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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Tallahassee man who killed deputy had made threats

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A man who had made previous threats against police set his house on fire Saturday and ambushed the first sheriff's deputy who responded, fatally shooting the deputy and wounding another before he was killed by a police officer who lives nearby, a law enforcement official said.

The man's name and address had been entered into a law enforcement computer system because of previous threats, but the 911 dispatcher who entered the fire call put in the address of a neighbor who reported the blaze, so the alert wasn't activated and the Leon County deputy who responded first had no warning, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information.

The gunman was hiding outside the house when the deputy approached about 10:15 a.m., the official said. He shot the deputy from behind, shot him again after he fell and then took the deputy's gun. The gunman then tried to take other weapons from the deputy's car, but they were locked down, said the official said, who had spoken to law enforcement officials handling the case.

The gunman, who lived at the end of a cul-de-sac, then shot another deputy, who escaped serious injury because of a bullet-proof vest. A Tallahassee police officer getting ready to work the Florida State University football game heard the shots, ran outside and fatally shot the gunman, who was hiding as other deputies and officers approached, the official said.


Latin America applauds Obama's immigration plan

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto praised President Barack Obama on Friday for his executive orders granting new rights to millions of people living illegally in the United States, calling it "an act of justice."

Mexicans are believed to account for more than half of the roughly 11.2 million migrants living in the U.S. without authorization. Mexico had long pressed for better conditions for them.

Pena Nieto said in a speech that Obama's plan "is an act of justice that recognizes the large contributions that millions of Mexicans have made to the development of our neighbor."

"These measures represent relief for immigrants, especially Mexicans," he said. "Those who will benefit are Mexican migrants who have been living in the United States for years."


Best Image Yet of Europa

The puzzling, fascinating surface of Jupiter's icy moon Europa looms large in this newly-reprocessed color view, made from images taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s. This is the color view of Europa from Galileo that shows the largest portion of the moon's surface at the highest resolution.

The view was previously released as a mosaic with lower resolution and strongly enhanced color (see PIA02590). To create this new version, the images were assembled into a realistic color view of the surface that approximates how Europa would appear to the human eye.

The scene shows the stunning diversity of Europa's surface geology. Long, linear cracks and ridges crisscross the surface, interrupted by regions of disrupted terrain where the surface ice crust has been broken up and re-frozen into new patterns.

Color variations across the surface are associated with differences in geologic feature type and location. For example, areas that appear blue or white contain relatively pure water ice, while reddish and brownish areas include non-ice components in higher concentrations. The polar regions, visible at the left and right of this view, are noticeably bluer than the more equatorial latitudes, which look more white. This color variation is thought to be due to differences in ice grain size in the two locations.


N.J. police force earned 500-plus hours of overtime guarding empty hospital for Ebola quarantine

TRENTON — The state paid more than 500 hours of overtime during a three-week period to Human Services police officers who were stationed around the clock at a former psychiatric hospital in Hunterdon County after it was identified as a location to quarantine West African travelers who had contact with Ebola patients, NJ Advance Media has learned.

So far, Gov. Chris Christie's administration has not needed to use the former Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital in Lebanon Township as a quarantine area. Only Doctors Without Borders Nurse Kaci Hickox has been quarantined in New Jersey after arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport, and she was held at an isolated tent at University Hospital in Newark from Oct. 24-27.

But once the state Department of Human Services decided to use Hagedorn to temporarily house “asymptomatic” travelers, department officials decided to deploy police to the location, Human Services spokeswoman Nicole Brossoie said.

“As we were surveying the building for appropriateness, there was media and community interest/trespassing so we did have two officers on rotating shifts to provide perimeter and building security,” Brossoie said in a email.



Republicans are so fiscally responsible!

George W’s New Gig: Cold Cash for Hot Air

by Joseph L. Flatley

For Kings and Cabbages alike, the high-profile lecture circuit is a good place to rake in some extra post-public-service cash. And why shouldn’t former government leaders earn some private-sector-sized paychecks to round out their years of sacrifice for the common good?

That is surely George W. Bush’s thinking, because since 2009, he has made upwards of $15 million giving speeches, sometimes for as much as $200,000 a pop.

What sort of enterprises find the wit and wisdom of Bush 43 worth a bushel? Read on, dear friends.

Get Motivated! Get Money

W’s very first speaking gig after leaving the White House, in October 2009, was a star-studded affair at the Ft. Worth Convention Center. Colin Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and Christian motivational speaker Zig Ziglar addressed the crowd, too. The sponsor was an outfit called Get Motivated! (The exclamation point is part of the brand.)


Bernie Sanders, U.S. senator, rock star

Todd Lockwood can't remember exactly what prompted the idea; it probably came from a combination of downtime at his recording studio and a caffeine-fueled conversation one morning at Leunig's Bistro. But he thought it would be really cool if he brought Burlington Mayor Bernie Sanders into his studio in the fall of 1987 to lay down a few tracks for a cassette tape.

"Even back then he was a polished public speaker and wrote terrific material," Lockwood said of Sanders, now a U.S. senator from Vermont. "I just had a sense that that was going to translate really well in the studio. I had no idea how musical he was, and he turned out not to be musical at all."

That didn't stop Lockwood, whose White Crow Studio helped Burlington-born jam-rockers Phish record their early material, from going ahead with a musical project involving Sanders. The resulting tape made an impression in and around Burlington 27 years ago. It's likely to make a bigger splash now that Lockwood is re-releasing the album on CD and digital download — especially with Sanders, a favorite of the political left, considering a run for president in 2016.

"This can't do anything but help" Sanders' potential presidential campaign, according to Lockwood. "It's just going to add another little angle, and it's a great way to sort of promote his ideas."



Bill Cosby’s legacy, recast: Accusers speak in detail about sexual-assault allegations

By Manuel Roig-Franzia, Scott Higham, Paul Farhi and Mary Pat Flaherty

They didn’t see a comedian. They saw the “king of the world.”

Long before there was a Dr. Cliff Huxtable, before rumpled sweaters and a collective anointing as America’s dad, Bill Cosby was magnified a hundredfold in the eyes of the young models and actresses he pulled into his orbit. For them, he embodied the hippest of the 1960s and ’70s Hollywood scene, a mega-star with the power to make somebodies out of nobodies.

He partied with Hugh Hefner and was a regular at the magazine mogul’s Playboy Mansion bacchanals. He co-owned a restaurant and hit the hottest clubs. He sizzled.

Those wild, largely forgotten days clash with the avuncular image that has been Cosby’s most enduring impression on American culture. And they have been jarringly cast in a wholly different light as a torrent of women have told — and in some cases retold — graphic, highly detailed stories of alleged abuse by Cosby.

Sixteen women have publicly stated that Cosby, now 77, sexually assaulted them, with 12 saying he drugged them first and another saying he tried to drug her. The Washington Post has interviewed five of those women, including a former Playboy Playmate who has never spoken publicly about her allegations. The women agreed to speak on the record and to have their identities revealed. The Post also has reviewed court records that shed light on the accusations of a former director of women’s basketball operations at Temple University who assembled 13 “Jane Doe” accusers in 2005 to testify on her behalf about their allegations against Cosby.



A Quick Spin Around the Big Dipper

See how the night sky would appear from a different part of the galaxy.

From our perspective here on Earth, constellations appear to be fixed groups of stars, immobile on the sky. But what if we could change that perspective?

In reality, it’d be close to impossible. We would have to travel tens to hundreds of light-years away from Earth for any change in the constellations to even begin to be noticeable. As of this moment, the farthest we (or any object we’ve made) have traveled is less than one five-hundreth of a light-year.

Just for fun, let’s say we could. What would our familiar patterns look like then? The stars that comprise them are all at different distances from us, traveling around the galaxy at different speeds, and living vastly different lives. Very few of them are even gravitationally bound to each other. Viewed from the side, they break apart into unrecognizable landscapes, their stories of gods and goddesses, ploughs and ladles, exposed as pure human fantasy. We are reminded that we live in a very big place.



Toon: The Ghost of Black Friday Future

Toon: Who says CONgress is afraid to act?

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