April 24, 2013 |
The investigation into ricin-laced letters addressed to the president, a U.S. senator and a Mississippi judge highlighted a personal feud Wednesday and an unusual cast of characters - starting with Paul Kevin Curtis, an Elvis impersonator who had pestered officials for years about his conspiracy theory that the federal government was involved in an organ-harvesting plot. Government plot or no, Curtis was, of course, glad that officials had decided to drop the charges against him. He had been arrested last week, days after the letters were sent, and was freed Tuesday.
April 18, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The British and French governments have asked the United Nations to investigate what they believe is credible evidence that the Syrian regime has used small amounts of chemical weapons in recent months, officials said Thursday. The evidence, including soil samples and witness testimony, is not definitive. But the indications are such that "we are pressing the United Nations to investigate further and raising our concerns with international partners," said a British diplomat who requested anonymity in addressing a sensitive matter.
April 15, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - The Taliban and U.S. military were both at fault in a NATO airstrike in eastern Afghanistan this month that killed 17 civilians, including 12 children, according to an Afghan government investigation. The inquiry raised the number of civilian deaths from an earlier total of 11. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has completed an investigation of the same incident in Kunar province, but its report is still under review, a coalition spokesman said. The deaths of civilians in the Afghanistan war have been a highly sensitive political issue.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2013 |
Sexual misconduct allegations at Miramonte Elementary School sparked a surge of investigations of Los Angeles teachers, pushing the ranks of those in "teacher jail" to more than 300 - and prompting officials this week to consider the rights of accused employees. On Tuesday, the Board of Education will weigh a proposal designed to speed up and improve investigations, in hopes of quickly ousting the guilty and exonerating the innocent. "You don't need 300 days to figure out who's a monster," said Carpenter Elementary parent Julia Bricklin.
April 8, 2013 |
The body of Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda is being exhumed from his tomb in Chile on Monday morning in an attempt to discover whether he was poisoned by the regime of General Augusto Pinochet. A team of forensic scientists will remove Neruda from his grave in the garden of Isla Negra, the poet's beachside home on Chile's coast, where Neruda is buried next to his wife, Matilde Urrutia. The poet died suddenly on Sept. 23, 1973, at age 69, less than two weeks after the Sept.
April 5, 2013 |
Eleven members of an elite Indonesian military unit were behind the slayings of four detainees at the Cebongan prison last month, military investigators told reporters this week. Brig. Gen. Unggul K. Yudhoyono said the prison killings were a revenge attack after a member of Kopassus, a military unit that conducts special operations, was fatally stabbed at a cafe, Indonesian media reported. The slain men had been arrested after his death. Masked gunmen stormed into the prison March 23 and fatally shot the four suspects.
April 3, 2013 |
Australia launched a sweeping national inquiry Wednesday into the sexual abuse of children, holding its first public hearing in a Melbourne court to start what a government statement called “a healing process for survivors and their families.” Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the newly opened Royal Commission into the Sexual Abuse of Children will hear the stories of abuse victims and make recommendations about stopping such crimes, and...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2013 |
An Orange County Superior Court judge is being investigated by the Sheriff's Department on suspicion of improper sexual conduct - allegedly in his courtroom chambers - authorities said. Deputies are completing a monthlong investigation into Scott Steiner, a former high-ranking prosecutor and the son of former Orange County Supervisor William Steiner, said Jim Amormino, a spokesman with the Sheriff's Department. Amormino said that Steiner's chambers were searched and potential evidence was taken for DNA testing.
March 17, 2013 |
The Obama administration is reportedly considering funding a multibillion-dollar effort to map the human brain. This so-called Brain Activity Map project is inspired by the success of the Human Genome Project in mapping the genetic code. The proposal was outlined in the journal Neuron last summer by a group of leading researchers, among them geneticist George Church of Harvard Medical School, one of the originators of the genome project. This is an endeavor with exciting potential, but we should think about the pros and the cons before proceeding.
March 15, 2013 |
Eighty years ago Friday, young Eudora Welty sent a letter to the New Yorker seeking employment. This was four decades before she would win the Pulitzer Prize for her novel "The Optimist's Daughter" and five decades before "The Collected Works of Eudora Welty" won a National Book Award -- but she showed tremendous promise, writerly skill and lighthearted charm. Here's a portion: "I am 23 years old, six weeks on the loose in N.Y. However, I was a New Yorker for a whole year in 1930-31 while attending advertising classes in Columbia's School of Business.