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US: 2 students shot, wounded at Texas middle school


Authorities suspect hunters may have shot two South Texas middle school students who were wounded by gunfire Monday afternoon while trying out for a basketball team.

Two boys - ages 13 and 14 - were shot, said Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino. Classes were not in session at Harwell Middle School when the shooting happened around 4:45 p.m., but the school complex was immediately placed on lockdown. Edinburg school district spokesman Gilbert Tagle said a number of after-school activities were going on besides the basketball tryouts, including a concert and a faculty meeting. He estimated as many as 200 children could have been on campus.

One of the wounded boys was in critical condition Monday night with a bullet embedded in an organ. The other was stable and awaiting X-rays, Trevino said.

At the time of the shooting, one of the boys was going for a layup. The other was waiting his turn to try out, Trevino said.

Pistol

Attack in Belgian city leaves 4 dead, 75 wounded

Image
© Associated Press/Ermindo Armino
Emergency vehicles are parked in front of the court of justice following a grenade attack in the city center of Liege, Belgium, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011.
Liege - A man armed with grenades and an assault rifle attacked holiday shoppers Tuesday at a central square in the Belgian city of Liege, leaving four people dead and wounding 75 others, officials said.

It was not immediately clear what motivated the attack in the busy Place Saint-Lambert, the central entry point to downtown shopping streets in the industrial city in eastern Belgium. The attack ignited a stampede of hundreds, as shoppers fled the explosions and bullets.

Interior Ministry official Peter Mertens said the attack did not involve terrorism but did not explain why he thought that.

Belgian officials identified the attacker as Norodine Amrani, 33, a Liege resident who they said had done jail time for offenses involving guns, drugs and sexual abuse. He was among the dead, but Liege Prosecutor Danielle Reynders told reporters it was unclear if he committed suicide or died by accident. He did not die at the hands of police, she said.

The dead also included two teenage boys, 15 and 17, and a 75-year-old woman, she said. The La Libre newspaper reported that a 2-year-old girl was clinging to life.

Comment: In the above article a single man with a gun and grenades commits the attack.

Here: Men armed with grenades attack Belgian city "Several men armed with hand grenades and guns attacked a busy bus stop in eastern Belgium today, killing at least two people and wounding about a dozen, officials and media reports said."

Further: 3 men launch deadly attack in Belgium "Three men armed with hand grenades and guns attacked a bus stop in eastern Belgium on Tuesday, killing two people and wounding at least 10, Belgian media reported." (Found, titled and linked Dec. 13 2011 11:10AM PST)

Footage of the aftermath from The Guardian:




Airplane

Iran rejects U.S. request to return spy drone

Iran has--unsurprisingly--rejected an American request to return its downed spy drone.

President Obama, speaking at a news conference with the visiting Iraqi prime minister Monday, said the United States had asked Iran to give the downed American reconnaissance plane back.

"We've asked for it back," President Obama said of the drone Monday. "We'll see how the Iranians respond."

Iranian news agencies ridiculed the request on Tuesday as Iranian officials made clear they had no intention of giving back the American drone.

"Obama begs Iran to give him back his toy plane," proclaimed a headline from Iran's Fars News Agency Tuesday.

Comment: So Jennifer, they don't have 10 of your agents? Hezbollah controls a news agency, wouldn't that be cause they are a political body vs. American claims of being a terrorist organization? The Government of tiny Lebanon allows Hezbollah to operate and is not out trying to prosecute them. Why is that? Why is no one consistently sounding the alarm bells? Because they are a threat to no one but those who threaten it. Stop the threats, make peace and you have the recipe for something good to last. Continue to threaten, attack and you have a recipe for more of the same. And more of the same is all the Western nations want, in the hope that it keeps us from realizing what is going on at home (Empiricism, Police State(s), Militarism and Pathocracy).


Pistol

US: Gun from passenger's bag in Atlanta airport accidentally fired

Image
© unknown
Richard Popkin forgot that he had a loaded pistol in his bag while at the airport
A pistol discovered in a passenger's carry-on bag was accidentally fired inside the Atlanta airport, grazing a police officer, authorities said on Monday.

Security screeners at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport spotted the .22-caliber pistol Sunday via an X-ray machine and notified Atlanta police, Transportation Security Administration spokesman Jonathan Allen said.

Authorities said the gun was loaded with five rounds of ammunition known as "snake shot," which typically is used to kill small animals. As a police officer tried to remove the rounds while pointing the weapon at a screening table, the gun was unintentionally fired, according to an incident report.

"I was grazed by a pellet fragment on the left side of my face," the officer wrote in the report.

The passenger, a 43-year-old Georgia man, was arrested on weapons charges and remained in jail early on Monday. He told police that he "travels to Florida often on business and keeps the weapon on him for protection, not to kill anyone but in an attempt to scare people off," the report said.

So far this year, TSA has discovered more than 1,100 firearms at airport security checkpoints, the agency said.

Sheriff

More Than 900 Police Make Early Morning Raids Across Canada in Huge Criminal Probe

Image
© Brett Gundlock / Globe and Mail
Toronto police say they'll release details this afternoon of a massive investigation that resulted in raids this morning in Ontario, Alberta and B.C.

Early today, more than 900 officers executed 67 search warrants simultaneously across Ontario and in Western Canada.

Police say nearly 400 tactical officers were involved in the raids in Toronto, across Ontario in London, Hamilton, Durham Region, York Region, Peel Region, Windsor and Ottawa, and in Calgary and Surrey, B.C.

Investigators say Project Marvel involved criminal organization offences, attempted murder, firearms trafficking and importation, drug trafficking, robbery, shootings, prostitution and other crimes.

Police say the probe initially involved investigators from Toronto, London, Ont., Ontario's Waterloo Region and Ontario Provincial Police.

Airplane

Please Can We Have Our Ball Back? Barack Obama demands Iran return downed US drone

drone
© unknown
President Barack Obama on Monday acknowledged a US drone was in Iranian hands for the first time and said the United States has asked Tehran to return the sophisticated spy aircraft.

"We've asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond," Obama said at a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

It was the first open confirmation by the Obama administration that Iran was in possession of the drone, which Tehran says it brought down as the plane was flying over the country's territory.

Obama, however, shed no further light on the plane's mission or why it failed to return to a base in Afghanistan.

"With respect to the drone inside of Iran, I'm not going to comment on intelligence matters that are classified," he said.

The bat-winged RQ-170 Sentinel, designed to evade radar for surveillance flights, was on a CIA mission when it went missing, US officials, speaking anonymously, have said previously.

Comment: Quite laughable behaviour that sounds like a childhood playground request to ask for their ball back from a neighbour or a murderer asking for his knife back left at the crime scene.


Handcuffs

US, California: 5-Year-Old Handcuffed, Charged With Battery On Officer

Boy Cuffed With Zip Ties On Hands, Feet


Earlier this year, a Stockton student was handcuffed with zip ties on his hands and feet, forced to go to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and was charged with battery on a police officer. That student was 5 years old.

Michael Davis is diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. His mother says it has led to fights at school. But when the school district said it had a plan to change Michael's behavior, his mother says things went wrong.

"Michael is energetic," Thelma Gray said. "He is one big ball of energy."

Gray calls Michael a comedian. She says his biggest problem is his ADHD stops him from thinking before he acts or speaks.

"He's very loving," Gray said. "He's a good kid and he's not the discipline problem that he was made out to be."

Those discipline problems include fights with other students, even throwing a chair.

Passport

U.S. Proposes Unmanned Border Entry With Mexico

Oct. 31, 2011: The Rio Grande river flows past Big Bend National Park, Texas.

Oct. 31, 2011: The Rio Grande river flows past Big Bend National Park, Texas.

Big Bend National Park, Texas - The bloody drug war in Mexico shows no sign of relenting. Neither do calls for tighter border security amid rising fears of spillover violence.

This hardly seems a time the U.S. would be willing to allow people to cross the border legally from Mexico without a customs officer in sight. But in this rugged, remote West Texas terrain where wading across the shallow Rio Grande undetected is all too easy, federal authorities are touting a proposal to open an unmanned port of entry as a security upgrade.

By the spring, kiosks could open up in Big Bend National Park allowing people from the tiny Mexican town of Boquillas del Carmen to scan their identity documents and talk to a customs officer in another location, at least 100 miles away.

The crossing, which would be the nation's first such port of entry with Mexico, has sparked opposition from some who see it as counter intuitive in these days of heightened border security. Supporters say the crossing would give the isolated Mexican town long-awaited access to U.S. commerce, improve conservation efforts and be an unlikely target for criminal operations.

Comment: A little odd! Why now? What's up?


Gingerbread

Butter Shortage in Norway: Bids to Roughly $465 Per Pound

butter
© n/a
An acute butter shortage in Norway, one of the world's richest countries, has left people worrying how to bake their Christmas goodies with store shelves emptied and prices through the roof.

The shortfall, expected to last into January, amounts to between 500 and 1,000 tonnes, said Tine, Norway's main dairy company, while online sellers have offered 500-gramme packs for up to 350 euros ($465).

The dire shortage poses a serious challenge for Norwegians who are trying to finish their traditional Christmas baking -- a task which usually requires them to make at least seven different kinds of biscuits.

The shortfall has been blamed on a rainy summer that cut into feed production and therefore dairy output, but also the ballooning popularity of a low-carbohydrate, fat-rich diet that has sent demand for butter soaring.

"Compared to 2010, demand has grown by as much as 30 percent," Tine spokesman Lars Galtung told AFP.

Last Friday, customs officers stopped a Russian at the Norwegian-Swedish border and seized 90 kilos (198 pounds) of butter stashed in his car.

X

Canada Bans Burqas and Niqab Veils at Citizenship Ceremonies

Image
© Christopher Furlong/Getty Images/Postmedia News
Jason Kenney, right, said on Monday that Niqabs, such as the one left, could not be worn during Canadian citizenship ceremonies.
Muslim women will be banned from wearing face coverings such as burka and niqab veils when swearing the oath of citizenship, under new rules announced Monday.

"Starting today, any individual will have to show his or her face when taking the oath of citizenship," Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced in Montreal.

"Allowing a group to hide their faces while they are becoming members of our community is counter to Canada's commitment to openness, equality and social cohesion," he explained.

Currently at airports, veiled Muslim women may opt to show their face only to a female security screener. They may also vote in elections without showing their face. But Kenney said from today all women must remove any face coverings before crossing the final hurdle in becoming a Canadian citizen.