Saturday, January 31, 2015

Judge expresses doubt about constitutionality of no-fly list

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A federal judge expressed skepticism Friday about the constitutionality of the government’s no-fly list, suggesting that those who find themselves on it ought to be allowed a meaningful opportunity to clear their names. The lawsuit challenging the no-fly list, filed by Alexandria resident Gulet Mohamed, has been winding its way through federal court for four years, […]

French fracture laid bare as 8-year-old praises terrorists

PARIS — It was bad enough when France learned that the minute of silence for victims of the nation’s deadliest terror attacks in decades was not respected by all students. Some children contested it, others walked out. But when an 8-year old Muslim boy proclaimed, “I am with the terrorists,” the alarm bells sounded at […]

Africans open new front in war on terror to fight Boko Haram

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Schoolgirls torn from their families in a mass kidnapping and forced into sexual slavery. Bombs that ripped through bus stations. The slaughter of hundreds of villagers, many with their throats cut. Nigeria has suffered through years of violence from the Muslim extremist group known as Boko Haram, and now its neighbors are […]

US mulls Middle East-North Africa category for 2020 Census

DETROIT — The federal government is considering allowing those of Middle Eastern and North African descent to identify as such on the next 10-year Census, which could give Arab-Americans and other affected groups greater political clout and access to public funding, among other things. The U.S. Census Bureau will test the new Middle East-North Africa […]

Balloon crew makes history crossing Pacific Ocean

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A pair of American and Russian pilots has traveled farther and longer in a gas balloon than anyone in history, trying to eliminate any remaining debate over a century of records in long-distance ballooning. The Two Eagles pilots surpassed the distance and duration records that have held since the 1970s and 1980s, […]

Murder trial begins 35 years after 6-year-old vanished in NY

NEW YORK — Thirty-five years after the disappearance of a 6-year-old boy in Manhattan ushered in an era of protectiveness for America’s children, trial began Friday for a mentally ill man with a low IQ who confessed to his murder and kidnapping. Etan Patz (AY’-tahn PAYTS’) was a “tiny man with a big heart” whose […]

Judge: Funeral home wrongly sold Lee Harvey Oswald’s casket

FORT WORTH, Texas — A funeral home that sold Lee Harvey Oswald’s pine casket for $87,468 must return it to the accused presidential assassin’s brother, a judge ruled Friday. Robert Oswald had bought the pine bluff casket for his brother, whose body was exhumed in 1981 amid conspiracy theories that it did not contain Lee […]

Jordan awaits proof hostage is alive after swap deadline

TOKYO — The fates of a Japanese journalist and Jordanian military pilot were unknown Friday, a day after the latest purported deadline for a possible prisoner swap passed with no further word from the Islamic State group holding them captive. Jordan has said it will only release an al-Qaida prisoner, Sajida al-Rishawi, from death row […]

Romney not running: Former GOP nominee out of 2016 race

WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney ended his rollercoaster return to presidential politics on Friday, declaring his party would be better served by the “next generation of Republican leaders” and concluding his unlikely comeback as suddenly as it began. Aides said it was a deeply personal and even painful decision for the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. He […]

State to move more than 2,000 inmates

SACRAMENTO — California officials will have to move more than 2,000 inmates from two Central Valley prisons because they could be susceptible to contracting a potentially deadly illness. Test results released Thursday showed that another 3,000 inmates have already been exposed to the soil-borne fungus that causes valley fever and could be moved to the […]

Boy Scouts reaches settlement in sex abuse case

LOS ANGELES — The Boy Scouts of America settled a sex abuse case Thursday involving a 20-year-old California man who was molested by a Scout volunteer in 2007 — a decision that will keep years’ worth of “perversion” files detailing sex abuse allegations secret from the public. The announcement of the settlement in the Santa […]

Doctors starting to shy away from non-vaccine advocates

LOS ANGELES  — With California gripped by a measles outbreak, Dr. Charles Goodman posted a clear notice in his waiting room and on Facebook: His practice will no longer see children whose parents won’t get them vaccinated. “Parents who choose not to give measles shots, they’re not just putting their kids at risk, but they’re […]

Protestors shun sister-city relationship

RIVERSIDE — Hundreds of people gathered in Riverside on Thursday to protest its new sister-city relationship with a city in Vietnam, arguing that nation’s communist government abuses human rights. Several hundred people, many bused in from the Vietnamese-American community in neighboring Orange County known as Little Saigon, gathered outside City Hall, chanting “freedom” and waving […]

City event criticized for Mexican mafia connection

LOS ANGELES  — An ex-Mexican Mafia leader serving life in prison for murder was escorted by police to speak at a gathering of police chiefs and business leaders. The move on Wednesday prompted criticism and a call for a probe from the head of the civilian oversight commission for the Los Angeles Police Department, which […]

SolTrans announces changes to bus routes

VALLEJO — Solano County Transit has announced changes to bus routes in the Benicia and Vallejo areas. The new routes, which begin Saturday, are aimed at streamlining routes, maximizing on-time performance and expanding service, SolTrans said in a press release. The changes follow a yearlong study by the agency. “The service enhancements were driven by […]

Police seek law to alter Google app

WASHINGTON  — Sheriffs said Wednesday that Google’s popular Waze traffic app is making it harder to nab speeders, adding to earlier police complaints that a feature in the software that lets drivers warn others about nearby police activity is putting officers’ lives at risk. The National Sheriffs’ Association had previously focused its campaign against Waze on police safety after the fatal shootings of […]

Marshals track down missing treasure hunter

COLUMBUS, Ohio  — A treasure hunter accused of cheating his investors out of their share of one of the richest hauls in U.S. history — $50 million in gold bars and coins from a 19th-century shipwreck — was captured at an upscale Florida hotel after more than two years on the lam. Federal marshals tracked Tommy Thompson to […]

‘Drunk’ excuse falls flat in Vandy rape trial

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The gang-rape conviction of two former Vanderbilt University football players sends signals out in every direction. To the two young men, Tuesday’s verdicts show that being drunk out of your mind doesn’t excuse criminal behavior. Once doted on as potential Southeastern Conference football stars, Cory Batey and Brandon Vandenburg could be sentenced to decades […]

Attorney General nominee defends Obama immigration changes

WASHINGTON — Confronting skeptical Republicans, attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch pledged a new start with Congress and independence from President Barack Obama Wednesday, even as she defended the president’s unilateral protections for millions of immigrants in the country illegally. “If confirmed as attorney general, I would be myself. I would be Loretta Lynch,” the nominee told her Senate confirmation hearing […]

Supervisors voice concern over smoke-free policy implementation

FAIRFIELD — Solano County supervisors appear to agree with the concept of a smoke-free environment for county facilities, but a debate centers on how to best achieve that goal. During their meeting Tuesday, several supervisors expressed concerns about implementing the smoke-free policy they approved two weeks ago. Their debate preceded a unanimous vote to adopt […]

CHP officer at heart of child porn case enters plea

FAIRFIELD — After more than three months and after three court appearances, a California Highway Patrol pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a felony charge of possessing child pornography. Judge Donna Stashyn ordered Eric C. Lund, 49, to return to court in March when a date for his probable cause hearing may be scheduled. Lund, who […]

Motorcyclist leads CHP on afternoon chase

FAIRFIELD — A San Leandro motorcyclist led California Highway Patrol officers on a high-speed chase Sunday that started near Davis and ended in Fairfield, according to the CHP. The speeding motorcyclist was initially spotted at about 1:25 p.m. on westbound Interstate 80 near Highway 113, clocking in at about 102 mph, according to the radar device […]

Coalition members review tobacco control report card

FAIRFIELD — Among the items discussed at the annual meeting of the Solano County Tobacco Education Coalition on Tuesday was an American Lung Association report card with a failing grades for local jurisdictions. Six of the seven cities in Solano County, as well as the unincorporated area of the county, received failing grades in overall […]

Fairfield PAL offers new girls running program; popular dance program returns

FAIRFIELD — A new running program for girls is starting up and a popular dance class is returning to Fairfield’s Police Activities League center. The first session of the fast-paced, high-energy hip-hop dance class co-sponsored by the Fairfield PAL and the Bliss Urban Dance Center will take place at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 5 and will occur every […]

Tip leads police to indoor marijuana grow operation

FAIRFIELD — A tip about possible drug activity in a Benicia commercial area Monday led to what police describe as a large-scale marijuana growing operation that contained $2.5 million worth of live pot plants, authorities said. Detectives found 30 pounds of processed marijuana and 825 marijuana plants inside a building on the 4600 block of […]

Obama to seek wilderness designation for Alaska refuge

JUNEAU, Alaska — President Barack Obama is proposing to designate the vast majority of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness area, including its potentially oil-rich coastal plain, drawing an angry response from top state elected officials who see it as a land grab by the federal government. “They’ve decided that today was the day […]

Navy wants to increase use of sonar-emitting buoys

SEATTLE — The U.S. Navy is seeking permits to expand sonar and other training exercises off the Pacific Coast, a proposal raising concerns from animal advocates who say that more sonar-emitting buoys would harm whales and other creatures that live in the water. The Navy wants to deploy up to 720 sonobuoys at least 12 […]

Boko Haram attacks northeastern Nigerian city, scores killed

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — In fierce fighting Sunday that killed more than 200 combatants, Nigerian troops clashed with Islamic extremists who attacked Maiduguri, the biggest city in northeastern Nigeria, from three fronts. At the same time the insurgents continued scorched-earth attacks on villages some 125 miles to the south in Adamawa state, slitting throats of residents, looting […]

Ukraine: Phone calls prove rebels attacked city, killed 30

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s president said Sunday that intercepted radio and telephone conversations prove that Russia-backed separatists were responsible for firing the rockets that pounded the southeastern city of Mariupol and killed at least 30 people. The attack on Mariupol, a strategically situated port city that had been relatively quiet for months, alarmed the West and […]

Zambia: Edgar Lungu sworn in as new president

LUSAKA, Zambia — Edgar Lungu was sworn in as Zambia’s new president Sunday. “I am humbled eternally and debted to you all, my fellow citizens,” said Lungu at the inauguration ceremony. “The bottom line is that we want the country to go foward and to banish poverty in our midst.” Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, congratulated […]