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Texas Shooter Choked, Threatened Mom One Week Ago

Texas Shooter Choked, Threatened Mom One Week Ago

Harris County Sheriff’s Department(HOUSTON) –  A week before Ron Haskell allegedly killed four children and two adults in a Texas rampage, he reportedly taped his mother to a chair, choked her, and threatened to kill her for speaking to his ex-wife, according to police records obtained by ABC News.The wife had also filed domestic abuse complaint against her husband in 2008 after he dragged her by the hair and repeatedly punched her in the head and five years later sought a restraining order against him, court documents state.Haskell, 33, was charged with capital murder Thursday for allegedly shooting seven people in Spring, Texas. Six died and one is in the hospital with a head wound. He is accused of shooting his victims after kicking open their door, tying them up face down on the floor, and demanding to know where his wife was, according to testimony in a preliminary hearing. He then allegedly shot them execution style.Haskell, who is divorced from Melanie Kaye Haskell, has left a trail of complaints about his violence and the most recent one was filed by his own mother.Haskell’s mother, Karla Jeanne Haskell, told police in San Marcos Calif., on July 3 that she wanted a restraining order against her son after a ferocious argument that began when she told him that she was in contact with his ex-wife, court documents state.She said that he forced her into the garage and tied her wrists with duct tape before taping her to a computer chair.”He yelled at me and twice placed his hands around my neck trying to choke me and caused me to pass out,” Karla Haskell, 61, said, according to the court documents. “He told me he was going to kill me, my family and any officer who stops him. He hid my telephones. I was taped up for four hours.”There is no record of Haskell being arrested for the alleged assault on his mother.Police reports in Utah indicate that Haskell’s ex-wife was also the victim of violence. Ron Haskell was charged with domestic assault on June 5, 2008 after his wife called the police saying that he had dragged her out of their bedroom by her hair and repeatedly punched her in the head.The Logan City Police Department report states that she then decided to go and sleep in their children’s bedroom, but he followed her in there and pulled her out of the room by her hair once more, continuing to punch her in the head.Police booked him on domestic assault and domestic violence in the presence of a child because the couple’s children, aged 3 and 5 at the time, were present. He made bail and was released five hours later. It’s not clear how the charge was adjudicated.Captain Tyson Budge told ABC News that they also have records of Haskell calling in for a police welfare check on his wife after she allegedly went missing and left a note that led him to be concerned about her safety. He told police that he found her hours later.The final issue that the Logan City Police Department was involved in was a protection order violation. Haskell’s wife had been awarded a protection order in July 2013 and on Oct. 8, 2013, she called in a protection order violation because he had showed up at one of their childrens’ schools.The wife filed for divorce months later — on Valentine’s Day.
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Girl, 9, Reveals Parents’ Pot Operation to Minnesota Police

Girl, 9, Reveals Parents’ Pot Operation to Minnesota Police

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) — A Minnesota couple are waiting to hear if they will face criminal charges after their 9-year-old daughter went to a police station and turned them in for allegedly smoking, growing, and selling pot.“She was clearly upset because she didn’t want to turn her parents in. But at the same time, she knew her parents did wrong,” Officer Ryan Beattie told ABC News.The girl entered the Barnesville police station alone on June 8 and told Beattie that her parents had been growing pot and selling it too.“She was very smart and very articulate,” the officer said. “It was almost like talking to an adult.”“She gave some pretty specific information about things, like types of drug paraphernalia, that no young person ought to have knowledge about,” Beattie said.Beattie said the girl told police that her parents blew smoke into the family dog’s mouth, which worried the girl.”She was afraid that she would get sick. She was afraid that the dog would get sick,” Beattie said.When the police searched the girl’s home on June 24, they allegedly found seven marijuana plants, drug paraphernalia and a substance that field-tested positive for meth.No charge has been filed yet, although Beattie said charges will likely be brought once the drug testing unit return results of evidence.The child has been placed back at her home by social services.“We have spoken with the parents,” Beattie said. “There is no sign of retaliation from her parents. Both of them understood they were wrong and showed remorse.”“She seems to be well taken care of,” Beattie said.
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Apartment Building Fire Kills Seven in Massachusetts

Apartment Building Fire Kills Seven in Massachusetts

Monkey Business/Thinkstock(LOWELL, Mass.) — Seven people were killed in an early morning apartment building fire in Lowell, Massachusetts on Thursday.According to fire officials, all the victims died in third-floor units.”We now know that there were seven individuals who did not survive that fire — we believe those to be…four adults, three children,” Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said Thursday.There were also a number of rescues from upper floors, with some tenants jumping or handing children to safety. Several people were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.”The entire city mourns the losses for those families who have lost victims in this fire,” Lowell Mayor Rodney Elliott said. “It’s a tragic day in the city of Lowell, with the horrific fire.” An investigation is now underway to determine the cause of the fire.Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said he heard numerous reports there were no working smoke alarms in the building, but he says that must be verified. “We need to go through that fire alarm system piece by piece and determine its operability and then try to determine whether it operated at the time of the fire,” he said.
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US Marine Reservist Held in Mexico Back in Jail After Hearing

US Marine Reservist Held in Mexico Back in Jail After Hearing

iStock/Thinkstock(MEXICO CITY) — U.S. Marine reservist Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi is back in a Mexican jail Thursday morning, ordered by a judge to remain in custody on gun charges near Tijuana, where he’s been locked up for 102 days.A closed evidentiary hearing that lasted more than eight hours on Wednesday was Tahmooressi’s first chance to plead his case in court.The California native, 25, was arrested on March 31, after he says he got lost and crossed the Mexican border with three firearms in his pickup truck. Though cameras weren’t allowed in court, Tahmooressi’s mother Jill says she was able to spend 20 minutes with her son after the hearing.“He’s very strong. He’s very strong and positive. And he’s confident,” she said.The State Department is actively engaged in the case. Consular officers have visited Tahmooressi 13 times, and 71 members of Congress have signed a bi-partisan letter asking the judge for leniency.Unlike American law, in Mexico one is guilty until proven innocent and the decision rests solely in the judge’s hands.But Fernando Benetiz, Tahmooressi’s newly-hired attorney, is hopeful.“We feel the hearing was a success, and we feel we are finally on the right track,” Benetiz said.

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Why Your Summer Is About to Get Colder

Why Your Summer Is About to Get Colder

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A cool mass of air is heading toward the United States from the upper regions of Canada and Alaska this week, according to the National Weather Service.ABC News’ Ginger Zee says the weather pattern is not an actual polar vortex, though.According to the NWS, a mass of cold air will drop from the Arctic regions to Canada and then the upper Midwest next week.Temperatures across the Midwest will drop into the 60s and 70s — a sharp difference from the 80 degree and 90 degree temperatures from recent weeks. And the relatively cooler air may be felt as far east as New York and Washington.The cool breezes may be a welcome relief this time around, but remember the last few times we got hit with Arctic air? Temperatures in cities including Chicago, Cleveland, New York and Louisville, Kentucky fell into the single-digits and negative territory for long stretches during the harsh winter months of early 2014.
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Parents Rescued by Navy Warship Plan to File Lawsuit

Parents Rescued by Navy Warship Plan to File Lawsuit

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — The parents, who were stranded at sea with their two young daughters and had to be rescued by a U.S. Navy warship, say they plan to sue their satellite phone carrier and hope any monetary winnings will allow them to help repay the government’s cost of their rescue.“To see people show up to help you like that is pretty amazing,” Eric Kaufman told ABC News, referring to the team from California Air National Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing that parachuted out of a plane into the frigid waters off the coast of Mexico to save his family.Kaufman and his wife, Charlotte, and their two daughters — ages 1 and 3 at the time — were some 900 nautical miles off the coast of Mexico aboard their 36-foot sailboat named the Rebel Heart last April when their daughter Lyra, 1, became sick with a fever and a rash.“That’s when we knew we were in a bad spot,” said Eric Kaufman, who, with his wife, had spent years planning the 3,000-mile trip from Mexico to New Zealand.The Kaufmans allege their satellite phone carrier cut off their only connection to land while they were stranded. They used the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) on their boat to call for help.“We activated it and we sat there,” Kaufman said.It took members of the 129th Rescue Wing three days to reach the family.It was only once the Navy ship, with the Kaufmans aboard, returned to the family’s hometown of San Diego that the couple discovered they were the subjects of an intense national debate over whether they, as parents, should have been sailing with their daughters.”Why wouldn’t you?,” Eric Kaufman replied when asked why they brought their daughters with them.“We’re both experienced sailors,” said Charlotte Kaufman, who described the planned 3,000-mile journey as not a trip but the family’s way of living. “We’ve raised our daughters on a sailboat.”“We were very prepared,” she said. “We knew what we were doing.”The family’s boat was purposely sunk after it was damaged in the journey. The Kaufmans say they hope to buy a new boat, possibly also with any money from the planned lawsuit, and return to the sea.”I can’t wait to get back,” said Charlotte Kaufman. “It’s an amazing lifestyle.”
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Surveillance Footage Could Hold Clues in School Counselor’s Murder

Surveillance Footage Could Hold Clues in School Counselor’s Murder

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEWTON, N.C.) — Police are studying surveillance footage to retrace the last steps of a 31-year-old North Carolina high school counselor who was murdered last month.Maggie Daniels, 31, who was single and lived alone, was found dead in her apartment on June 28.Daniels had served as a teacher and coach and most recently, a counselor at Discovery High School in Newton, a 13,000-population town located northwest of Charlotte.Newly-released images show Daniels wearing a T-shirt and pink shorts, shopping with a friend at Walmart hours before her death. Newton Police Chief Donald Brown said surveillance could help authorities fill gaps in the investigation.“We’re trying to narrow down and develop our timeline and pinpoint where she was,” Brown said.Investigators will not say how Daniels was killed, only that there was no sign of forced entry. That’s not a surprise for neighbors, who say she often left her front door open for students to stop by.Former student Marcus Forsyth says he saw Daniels every day, including the day before her body was found.“She was taking out the trash,” Forsyth said. “I said ‘hey.’ She said ‘hey.’ I said ‘have a good day,’ and there was the last time I saw her.’”Students and faculty — along with Daniels’ family from Ohio — gathered at Newton-Conover High School, her former school, Wednesday for a memorial service, where Daniels was remembered for her generosity.“She connected with people. She just had this personality that connected with students and adults,” said David Stegall, Superintendent of Newton-Conover City Schools.Police say they still have no suspects and no answers about why someone would want Daniels dead.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Report: Many Colleges Failing to Handle Sexual Assault Incidents

Report: Many Colleges Failing to Handle Sexual Assault Incidents

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Many colleges and universities are not properly reporting or investigating cases of sexual assaults on campuses.That’s according to a new anonymous report on 350 institutions of higher education in the U.S.At a news conference Wednesday, Senator Claire McCaskill said about a third of colleges aren’t training campus police, students or faculty on how to deal with sexual assault cases, and admit they only investigate about half of all reports.The Missouri Democrat said the survey found that 41 percent of the schools surveyed had not conducted a single investigation in the last five years.“This survey shows that there are way too many schools that are failing and just about every institution in the country has room for improvement,” McCaskill said.The report also found that 43 percent of the nation’s largest public schools allow students to help adjudicate sexual assault cases and 22 percent of the institutions permit athletic departments to have oversight of sexual assault cases involving athletes.
McCaskill said of that finding, “…I don’t need to explain why that is a big problem.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

How Teen Victim Stopped More Killings by Alleged Texas Gunman

How Teen Victim Stopped More Killings by Alleged Texas Gunman

iStock/Thinkstock(SPRING, Texas) — The Texas gunman who killed six people was out to murder more family members, police said, and a wounded 15-year-old at the house stopped him from causing even more carnage.The 15-year-old was allegedly shot by the gunman, but managed to tell police who he was before she was rushed via helicopter to a hospital, where she was in critical condition, according to authorities. She is the lone survivor of Wednesday’s bloody rampage at a home in Spring, Texas.The teen managed to dial 911 after she was shot — telling police that the man shot four of her siblings ages 4 to 13 and two adults before fleeing the house to try to kill her grandparents.”She was able to provide us the name of the person who shot them, where he was going next,” Constable Ron Hickman said during a press conference late Wednesday. The constable had initially said the gunman was her father, but authorities backed away from that statement early Thursday, saying the relationship was unclear.Police called the girl their “only clue” in finding the shooter, who is now in custody. She also placed the 911 call that alerted police of the shooting, which happened late afternoon Wednesday in a quiet neighborhood in the Houston area.His victims were all related to each other, though it is unclear what relation the suspect may have to the victims. Four of the victims were children, two boys ages 4 and 13 and two girls ages 7 and 9. Police officials had initially named the suspect as 39-year-old Stephen Stay, but this information was also incorrect.The two adults killed in the shootings were the married parents of the children. The alleged gunman, who was caught after an hours-long stand-off with police, was out for even more blood.”The grandparents were also targets,” another police offer said at the press conference. “Fortunately, they were brought out of the house before that happened.”Detectives will interview the suspect, who surrendered after very intense hostage negotiations, to learn more about what triggered a man to murder the family.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that authorities this morning said that the relationship between the gunman and the family was unclear, contradicting their earlier statements they made to news organizations.
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Donald Sterling Calls Wife a ‘Pig’ During Probate Trial

Donald Sterling Calls Wife a ‘Pig’ During Probate Trial

Kirby Lee/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was combative Wednesday during his second day on the witness stand in a probate trial against his estranged wife Shelly, calling her a “pig” and testifying that he will “never, ever, ever” sell the team.Sterling said, “Get away from me you pig,” when she approached him after she testified.During his testimony, Sterling said, “Make no mistake today, I will never, ever sell this team. Until I die, I will be suing the NBA.”The trial will determine if Shelly Sterling can proceed with her sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.Judge Michael Levanas must determine whether Shelly Sterling properly complied with the terms of the Sterling Family Trust when she removed her estranged husband as a co-trustee, or was the disgraced owner defrauded by her and two doctors who say they determined him to be mentally incapacitated.Judge Levanas must also determine if Shelly Sterling had the right to proceed with the sale of the Clippers to Ballmer after Donald Sterling revoked the trust agreement in June.Shelly Sterling testified Wednesday that she acted properly when she took control of the family trust.  She said her husband was becoming more forgetful and she feared he was developing Alzheimer’s disease.During his testimony, Donald Sterling said his estranged wife had “deceived” him. “I trusted her. I believed in her. I never thought that a woman wouldn’t stand by her husband,” Sterling told the court.The NBA banned Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million dollars for racist comments he made to an assistant in April. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also demanded that Sterling sell the L.A. franchise.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Juvenile Suspect Identified in Connection with May Fire in California

Juvenile Suspect Identified in Connection with May Fire in California

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department says it has identified a suspect in the Washingtonia/Cocos Fire in San Marcos, California in May, which has been deemed arson.The sheriff’s department would not release information about the suspect, except that the individual they believe is responsible is a juvenile. An investigation conducted by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Bomb/Arson Unit, Cal Fire, the San Marcos Fire Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, has been closed in regards to the May 14 fire. Investigators did not link the suspect to any of the other destructive California fires from earlier this year.
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Six Dead in Texas Shooting, Suspect Surrenders After Standoff

Six Dead in Texas Shooting, Suspect Surrenders After Standoff

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SPRING, Texas) — Six people were shot to death, including at least four children, and a seventh person was injured at a home in Spring, Texas, late Wednesday, police said.A standoff between police and a suspect in the shootings ensued after a brief car chase. Police brought in two trucks and wedged the suspect’s vehicle between them on a cul-de-sac near the site of the shooting.Harris County Precinct 4 Assistant Chief Deputy Mark Herman told ABC station KTRK this was a “domestic disturbance.”According to police, a woman at the 711 Leaflet Lane house who was shot said a family member was responsible and that person had left to kill another family member who worked at a nearby restaurant. Police were able to intercept the suspect before he got to the restaurant. The woman who was shot was clinging to life at a local hospital.
As the trucks blocked the suspect’s car, the man visibly engaged with police from the driver’s seat. Police said the suspect, in his mid-40s, had a handgun and was holding it to his head. They were speaking with the man by cell phone as darkness fell over the scene. Nearby homes were evacuated.
At about 10 p.m. CT, authorities swarmed the vehicle, and the suspect was taken into custody.
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Jury Finds Los Angeles Dodgers Negligent in 2011 Beating at Dodger Stadium

Jury Finds Los Angeles Dodgers Negligent in 2011 Beating at Dodger Stadium

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — A jury found in favor of the baseball fan who was beaten outside of Dodger Stadium in 2011, awarding him $18 million in the civil verdict.Bryan Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan, was beaten outside of Dodger Stadium following a game between the Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011. Earlier this year, Louie Sanchez, 31, and Marvin Norwood, 33, agreed to plead guilty to beating Stow following the March 31, 2011 game. Sanchez knocked Stow unconscious, without provocation, causing Stow to suffer severe brain trauma. Stow’s attorneys claimed that the team failed to provide adequate security on the day he was attacked.While the judge found the Dodgers, under former ownership, will have to pay the majority of the $18 million award — about $14 million. Former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt was not found to be liable, however.
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Woman Who Rescued Subway Baby Believes Mom Counted on Her

Woman Who Rescued Subway Baby Believes Mom Counted on Her

NYPD(NEW YORK) –  The woman who rescued a baby abandoned on a New York City subway platform believes the child’s mother targeted her, assuming she would take good care of the child.Catherine Goodman told ABC News that she held the door of the front car for Frankea Dabbs when Dabbs got on the train with her baby in a stroller at 42nd Street Monday. When Goodman got off a few minutes later at the 59th Street station, she noticed the stroller by itself on the platform.“I look up, and the subway doors had just closed, and there’s [the mom] standing in the doorway,” Goodman said. “And her face is just blank.”Goodman, an actress also known as Catherine Boursier, believes Dabbs targeted her, seeing someone she could leave her daughter with.”My heart goes out to her (the mom). It’s hard and I’m glad she didn’t hurt the baby,” Goodman said.Convinced it was a terrible accident, Goodman went to a transit worker and carried the stroller over to the downtown platform, waiting for the mom to return and singing to the 10-month-old infant, who had socks on her hands.“The little girl was in such good spirits,” said Goodman. “She was sweet, happy, very pleasant.”“I was certainty in a little bit of shock. I didn’t know what to think,” she said.When the mother didn’t return after 20 to 25 minutes, Goodman went to the police.Goodman, who is a mother herself, does not solely blame the mother.“She felt overwhelmed,” Goodman said. “Being a mom is hard, and especially with a little child, it can be very isolating and difficult. I feel bad that she doesn’t have the support. A lot of moms feel that.”Goodman also said that baby seemed happy and well taken care of.Dabbs, 20, was arrested shortly after midnight on Tuesday and police said she told them that she was homeless and couldn’t handle being a mother. She was charged with abandoning a child and committing actions injurious to a child less than the age of 17.Dabbs’ father, Franklin Dabbs of Wilmington, North Carolina, told ABC News that his daughter has been erratic since she saw her boyfriend shot dead by three men while she hid under a bed. She was two months pregnant at the time, he said.Since rescuing the infant, Goodman has thought about the little girl and is relived she’s in good hands. “I know she’s safe. I know she’s being taken care of.”She doesn’t consider herself a hero though. “Anyone else would do the same thing.”
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Feds Spied on Prominent Muslim-Americans, Report Claims

Feds Spied on Prominent Muslim-Americans, Report Claims

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — A new report based on National Security Agency documents taken by Edward Snowden has revealed the names of prominent American Muslims whose emails it claims were monitored by the FBI and the NSA for years — the most specific allegation yet of the U.S. government’s domestic spying and one that officials said could compromise ongoing operations.The report, published overnight by Glenn Greenwald at the fledgling news outlet The Intercept, identifies five of some 202 “U.S. Persons” listed in NSA documents whose emails were allegedly swept up over a six-year period ending in 2008: Nihad Awad, Executive Director of CAIR, the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country; Faisal Gill, who served with the Department of Homeland Security and ran for public office in Virginia as a Republican; Asim Ghafoor, a defense attorney who has taken on terrorism-related cases; Hooshang Amirahmadi, an international relations professor at Rutgers University; and Agha Saeed, a former political science professor at California State University and National Chairman of the American Muslim Alliance.”There is absolutely no question in my mind that the reason I was being surveilled is because I am a Muslim. There is nothing in my background. I have always carried a security clearance,” Gill told ABC News in an interview broadcast Wednesday on Good Morning America.The disclosure by The Intercept of Americans allegedly once spied on secretly, and possibly under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, is unprecedented, according to some officials in national security positions who say they urged Greenwald not to use the names of any individuals because it could compromise ongoing operations or wrongly implicate the people cited.All five named by Greenwald have denied involvement in terrorism and none have ever been charged with any terrorism-related crimes.The new disclosures raise a host of questions — namely why these individuals’ emails were collected by U.S. spies inside the homeland in the first place, given the layers of legal review such intelligence warrants undergo. Current and former officials said the Attorney General and the FBI director would have been personally involved in overseeing any FISA warrant targeting the leader of a civil rights group such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is protected by the First Amendment speech protections of the Constitution.In his potentially explosive story, Greenwald admits he only has a list of thousands of email addresses which may have been targets of intelligence collection, adding that because other files he does not possess are still classified, “it is impossible to know why their emails were monitored, or the extent of the surveillance.””It is also unclear under what legal authority it was conducted,” Greenwald writes.Any spying inside the U.S. linked to terrorism or espionage must be approved with a warrant from the super-secret federal court that oversees classified FISA surveillance and clandestine FBI searches.In June last year, with Greenwald’s help, Snowden leaked the first known copy of a FISA court order since the court’s inception 35 years ago.Greenwald also concedes in his online article that The Intercept’s reporters and editors do not know “what, if anything, authorities found that permitted them to continue spying on the men for prolonged periods of time,” but said the five shared a “Muslim heritage.””It is entirely false that U.S. intelligence agencies conduct electronic surveillance of political, religious or activist figures solely because they disagree with public policies or criticize the government, or for exercising constitutional rights,” said a joint statement by the Department of Justice and Office of the Director of National Intelligence Tuesday night.While the reasons for surveillance aren’t known, some of the men named had public associations that may have raised questions. Gill, for instance, once worked as a consultant for the American Muslim Council, which was founded by Abdulrahman Alamoudi, a man who pleaded guilty in 2004 to charges related to his “activities… with nations and organizations that have ties to terrorism.” Gill was investigated for this connection twice by the DHS and was cleared both times, The Intercept reported, yet the surveillance continued.A senior government official said without knowing the underlying probable cause presented to a federal judge from the FISA court in each case, Greenwald and The Intercept cannot know why the e-mails of the purported targets were collected.As a result, the official said, Greenwald and Snowden cannot know whether the surveillance revealed evidence or intelligence in each case that was incriminating or exculpatory — or whether some targets later cooperated with the FBI. Several officials said it was “irresponsible” to name individuals as surveillance targets when no public court record exists. The identified targets could be guilty or innocent or even cooperating with the government, the officials said.”You don’t know if somebody was later approached to become an informant,” the senior official said. “To the extent any of these people were targets, [The Intercept report] is a serious compromise. And if they weren’t targets, they shouldn’t be named.”The Intercept said many of the emails on the spreadsheet titled “FISA Recap,” which they said Snowden provided, “appear to belong to foreigners whom the government believes are linked to al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah.” But the report says their three-month investigation showed that “in practice, the system for authorizing NSA surveillance affords the government wide latitude in spying on U.S. citizens.”However, current and former U.S. officials told ABC News that Snowden or Greenwald may have misunderstood some of the NSA documents, which they reported are spreadsheets with 7,485 email addresses, including many among multiple accounts by individuals.”You should not assume all of the names Glenn Greenwald has were targets of surveillance,” a senior official familiar with Snowden’s pilfered cache told ABC News last week.A former senior official once closely involved in the FISA warrant process told ABC News that The Intercept’s reporters were repeatedly warned by him that they “were getting it wrong” in how they interpreted what the NSA spreadsheets from Snowden signified. The documents also were curiously absent of the markings secret files typically carry which denote its specific level of classification and distribution limitations.”The documents indicated to me that they were not targets,” the former official said.Greenwald, who delayed his announced publication date last week by several days while seeking additional clarification from the U.S. government, reported the Department of Justice refused to comment and he was ultimately unable to determine under what legal authority the surveillance was conducted or whether the men were formally targeted under FISA warrants.“Unlike some other nations, the United States does not monitor anyone’s communications in order to suppress criticism or to put people at a disadvantage based on their ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation or religion,” the joint statement provided to ABC News by the government offices said. “Our intelligence agencies can collect communications only when they have a legitimate foreign intelligence or counterintelligence purpose. This work is done to help protect Americans.”“Moreover, no U.S. person can be the subject of surveillance based solely on First Amendment activities, such as staging public rallies, organizing campaigns, writing critical essays or expressing personal beliefs. On the other hand, a person who the court finds is an agent of a foreign power under this rigorous standard is not exempted just because of his or her occupation,” the statement said.The Intercept also reported that Snowden provided a 2005 training document that instructed “intelligence community personnel” to file memos correctly to justify a FISA warrant. “In the place where the target’s real name would go,” Greenwald writes, “the memo offers a fake name as a placeholder: ‘Mohammad Raghead.’”Another senior government official, who is not authorized to speak to the press, told ABC News that the offensive document was produced by a low-level “knucklehead” who only shared it with a few fellow government or military employees, not thousands of intelligence workers.Vanee Vines, a spokesperson for the NSA, told ABC News that while the agency would not comment on the “authenticity of any allegedly leaked material,” the NSA “has not and would not approve official training documents that include insulting or inflammatory language.”“Any use of racial or ethical stereotypes, slurs or other similar language by employees is both unacceptable and inconsistent with NSA policy and core values,” Vines said.
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Alarming Stats from Congressional Campus Sex Assault Report

Alarming Stats from Congressional Campus Sex Assault Report

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Many institutions of higher education are failing at addressing sexual assaults on their campuses, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said Wednesday as she released a new report on how colleges and universities are responding to sexual assault cases.“This survey shows that there are way too many schools that are failing and just about every institution in the country has room for improvement,” McCaskill said at a news conference Wednesday.Here are some of the most alarming figures from the report:

41% of institutions did not conduct a single investigation of campus sexual assault in the past five years
43% of the nation’s largest public schools allow students to help adjudicate sexual assault cases
22% of institutions permit athletic departments to have oversight of sexual assault cases involving athletes
21% of institutions do not provide sexual assault response training to their faculty and staff
31% of schools do not provide any type of sexual assault training for their students
33% of schools did not provide basic sexual assault training to the people who adjudicate claims of sexual assault
30% of law enforcement officials at the institutions received no training on responding to reports of sexual violence
Only 16% of schools conduct climate surveys of students to assess sexual assaults on college campuses

The findings come from a survey of a national sample of 350 institutions of higher education, which were granted anonymity in order to receive the most candid information.
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Teachers, Doctor Accused of Prescription Drug Ring, Police Say

Teachers, Doctor Accused of Prescription Drug Ring, Police Say

iStock/Thinkstock(CHINA GROVE, N.C.) — An elementary school teacher and her doctor husband hatched an elaborate prescription pill scheme to feed their own drug habits, police said.Five other school employees and another person in Rowan County, North Carolina, were also charged with being involved in the drug ring.Police say this how the scheme happened: The teachers filled bogus prescriptions for hydrocodone written by the husband, Dr. Orrin Walker, and then brought the pills right back to him and his wife, Abby Walker, the China Grove Police Department said.The Walkers obtained about 25,000 pills from about 200 illegal prescriptions over 17 months, according to police.ABC News could not reach the Walkers for comment. It is not clear if they have an attorney.Abby Walker is accused of convincing two fellow teachers at Bostian Elementary School in China Grove to join the pill ring. She also lured a teacher from Southside Christian Academy in Salisbury, an administrative assistant from McKnight School in Kannapolis and a friend to help fill the illegal prescriptions, police said.The suspects exchanged information at the schools but students were never in danger, Police Chief Eddie Kluttz said.Orrin Walker worked at the Main Street Family Practice in Salisbury. His medical license is now inactive, according to the North Carolina Medical Board.His wife was suspended from her position at Bostian Elementary School in March when the school learned of the police investigation and she later resigned, the school said in a statement.Orrin and Abby Walker were charged with Level III Trafficking Opiates By Possession. The other six suspects were charged with multiple counts each of Conspiracy to Commit Prescription Fraud/Forgery, police said.Authorities expect the Walkers and the other suspects to turn themselves in on Wednesday.
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Police: Prostitute Injected Google Exec with Heroin, Left Him to Die

Police: Prostitute Injected Google Exec with Heroin, Left Him to Die

Santa Cruz Police Dept.(SANTA CRUZ, Calif.) — More than seven months after a Silicon Valley executive was found dead on his yacht of an apparent overdose, police said they have uncovered new video evidence that reveals he may have been murdered.Alix Tichelman, 26, who police describe as a high-end call girl, is believed to be the woman in the video injecting Forrest Hayes, 51, with heroin during a date together last November, according to Santa Cruz, California police.It was initially thought that Hayes, who had worked at Apple and was employed by Google at the time of his death, died of an overdose on his yacht, “The Escape.”The newly uncovered surveillance video shows a woman, who Santa Cruz police say is Tichelman, administering the drugs and never trying to help Hayes or to call authorities when it was clear something had gone terribly wrong, Deputy Chief Steve Clark said.”She was so callous that in gathering her things, she was literally stepping over the body and at one point stepped over the body to grab a glass of wine and finish the glass of wine,” Clark told ABC’s San Francisco owned station KGO-TV.Police said the woman believed to be Tichelman even drew the blinds to the bedroom on the 50-foot yacht before leaving.Investigators took Tichelman’s fingerprints from the wine glass, according to KGO-TV. Posing as a potential client, police said they met up with Tichelman at a hotel on July 4 and arrested her on suspicion of second-degree murder, destruction of evidence and transporting and providing narcotics.It was unclear if Tichelman has hired an attorney.An obituary posted in the Santa Cruz Sentinel describes Hayes as a husband and father to five children.”More than anything else he enjoyed spending time with his family at home and on his boat,” the obituary said. “His brilliant mind, contagious smile, and warm embrace will be missed and cherished in memories by his friends and family.”
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Colorado Man’s Close Call with Lightning Caught on Video

Colorado Man’s Close Call with Lightning Caught on Video

iStock/Thinkstock(ARVADA, Colo.) — A Colorado man using his phone to capture a video of hail and lightning outside his house Monday got a little too close to the action when he was suddenly thrown to the floor by a bolt of lightning, catching the whole thing on camera.Chad Greenlees, of Arvada, had thought he was safe from a strike when standing underneath the protection of his garage. Taking out his phone, he panned across the dark and cloudy sky before a lightning strike knocked him down.“I kind of stumbled back and fell through the door,” Greenlees told ABC News affiliate 7NEWS.Greenlees’ daughter, Ileah, heard the crash and ran over to find her father convulsing on the floor.His wife, Emmy, immediately called 911.“I thought I was going to lose him,” she said. “It was scary.”At the hospital, doctors checked Chad Greenlees for entrance and exit wounds, but none could be found.While doctors have told Greenlees he’s going to be okay, he still reports hearing ringing in his ears and being generally achy.“I was scared to death,” said Greenlees. “I’m grateful that I survived.”

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Pretrial Date Set in Fla. Movie Theater Shooting; Trial Could Start in Early 2015

Pretrial Date Set in Fla. Movie Theater Shooting; Trial Could Start in Early 2015

iStock/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) — A retired police captain accused in a fatal movie theater shooting appeared in court Wednesday, and expected to learn when he’ll stand trial. The judge, however, set the date for another pretrial hearing to take place Sept. 10 with hopes for the trial to begin in early 2015.Police say Curtis Reeves, 71, shot and killed Chad Oulson, 43, during a confrontation over Olson’s texting during the previews before a showing of “Lone Survivor” at a Wesley Chapel, Florida, theater.Attorneys for Oulson’s widow, Nicole, who watched her husband die at her side, say there’s no reason the trial should be delayed.“We are just delaying the inevitable,” attorney T.J. Grimaldi said. “No matter what occurs, there’s no way, the way we see it, that [Reeves] is going to be found not guilty.”Reeves became annoyed with Oulson’s using his cellphone and went to tell the movie theater managers, according to authorities.When he returned, the argument escalated, authorities said.Reeves, who’s in jail after his bail request was denied, is charged with second-degree murder and has pleaded not guilty, claiming he acted in self-defense. Reeves’ attorneys say that Oulson may have thrown a cellphone at Reeves.Witnesses say the only thing Oulson threw was a bag of popcorn.“He was hit in the face with an unknown object,” attorney Richard Escobar said. “At that point, he has every right to defend himself.”In audiotapes played by prosecutors in a February bond hearing, Reeves said he regretted the shooting immediately.”As soon as I pulled the trigger, I said, ‘Oh, this is stupid,’” he said in the tape. “There’s no justification for what happened in there. If I had to do it over again, it would have never happened. We would have moved.”The shooting has proved especially tragic because of the ramifications. Reeves was a decorated former law-enforcement officer. Oulson left behind a 2-year-old daughter, Alexis.Alexis misses her father, Grimaldi said.“She understands daddy isn’t home. She asks for daddy and he doesn’t show up,” Grimaldi said. “It’s almost a good thing that she’s so young, because she doesn’t quite comprehend where daddy is.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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