From St. Louis Post Dispatch:
ST. LOUIS • Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich plans to launch audits of 10 municipal courts in the coming fiscal year, including the one in Ferguson, in the wake of concerns about fine-related abuses by local officials.
In an interview with the Post-Dispatch editorial board Thursday, Schweich said he also wants to audit Ferguson city records, and he encouraged a petition of local residents that would allow such a review.
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Archeologists in Turkey have reportedly made a spooky discovery, just in time for the start of Halloween season: the dungeon where the real-life basis for Count Dracula was held.
The cell where history’s Dracula, the Romanian prince Vlad III (nicknamed Vlad the Impaler for his gruesome tendency to impale his foes), was recently discovered during a restoration project, the Turkey-based Hurriyet Daily News reports.
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Is a possible threat to an ancient tomb at the heart of Turkey's debate on whether to step up its role in the fight against ISIS?
The Turkish Parliament is set to vote Thursday on whether to authorize the use of military force against ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq.
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From KLRT-TV, Little Rock, AR:
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Republican attorney general candidate Leslie Rutledge isn't a registered voter in Arkansas according to a report in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette (ADG).
It's possible the development could have implications on her upcoming race.
The publication reports Pulaski County Clerk Larry Crane has cancelled Rutledge's voter registration after learning she was registered in multiple locations. Crane told the ADG Rutledge was also registered to vote in Washington, D.C.
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From Washington Post:
Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown (R) has run several attack ads criticizing Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) for failing to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. But as a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, he missed all six hearings on border security that he was eligible to attend, records suggest.
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If I had reacted just a little bit quicker. I could have, I guess. And I'll live with that to my grave.
- Clinton J. Hill, formerly of the Secret Service, interviewed by Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes, December 7, 1975
According to a subsequent report, Agent Clint Hill retreated for a dozen years to the basement of his home. Alcohol and cigarettes were his constant companions. Almost 40 years later, he reflected more soberly, the pain more deeply buried with the passage of time.
We failed. We didn't do it, and that's bothered me ever since. What if it had rained that morning? What if (pause) a lot of things.
What if I'd been able to (pause) move a little faster. I wouldn't be here, but President Kennedy would probably be alive.
- Clint Hill, Nov 22, 2013
Those of us approaching retirement, or past that point of eligibility, will remember the moment we learned of the loss.
Those were days of great hostility. Extremists stated as a matter of established truth that President Kennedy was a communist. Segregationists hated him for interfering with states rights, the most precious of which seemed to be the right to crush any human dignity that might be afforded to black citizens.
Years ago, a public figure, I don't recall who, was asked whether he could think of any period during which hatred of a President resembled the vitriol hurled at Bill Clinton, who was then the occupant of the White House. Yes, he said. It was the hatred toward President Kennedy just before November 22, 1963.
Since the election of Barack Obama, reports have emerged of a dramatic increase in the number of threats and their ferocity.
A lunchtime friend of long standing mocks the notion that conservative hatred toward Barack Obama is in any significant measure motivated by racism. Seeing my look of amazement, he concedes that in a nation of 300 million one might find someone who dislikes the President for racial reasons.
Well, yeah, I suppose.
As white conservatives greet black conservatives with enthused applause, such personalities as Ben Carson, Clarence Thomas, and Herman Cain implicitly confront the charge of a racist conservative core. The easy route is dismissal of that defense as more some-of-my-best-friends self deception. But it occurs to me that Barack Obama is not primarily hated for being black. He is more hated for the same reason Bill Clinton was hated when he was President. Like Clinton, President Obama is suspected of unwarranted sympathy toward those who are black.
In that respect, both Presidents share a legacy with President Kennedy.
The searing memory of that terrible day of Presidential assassination was not brought home to me by daily reports of conservative fury at either Clinton or Obama. Rather, it was a chance encounter in a supermarket in 1981 as I learned of the shooting of President Reagan. The stranger seemed gleeful. "I hope Reagan dies!" It was hard for me to hear. I remember a dimming of awareness of our surroundings as I turned and faced the man. I said nothing. In a moment, he turned and walked away.
The unraveling of the Secret Service protection of President Obama is a scary thing for those of us who remember the most painful moments of the 1960s, or the near murder of another President almost 20 years later. It now appears that two demented individuals came very close to repeating searing events, not while our President was on a sidewalk or in an automobile. They both came closer than we knew at the time, both violating the People's House. The White House is where the President and his family live, where the first couple sleep at night, where their children have played while growing up.
Gunshots have broken a window in the family living quarters. A man carry a knife came very near. Had the first family been delayed even a few minutes in leaving on a trip, and had the intruder turned left instead of right at a critical juncture, tragedy might have struck again.
In a literal sense, it hits close to home.
This Sunday, we will pray a special prayer for the Secret Service, that those with the same dedication, the same intense sense of duty as Clint Hill, will never join with a larger public in another national torment.
Please, Lord. Never again.
In January of this year, Dan Reesor, a deputy district attorney in Deschutes County, Oregon, was diagnosed with liver cancer and inflammatory liver disease. Doctors at the University of California Los Angeles told him the combination was fatal, and that a liver transplant is best way to save his life. The liver transplant waiting list has roughly 16,000 people on it, although the sickest are prioritized. But perhaps the greater hurdle to treatment is the financial cost of the procedure: $1.4 million.
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From The Baltimore Sun:
The city has paid about $5.7 million since 2011 over lawsuits claiming that police officers brazenly beat up alleged suspects. One hidden cost: The perception that officers are violent can poison the relationship between residents and police.
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All the burning debris, and the burning flesh, and the ashes falling down. And nobody knew. There was no information for those individuals as they were evaluating the building. Was there another one coming in? I mean there had been two that had hit the World Trade Center.
And then we flew over, in full afterburner, coming low right over the Pentagon as we headed up north to look for Flight 93. And this individual said that the entire crowd erupted into cheers.
Because they knew at that point in time, that they were safe, because we were airborne and we wouldn't let anyone else come and hurt them.
- Major Heather Penney, remembering the 9/11 attacks, interviewed August 8, 2011
Most of us remember where we were when we first became aware the nation was coming under attack. I hadn't watched television that morning. A hothead at the office where I was working yelled in anger at me for arriving without knowing what was going on.
I later wept with a young family member in college near DC. Some of her friends carried a double burden. She mourned with them over loved ones they had lost at the Pentagon. She feared for them because they were Muslim, subject to attack on American streets.
Major Heather Penney was considered by many to be a bit of a novelty in 2001. The idea of woman piloting a fighter plane seemed kind of funny to some at the time. America has grown up a little in some ways since then.
She and another pilot were airborne within a few minutes after it became clear the country was under attack. Three planes had already slammed into their targets. A fourth hijacked plane was headed toward Washington. Possible targets included the White House and the Capitol building, where Congress meets.
The assignment the two pilots had been given was to find and bring down that fourth hijacked plane. The problem was that, having been on training missions, their fighter jets were not armed. In the air, they decided on a plan. They would collide their aircraft with Flight 93. Her partner would take the nose, she would take the tail.
I would essentially become a Kamikaze and ram my aircraft into the tail of the aircraft.
Steve Scully, of C-Span attempts to clarify.
Scully: So you were prepared to take your own life if necessary to bring down that plane.
Penney: Of course.
I was thinking of Heather Penney, who is now a Major and a veteran of the Iraq war, as I heard about a young fighter pilot who had helped lead an attack against the extremist group ISIS in Iraq. The fact that the pilot was from the United Arab Emirates was especially important. It accentuated that the fight is against terrorism, not against the billion and a half around the world who worship God through Islam.
Major Mariam Al Mansouri is also the first woman in the Emirati Air Force. Since joining in 2007, she has risen to command a squadron. She was in command as her group dropped bombs on ISIS.
The fact that a woman would pilot a fighter plane is still hilarious to some.
Greg Gutfeld: The problem is after she bombed it she couldn't park it. I salute her.
Eric Bolling: Would that be considered boobs on the ground or no?
In fairness, the segment began as an attempt to salute Major Mansouri, and one of those who thought a woman fighter pilot was a funny idea, Eric Bolling, has apologized. The other, Greg Gutfeld, says some people in Washington and elsewhere misinterpreted him.
I think back to that terrible day of mass murder in New York and Washington, and those workers in Washington who cheered for the pilots who protected them, the pilots they may later have discovered were on a suicide mission.
"...they were safe, because we were airborne and we wouldn't let anyone else come and hurt them."
In those terrible moments of fire and rescue, if they had known a woman was piloting one of those planes, I doubt they would have thought it was a funny idea.
From New Scientist:
Who would have guessed that Earth's oceans are older than the sun? Much of the water on our planet and around the solar system started out as tiny grains of ice floating in interstellar space. The discovery provides important clues about not only the make-up of our solar system, but also what planets around other stars might be like.
"Water is an essential ingredient that pretty much all known forms of life on Earth need to flourish," says Ilsedore Cleeves at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. "To understand where water came from tells us a little bit about how common life is in the universe."
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Burr's eye surgery and subsequent treatment have been more involved than is typical. Some procedures have been experimental. We have noticed a slowdown, especially during the past week.
His recovery is accelerating.
We expect that he will be back in shape within the next few days.
This from a FoxNews Personality
We should have been profiling on September 12, 2001. Let's take a trip down memory lane here: the last war this country won, we put Japanese-Americans in internment camps. We dropped nuclear bombs on residential city centers.
Yes, profiling would be at least a good start. It's not on skin color, however. It's on ideology. Muslim, Islamists, jihadist-that's a good start but only a start.
We need to stop giving Korans to Gitmo prisoners. We need to stop having Ramadan celebrations in the White House. We have to stop saying the enemy is not Islamic; they are. That's how you get started.
Jonathan Hoenig, September 20, 2014
From The New Republic:
Wednesday's Politico Playbook contained a massive scoop that Mike Allen, uncharacteristically, had buried in the email newsletter: “New effort reminds everyone that Republicans are people, too.”
The blurb noted the launch of a website, RepublicansArePeopleToo.com, that aims to combat the partisan rancor directed at the GOP. In short: to humanize Republicans demonized by the left as women-hating, nature-destroying Fox News addicts.
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India's Mars Orbiter Mission successfully entered Mars' orbit Wednesday morning, becoming the first nation to arrive on its first attempt and the first Asian country to reach the Red Planet.
"We have gone beyond the boundaries of human enterprise and human imagination," declared India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who watched from the space agency's nerve center in Bangalore. "We have accurately navigated our spacecraft through a route known to a very few."
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From ABC News:
The federal prison population has dropped in the last year by roughly 4,800, the first time in several decades that the inmate count has gone down, according to the Justice Department.
In a speech Tuesday in New York City, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department expects to end the current budget year next week with a prison population of roughly 215,000 inmates. It would be the first time since 1980 that the federal prison population has declined during the course of a fiscal year.
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