday, January 6, we will begin tallying the votes and present the five worst videos of the year on the weekend of January 7-8, 2012.

[To take part in the poll visit the Injustice Everywhere site HERE.]

If you believe there is a video that we cut from the list that is worse than these, please send us an email through our contact link and we'll add it as a late entry. But remember, it must be a video that was not released to the public before 2011 to qualify. Also, if you wish to change your votes at some point, let us know and we'll see what we can do.

Results from the previous Worst Police Misconduct Video Reader's Polls can be found at the following locations: Worst Police Misconduct Videos of 2010 and Worst Police Misconduct Videos of 2009

Be warned, many of these videos are very graphic and should be disturbing to watch, viewer discretion is advised... with that said, here is the list of final candidates:

Bomb

Texas airport explosives find: US military man charged

Texas Midland airport explosives
© AP/SA
The explosives have been sent for testing to determine their specific grade, say officials
A member of the US military has been charged with trying to take explosives onto a plane at a Texas airport, says the FBI.

Thirty year-old Trey Scott Atwater was detained at a security checkpoint at Midland International airport, as he tried to board a flight on Saturday.

He was carrying explosives in military-grade wrapping, say detectives.

Stormtrooper

US: When a Child Is Abused by a War Veteran

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© Jared Rodriguez / Truthout

I'm torn between the pleasure of having just read a brilliant and moving first-person stream-of-consciousness account of a true story of one woman's childhood, and the deep sadness that comes from learning about the absolutely horrific hell that this woman is extremely lucky to have survived - a hell that many others have known and will know, despite the ease with which it might be prevented.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: "These novels will give way, by and by, to diaries or autobiographies - captivating books, if only a man knew how to choose among what he calls his experiences that which is really his experience, and how to record truth truly." Set aside the old-fashioned metaphysical vocabulary and the sexism. Factor in the world-changing force now developing called self-publishing. Emerson is being proved right, and there is no better example than This Girl's Life: Being the Child of a War Veteran, by Michelle Brown.

Brown begins her masterpiece thus:
"I lived a rough life with my dad. He abused us physically all the time. There were four of us who lived in our home, my brothers and sisters, along with my mom and dad. My older sister had already left home. She'd had enough. My dad took a lot of my life from me, and I still have nightmares about the things that went on in that home. We were afraid to tell anyone, afraid of what would happen to us. My dad was a war veteran and we really did not know how to treat someone like that."