April 7, 2014 |
PRETORIA, South Africa - Two distinct portraits are emerging at the Pretoria High Court murder trial of South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius. The prosecution's portrayal of Pistorius as an aggressive, gun-loving, controlling man with a quick temper was countered Monday by the athlete, who testified for the first time in the month-old trial. Pistorius described himself as a serious, deeply religious good Samaritan, racked with crippling remorse about fatally shooting his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in the early hours of Valentine's Day 2013.
April 6, 2014 |
PRETORIA, South Africa - Johan Gerber is a shy, neat man with iron-gray hair, a ready smile and a quiet voice. But on the streets, he has taken to carrying an open pocket knife with a mean 4-inch blade, concealed in an envelope and ready to use. Last month, three men accosted him in broad daylight, one of whom hit him in the stomach and grabbed his cellphone. A few years back, eight men surrounded him, held a knife to his throat and stole his wallet. His car and two trailers also have been stolen.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2014 |
A groundbreaking, two-month trial challenging teacher job protections in California concluded Thursday with both sides asserting that the interests of students are at stake. The case, Vergara vs. California, seeks to overturn a set of laws that affect how teachers are fired, laid off and granted tenure. The Silicon Valley-based group Students Matter brought the lawsuit on behalf of nine plaintiffs, contending that the regulations hinder the removal of ineffective teachers. The result is a workforce with thousands of "grossly ineffective" teachers, which disproportionately hurts low-income and minority students, attorneys said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2014 |
An Anaheim councilwoman is being asked to resign following her online remarks that the fatal police shooting of a 21-year-old man had "saved us a trial. " Lucille Kring, who is running for mayor in the resort city, quickly apologized for her comments, but some residents said it was too late and urged her to step down instead. The relationship between police and residents in the densely packed core of Orange County's largest city has been strained for years and came to a head in the summer of 2012 when a series of shootings ignited days of street protests and angry demonstrations.
March 19, 2014 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The final, horrific moments in Reeva Steenkamp's life came into focus Wednesday at the murder trial of South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, as a ballistics expert offered graphic testimony on how she died. Ballistics expert Chris Mangena told the court that Steenkamp, Pistorius' girlfriend, was standing, facing the door, when he shot her for the first time. The bullet, a Black Talon-style projectile designed to open up and cause maximum tissue damage - with six sharp talons blossoming in a star shape upon impact with flesh - struck her in the hip, shattering the bone and breaking up inside her. She immediately collapsed backwards into a sitting position on a magazine rack behind her in the toilet off the bathroom, he said.
March 19, 2014 |
NEW YORK - A cleric who gave a rousing speech urging jihad against "Jews, Christians and America" after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks testified at his terrorism trial Wednesday that he was speaking for Muslims, not for Al Qaeda, even though he delivered his message while sitting beside Osama bin Laden outside his mountain hide-out in Afghanistan. Sulaiman abu Ghaith held the witness stand for about four hours after defense attorney Stanley Cohen surprised the courtroom by calling the defendant to testify on his own behalf - something Cohen said he had done only twice in his 30-year career.