All posts by Tom Jones

GUNMAN DEAD AFTER ALABAMA SHOOTING

Birmingham, AL

A shooting at a hospital in Alabama early Saturday has left one person dead and three injured.

It happened at Saint Vincents Hospital in Birmingham. Police say a man shot two employees and a police officer on the fifth floor around 4 a-m.  A second officer shot and killed the gunman.

The three victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

There’s no word on why the suspect opened fire.

more at  Gunman dead after Alabama shooting | wzzm13.com.

27 DEAD, 18 CHILDREN KILLED IN CONNECTICUT SCHOOL SHOOTING, SANDY HOOK

NEWTOWN, Conn. – A shooting at a Connecticut elementary school Friday left the gunman dead and at least one teacher wounded and sent frightened pupils into the parking lot. CBS News is reporting that law enforcement officers have confirmed several children have been killed. Reports also say it’s unclear if there was more than one gunman at the school. The shooter was killed and apparently had two guns, a person with knowledge of the shooting said.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still under way. It wasnt clear how many people were injured at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. A dispatcher at the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps said a teacher had been shot in the foot and taken to Danbury Hospital. Andrea Rynn, a spokeswoman at the hospital, said it had three patients from the school but she did not have information on the extent or nature of their injuries. Brenda Lebinski, whose 8-year-old daughter attends the school, was among the parents who raced to check on their children. “I saw her and it was the happiest moment of my life,” she said. Stephen Delgiadice said his 8-year-old daughter heard two big bangs and teachers told her to get in a corner. His daughter was not harmed. “Its alarming, especially in Newtown, Connecticut, which we always thought was the safest place in America,” he said. Lisa Terifay, who was holding her two children outside the school, said she was stunned. “I still cant believe its happened in my town,” she said. The superintendents office said the district had locked down schools in Newtown, about 60 miles northeast of New York City.

Schools in neighbouring towns also were locked down as a precaution. State police said Newtown police called them around 9:40 a.m. A SWAT team was among the throngs of police to respond. Photos from the scene showed young students – some crying, others looking visibly frightened – being escorted by adults through a parking lot in a line, hands on each others shoulders. Connecticuts governor was on the scene in Newtown. The White House said President Barack Obama was notified of the shooting and was receiving updates.

more at Global BC | 27 people killed in Connecticut school shooting, American reports say.

UFOS SPOTTED OVER SAN FRANCISCO, BROOKLYN

The Mayan apocalypse believed by some to be taking place on Dec. 21, 2012, has apparently been preceded by multiple sightings of UFOs hovering over major U.S. cities. In the past week, San Francisco and Brooklyn were both treated to the sight of mysterious illuminated objects floating in the sky.

On Dec. 3, in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, an amateur video captured a slow-moving parade of lights overhead. The trio of lights appeared to move in a coordinated fashion, slowing down and then moving again in roughly the same direction and at the same speed.

A similarly choreographed ballet of lights, reported by some as a UFO sighting, danced over the Mission district of San Francisco in the wee hours of Dec. 9. As in the Brooklyn sighting, the lights seemed to hover calmly above the city, then slowly drift away in unison, as seen in this amateur video .ufosoverSanFRan

At least one astronomer was stumped by the San Francisco sighting. “Its not a planet, its not a constellation, its not meteors, it’s not the moon,” Bing Quock, assistant director of the Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences, told CBS San Francisco. “It looks to me like it could have been balloons, carrying lights.” [Infographic: Where to Spot UFOs]

more at  UFOs spotted over San Francisco, Brooklyn | Fox News.

 

MAN BRUTALLY SHOT IN HEAD IN BROAD DAYLIGHT IN MIDTOWN

A man was fatally shot in the head in broad daylight on West 58th Street and Broadway this afternoon in a shocking act of violence, authorities said.

The incident occurred about a block from Carnegie Hall, in front of the St. Thomas Choir School located at 202 W. 58th St. around 1:50 p.m., the FDNY said.

The victim, Brandon Lincoln Woodard, 31, of Los Angeles, was approached from behind by his killer and shot once in the back of the head, according to NYPD spokesman Paul Browne. He was pronounced dead at St. Lukes Hospital.

“The victim was walking westbound on West 58th street in front of St. Thomas Choir School when a male black, unknown age, in a dark coat, dark hood and khaki pants began walking westbound behind the victim,” said Browne. “The shooter came up at close range and shot the victim one time in the back of the head.”

The street was crowded with passers-by at the time of the shooting.After the shooting, stunned witnesses ran over to a nearby fire house and said Woodard had been shot in the face, sources said.The firefighters then rushed over to Woodard and tried to aid him, sources said.

The suspect, described as a black male wearing a dark coat, dark hood and khaki pants, hopped into the passenger side of a light-colored Lincoln MKZ sedan, Browne said.

“The shooter got into the passenger front seat of that awaiting vehicle, which had the driver in it and they drove out of the parking space and proceeded eastbound toward Seventh Avenue on West 58th street,” Browne said.

“The gun was a silver semiautomatic pistol and a shell casing was recovered at scene,” Browne added. “Were canvassing for videos and witnesses.

 

 

“The shooter appeared calm and determined to carry out the execution-style shooting, according to cops.”There was no rush,” Browne said. “He just walked up, shot him and walked away.”The NYPD has obtained video of the shooting.

View 2012 NYC deaths in a larger map

View 2012 NYC deaths in a larger map
more  Man brutally shot in head in broad daylight in Midtown – NYPOST.com.

MAN PUSHED TO DEATH ON SUBWAY TRACKS

A 58-year-old subway passenger was killed on Monday after he was pushed onto the tracks of an onrushing train in Manhattan by a man who had been mumbling to himself as he walked along the platform, the police said.

The passenger, identified by the police as Ki-Suck Han of 52nd Avenue in Queens, tried to climb back onto the platform but did not make it; he was struck by a southbound Q train in the 49th Street station. He was pronounced dead at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, the police said.

The assailant fled and remained at large on Monday night, the police said. Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, described the attacker as a black man in his mid-20s in a tan shirt and black pants who was carrying a black jacket and wearing a woolen hat.

On Monday night, two police officials and a priest were seen escorting a woman believed to be the victim’s wife from a Queens apartment to a van. They made no comment to reporters outside.

Courtesy New York Police Department

A still from a surveillance camera video in which the attacker is seen confronting the victim.

more at  Man Pushed to Death on Subway Tracks – NYTimes.com.

NEW STEVE JOBS FILM TO CLOSE OUT SUNDANCE FESTIVAL

A biographical film called jOBS about Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs and starring Ashton Kutcher will close out the popular Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 17-27 in Park City, Utah, according to a schedule of the event posted late Monday. Kutcher, currently the star of the TV show, “Two and a Half Men,” is playing the lead role in the movie, which was directed by Joshua Michael Stern. “The true story of one of the greatest entrepreneurs in American history, jOBS chronicles the defining 30 years of Steve Jobs life,” according to the film festivals web site. Other subjects of separate biopics at the festival include Jack Kerouac, Richard Cheney, Mariel Hemingway, Jeremy Lin and Anita Hill.

more at New Steve Jobs Film To Close Out Sundance Festival | Fox Business.

KIM KARDASHIAN POSTS PRO-ISRAEL TWEET, GETS SLAMMED OVER IT, THEN DELETES IT

On Friday morning Kim Kardashian sent out a supportive Israel tweet, declaring to her almost 17 million followers that she was “Praying for everyone in Israel.” What she probably wasn’t anticipating was the violent backlash, including death wishes.

“Die in hell,” wrote one,

another called the E! sensation a “bit*h” who “should die there,”while others went even further.

Less brutal detractors said they had “lost all respect for her,” were giving her “the middle finger,” and called her a “disgrace to her people” and outright “disgusting.”

Others told her she should be “praying for Palestine, not Israel.” So she reportedly tried that.

According to Twitchy.com, which archives all tweets even if a user deletes them, five minutes after the initial post, Kardashian attempted to appease her haters with the follow-up tweet: “praying for everyone in Palestine and across the world!”

However, both tweets soon disappeared from her account and she has returned to discussing other important things – like her two-hour Tracy Anderson workout this morning.

Yet the derision lives on.“Hahaha @KimKardashian deleted her tweets, must have had SERIOUS backlash from her idiotic uninformed tweets,” wrote one, while another called her a “dumb idiot” who “shouldn’t talk about what she doesn’t understand.”A rep for Kardashian did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

more at  Kim Kardashian slammed over pro-Israel tweet, deletes it | Fox News.

Expelling Demons Through Mucus and Saliva, Casting Out Demons: at N.Y. Church

Diane Koehler, who has waged a lifelong battle with depression, believes she has seen and personally fought with the devil himself.

“Satan actually came to me and told me if I didn’t take my life he would take my sons,” she said.  “He showed me a gun. He wanted me to take it. I knew if I took the gun that I would be gone.”  She resisted that entreaty, but after her son Timothy committed suicide, her depression deepened.  “At that point, I did see a psychiatrist for medication,” Koehler says.  “I couldn’t tell him anything going on because I knew he wouldn’t understand it.  It’s something I couldn’t talk to anybody about, but the medication didn’t work.”  Koehler says she decided to kill herself — she even set a date. And she would have gone through with it had she not heard Pastor John Goguen speaking about the devil on a local Christian radio station. She then began attending his church.  “The devil doesnt like anybody,” Goguen says.  “In fact, he hates everybody. But his arms are too short to box with God, so he boxes with us, as humans. He knows we are precious to God and to his son, the lord Jesus Christ.”

Pastor Goguen is a conservative evangelical ordained in the Southern Baptist Church. After graduating from the prestigious Dallas Theological Seminary, he went on to open his own church, the Agape Bible Fellowship, in East Aurora, N.Y. It’s a deliverance church, where they say they expel demons through prayer.

The deliverance begins quietly with Pastor Goguen commanding his flock to get rid of their demons — demons that he says enter the body through our breath. The first sign of deliverance is when people begin to yawn incessantly or burp. As the service continues, many start to gag and cough.  “Some of this is painful,” Goguen said. “It’s just that demon having to leave under the authority and the power of the lord Jesus Christ.”  Before long, the room becomes filled with people screaming, moaning and grunting.  Some are writhing on the floor with others holding them down, telling the demons to leave their bodies. This form of deliverance is far from the Catholic Churchs secretive rite of exorcism.  “Jesus did exorcisms publically,” Goguen said.  “He didn’t do it behind closed doors. It was right out in the open. He healed and delivered, delivered from demons, and he healed.”  While it may seem off-putting to an outside observer, Goguen says people have to get over feeling foolish or feeling that his method is “weird.  “When people are willing to repent of sin in the area that the Holy Spirit is working with them on, we find that they get help,” he said.

more at  Casting Out Demons: Expelling Demons Through Mucus, Saliva at N.Y. Church – ABC News.

Power outages in New York and New Jersey rose from 607,000 on Wednesday to 666,000

First it was Superstorm Sandy. Now a nor’easter is whipping the region, and is dumping snow and zapping power lines from Delaware to Maine.

The nor’easter complicates restoration efforts days after the superstorm killed at least 111 people in the region and knocked out power to millions of customers.

“Just what New Jersey needs now,” said Justin Page of Montclair, about 10 miles west of Manhattan. “We have lost power where we never had before, and the winds are picking up dramatically, which is disturbing the debris left from Sandy.”

Up to seven inches of snow was expected on Staten Island by Thursday morning, the borough of New York that was hard hit by Sandy. Parts of Connecticut saw more than eight inches.

“It’s Mother Nature’s one-two punch,” Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey, told CNN’s “Piers Morgan.” “It’s testing the resolve and the grit of my state and my city and, obviously, this region.”

Some 25,000 residents of Newark are still without power from Sandy.

“Now, this is being dumped; it has the potential to knock out more power within my state,” he said.

Power outages in New York and New Jersey rose from 607,000 on Wednesday to 666,000 customers by early Thursday.

“We’re getting hit pretty hard between the snow and the wind,” said Elizabeth Flagler, a spokeswoman for the Long Island Power Authority.

Forecasters predicted gusts of up to 60 mph in shore towns and cities across New York and New Jersey, bringing 2- to 4-foot storm surges just as homes and office buildings had begun to dry out and floodwaters recede after Sandy.

Freeport, along Long Island’s southern coast, was one of the hard-hit communities.

“This storm just made everything worse,” Shanel Francis told CNN affiliate News 12. Sandy swamped her home with four feet of storm surge last week.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged residents in the city’s low-lying areas — especially Breezy Point, Hamilton Beach and Gerritsen Beach — to “consider going someplace else tonight, to be a little bit on the safe side.”

But he issued no mandatory evacuation orders, other than for a handful of chronic-care facilities and an adult-care center in areas that were hit hard by Sandy.

“If people think you’re crying wolf, the next time, when it’s really a serious threat, they might not do it,” the mayor said.

That was not the case in New Jersey, where the Brick Township Office of Emergency Management had issued a mandatory evacuation order for all residents of low-lying waterfront areas of town.

More than a week after Sandy struck the Northeast, its death toll in New York City climbed to 41 as a 78-year-old man died Tuesday of injuries suffered in the storm, police said.

Despite the setbacks, there were signs the region is rebounding.

In New Jersey, more than three-fourths of the state’s school systems were operating Wednesday and 1,728 public schools were open in New York.

The PATH train between New Jersey and New York resumed limited service under the Hudson River on Tuesday, after being shut ahead of the storm.

Commuter traffic reopened Wednesday in the Holland Tunnel, where about 91,000 vehicles typically pass under the Hudson River between Manhattan and Jersey City, New Jersey.

Flights continued to be affected, and authorities advised air travelers to check with their carriers ahead of the storm.

“Airlines serving the Port Authority’s major airports — Newark Liberty International, John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia — have canceled all or a significant number of their flights” through Thursday morning.

CNN’s David Ariosto, Tom Watkins, Tina Burnside, Marina Carver, Kristen Hamill, Katia Hetter, Julia Talanova and Rob Frehse contributed to this report

via Nor’easter dumps snow, knocks out more power in Sandy-hit region | KTXL FOX40.

Five Tibetans set themselves on fire in protest at Chinese rule

Five Tibetans including three teenage monks and a young mother have set themselves on fire to protest against Chinese rule over the Himalayan region, according to Tibetan rights groups. At least two of them have died.

The five self-immolations – the most ever recorded by Tibetans in one day – came a day before Thursdays start of a week-long Communist party congress in Beijing that will usher in Chinas new political leadership.

The three monks set themselves on fire at about 3pm outside a police station in Ngaba county, Sichuan province, while calling for freedom and the return of their exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, according to the non-profit broadcaster Radio Free Asia.

 

 

One of the monks, 15-year-old Dorje, died at the scene, while the other two – 16-year-olds Dorje Kyab and Samdrub – were taken to a county hospital by security officers. Their current condition is unknown. The London-based group Free Tibet called the incident “the first triple self-immolation protest to happen in Tibet”.

About three hours later, a 23-year-old nomadic woman in Rebkong county, Qinghai province, burned herself to death, leaving behind a young son. “Tamdin Tso siphoned petrol from a motorbike and set fire to herself in the familys winter pasture,” Free Tibet reported on its website. “Her body was taken back to the family home where local people gathered to pray.”About 3,000 local Tibetans took to the streets to protest against Chinese rule after the woman died, according to Radio Free Asia. The broadcaster also wrote that a fifth Tibetan self-immolated in the Tibet autonomous regions Nagchu prefecture on Wednesday, but did not provide a name.

The reports could not be independently verified. Calls to the Ngaba town police station rang unanswered.According to the New York-based International Campaign for Tibet, 68 Tibetans have self-immolated since 2009, 55 of whom have died, and nine of whom were women. Two-thirds have been under 25; the oldest was in his 60s. They have come from urban and rural areas in the Tibetan autonomous region itself as well as nearby Gansu, Qinghai and Sichuan provinces.According to Tsering Tsomo, executive director for the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Dharamsala, India, Ngaba has faced tight restrictions since large-scale protests gripped the county in 2008. Tibetans are not allowed to freely enter or exit the area, she said. Authorities require locals to register with government-issued IDs before they can purchase flammable liquids.”

Its really surprising for us that these three immolations happened in Ngaba, given the internal surveillance in the area and the government lockdown there,” she said. “We are clueless right now.”The government has introduced a barrage of new country-wide regulations for the 18th party congress, a once-in-a-decade leadership transition that began on Thursday morning. The internet in Beijing has slowed to a crawl, construction projects have been put on hold, and hotels have been instructed to inspect guests luggage by hand.Authorities have already embarked on a “patriotic education” campaign in Tibet, forcing monks to hang portraits of Communist party leaders on monastery walls. They have offered cash rewards as high as $30,000 £19,000 to locals for information on self-immolations and protests.Despite the security measures, reports of self-immolations have escalated in the past few weeks. Last month, seven Tibetans killed themselves in seven days. On Sunday, a 25-year-old artist in Tongren, Qinghai province, burned himself to death.A 43-year-old blogger named Gudrup who self-immolated in early October left behind an article. “We are declaring the reality of Tibet by burning our own bodies to call for freedom of Tibet,” it said. “We will win the battle through truth, by shooting the arrows of our lives, by using the bow of our mind.”Tibetan activists call the persistence of self-immolations a testament to Chinese authorities policy failures in the region. “They are the ones that can do something about this, but they are powerless right now,” said Tenzin Chokey, general secretary of the Tibetan Youth Congress in Dharamsala. “All their usual tactics have failed.”

more at  Five Tibetans set themselves on fire in protest at Chinese rule | World news | guardian.co.uk.

Chris Matthews on Obama win: ‘I’m so glad we had that storm’

To all the millions of victims of superstorm Sandy, Chris Matthews has a message: “I’m so glad.”

The MSNBC host, on a panel of pro-Obama pundits including Rachel Maddow, ended election coverage overnight by saying he’s “glad” the storm hit, suggesting it served a greater good by boosting President Obama to a second term.

“I’m so glad we had that storm last week,” Matthews said, after interjecting to give some final thoughts. Somebody off-screen could be heard saying “ooo” at that remark, but Matthews confidently put his hand up to explain.

“No, politically I should say — not in terms of hurting people. The storm brought in possibilities for good politics,” he said.

Click to see the video. 

The death toll from that storm, which caused billions of dollars in damage, now exceeds 100. Many in the path of the storm’s wrath — in New Jersey, New York and elsewhere — lost their homes or their cars or were otherwise displaced. The storm wreaked havoc on Election Day, as officials scrambled to facilitate the vote with many precincts facing power outages and fuel shortages.

Some analysts did say the storm boosted Obama’s image by allowing him to show a bipartisan side — reaching out to Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who publicly thanked Obama for the federal government’s support — and effectively sidelining Mitt Romney for a few days one week before the election.

Exit polls also showed about four in 10 voters said Obama’s response to Sandy was important to their vote, and they backed the president by more than a 2-to-1 margin.

Matthews, though, was oddly upbeat in describing the political impact. He made the Sandy comment after ripping Republicans for their “assault” on the president.

“I am so proud of the country. To re-elect this president and overcoming — not because of the partisanship or even the policies — just the fact, here’s an African guy,  African-American guy with an unusual background — part immigrant background, part African-American background — with all this assault on him from day one. From Mitch McConnell, from the clowns out there that aren’t elected, never will be to anything,” he said. “And the way he took it, as someone said, with coolness and charm and dignity and just took it and took it and kept moving forward and doing his job. … A good day for America.”

more at Chris Matthews on Obama win: ‘I’m so glad we had that storm’ | Fox News.

Funny business in Philly: GOP officials booted, Black Panthers return — and Obama at polling site?

 

 

A Pennsylvania judge issued an order Tuesday to reinstate Republican election officials across Philadelphia who allegedly were ejected or refused entry by on-site Democratic voting chief judges.

One Republican official claimed that “just under 70” Republican election officials were blocked from Philadelphia polling sites Tuesday morning by Democrats on site. One of them, the official claimed, “was shoved out of the polling place.”

“For this many inspectors to be ejected from polling places is rare, even for Philadelphia,” the official told FoxNews.com.

It was one of several controversies surfacing in Pennsylvania’s largest city on Election Day.

One polling site in Philadelphia apparently had a mural of President Obama emblazoned on the wall directly behind the voting machines. The mural, at a local school being used as a polling site, contained the words “change!” and “hope,” along with a quote from the president.

Republicans were drawing attention to the image Tuesday morning, with one Mitt Romney spokesman tweeting: “Voters in Philly’s Ward 35 are being forced to cast their ballots next to this.”

“It is an absolute disgrace,” said Shannon Royer, deputy secretary for external affairs and elections in Pennsylvania. “Election materials and electioneering inside the polling place are prohibited by state law. This can be interpreted as trying to influence voters inside the polling place. I am told discussions are going on now about covering the mural.”

Pennsylvania election law states “no person within a polling place may electioneer or solicit votes for any political party, political body, or candidate, nor may any unauthorized written or  printed materials be posted within the polling place.”

Elsewhere in the city, a representative from the New Black Panther Party was also spotted outside a polling site. The New Black Panthers stirred controversy in 2008 when members appeared outside a polling site, one of them holding a billy club. The representative seen Tuesday morning was not armed.

The flap over the election judges, though, was widespread. Republicans claim they are obtaining a series of court orders to seat the so-called election “inspectors,” and sheriff’s deputies will be available to escort them.

Despite the high number of officials who were allegedly booted, the dispute itself is not uncommon for Philadelphia. Fred Voigt, legal counsel for the city commissioners, said these kinds of face-offs happen “with regularity” in the City of Brotherly Love.

“It happens all the time,” Voigt said. He said court-appointed Republican officials typically show up on Election Day and end up squaring off against stand-in officials at the polling sites filling in the open seats. Part of the problem, he said, is that the Republican inspectors are appointed on relatively short notice, leading to a string of confrontations on Election Day.

“There are no cool heads here,” Voigt said.

The on-site election officials are responsible for verifying the identity of voters, and monitoring for signs of fraud or disenfranchisement.

more at  Funny business in Philly: GOP officials booted, Black Panthers return — and Obama at polling site? | Fox News

 

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2 dead, 8 wounded after shooting rampage at California chicken plant

Two people were shot dead and eight wounded during a shooting rampage at chicken processing plant in Fresno, Calif., KMPH.com reported.

Details of the shooting and victims are unclear, but dozens of police officers are at the scene. Streets in the area are closed. The incident is considered a workplace shooting, and police believe the gunman sought out one particular person. He reportedly shot the person and turned the gun on others.

He left the facility, which holds about 16 employees, and fatally shot himself, the report said.

more at 2 dead, 8 wounded after shooting rampage at California chicken plant | Fox News.