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Bankrupt California Cities Slash Public Services to Fund Six-Figure Pensions

© Reuters/Kevin Bartram
A local newspaper headline announces bankruptcy in Stockton, California.
As some California cities face bankruptcy, public services are being slashed so unusually high pensions can stay on the books. Stockton's former police chief rakes in a pension of more than $200,000 a year, while also working another job.

­Former Stockton Police Chief Tom Morris retired with a $204,000 pension after just eight months on the job. While his California city became the largest in the US to file for bankruptcy, he moved to another city and makes an additional $76,066 salary at a new job.

The former police chief retired at age 52, and was among four of the city's chiefs who held the job for less than three years, while retiring with an average of 92 per cent of their final salaries.

But Morris' unusually high pension is not an isolated incident. City councils across California have allowed public safety employees to retire after working for 30 years and collect 90 per cent of their top salaries. But while raking in a sizable pension, they often take jobs elsewhere, while still in their early 50's.

Two former police chiefs in San Bernardino receive similarly high pensions. Keith Kilmer receives $216,581 annually, while working another job. His predecessor, Michael Billdt, who has no college degree and was accused of trying to bribe an officer to withdraw a union grievance in exchange for a dropped investigation, receives $205,014.


New York City Refuses to Defend the Cop Who Pepper-Sprayed Occupy Wall Street Protesters

© YouTube
Screenshot from YouTube user LeakSourceArchive
New York City will not provide a defense attorney for Police Officer Anthony Bologna, who was caught on camera pepper-spraying Occupy Wall Street protesters and now faces a civil lawsuit.

The now-notorious cop, a 29-year veteran of the NYPD and a deputy inspector, will have to cover his own legal fees, with the help of his union, the Captains Endowment Association.

A widely seen YouTube video showed Bologna pepper spraying at least two girls at an Occupy protest, who fell to the ground, screaming and crying in pain while the officer purportedly turned and walked away.

A month after the Sept. 24 incident, a police investigation found that the cop had violated NYPD guidelines.

Patrol Guide 212-95 lists situations in which an officer may legally use pepper spray. It may only be used in situations where the officer must protect himself or another from harm, establish control of someone resisting arrest or someone trying to flee from custody, establish control of an emotionally disturbed person or prevent an attack from a dangerous animal.


French Robbers Sniff Out Pricy Perfumes

© unknown
L'Interdit by Givenchy
When people think heists, they usually think of banks. But a group of masked thieves in France pulled of a truly unusual $1.2 million robbery: Huge quantities of Givenchy perfume, pilfered from a Parisian warehouse in the middle of the night.

­Several robbers reportedly managed to overpower a guard at a perfume warehouse. They then loaded several trucks with the fragrances, which were produced by the legendary French fashion house Givenchy, a subsidiary of luxury multinational LVMH.

The stolen merchandise was recovered shortly after the robbery but the thieves are still at large, police warned. The bottles were found corked and unused, according to local police official Jean-Marie Salsat.

Arrow Up

Australian Government Issues Licences to Kill Wombats, Wallabies, Kookaburras, Swans, Emus and Parrots

© News.com.au
Permits issued to kill thousands of native animals, including kookaburras, has outraged animal rights activists.
Permits to kill thousands of native animals, including black swans, kookaburras and more than 1500 wombats were issued by Victoria's Department of Sustainability and the Environment last year in a move that has outraged animal rights activists.

Authorities also gave the nod for more than 32,000 kangaroos and wallabies to be killed.

In two cases, permits to kill up to 300 parrots were issued to protect golf courses.

Authorities also granted permits for wildlife officers to kill up to 10 Australian fur seals.

Other Australian animals marked for death included eastern rosellas, rainbow lorikeets and sulphur-crested cockatoos.

The kill list was obtained under the Freedom of Information laws by Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber who has been campaigning to have all animal killing permits made public.

In June, Mr Barber attempted to have all permits to cull wildlife tabled in State Parliament, a move that was frustrated after Environment Minister Ryan Smith said it would involve an unreasonable diversion of his department's resources.

Other documents obtained under FOI show authorities gave permission to shoot 100 brushtail possums in the Geelong Botanic Gardens, while Avalon Airport was allowed to kill 10 magpies, 20 galahs, 40 ravens and two Cape Barren geese that were interfering with aircraft.

The documents also reveal wildlife officers at Parks Victoria's Serendip Sanctuary applied to kill an emu that had become aggressive and was threatening human safety.

They were also given the right to destroy 80 emu chick nests to control population numbers.

Permits to kill more than 500 emus were issued statewide last year.


Potential Plea Deal for Jared Lee Loughner Would Give Him Life Sentence for Gabby Giffords Shooting

Person familiar with the case says a court-appointed psychiatrist will testify Tuesday that Loughner is competent to enter a plea in the shooting rampage that killed six people and injured 13, including Giffords.

Jared Lee Loughner
© unknown
Jared Lee Loughner
Phoenix - A possible plea deal in the deadly Tucson shootings that wounded then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords would send Jared Lee Loughner to prison for the rest of his life, a person familiar with the case said Saturday.

A court-appointed psychiatrist will testify Tuesday that Loughner is competent to enter a plea in the shooting rampage that killed six people and injured 13, including Giffords, said the person, who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

A status conference in the federal case had already been scheduled for Tuesday in Tucson, Ariz.

The person, speaking about upcoming events in the case, said the plan is for Loughner to enter a guilty plea in the murders and attempted murders. The plan is contingent on the judge in the case allowing Loughner to enter the plea.

Bill Solomon, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, said Saturday he could not comment on Loughner's case and the possibility of a guilty plea.

The Pima County attorney's office, which has said it could also pursue state prosecution of Loughner, declined to comment, said spokeswoman Isabel Burruel Smutzer.


Thousands of seriously ill walk out of emergency rooms due to long wait

© Brooke Whatnall / The Advertiser
Patients needing amputations are among thousands walking out of hospital emergency departments because they do not want to wait.

SA Health figures show more than 14,000 people walked out of metropolitan emergency departments without being treated by a doctor last financial year, including one person whose condition was assessed by a triage nurse as critical.

Patients deemed critical may be suffering a heart attack, have stopped breathing or be a violent threat to others. In the same year another 81 patients with life-threatening conditions, which could include swallowing poison, needing amputations, losing blood or having chest pains, walked out of EDs.


Four Children Killed by Haiti Witch Doctor

Voodoo Drawing
© France24
A Haitian voodooist sets a candle down near a VeVe, or drawing representing the Luo spirits, before a ceremony in Port-au-Prince in 2010. Four children from the same family have been found dead in Haiti after being treated by a witch doctor who claimed to be able to cure them of a mysterious illness, a local official said Friday.
Four children from the same family have been found dead in Haiti after being treated by a witch doctor who claimed to be able to cure them of a mysterious illness, a local official said Friday.

"Three girls and a boy, the eldest of whom was seven years old and the youngest only 15 months, suffered abuse from the healer who was treating them," said Wilfrid Brisson, an official from the southern town of Marbial, told AFP.

"They were then abandoned in their mother's bed."

According to neighbors, the sorcerer -- who was assisted by his brother -- persuaded the victims' mother that the children were possessed by a demon and said he could rid their soul of the devil.

Che Guevara

Protesters smash window at Obama's Oakland, California office

© Shane Bauer/ZUMAPRESS.com
Staffers inside are visibly afraid as a window is broken at an Obama campaign office in downtown Oakland on Friday night.
Police say protesters marching through downtown Oakland smashed a window at President Barack Obama's campaign office.

Officials say the window at Obama's office at 16th Street and Telegraph Avenue was broken as more than 100 protesters marched around 9 p.m. Friday.

Police say the marchers also smashed several car windows.

Source: The Associated Press


Colorado University Announces Review of Events Before Aurora Theater Shootings

james holmes
© unknown
James Holmes
The University of Colorado has hired a former U.S. attorney to review procedures and actions taken by the university and its employees in relation to former student James Eagan Holmes, who is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 58 others at an Aurora movie theater.

Robert N. Miller and his team began the investigation last week, according to a news release from the university.

According to court records, in the months before the July 20 shootings, Holmes, 24, was seeing CU Denver psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Fenton.

Fenton, medical director of student mental-health services at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, was so alarmed by Holmes' behavior that she notified a campuswide threat-assessment team.

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

Heart - Black

Megachurch Pastor Confesses to Sexual Relationship with Teenager

© home.conservativebabylon.com
The former pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond has confessed to having sex with a member of the church when she was 16, board members told the congregation Wednesday night.

The Board of Deacons addressed the church Wednesday to explain their sudden decision to fire pastor Jack Schaap, who had led the church for the past 11 years. The church plans to fully cooperate with an FBI investigation into allegations that multiple sexual encounters involving the same girl took place across state lines.

"Stick with us," the board asked of the 15,000 member congregation, according to the WGN.

Schaap's affair was outed accidentally, a former church member told CBS Chicago.

"Jack Schaap had left his cell phone on the pulpit and a deacon had seen it on the pulpit and had picked it up to bring it back to him," Trisha Kee, who maintains a Facebook group for ex-congregants, told the station. "From what we understand, the deacon then saw a text come through from a teenage girl in the church, and it was a picture of Jack Schaap and this girl making out."