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Mon, 25 Sep 2023
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Gunmen escape after a terrifying, 'ugly' hostage situation unfolded last night at a Los Angeles Mall

© Image via Instagram user Andrewdayrit
Police are searching for two gunmen after a scary hostage situation at a Nordstrom Rack in Westchester.

The call first came in around 11:20 p.m. Thursday from the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center, near the 405 Freeway.

When officers arrived at the scene, they observed a black male coming out of the store, according to LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman.

They attempted to make contact with the man, and he looked at the officers and then ran back inside.


Tablet thief 'posts his picture on victim's Facebook page'

© Photo: ALAMY
Barbara McCall's Samsung tablet was taken while she was away with her husband for a weekend break
James and Barbara McCall, from Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, in South Africa have been victims of five burglaries and a robbery at their guesthouse.

In the latest incident, Mrs McCall's Samsung tablet was taken while they were away for a weekend break.

On discovering the theft the following morning, Mr McCall set to change his login passwords for Facebook and other sites.

It was then that he noticed that a man's picture had been uploaded on his wife's Facebook page.

He suspects it must be that of one the thieves.


Michele Bachmann still hasn't paid presidential campaign staffers


Michele Bachmann
Over a year after she dropped out, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann has refused to pay five staffers from her failed presidential bid, according to a former top campaign official. Peter Waldron, her controversial former national field coordinator, told Salon the dispute started when former Iowa straw poll staffers refused to sign a nondisclosure agreement that would bar them from discussing any "unethical, immoral, or criminal activity" they witnessed on the campaign with police or reporters.

Waldron said the staffers are owed a mere $5,000, and that Bachmann has more than $2 million in her campaign account, but has refused to pay unless the staffers sign the agreement. Negotiations over payment with Bachmann Finance Chairman James Pollack eventually broke down and Waldron decided to go public with the news, posting a press release on Christian Newswire this evening.

"I feel a moral obligation to see that my Christian brothers and sisters are paid for worked performed in good faith. I've continually communicated by telephone and email with Mr. Pollack for 1 year but he broke every promise made to me to pay the staff. I appealed to Dr. [Marcus] Bachmann for help. I appealed to Representative Bachmann's Chief of Staff Robert Boland to intercede with Mrs. Bachmann on behalf of her loyal Iowa staff - all of whom are married, all have children," Waldron said in the press release.

"It is sobering to think that a Christian member of Congress would betray her testimony to the Lord and the public by withholding earned wages from deserving staff," Waldron added.


New York investigating evidence errors in 843 rape cases

© AFP Photo / Mario Tama
In an unusual move, the New York medical examiner is reviewing hundreds of rape cases where a lab technician mishandled or overlooked DNA evidence. In some instances, the errors caused criminal investigators to make cases on bad information.

The Medical Examiner's Office has already uncovered 26 cases where a lab technician overlooked DNA evidence, The New York Times reports. One of those cases led to a criminal indictment a decade after the piece of evidence was initially collected, while two other cases allowed investigators to link suspects to old crimes.

The technician whose work is being audited worked for the agency for nine years before resigning in November 2011. Speaking of the initiative, which began in March 2011, medical examiner's spokeswoman Ellen Borakove told The Times, "This is the first time we've had anything like this."

The cases under review span from 2001 to 2011.


'Horrific sexual assault' leads to 6 arrests in British Columbia

© Google maps
Six people in B.C. including four youths have been arrested in connection with what RCMP are calling a "horrific sexual assault" on a young male who police believe was lured to a Prince George apartment earlier this week.

Police say the investigation began on Monday when they were tipped off that a male was lying in a snow bank behind an apartment building on the 1600 block of Juniper Street.

The unconscious youth was taken to hospital where it was determined he had been physically and sexually assaulted. Police then also learned that a second youth had also been assaulted, according to Cpl Craig Douglass.

"Police have determined that the victims were targeted and lured to the apartment building where they were assaulted by a group consisting of both youths and young adults," alleged Douglass.


First Nations meeting with prime minister thrown into disarray

A meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Assembly of First Nations chiefs is in question amid demands that the Governor General be present at the gathering.

Questions over who will attend the meeting - and new demands about where it should be held - created confusion on the eve of the gathering called to discuss concerns about the relationship between the federal government and First Nations.

Chiefs gathered at a meeting at the Delta hotel in Ottawa on Thursday evening, with some saying they will attend the meeting with the prime minister, but "many" saying they won't, Evan Solomon, host of CBC News Network's Power & Politics, reported via Twitter.

"The meeting is up in the air," another Solomon tweet said at about 9:30 p.m. ET

As chief after chief got up to announce support for Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence's stance that the Governor General must attend, Atleo eventually took the microphone to plea for unity. He admitted he had made mistakes and that the membership of the Assembly of First Nations was divided. What he left unsaid was whether any meeting with Harper would take place at all, or how he would proceed.

"This is not a perfect organization and I am not a perfect person. I accept a share of responsibility and I have responded to criticisms from last January," Atleo told a rowdy crowded room of chiefs and delegates.

"We need to continue to stand united - chiefs, delegates.... If we are to be divided at a moment like this, the governments will see that."


India gang-rape suspects beaten by police, lawyer says

Manohar Lal Sharma
© Saurabh Das/Associated Press
Manohar Lal Sharma, lawyer for one of the accused, speaks to journalists outside the Saket district court complex where the accused in a gang rape are to be tried, in New Delhi on Thursday.
Lawyer accuses officials of 'manipulated evidence' in bringing charges.

Police badly beat the five suspects arrested in the brutal gang rape and killing of a young woman on a New Delhi bus, the lawyer for one of the men said today, accusing authorities of tampering with evidence in the case that has transfixed India.

"They are innocent," Manohar Lal Sharma said of the five suspects ahead of a court hearing, which ended quickly after it turned out some of the official court paperwork listing the charges was illegible. He said police have beaten the men and placed other prisoners into the suspects' cells to threaten them with knives, adding, "You can't believe the reality of Indian prisons."

Five men have been charged with attacking the 23-year-old woman and a male friend on a bus as it was driven through the streets of India's capital. The woman was raped and assaulted with a metal bar on Dec. 16 and eventually died of her injuries. Rape victims are not identified in India, even if they die, and rape trials are closed to the media.

Sharma, who has made a series of inflammatory and often-contradictory statements over the past two days, at one point Thursday said the dead woman's male companion, who boarded the bus with her after the pair saw a movie together, was "responsible for the whole thing." He gave no details, though, and a few hours later said the man's responsibility "was only my opinion."

The case has sparked protests across India by women and men who say India's legal system doesn't do enough to prevent attacks on women. Women have told stories of relentless abuse - from catcalls to bus gropings to rapes - and of a police and judicial system that does little to stop it, often blaming victims' unchaste behaviour.


Six dead in Philippines hotel fire

Philippines flag
© Alamy
Manila, Philippines - A fire swept through three adjacent hotels in a Philippine resort city early Friday, killing three American retirees, one South Korean and two Filipino women, authorities said.

One of the Americans was trapped on a staircase and the two others died in separate rooms in Olongapo city, a former U.S. naval base west of the capital, Manila, said disaster response official Angelito Layug.

The blaze hit a row of the small hotel buildings that are located next to each other at 3 a.m. and was put out three hours later, he said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, and it was not clear if anyone else was hurt.

Olongapo is close to the capital and a popular beach destination, especially among American visitors, many of whom are former service members who were deployed there when the coastal city hosted one of the largest U.S. bases overseas. The base closed in 1991.

The victims' identities were not immediately available.

Heart - Black

Alleged deathbed intrusion triggers lawsuit

A former Vernal resident has filed a lawsuit against the city claiming that local police officers invaded his home during an intimate time of mourning.

Ben D. Mahaffey filed the complaint saying officers made a warrantless drug search of his home moments after his wife's death.

Represented by attorney Andrew Fackrell, Mahaffey filed a federal suit in the U.S. District Court of Utah last week.

Barbara Alice Proud Mahaffey died of colon cancer on May 21, 2012, with her husband by her side in their Vernal home.

While waiting for the coroner, Mahaffey's grief was interrupted by two Vernal police officers, who "insisted that (Mahaffey) abandon his attendance to his wife's body and aid them in their search for prescription drugs," cites the complaint.

Once secured, the officers proceeded to inventory the drugs in the same room as the woman's body, further intruding upon Mahaffey's seclusion, says the suit.

Snakes in Suits

Jerry Sandusky's attorneys seek new trial for ex-Penn State coach

Jerry Sandusky
© Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press
Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives at Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa. His lawyers are seeking a new trial.
Jerry Sandusky's lawyers argued Thursday that the former Penn State assistant football coach should receive a new trial because they didn't have time to properly prepare for his child molestation trial.

Sandusky's attorney told a court hearing that the defense was overburdened by more than 10,000 pages of documents.

"We felt we didn't have nearly sufficient time to review these materials the way we needed to," Joe Amendola said, according to the Allentown Morning Call.

Sandusky's lawyers also argued that Judge John Cleland should have instructed jurors about the long lag time between the alleged abuse and when the accusers came forward, the Associated Press reported.

Sandusky, 68, was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years. Some of the attacks took place in the showers of Penn State University's football training facility.