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US Army Guardsmen tried to sell guns, ammo, armor to Mexico cartels

US Nat'l guard sold ammo to cartelTwo active duty reservists of the U.S. Army National Guard were arrested in California on Wednesday for allegedly trying to funnel weapons, ammunition and body armor -- equipment that belonged to the U.S. military -- to outlaws in Mexican drug cartels, a federal complaint said.

Jaime Casillas and Andrew Reyes, ages 22 and 34, respectively, are each accused of selling firearms in California without certification. Reyes faces an additional count of purchasing weapons -- including multiple AR-15 assault rifles -- in Texas and transporting them to California.


Secrecy shrouds decade-old oil spill in Gulf of Mexico

Gulf Oil SpillA blanket of fog lifts, exposing a band of rainbow sheen that stretches for miles off the coast of Louisiana. From the vantage point of an airplane, it's easy to see gas bubbles in the slick that mark the spot where an oil platform toppled during a 2004 hurricane, triggering what might be the longest-running commercial oil spill ever to pollute the Gulf of Mexico.

Yet more than a decade after crude started leaking at the site formerly operated by Taylor Energy Company, few people even know of its existence. The company has downplayed the leak's extent and environmental impact, likening it to scores of minor spills and natural seeps the Gulf routinely absorbs.


Ex-drug officer says he stole cash, planted drugs many times

Philadelphia Police departmentA disgraced ex-police officer testifying against his drug squad colleagues acknowledged Tuesday that he stole drug money, planted evidence and lied on police paperwork too many times to count.

Jeffrey Walker told jurors that the Philadelphia Police Department drug squad targeted white "college-boy ... khaki-pants types" who were "easy to intimidate."

That matches the description of some of the drug dealers who have testified at the six-week police corruption trial that the squad stole as much as $110,000 at a time during violent, no-warrant raids.


Vatican ends crackdown on US nuns

Pope FrancisThe Vatican on Thursday announced an unexpected conclusion to its crackdown on the main umbrella group of U.S. nuns, ending a controversial takeover of the liberal group and signaling a major shift in tone and treatment of U.S. sisters under the social justice-minded Pope Francis.

The Vatican said it had accepted a final report on its overhaul of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and declared that the "implementation of the mandate has been accomplished."


Bob Alexander: It’s Happy-Time Again … And it’s Awesome!

Happy Time AgainAll the candidates are getting themselves good and greased up eager to be sodomized by their favorite billionaire in the hope there’ll be a hefty campaign contribution left on top of the dresser before the billionaire leaves the motel room.

Too harsh? How ‘bout this …

Hillary Clinton cares as much about “Everyday Americans” as I care about the microbes that live in the P-trap under the kitchen sink in the house across the street.


Doing the Unthinkable: Giant Gas Pipeline to Flank a New York Nuclear Power Plant

Indian Point nuclear power plantA very large gas pipeline will soon skirt the Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC), an aging nuclear power plant that stands in the town of Cortlandt in Westchester County, New York, 30 miles north of Manhattan.

The federal agencies that have permitted the project have bowed to two corporations - the pipeline's owner, Spectra Energy, and Entergy, which bought the Indian Point complex in 2001 from its former owner.


Small aircraft lands on US Capitol lawn

aircraft pn Capitol awnA small aircraft known as a gyrocopter has landed on the west lawn of the US Capitol building.  The operator of the aircraft has been arrested by Capitol police.

The Tampa Bay Times tells the BBC the driver is Doug Hughes, a Florida post man who wanted to deliver a message about campaign finance reform to Congress.

The airspace around the Capitol and White House in Washington DC is restricted to official aircraft.


Voting machine password hacks as easy as 'abcde', details Virginia state report

voting machine passwordsTouchscreen voting machines used in numerous elections between 2002 and 2014 used “abcde” and “admin” as passwords and could easily have been hacked from the parking lot outside the polling place, according to a state report.

The AVS WinVote machines, used in three presidential elections in Virginia, “would get an F-minus” in security, according to a computer scientist at tech research group SRI International who had pushed for a formal inquiry by the state of Virginia for close to a decade.


Aaron Hernandez found guilty of first-degree murder of Odin Lloyd

Aaron HernandezFormer New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been found guilty of the murder of his friend Odin Lloyd, who was shot to death near the player’s home in June 2013.

Hernandez now faces life in prison, a spectacular fall from grace for a player who had a $40m contract with the Patriots but was cut by the team within hours of his arrest.

The 25-year-old was also found guilty on each of five weapons charges: one count of carrying a firearm without a license, two counts of carrying a large capacity firearm, one count of possession of a firearm without a Firearm Identification Card, and one count of possession of ammunition without a Firearm Identification Card.


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