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Teen brothers told mom victim's blood was 'chili'

© Facebook
Two teen brothers have been charged with what
prosecutors call the brutal murder of 15-year-
old Hector Hernandez-Valdez.
Two teen brothers have been charged with what prosecutors call the brutal murder of a 15-year-old in Tacoma.

Luis Arroyo, 16, and Cristobal Arroyo, 14, have been charged with first degree murder in the death of Hector Hernandez-Valdez. Both have pleaded not guilty.

On the afternoon of June 1, the boys' mother came home to find blood and a recycling bin in her living room, according to the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. When she noticed towels and "reddish-brown" stains on the floor, her sons claimed to be cleaning up "chili" that they had spilled while making lunch.

When the mother went upstairs to find a boy's body lying on a sheet, she walked to a nearby police station to report the crime.

Meanwhile, police say the boys wrapped the victim's body in a blanket and placed it in a recycling bin in the alley behind the residence.


Judge Says He Was Struck by a Police Officer in Queens

© Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
Justice Thomas D. Raffaele said a police officer in Queens, enraged at a jeering crowd, hit him in the throat on Friday.
Thomas D. Raffaele, a 69-year-old justice of the New York State Supreme Court, encountered a chaotic scene while walking down a Queens street with a friend: Two uniformed police officers stood over a shirtless man lying facedown on the pavement. The man's hands were cuffed behind his back and he was screaming. A crowd jeered at the officers.

The judge, concerned the crowd was becoming unruly, called 911 and reported that the officers needed help.

But within minutes, he said, one of the two officers became enraged - and the judge became his target. The officer screamed and cursed at the onlookers, some of whom were complaining about what they said was his violent treatment of the suspect, and then he focused on Justice Raffaele, who was wearing a T-shirt and jeans. The judge said the officer rushed forward and, using the upper edge of his hand, delivered a sharp blow to the judge's throat that was like what he learned when he was trained in hand-to-hand combat in the Army.


California Cigarette Tax Vote Too Close to Call

© unknown
The fate of California's controversial Proposition 29, a proposed tax on cigarettes, was still unclear early Wednesday.

Just before 1 a.m. (4 a.m. ET), one percentage point separated the sides in the battle over the proposed law that would raise taxes on every pack of cigarettes by $1, yielding an estimated $735 million a year for the state.

With close to 70% of the precincts reporting, the preliminary vote tally stood at 49.5% in favor and 50.5% against the law, election officials said.

Opponents of the law say three-quarters of money raised would go to cancer research.

"The American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association wrote the initiative carefully," Lori Bremner of the American Cancer Society told CNN's "Sanjay Gupta MD."

"The money is going to be invested in cancer research here in California and on tobacco prevention and cessation programs to protect kids and reduce smoking here in California."

Studies show the tax will help decrease smoking and save lives, she said.

But those opposed slam the tax as a misguided burden in an already tough economy.

"What we're seeing in the state of California is a lot of frustration on the part of our citizenry that it's just another tax," said Dr. Marcy Zwelling, a general practitioner. The tax, she said in an interview with CNN, "goes to build bigger bureaucracy, build business, build buildings, not necessarily to go to cancer research."

Comment: Please read the following articles for more information on tobacco and anti-smoking fascism:
Let's All Light Up!
Health Benefits of Smoking Tobacco
Smoking Helps Protect Against Lung Cancer
Smoking does NOT cause lung cancer, in fact it just might protect you from nuclear fallout
Lies, Damned Lies & 400,000 Smoking-related Deaths: Cooking the Data in the Fascists' Anti-Smoking Crusade
5 Health Benefits of Smoking
Does Smoking Help Protect the Joints?
Long-Term Smoking Protects Against Parkinson's, Study Confirms
Warning: Nicotine Seriously Improves Health
First They Came for the Smokers... And I said Nothing Because I Was Not a Smoker


Justices May Get California Gay-Marriage Ban

gay marriage
© Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
A federal appeals court declined Tuesday to review its recent ruling throwing out a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in California, a move that means the case is probably headed to the Supreme Court along with a case from Massachusetts.

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, said that an appeal of its February ruling by opponents of same-sex marriage failed to get a majority of the full circuit, so the ruling will not be reexamined. The court said the ruling would be stayed for 90 days to allow appeal to the Supreme Court.

The decision came less than a week after a federal appeals court in Boston handed a victory to supporters of same-sex marriage by ruling that a federal law declaring marriage to be solely between a man and a woman discriminated against married same-sex couples by denying them the same benefits afforded to heterosexual couples.

Like the California appeals court ruling, the one in Massachusetts took care not to contend that the Constitution backs the right of same-sex marriage. In both cases, the judges chose narrower grounds by asserting that the laws in question singled out gay couples for discrimination in ways that violated their equal protection rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.


Voters in California Appear to Approve Pension Cuts

San Diego, California
© unknown
San Diego, California
Los Angeles - As Wisconsin residents voted on Tuesday not to recall Gov. Scott Walker - who has become an enemy of labor unions nationwide - two California cities dealt blows of their own to organized labor.

In both San Diego and San Jose, voters appeared to overwhelmingly approve ballot initiatives designed to help balance ailing municipal budgets by cutting retirement benefits for city workers.

Around 70 percent of San Jose voters favored the pension reform measure, with almost 80 percent of precincts reporting. In San Diego, 67 percent had supported a similar pension reform measure, with more than 65 percent of precincts reporting.

"This is really important to our taxpayers," Chuck Reed, the mayor of San Jose, said Tuesday night. "We'll get control over these skyrocketing retirement costs and be able to provide the services they are paying for."

Statewide, voters also remained very closely divided on a $1-per-pack tax on cigarettes, which would be the first increase in the cigarette tax here in 14 years. Proceeds from the tax would not go to state coffers, but would instead fund cancer research.


Haywards Gallery's Invisible Show: 'The Best Exhibition You'll Never See'

Featured artworks include a movie shot with no film, invisible ink drawings and a plinth once stood on by Andy Warhol

© D+T Project, Brussels
Gianni Motti's invisible ink drawings.

There will be the piece of paper that an artist stared at for 1,000 hours over a period of five years, as well as evidence of the movie that was shot without film in the camera. "It is not a joke," stressed the Hayward Gallery's director, Ralph Rugoff, as he announced details of a summer show devoted to invisible art. "This is the best exhibition you'll never see."

The Hayward said it was staging the UK's first exhibition of art that explores invisibility and emptiness, with around 50 works by artists including Yves Klein, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono and Maurizio Cattelan.

Inevitably, that means there will be lots of art for visitors not to see, including invisible ink drawings by Gianni Motti and a plinth where Warhol briefly stood before stepping off and leaving nothing but traces of his celebrity awesomeness. "It leaves so much up to your imagination," said Rugoff. "It's sort of like the power of radio compared to television - in great radio drama you're inventing characters in your head. There is a lot of invisible art out there, there is a lot of art you're never going to see."

Heart - Black

'She was so thin you could see her ribs through her skin': Parents charged with murder after three-month-old dies weighing just THREE POUNDS

© Unknown
Murder: Alysha Marie Anderson, 19, pictured, has been charged with second-degree murder after her baby died weighing just three pounds
The parents of a malnourished baby have been charged with second-degree murder after the three-month-old died weighing just three pounds - half what she did at birth.

Oklahoma City Police initially charged local couple Alysha Marie Anderson, 19, and Miguel Antonio Soto, 20, with three counts of child neglect each.

But on Monday afternoon police confirmed the charges would be increased to second-degree murder, according to Koco.com.

Doctors called officers to Southwest Medical Center around 9.30am on Sunday claiming the severely underweight baby, Nicole Soto, had been a victim of neglect.

'They told officers the child was very, very thin and appeared to be malnourished,' Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow told NewsOK.

'They said the child was so thin you could actually see her ribs through her skin.'


Long Island Mortgage Broker Who Aided FBI Gets 27 Months in Prison for Insider Trading Scheme

© The Star Ledger
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman is pictured outside the federal courthouse in Newark.
A Long Island mortgage broker whose extensive cooperation with investigators helped break open one of the largest and longest-running insider trading frauds ever prosecuted was sentenced to just 2 years and 3 months in prison today, as the sentencing judge praised Kenneth Robinson for helping the FBI make damning secret recordings of his two co-conspirators.

Robinson, 45, of Long Beach, N.Y., got a sentence that was well below the roughly six to seven years recommended for him under federal sentencing guidelines. And his sentence came just a day after the same judge gave his two co-conspirators 12 years and nine years in prison, respectively.

The 12-year sentence handed down Monday to blue-chip corporate lawyer Matthew Kluger, a central figure in a 17-year insider-trading scheme that funneled $37 million in illicit profits to three white-collar professionals, is being hailed by U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman as the longest sentence ever imposed in an insider-trading case in the United States.

"It's very clear to me that only one of the three defendants (charged in the case) is literally living in this world, living and breathing the air that we breathe," said U.S. District Judge Katharine Hayden as she credited Robinson for both his cooperation with authorities and contriteness, while also distinguishing him from co-defendants who she said may still not grasp the impact and wrongness of their crimes.


TV weatherman recovering after being shot in the chest with a crossbow during home invasion

© unknown
Gerald Taylor is accused of breaking into an Ashworth Court home and attacking owner Robert Batot
A Tennessee man has been charged with attempted murder after shooting a TV weatherman in the chest with a crossbow during a home invasion.

Gerald Delbert Taylor, 53, from Johnson City, is accused of breaking into the home he once shared with Robert William Batot, 43, and firing a crossbow bolt into Batot's chest during an altercation.

Batot fleed the house as Taylor also fired at him with a 9mm handgun, missing him with every shot.

Batot, who uses the name Rob Williams when working as a meteorologist for WJHL Channel 11, still had the bolt sticking out of his chest when police arrived on the scene after the attack early on Monday morning.

It is unclear why Taylor launched such a vicious attack against Batot, but the TV personality had taken out a restraining order against Taylor in May.

In court details for that order or protection, Batot alleged that Taylor had earlier vandalised his car - slashing the tyres - had stolen from him, and had threatened to kill him on precious occasions.

Taylor, who had been staying at a local motel after being evicted from Batot's house, had allegedly threatened to ruin Batot's reputation, before threatening to kill Badot and then himself.

The restraining order prevented Taylor from going to Batot's Ashworth Court home or his place of work at Channel 11.

No Entry

State Torture Panel Faces an Abrupt Ending

© José M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune
David Thomas, executive director of the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission.
Legislature stripped funding for commission, which is to submit its first recommendations Tuesday

On Tuesday, a state commission set up to investigate claims of police torture will refer its first cases to Cook County's chief judge, beginning to fulfill its mandate to plumb one of Chicago's most stubborn scandals by making recommendations for legal relief.

Then it will go out of business.

The Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission was approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn in the summer of 2009, a response to the long-standing scandal around former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge and many of his subordinates, who were accused of torturing suspects to get confessions. After appointing a slate of commissioners and hiring a small staff, it launched investigations of its first cases in September.

Its budget last year: $150,000. Its proposed budget for the coming year, which called for adding a staff attorney: $235,000.

The state House and Senate, however, voted last week to strip the commission of its funding, meaning it will go out of business June 30, although the law that gave the commission its existence will remain on the books. The panel's eight voting members, led by a former judge and including a former public defender and former prosecutor as well as three non-attorneys, were unpaid, said David Thomas, the executive director.

Thomas said he is unsure why the funding was cut or how it happened. He simply got notice that the money would not be there.