May 25th, 2013
ABC News / By DEAN SCHABNER
An Oregon high school student has been accused of plotting a school bomb attack "specifically modeled" after the Columbine shooting, prosecutors said today.
The student at West Albany High School allegedly hid at least six bombs and bomb-making material in a secret compartment under the floor of his bedroom, Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson said.
Grant Acord, 17, was arrested late Thursday at his home on two counts of possession of a destructive device and two counts of manufacture of a destructive device, according to the Albany Police Department.
But Haroldson said today that Acord will be charged with aggravated murder in adult court. He is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Benton County Circuit Court, the prosecutor said.
"The charge of attempted aggravated murder requires that we prove that a substantial step was taken toward the completion of the crime," he said. "In this case, we would be relying upon evidence of plan. Diagrams, checklists, a plan to use explosive devices and firearms to carry out a plan specifically modeled after the Columbine shootings."
According to Haroldson, the explosives police allegedly found included pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, napalm bombs and explosives made from drain cleaner.
The school was allegedly chosen because it was a "target-rich environment," the district attorney said.
"I can't say enough about how lucky we are that there was an intervention," the district attorney said. "When I look at the evidence in the case, I shudder to think of what could have happened here."
He would not say when the teen allegedly planned to carry out the attack.
"That said there were also some indications that it could happen at any time, too," Haroldson said. "So you have -- A -- the methodical planning and then -- B -- I suppose he could get really excited about it and go early."
Police were alerted to the case by a tip that Acord had made a bomb and planned to target his high school, accord to a statement from the Albany Police Department.
"This is beyond a kid playing with a couple of cherry bombs. It was serious enough to warrant calling out the bomb squad," Albany police Capt. Eric Carter told ABC affiliate KATU-TV in Portland.
"This went above and beyond teenage curiosity," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
May 25th, 2013
Thousands of runners have completed the final mile of Boston Marathon, five weeks after they were forced to abandon the race after two bombs exploded.
The event was billed as "OneRun", with the slogan: "We'll get our finish."
Three American flags and one Chinese were carried in remembrance of three people who died by the finishing line, and the policeman killed days later by the two brothers thought responsible.
One brother was killed in a shootout with police; the other was captured.
Last week, US media reported that the surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, had written a message in a boat where he was found which said the attack was retribution for the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the victims were "collateral damage".
"It was very emotional to run down this street and see all the people cheering,” said Alain Ferry OneRun organiser.
Mr. Tsarnaev is facing federal charges of using a weapon of mass destruction, as well as the malicious destruction of property resulting in death. He could face the death penalty if convicted.
OneRun spokeswoman Kathleen McGonagle said the event honoured the victims and emergency services personnel who helped in the aftermath of the attack on 15 April.
"For the runner that didn't get the chance to finish the marathon, this is the chance for them to experience the final mile that was taken away from them," she added.
OneRun organiser Alain Ferry told the Associated Press: "It was very emotional to run down this street and see all the people cheering."
"There were a lot of tears, and I can feel in my throat that there are going to be more. This was a scab for everyone that just was not healing.''
Another 35 runners will be given a ceremonial finish at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday.
May 25th, 2013
Fox News chief Roger Ailes responded to the Justice Department’s targeting of Fox reporter James Rosen via an internal memo to his staff.
Ailes blasted the Obama administration for its “attempt to intimidate Fox News and its employees.” He also made clear that those attempts “will not succeed.”
“We reject the government’s efforts to criminalize the pursuit of investigative journalism and falsely characterize a Fox News reporter to a Federal judge as a ‘co-conspirator’ in a crime,” he wrote.
The Washington Post obtained a copy of the internal memo. Read it in full below:
The recent news about the FBI’s seizure of the phone and email records of Fox News employees, including James Rosen, calls into question whether the federal government is meeting its constitutional obligation to preserve and protect a free press in the United States. We reject the government’s efforts to criminalize the pursuit of investigative journalism and falsely characterize a Fox News reporter to a Federal judge as a “co-conspirator” in a crime. I know how concerned you are because so many of you have asked me: why should the government make me afraid to use a work phone or email account to gather news or even call a friend or family member? Well, they shouldn’t have done it. The administration’s attempt to intimidate Fox News and its employees will not succeed and their excuses will stand neither the test of law, the test of decency, nor the test of time. We will not allow a climate of press intimidation, unseen since the McCarthy era, to frighten any of us away from the truth.
I am proud of your tireless effort to report the news over the last 17 years. I stand with you, I support you and I thank you for your reporting with courageous optimism. Too many Americans fought and died to protect our unique American right of press freedom. We can’t and we won’t forget that. To be an American journalist is not only a great responsibility, but also a great honor. To be a Fox journalist is a high honor, not a high crime. Even this memo of support will cause some to demonize us and try to find irrelevant things to cause us to waver. We will not waver.
As Fox News employees, we sometimes are forced to stand alone, but even then when we know we are reporting what is true and what is right, we stand proud and fearless. Thank you for your hard work and all your efforts.
More from Jason Howerton at the Blaze
May 25th, 2013
Two freight trains collided and derailed early Saturday in southeast Missouri, then triggered the collapse of a highway overpass when several rail cars struck a support pillar. Seven people were injured, including two personnel on the trains and five individuals in cars on the overpass on Highway M near Scott City, about 120 miles south of St. Louis, NBC affiliate KSDK reported. All the injured were treated for minor injuries and released.
The collision occurred before dawn at a rail intersection. "One train T-boned the other one and caused it to derail, and the derailed train hit a pillar which caused the overpass to collapse," Scott County Sheriff's dispatcher Clay Slipis told Reuters.
The crash, which involved BNSF Railway Co and Union Pacific trains, also ignited a fire when diesel fuel leaked from one of the train engines, Slipis said.
The crash came just over a week after a commuter train derailed in Connecticut, striking another train and injuring more than 70 people during the evening rush hour.
On Friday, a truck crash caused the collapse of a bridge in Washington state, sending two cars plunging into the Skagit River. Three people were rescued.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it had dispatched a team to investigate the train crash.
Union Pacific said its train had been primarily carrying auto parts from Illinois to Texas. The Union Pacific locomotive and about a dozen cars derailed in the crash.
BNSF said that its train had been hauling scrap metal from salvage facilities and was heading south along the Missouri River.
More from NBCNews.com
Reuters contributed to this report.
May 25th, 2013
Rep. Andre Carson (D) has submitted a bill which would require a mental health "check-up" for members of our military, and right on the heels of Memorial day.
The bill was introduced by the 2nd Muslim ever to be elected to US Congress. Indeed, most are aware that there is no love lost between military members and the Islamists.
However, Rep. Andre Carson is also the same elected official who thinks that the US public education system should be modeled after Islamic schools and was named as one of the world's top 500 most influential Muslims.
In July of 2012, Carson indicated that 9/11 was "tough on Muslims"--to which we would append, "maybe" but the Muslims were kind of tough on us too, during the terrorist breach of September 2001. Carson also, much like the IRS and Obama administration, despises Tea Party Conservatives and has used "KKK imagery" to smear the Tea Party on several ocassions.
Below is an outtake on Carson from the American Thinker:
In light of his role models, Carson's lies about the Tea Party and peaceful ObamaCare protesters outside the Capitol calling Representative John Lewis the N-word "15 times" makes sense. It puts to rest any doubt about his adherence to Farrakhan's world view. Just because Andre Carson occasionally has to throw his mentors under the bus à la Obama doesn't mean he's not a believer. As a faithful follower, he will say and do anything his masters tell him to do.
Troops would be required to get a mental health checkup once every six months when deployed to contingency operations under a draft version of the 2014 defense bill approved by the House Armed Services Committee’s personnel panel.
Under the provision, service members would rate an in-person mental health screening every 180 days that they are operationally deployed.
These screenings would be in addition to ones already in place pre- and post-deployment, required 120 days before deployment and three times after deployment: between 90 to 180 days, 181 days and 18 months, and 18 and 30 months.
Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., originally sponsored HR 1464, the Military Mental Health Empowerment Act, that proposed the new in-theater screenings to improve behavioral health services on the front lines.
“We are quick to diagnose and treat service members who are injured in combat, with medics rushing to those who are struck by enemy IEDs or gunfire,” Carson said. “But when it comes to the mental health challenges placed on our service members, we abandon them through months of deployment to deal with post traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicidal thoughts.”
While Rep.Carson's bill as being presented seems configured to ostensibly help members of the military, such a bill could also easily backfire on US military men and especially veterans who while being in need of help, are often required to pay a hefty price as a result.
Some Veterans in need of financial help have recently received letters from the US government indicating a judgment of inability to handle their own affairs which resulted in a subsequent loss of their right to own firearms.