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December 28, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - A former neighbor of the Webster, N.Y., sniper who killed two volunteer firefighters on Christmas Eve illegally bought the guns used in the killing, federal authorities charged Friday. Dawn M. Nguyen, 24, of Greece, N.Y., was charged in federal court with acting as a straw purchaser for William Spengler, who as a felon could not legally buy guns for himself. Spengler was convicted of killing his grandmother in 1980. Nguyen also faces state felony charges on allegations of falsifying business records.
June 13, 2012 | By Laura J. Nelson
The three-day search for the man charged with a triple homicide near Auburn University ended peacefully Tuesday night when the suspect walked up the steps of an Alabama courthouse and surrendered to a U.S. Marshal inside. Desmonte Leonard, 22, was charged with three counts of capital murder and booked into a jail in Montgomery County.  He will make a preliminary court appearance Wednesday or Thursday. Leonard had been in hiding since Saturday, when authorities say he opened fire at a pool party in an off-campus apartment complex.
June 13, 2012 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
QUSAIR, Syria - The sky above the mosque is pastel blue, but in the distance is the sound of threatening thunder. But it's not stormy weather. It's shelling, the same kind of shelling that already slammed into the Rahman mosque almost a dozen times, leaving the facade agape with holes that look like extra windows. For more than two months, no one prayed in the mosque, fearing it would be struck again by government tanks positioned around this mostly opposition-run town near the border with Lebanon.
March 26, 2012 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
Um Eddine shudders as she describes the icy night she and her four children reached the barbed-wire fence that marks the border between her native Syria and Jordan. She pushed her two youngest children through and continued to run, hoping that the ordeal of leaving her troubled homeland, where her husband had been jailed for protesting against President Bashar Assad, was almost over. But she soon noticed that her eldest two children, ages 6 and 7, were no longer behind her. She suppressed a mother's urge to call out for them in the dark, remembering the family had been warned against making noise during their escape, lest they alert government snipers hiding in the hills who would open fire at any cracking branch.
March 5, 2012
American Sniper The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice William Morrow: 381 pp., $26.99
March 5, 2012 | By Tony Perry, Tribune Newspapers
This is the season of celebrity for the Navy SEALs. The takedown of Osama bin Laden at his hideout in Pakistan thrust the institutionally secretive SEALs into the modern-media spotlight. Soon the SEALs seemed to become America's favorite warriors: silent, deadly, mysterious. There have been innumerable news stories about SEAL Team Six, which killed Bin Laden. Also, a Newsweek cover story ("Navy SEALs: Obama's Secret Army") and a new movie,"Act of Valor,"featuring real SEALs. Add to this mix "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. MilitaryHistory" by former SEAL Chris Kyle, with help from San Diego lawyer Scott McEwen and writer Jim DeFelice, whose credits include a biography of Gen. Omar Bradley and a series of military thrillers.
February 23, 2012 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
The first shot, apparently fired by a government sniper, scattered children who had gathered near a forlorn pair of rusted amusement park rides. The second round, a loud boom from a Russian-made armored vehicle, sent everyone scrambling. Shopkeepers shuttered their storefronts with metal grates, elderly men abandoned their sidewalk chess match, and bystanders helped a boy who had been hawking apples to hurriedly pack up his pushcart. Shouts and chaos ensued as young men hopped onto the backs of motorcycles or into the beds of pickup trucks, all racing in the direction of the shooting.
January 1, 2012 | A special correspondent, Los Angeles Times
It's Friday, and this suburb just seven miles from the capital and dangerously close to the epicenter of the Syrian regime's control is in lockdown. Army trucks carrying extra troops trundle through the nearly deserted streets around the central mosque. The hunched green outlines of soldiers can be made out on the tops of tall buildings, following the movement below with the tracer points on their sniper rifles. Down the street, locals position their defenses: flaming barricades made of the week's trash, rocks and garbage cans.
August 5, 2011 | By Alexandra Sandels and Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times
Residents fleeing the central Syrian city of Hama on Thursday said bodies lay in the streets and a humanitarian crisis was looming as forces loyal to President Bashar Assad pressed forward with an assault on the opposition stronghold. A summary of fragmentary accounts compiled by the Local Coordinating Committee of Syria, an opposition activist network, said at least 30 people were killed in the city Wednesday by sustained bombardment and shooting. It said many of the dead were buried in makeshift graves in parks.
July 3, 2011 | By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
Jason Hill was from a Marine Corps family. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather served in the Marines . Early on, Hill knew he wanted to be a Marine but some youthful misbehavior and a casual attitude toward high school gave the Marines pause about allowing him to enlist. So with urging from his father and guidance from his homeroom teacher at a continuation school in the San Diego suburb of Poway , Hill got serious: bringing up his grades, running every day to get in shape and avoiding behavior that had gotten him in trouble.
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