There were three shooting incidents today in Ottowa. One was inside Parliament, one at the War Memorial where a soldier was shot, and one near the Rideau Centre Mall. At least one shooter, the one at Parliament, is dead. Prime Minister Harper was inside Parliament at the time but rushed to a secure location.
Much of downtown Ottowa is on lockdown. All Canadian military bases and Ottowa police stations are now closed to the public. The U.S. Embassy is also closed. People are being urged to stay away from downtown as the shooting investigation is still active.
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Our last open thread is full, so here's a new one. All topics welcome.
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The U.S. just can't let the terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon die, even though it never existed.
Since 2002, the U.S. has been charging and imprisoning people for acts related to the Bly camp that were committed in 1999. (New York Times article from 2002 here.) Its last conquest was Abu Hamza al Masri, the one eyed Sheikh with no hands but a hook (photo here), also extradited from the U.K.
Today, yet another suspect, mentally ill Haroon Aswat, arrived in the U.S. . He pleaded not guilty to terror charges concerning the camp. He has been in a mental hospital in the U.K. since 2008. The U.S. assured the U.K. it would provide treatment for him, and although in 2013, the European Court of Human Rights blocked his extradition, the U.K. courts approved it after receiving the U.S. assurances. [More...]
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The jury has been deliberating for an hour in in the trial of Robel Philippos,the friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who is charged with lying to the FBI. Closing arguments were held this morning.
Prosecutors say Phillipos, 21, lied to investigators about his whereabouts and what he saw on April 18, 2013, when he and two friends allegedly visited Tsarnaev’s dorm room and removed a backpack of evidence after the marathon bombings. After several interviews, Phillipos signed a written confession admitting he had lied and that he regretted doing so.
Phillipos’s defense team contends that he was a scared 19-year-old at the time who was “high out of his mind” during interviews with investigators and could not remember clearly. The confession, they argued, was coerced by investigators.
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Update: The judge sentenced Oscar to five years in prison on the culpable homicide charge and imposed a three year suspended sentence on the firearm count. The sentences will run concurrently. He was taken into custody. Neither side indicated they were going to appeal, and there was no mention of bail pending appeal or a delay to put his affairs in order. Oscar sat by himself throughout the sentencing, and did not display any emotion at the sentence. I didn't see any interaction between Oscar and his lawyer during the proceeding or after.
A summary of the judge's reasoning is below (from my notes this time, not tweets.)[More...]
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I'm just catching up on today's news.
The Supreme Court will decide whether police can seize hotel registries of guests without a warrant. The 9th Circuit ruled the California law allowing warrantless access to the data violated the 4th Amendment. Among the data hotels are required to obtain from guests:
[I]dentification, method of payment, the license plate numbers of their cars and how much they paid. For guests who pay in cash or stay for less than 12 hours, it requires even more details.
The fighting in Kobane increased today. ISIS launched more suicide attacks, including one on a Kurdish village in Iraq where they disguised themselves in Peshmerga uniforms. They also struck again in Baghdad, killing 17 or 19 people attending a funeral at a mosque, and in Karbala. Congress approved the sale of $600 million in tank ammunition to Iraq. Who's the lucky seller? General Dynamics Corp. [More...]
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Jared Polis is one of my favorite Congresspersons. (Unfortunately, I don't get to vote for him because he's not in my district.) Kevin Collier of the Kernel and The Daily Dot writes about Jared today:
Jared Polis (D-Colo.) may be the most Internet-friendly congressman in history. He certainly has the credentials: A former Web entrepreneur, he’s the first openly gay parent in congressional history, a proponent of legalizing marijuana, an active redditor, and a League of Legends gamer. He’s also long accepted campaign contributions in Bitcoin, the booming cryptocurrency.
He says Jared has "assembled what is essentially the best Internet freedom voting record possible" and then lists Jared's accomplishments. They are too long too quote, but quite impressive, so please read the article. [More...]
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Courts continue to be divided on whether a search warrant is needed for cops to obtain cell site locator data. This week the Florida Supreme Court ruled a warrant is necessary. It is the first state to decide the issue based on the 4th Amendment.
The case specifically involves cell tower data for a convicted drug dealer that police obtained from a telecom without a warrant. But the way the ruling is written, it would also cover the use of so-called “stingrays”—sophisticated technology law enforcement agencies use to locate and track people in the field without assistance from telecoms.
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A new U.N. report on the death penalty in Iraq says it is fueling the violence and a moratorium should be imposed.
The report says executions in Iraq have been increasing at an alarming pace and that is applied unfairly:
Judges often pass death sentences based on evidence from disputed confessions or secret informants, condemning suspects who are unaware of their rights, may have been tortured and have no defense attorney until they arrive in court, the report said.
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Seven months in the making, al-Qaeda’s as-Sahab Media Foundation has released the premiere edition of its new English magazine, "Resurgence." It has 117 pages and is filled with glossy graphics and articles about jihad and the war against America, all in understandable English. The content is global, but focuses a lot on the newest branch of al Qaeda in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.
The magazine visually resembles AQAP's Inspire. Content wise, it's different, in that there are no instructions for bomb making or lone wolf attacks. And unlike ISIS publications, there are very few Arabic words and it's not heavy on religious dogma. The magazine is available for download here, but it takes a really long time. For those who don't have the time or patience, I'll summarize what I think are the most interesting parts. [More...]
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Our last open thread is full. Here's a new one, all topics welcome.
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Former pilots for Saddam's air force are reportedly teaching ISIS to fly. Among the aircraft: MI-G fighter planes they got from Syria in battle. The fighter jets have been spotted over Aleppo in Syria.
Islamic State (Isis) is takings its first steps towards building an air force by training pilots to fly captured fighter planes, according to a group monitoring the conflict in Syria.
Isis is using lots of tanks, armoured personnel carriers, artillery and Jeeps taken from the Syrian and Iraqi armies but this is the first report that it has planes in the air.
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Closing arguments are over in the Oscar Pistorius case. The judge is expected to rule Tuesday. Prosecutors asked for 10 years. The defense asks for house arrest and community service. From the defense closing:
Roux said there was also "no conscious unlawfulness" from Pistorius. He described Pistorius' suffering, both emotional and financial, since the Feb. 14, 2013 shooting.
"He's lost everything," Roux said of Pistorius, once an inspirational figure who became the first amputee to run at the Olympics in 2012. "He was an icon in the eyes of South Africans."
...."He's not only broke, but he's broken. There is nothing left of this man," Roux said. He said that Pistorius "hasn't even the money to pay for legal expenses. He has nothing left."
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James Cole, #2 at the Justice Department, is resigning. I like this quote of his:
“We have to stop filling our jails,” Cole said. “The only way you’re going to do that is to take people who are addicted and start dealing with addictions, dealing with their mental health issues, instead of just throwing them in jail.”
British ISIS hostage John Cantlie released episode four of his video messages today. You Tube took it down, but it's available on Daily Motion. More of the same, with a focus on how the media and government feed each other and ramp up fear. [More...]
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These kinds of headlines make me find 3 confirming reports before writing about them, in case there's a language difference as to the use of some words, like "crucifixion. In this case, it means what we think it means.
Nimr Baqer al-Nimr, a reformist cleric, has been sentenced to death by crucifixiton , the country's harshest punishment. He will be beaheaded and his body will be tied to two perpendicular pieces of wood. He'll be strung up and his severed head will be by him. This barbarity will take place in the public square severed head will be place by him. The event takes place in town square, with the public watching.
What was al-Nimr's sin? He preached against the Saudi King, arguing for civil rights. and an end to corruption and discrimination against minorities. [More...]
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