Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hostages in Algeria ‘made to wear explosives’

FRANCE 24 has spoken to a French national who says he is one of the 150 hostages at the gas facility in southeast Algeria. The hostage said that they have been forced to wear explosive belts and that this militants are "heavily armed".

By FRANCE 24 (text)
FRANCE 24 spoke to one of the hostages at the BP-Statoil-Sonatrach gas plant in eastern Algeria on Wednesday, the site of a deadly pre-dawn raid in which over 150 Algerians and around 40 Western foreigners were taken by Islamist militants.
French government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said Thursday that Paris could not yet confirm the presence of French nationals among those taken captive, but Socialist MP Bruno Le Roux told French radio there were “surely” some French among the group.
The man, who declined to be identified by name, told FRANCE 24 that there were British, Japanese, Philippine and Malaysian nationals among the hostages.
He said the militants simultaneously stormed the gas plant as well as the workers’ living quarters. “They came in and once there was daylight, grouped us all together.”
He said the attackers were heavily armed and forced several hostages to wear explosives belts. They threatened to blow up the gas field if Algerian forces attempted to enter the site.
FRANCE 24 could not verify if the testimony was made under duress.

Crime Thieves Steal Guns After Breaking Into Another Home Listed on NY Newspaper’s ‘Gun Map’

Thieves Steal Guns After Breaking Into Home on Journal News Gun Map
Credit: Getty Images 
Critics who have continuously alleged that the Journal News’ interactive map that includes gun owners’ personal information will lead to crime may begin uttering some “I told you sos” (albiet, a bit prematurely). Two pistols and related permits were stolen from a home in New City, N.Y. The owner of the firearms was listed on the newspaper’s controversial map — leading some to wonder if the criminal act and the publication are connected.
Newsday reports that thieves entered the home on Wednesday evening. Once inside, they “ransacked the house” and broke into two safes, stealing a third. The guns were apparently in this latter unit that was taken out of the home by the criminals.
Following the incident, associated family members refused to comment about what unfolded. And for those looking for definite ties to the Journal News’ gun map, police are saying that there is no direct evidence, thus far, that the burglary was related to the publication. In fact, at the moment, authorities believe that the home was not targeted — something police will continue to investigate.
“The burglary is still under investigation and there are no facts to support this correlation at this time,” said Clarkstown Sgt. Joanne Fratianni. “If the investigation develops further information, it will be released accordingly.”
The Clarkstown case may or may not have a connection to the map, however this is the second incident involving a gun owner on the map who has had his or her home terrorized by burglars. Previously, a White Plains, N.Y., home was targeted, with thieves ultimately failing to open a gun safe and retrieve weapons. That investigation is ongoing as well.
Authorities in the White Plains case have said that it is premature to definitively connect the gun map to the crime, but that questions surrounding its involvement are a part of the case.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Obama unveils $500 million gun violence package

 Email this Story


(AP) From left to right: Hinna Zeejah, 8, Taejah Goode, 10, Julia Stokes, 11, and Grant Fritz, 8, who...
Full Image

Google sponsored links
Create an Amazing Website - Simple, All-in-one Website Builder. 24/7 Award Winning Support!
University of Phoenix® - Official Site. Online and Campus College Degrees. Get Started Today.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Braced for a fight, President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled the most sweeping proposals for curbing gun violence in two decades, pressing a reluctant Congress to pass universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines like the ones used in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.
A month after that horrific massacre, Obama also used his presidential powers to enact 23 measures that don't require the backing of lawmakers. The president's executive actions include ordering federal agencies to make more data available for background checks, appointing a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and directing the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence.
But the president, speaking at White House ceremony, focused his attention on the divided Congress, saying only lawmakers could enact the most effective measures for preventing more mass shootings.
"To make a real and lasting difference, Congress must act," Obama said. "And Congress must act soon."

(AP) President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, talks about proposals to reduce...
Full Image
The president vowed to use "whatever weight this office holds" to press lawmakers into action on his $500 million plan. He is also calling for improvements in school safety, including putting 1,000 police officers in schools and bolstering mental health care by training more health professionals to deal with young people who may be at risk. Even supportive lawmakers say the president's gun control proposals - most of which are opposed by the powerful National Rifle Association - face long odds on Capitol Hill.
House Speaker John Boehner's office was non-committal to the president's package of proposed legislation, but signaled no urgency to act. "House committees of jurisdiction will review these recommendations," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said. "And if the Senate passes a bill, we will also take a look at that."
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said ahead of Obama's presentation that he didn't know whether an assault weapons ban could pass the Senate, but said there are some measures that can, such as improved background checks.
"There are some who say nothing will pass. I disagree with that," Leahy, D-Vt., told students at Georgetown University Law Center. "What I'm interested in is what we can get."
(AP) President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, left, hugs eight-year-old letter...
Full Image
Acknowledging the tough fight ahead, Obama said there will be pundits, politicians and special interest groups that will seek to "gin up fear" that the White House wants to take away the right to own a gun. "Behind the scenes, they'll do everything they can to block any commonsense reform and make sure nothing changes whatsoever," he said. "The only way we will be able to change is if their audience, their constituents, their membership says this time must be different, that this time we must do something to protect our communities and our kids."
The president was flanked by children who wrote him letters about gun violence in the weeks following the Newtown shooting. Families of those killed in the massacre, as well as survivors of the shooting, were also in the audience, along with law enforcement officers and congressional lawmakers.
"This is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe," Obama said. "This is how we will be judged."
Seeking to expand the impetus for addressing gun violence beyond the Newtown shooting, the president said more than 900 Americans have been killed by guns in the month since the elementary school massacre.
"Every day we wait, the number will keep growing," he said.
The White House has signaled that Obama could launch a campaign to boost public support for his proposals. Nearly six in 10 Americans want stricter gun laws in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting, with majorities favoring a nationwide ban on military-style, rapid-fire weapons and limits on gun violence depicted in video games, movies and TV shows, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.
A lopsided 84 percent of adults would like to see the establishment of a federal standard for background checks for people buying guns at gun shows, the poll showed.
The president based his proposals on recommendations from an administration-wide task force led by Vice President Joe Biden. His plan marks the most comprehensive effort to address gun violence since Congress passed the 1994 ban on high-grade, military-style assault weapons. The ban expired in 2004, and Obama wants lawmakers to renew and expand it.
Other measures Obama wants Congress to take up include limiting high-capacity ammunition magazines and requiring background checks for all gun buyers in an attempt to close the so-called "gun-show loophole" that allows people to buy guns at trade shows and over the Internet without submitting to background checks.
Obama also intends to seek confirmation for B. Todd Jones, who has served as acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives since 2011.
The president's plan does little to address violent images in video games, movies and entertainment, beyond asking the CDC to study their impact on gun crimes. Some pro-gun lawmakers who are open to addressing stricter arms legislation have insisted they would do so only in tandem with recommendations for addressing violence in entertainment.
The president's long list of executive orders also include:
- Ordering tougher penalties for people who lie on background checks and requiring federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
- Ending limits that make it more difficult for the government to research gun violence, such as gathering data on guns that fall into criminal hands.
- Requiring federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
- Giving schools flexibility to use federal grant money to improve school safety, such as by hiring school resource officers.
- Giving communities grants to institute programs to keep guns away from people who shouldn't have them.
Associated Press writers Ken Thomas and Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.

Militants Grab U.S. Hostages About 40 Foreigners Taken in Algeria; Islamists Claim Responsibility, Blame French

Militants with possible links to al Qaeda seized about 40 foreign hostages, including several Americans, at a natural-gas field in Algeria, posing a new level of threat to nations trying to blunt the growing influence of Islamist extremists in Africa.

WSJ Pentagon correspondent Julian Barnes joins The News Hub from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta 's press corps in Rome, where hours ago he declared the Algeria attack an act of terrorism. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw has the latest on the ground from Bamako, Mali. Photo: AP.
As security officials in the U.S. and Europe assessed options to reach the captives from distant bases, Algerian security forces failed in an attempt late Wednesday to storm the facility.
A French effort to drive Islamist militants from neighboring Mali that began with airstrikes last week expanded on Wednesday with the first sustained fighting on the ground. France's top target, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, claimed responsibility for the Algeria kidnappings, calling it retaliation. The claim couldn't be verified, although AQIM has its origins in Algeria and operates across a swath of Africa.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the U.S. would take "necessary and proper steps" in the hostage situation, and didn't rule out military action. He said the Algeria attack could represent a spillover from Mali.
About 40 foreigners were abducted in a raid on the In Amenas gas facility, above. An Islamist group fighting the French in neighboring Mali claimed responsibility for the attack.
U.S. and European officials said Wednesday that they received reports that three Americans had been kidnapped, out of a total of nine U.S. staff working at the site, a gas field in east-central Algeria, along the Libyan border operated by BP BP.LN -0.24% PLC, Norway's Statoil ASA STL.OS +0.77% and Algerian energy company Sonatrach.
U.S. officials have struggled for a year or more to devise a response to the many Islamist militant groups, some with ties to al Qaeda, across northern and western Africa.
"We have been concerned about Mali, because they would use it as a base of operations to do exactly what happened in Algeria," Mr. Panetta said.
With intelligence reports "streaming in" on the Algeria siege, according to a senior intelligence official, some U.S. officials said confirming early suspicions that AQIM was involved was complicated by the group's loose structure.
The militants at the complex are believed to be headed by Mohktar Belmokhtar, a member of AQIM who has been a top target of the Algerian military for years, said Bruce Riedel, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst who is now a counterterrorism fellow at the Brookings Institution.
In late 2012, Mr. Belmokhtar set up a group apart from AQIM, calling it al Mouthalimin, or Those Who Sign with Blood. If he is behind Wednesday's raid, it would suggest the commander continues to share the broader objective of the al Qaeda franchise.
Al Qaeda has rarely taken American hostages, however. If AQIM is involved, the operation represents a "big step up" for a group that has long been considered by the U.S. as a lesser terrorist threat than other al Qaeda branches, said Bruce Hoffman, an al Qaeda specialist and professor at Georgetown University.
"This obviously was planned for some time," he said. "The fact that they can flex their muscles like this and choose the timing shows they had the ability to take advantage of this opportunity."
There are a number of options for freeing the hostages, said Seth Jones, an al Qaeda specialist at Rand Corp., including ransom negotiations by BP, U.S. government negotiations and a U.S. military operation after significant intelligence collection on the site.
The U.S. has used special-operations forces in recent years in Afghanistan, Somalia and elsewhere when launching rescue operations to free hostages taken by militant groups. But none of the rescues has involved large numbers of hostages.
While Algeria may not be an easy destination for American forces, the U.S. military has been bulking up its presence in Africa. There are an estimated 2,000 U.S. personnel at Camp Lemonier, a joint U.S.-French base in Djibouti, that also serves as a base of operations for U.S. special-operations forces as well as Air Force drones that conduct lethal missions in Yemen.
The Algerian government is likely to resist an American-led military rescue, though they would probably accept U.S. intelligence support, said Mr. Riedel.
Algerians said the hostage crisis revived their deepest fear of seeing AQIM, a group whose main roots are in Algeria, spread from their strongholds in Mali to sow havoc in bordering nations.
"The minute the French military started pushing AQIM groups from the south of Mali, it was quite evident they would move north and into Algeria," said Adbelhamid Si Afif, a senior member of Algeria's pro-government party Front de Libération Nationale. "They have the power to shake up the entire region."
The militants, after raiding the energy complex, took positions inside living quarters there with a number of Algerian and foreign workers, the Algerian government said.
Algeria reported two deaths in Wednesday's raid, a Briton and an Algerian, but reports of the number of casualties and hostages varied widely.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said 13 Norwegians were involved in the hostage situation. "This is one of the most serious hostage situations to affect Norwegian citizens" and companies, he said.
The U.K. confirmed that British citizens were being held. The French government said it couldn't confirm the presence of French nationals in the base.
BP said that contact with the site, named In Amenas, was extremely difficult. In Amenas harbors nearly 50 oil and natural-gas fields, linked to the northern coast through several pipelines.
Sonatrach didn't have any comment on the situation.
French military forces joined Malian troops on Friday in battling Islamist rebels in the West African nation, amid Western fears that insurgent groups with links to al Qaeda could destabilize the region and gain the ability to strike overseas.
French officials have said they feared the campaign could lead jihadist movements to target French and Western interests in retaliation. Interior Minister Manuel Valls said France's internal and external security services are "particularly vigilant" amid a "very strong and permanent," terrorist threat in France.
Algeria, which has traditionally championed a noninterventionist policy and had voiced reservations about any foreign military role in Mali, allowed French combat jets to fly through its airspace and said on Monday that it would close its southern border with Mali.
Analysts said they were skeptical that Algeria, although the strongest military force in the region, would succeed in sealing the border.
"It's possible to reinforce control on that border, but closing it is virtually impossible," said analyst Mohamed Chafik Mesbah, a retired officer of the Algerian army.
On Wednesday, Republican lawmakers cited the attacks in Algeria as well as last year's attack on a U.S. Consulate in Libya to press the Obama administration to step up its efforts against al Qaeda.
"The Obama Administration needs to have a clear and focused policy on eliminating the threats that diverse al Qaeda affiliated groups pose to the United States and to Americans working abroad off of the usual battlefields," said House intelligence committee chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Mich.)

Wrestling midgets killed by fake hookers

Magic Bullet Hi-Speed Blender / Mixer System (Google Affiliate Ad)The world of Mexican midget wrestling is in mourning after two of its most famous stars were apparently poisoned by fake prostitutes.
Brothers in armlocks Alberto and Alejandro Pérez Jiménez were found dead in a hotel room after being drugged and robbed.
Masks of respect: Relatives say a final goodbye at the twins home in Mexico City
Masks of respect: Relatives say a final goodbye at the twins home in Mexico City
The women who spiked the twins’ drinks are thought to be members of an organised crime gang who pose as prostitutes to attract victims.
They normally just knock out their victims but the dose proved too much for Alberto – aka ‘La Parkita’ (Little Death) and Alejandro – aka ‘Espectrito II’.
The 36-year-olds were veteran stars of the ‘Lucha Mini’ world of midget wrestling.
They began their fighting careers 17 years ago in a tag team called the Small Devils and sometimes crossed over into American WWF/WWE wrestling.
Skeleton-masked La Parkita fought at the WWF Royal Rumble showpiece events in 1997 and 1998 in a tag team alongside Lucha Mini legend and Hollywood actor Mascarita Sagrada.
At the 1997 Royal Rumble, he faced – and beat – a tag team featuring his brother, who was fighting under the name Mini Mankind.
Alejandro also fought at WWE events using the alias ‘Tarantula’. But it seems their wrestling careers were the last thing on their minds on Sunday night.
The luchadors picked up the two women after filming a TV fight show and took them to a hotel, according to police in Mexico City.
But while preparing for their ’bouts’ they appear to have had their alcoholic drinks spiked before being robbed.
The pair were found by cleaners at the hotel on Monday. Tests suggested they had not had sex with the women.
It is thought their size made them more vulnerable to the drugs the women put in their drinks.
Police suspect a gang known as The Leak or The Drops was involved in the incident and said 20 people were arrested for similar crimes last year.
Yesterday, there were conflicting reports as to whether the ‘prostitutes’ had been ­arrested.

Obama Calls On Each And Every American To Stand Up To The NRA

President Obama unveiled a comprehensive list of proposals to help reduce gun violence during a press conference on Wednesday, but said that gun safety will not be enhanced without support from the public. Obama called on Americans to stand up to uncompromising gun advocates such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) and challenge lawmakers to support common-sense reforms like universal background checks.
“I believe most [gun owners] agree that If america worked harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be fewer atrocities like the one that occurred in Newtown,” Obama said, but warned that “there will be pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists, publicly warning of a tyrannical all-out assault on liberty” to “gin up fear or higher ratings or revenue for themselves.” Obama said that Americans have a responsibility to fight back against such smear campaigns:
OBAMA: The only way we will be able to change is if their audience, their constituents, their membership says, this time must be different, that this time we must do something to protect our communities and our kids. I will put everything I’ve got into this, and so will Joe. But I tell you, the only way we can change is if the American people demand it. And by the way, that doesn’t just mean from certain parts of the country. We’re going to need voices in those areas, in those Congressional districts where the tradition of gun ownership is strong to speak up and to say this is important….If parents and teachers, police officers and pastors, if hunters and sportsmen, if responsible gun owners, if Americans of every background stand up and say, enough, we’ve suffered too much pain and cared too much about our children to allow this to continue, then change will come. That’s what it’s going to take.
Obama urged the public to ask lawmakers “what’s more important? Doing whatever it takes to get an ‘A’ grade from the gun lobby that funds their campaigns, or giving parents some peace of mind when they drop their child off for first grade?”
Meanwhile, the NRA has released an attacking Obama’s daughters and has cast its opposition to Obama’s proposal as “the fight of the century.” The Washington Post reports that “in a letter circulated at the 35th annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference,” Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre warned that Obama’s effort is “about banning your guns … PERIOD!”
“The NRA sat in on a White House meeting that was sold to the public as an ‘open discussion’ about how to improve school safety.” LaPierre wrote. “But that was a dirty lie. They didn’t listen to gun owners’ concerns…they didn’t consider any real solutions on how we can keep our kids safe. Instead Barack Obama, Joe Biden and their gun ban allies in Congress only want to BLAME you, VILIFY you, BULLY you, and STRIP you of your Second Amendment freedoms.”
Following Obama’s address, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced that the committee’s first gun violence hearing will be on January 30.


Marco Rubio came out against Obama’s proposal minutes after he unveiled it:
Guns are not the problem; criminals with evil in their hearts and mentally ill people prone to violence are. Rather than sweeping measures that make it harder for responsible, law-abiding citizens to purchase firearms, we should focus on the root causes of gun violence and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.
“As a strong defender of the 2nd Amendment, I will oppose the President’s attempts to undermine Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms.”


Rick Perry is disgusted by the plan:
“In fact, the piling on by the political left, and their cohorts in the media, to use the massacre of little children to advance a pre-existing political agenda that would not have saved those children, disgusts me, personally. The second amendment to the Constitution is a basic right of free people and cannot be nor will it be abridged by the executive power of this or any other president.”


State suspends gun carry permit for TN man who made viral video

Hello; To those with a carry permit.  Guess can get revoked at any time, please guys watch what you put out there on the web.  Besides the the point that infringes on his freedom of speech so here you go.  You can  go on you tube right now and see thugs that have felons shooting calling out the cops, shooting out car windows. you can see all the freaks you can count with weapons.  What it comes down to is they want to show there athority of gun garbing, they are considering the Constitutional people now a days the tersest so watch out.

A Middle Tennessee firearms trainer who made an ominous comment about killing people in a YouTube video that gained national attention this week has had his handgun carry permit suspended Friday by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
James Yeager, 42, had his permit suspended based on a "material likelihood of risk of harm to the public," the department said in a statement.
Col. Tracy Trott of the Tennessee Department of Safety said it didn't take him long to reach a decision after viewing the comments on the Internet.
"I watched it twice to make sure I was hearing what I thought I heard," Trott said.
"It sounded like it was a veiled threat against the whole public. I believed him. He had a conviction in his voice, and the way he looked into the camera, I believe he's capable of a violent act," Trott said.
Yeager told Channel 4 News he is aware of the suspension, and his attorney will handle his statements going forward.
The department said Yeager has the right to seek a review of the decision.
Yeager posted a new video Friday night in which he appears with his attorney and apologizes for his prior comments.
"In another video I said some pretty volatile stuff, which I apologize for. I do not - in any way - advocate overthrowing the United States government. Nor do I condone violent actions toward any elected officials," Yeager said.
Man's YouTube video gains national attention
James Yeager is a man with an impressive resume, including time as a small-town police chief and serving in security in Baghdad, but he said he spoke in anger when he made the video.
"I'm telling you, if that happens, it's going to spark a civil war, and I'll be glad to fire the first shot," Yeager said in a video on his YouTube page.
He was reacting to a recent comment from Vice President Joe Biden that the Obama administration may take executive action to pass control measures.
"I'm not going to let anyone take my guns. If it goes one inch further, I'm going to start killing people," he said in the YouTube video.
Yeager pulled the comments from YouTube after receiving backlash, and he said Thursday he didn't mean what he said.
"I was angry when I made the video and probably should have metered my words better. I am not plotting to kill any officials or anything like that," Yeager told Channel 4 News.
Yeager runs Tactical Response, a training center in Camden, TN, that specializes in weapons and tactical skills. The door of the business notes the staff is trained to kill.
The well-armed clientele was already making neighbors at the strip mall nervous, and then they heard the video.
"The guy needs to chill it. You know, you make those threats, and you've said that and now you come around the wrong person, you get hurt like that," said John Eaker, who owns a nearby pawn shop.
"He may get more than he asks if he keeps running that yak on the Internet, you know," another neighbor said.
Yeager said he knows he's considered a radical in his views, but he's is not backing off comments that he will defend his right to bear arms in spite of getting death threats by email.
"It will be time to shoot people when the Constitution is set on fire," he told Channel 4 News. "If somebody comes to take my guns, I will shoot them."
According the Tennessee Department of Safety, Yeager is not a certified instructor. When asked about that, he said he allowed his license to expire.
The state also said Tactical Response is not a department-certified school.
Yeager served as police chief of the town of Big Sandy, TN, about a decade ago. The former mayor said Yeager is intelligent and a crack shot, but he thought Yeager's plan to start a SWAT team wasn't what the quiet town of 500 people really needed, so the mayor fired him.
Despite the threatening emails and phone calls, Yeager said he has received far more messages of support.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.