Prosecutors rested their case against Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Monday after jurors in his federal death penalty trial saw gruesome autopsy photos and heard a medical examiner describe the devastating injuries suffered by an 8-year-old boy killed in the 2013 terror attack.
But Tsarnaev’s lawyers began their defense by quickly trying to show that his older brother was the mastermind of the plan to detonate pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the famous race.
One of the first witnesses called by the defense was a data analyst who said Tsarnaev’s cellphone was being used in southeastern Massachusetts — where he was attending college — while pressure cookers were being purchased north of Boston more than two months before the bombing. The analyst also testified that large quantities of BBs were purchased a little over a month before the attack in two Wal-Mart stores in New Hampshire, at a time when Tsarnaev’s cellphone was again being used near UMass-Dartmouth.
Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D) will sign an executive order on Monday barring state-funded travel to Indiana because of the state’s new law that could allow businesses to turn away gay and lesbian customers for religious reasons.
Malloy announced his plans on Twitter.
Because of Indiana's new law, later today I will sign an Executive Order regarding state-funded travel. -DM
An American woman—presumably not Muslim, though she doesn’t say one way or the other—married to a Libyan man is taken aback when her 9-year-old daughter suddenly wants to start wearing hijab.
This is the story of how conflicted she felt about it, her concerns for her daughter, and how she finally came to terms with all of it.
Nine years ago, I danced my newborn daughter around my North Carolina living room to the music of Free to Be … You and Me, the 70s children’s classic whose every lyric about tolerance and gender equality I had memorised as a girl growing up in California.
My Libyan-born husband, Ismail, sat with her for hours on our screened porch, swaying back and forth on a creaky metal rocker and singing old Arabic folk songs, and took her to a Muslim sheikh who chanted a prayer for long life into her tiny, velvety ear.
She had espresso eyes and lush black lashes like her father’s, and her milky-brown skin darkened quickly in the summer sun. We named her Aliya, which means ‘exalted’ in Arabic, and agreed that we would raise her to choose what she identified with most from our dramatically-different backgrounds.
I secretly felt smug about this agreement — confident that she would favour my comfortable American lifestyle over his modest Muslim upbringing. Ismail’s parents live in a squat stone house down a winding dirt alley outside Tripoli, Libya. Its walls are bare except for passages from the Qur’an engraved on to wood, its floors empty but for thin cushions that double as bedding. […]
NEW YORK, March 27 (Reuters) - Big Wall Street banks are so upset with U.S. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren’s call for them to be broken up that some have discussed withholding campaign donations to Senate Democrats in symbolic protest, sources familiar with the discussions said.
Representatives from Citigroup, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, have met to discuss ways to urge Democrats, including Warren and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, to soften their party’s tone toward Wall Street, sources familiar with the discussions said this week.
Bank officials said the idea of withholding donations was not discussed at a meeting of the four banks in Washington but it has been raised in one-on-one conversations between representatives of some of them. However, there was no agreement on coordinating any action, and each bank is making its own decision, they said.
The amount of money at stake, a maximum of $15,000 per bank, means the gesture is symbolic rather than material
By Lawrence Hurley
WASHINGTON, March 30 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a new challenge to President Barack Obama’s healthcare law that took aim at a bureaucratic board labeled by some Republicans as a “death panel” because it was designed to cut Medicare costs.
The high court left intact a ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that threw out the lawsuit.
The court’s action in an unsigned order was a victory for Obama administration, which has faced a barrage of legal challenges to the 2010 Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare. The court is currently weighing a separate case challenging health insurance subsidies that are key to Obamacare’s implementation. A ruling is due by the end of June.
Depending on the outcome of a hearing scheduled for Monday, a 33-year-old Indiana woman could face up to 70 years in prison for what she says was a miscarriage. Reproductive rights advocates say her case is a disturbing example of overly broad laws that essentially criminalize pregnancy.
Purvi Patel was arrested in 2013 after she went to the emergency room to seek medical treatment for heavy bleeding. After initially denying that she had been pregnant, she eventually told the staff that she had a premature delivery at home, believed the fetus was not alive, and placed it in a bag in a dumpster on her way to the hospital. Her doctors called the cops, who questioned Patel while she was still in the hospital, searched her cell phone records, and recovered the fetus.
Patel maintains that she did not abandon a living baby. “I assumed because the baby was dead there was nothing to do,” Patel later told law enforcement officials. “I’ve never been in this situation. I’ve never been pregnant before.”
Spence Jackson, the chief spokesman for the late Missouri auditor Tom Schweich, died over the weekend from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Jefferson City police said Monday they responded to a call Sunday evening at Jackson’s apartment. They found the Republican dead in his bedroom.
The police said Jackson was 45, but other sources list his age as 44.
Jackson’s death shocked Missouri Republicans, who said it’s likely to re-open wounds that were only now starting to heal.
Parole Officer Accused of Raping Woman During Home Visit - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. (WSVN) — A South Florida parole officer was arrested after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman on probation, and the victim said she has video to prove it.
According to police, 50-year-old Zachary Thomas Bailey used his authority to target the victim, telling her he needed to do a “study” of her home in Coral Springs. “This is someone who is hired to protect you,” said Coral Springs Police Lt. Joe McCue, “hired to say, ‘Hey, protect the society,’ and you don’t expect your probation officer to be acting in this manner.”
The victim said, during two separate visits Bailey made to her home, the parole officer forced himself onto her while her daughter was in the next room, even after she asked him to stop.
If you are a victim of Bailey’s or know someone who is, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous.
As if the various bills discriminating against people under color of religion weren’t bad enough, a new threat to photography and it’s freedom of expression is underway in Arkansas. From The Online Photographer, the best photo blog out there, comes this:
Your freedoms are under direct assault in Arkansas.
“SB-79 would require still and motion photographers to get explicit written consent to include any individual’s likeness—not just celebrities but anyone—in a photograph that is used for virtually any purpose within the state of Arkansas except those uses specifically exempted as Fair Use within the bill.
“The implications of this bill are staggering. For example, an image showing recognizable people posted to the Internet for a use that would not require written consent anywhere else in the world could leave you open to a lawsuit just because someone in Arkansas could view it online.”
A bill well worth opposing, as the ASMP, MPAA, DMLA, NPPA and other photographers’ associations are doing. But wouldn’t it be nicer if State governments weren’t stuffed with dimwits to begin with? I’d better not say any more.
The article goes on simply to link to this page describing SB 79 .
Two former federal agents are expected to be arrested on Monday on charges of stealing money while working undercover on an investigation into Silk Road, the once-thriving black market website for drug dealing, a document shows.
The former agents are Carl Mark Force IV, who worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Shaun Bridges, who worked for the Secret Service.
Mr. Force is being charged with wire fraud, theft of government property and money laundering, and Mr. Bridges is being charged with wire fraud and money laundering, according to an affidavit filed in the United States District Court in San Francisco.
How many corrupt prohibitionists need to be exposed before people will acknowledge that the DEA is morally bankrupt, and needs to be dismantled. We should have ended the insane drug war years ago.