Monday, March 5, 2012

Occupy Oakland CA Protestors Arrested And Charged With Hate Crimes

(Reuters) - Three Occupy Oakland protesters accused of surrounding and taunting a woman before stealing her wallet were charged on Friday with robbery and hate crimes, authorities said.

Michael Davis, 32, Nneka Crawford, 23, and Randolph Wilkins, 24, confronted the woman on the streets of Oakland in February after she told them not to riot in her neighborhood, the Oakland Police said in a written release.

"She was surrounded by three protestors and battered as they yelled vulgar epithets regarding their perception of her sexual orientation," Oakland Police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said.

The female victim was not identified except as a 20-year resident of the neighborhood.

"Her wallet was taken during the crime," Watson said. "The victim broke away from the group and called police, who were able to arrest one suspect near the scene."

Watson said the other two suspects were arrested at a February 29 Occupy Oakland protest.

Each was charged by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office with felony counts of robbery and hate crimes, Watson said.

An Occupy Oakland organizer could not be reached for comment on Friday evening.

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TSA Apologizing Again For Humiliating A Passenger....Woman Forced To Use Breast Pump In Public So She Could Board Plane

An agent at a Hawaii airport was wrong to tell a nursing mother she couldn't board a plane with her breast pump, the Transportation Security Administration said.

"We accept responsibility for the apparent misunderstanding and any inconvenience or embarrassment this incident may have caused her," the TSA said in a statement to KITV ( ). The agent at the Lihue airport on Kauai mistakenly told the mother she could only bring the pump on board if it was "medically necessary," the statement said.

Amy Strand, traveling with her 9-month-old daughter, Eva, on Wednesday, was allowed to board the plane home to Maui only after going to a bathroom to pump and then showing the agent the full bottles. She said the agent insisted that security rules required that the device could be brought onboard only if it contained milk.

"I asked him if there was a private place I could pump and he said, no you can go in the women's bathroom," said Strand, a high school vice principal. The only electrical outlet in the bathroom was next to a sink facing a wall of mirrors, she said, forcing her to pump while standing in front of other women.

"I had to stand in front of the mirrors and the sinks and pump my breast, in front of every tourist that walked into that bathroom," she said, adding that the experience left her "embarrassed and humiliated."

Strand said the TSA has since told her the agent involved will go through remediation training and that a memo will be sent to agents at the airport about how to handle similar situations in the future.

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Ohio 6th Circuit Court To Hear Case Of Students Prevented From Reading The Bible During Recess

Samuel and Tina Whitson, parents of Knoxville (TN) student Luke Whitson, filed suit in June 2005, claiming Karns Elementary School principal Cathy Summa violated their son's First Amendment rights by stopping the Bible studies. They chose to pursue the matter even though the school soon thereafter changed its policy to permit students to read religious texts during their own time.

A Knoxville jury sided with the school district in 2009 and a U.S. district judge turned down a request to overturn that decision, prompting the appeal.

Phil Burress, president and executive director of Citizens for Community Values in Cincinnati, asks: "What other book could the students possibly be looking at that the school would take action against them and stop them from reading? Whatever happened to right to read?"

Burress says he is glad that a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit is taking up the case.

"And there's no question [in my mind] that the Sixth Circuit will reverse this case ..." he shares. "In the Sixth Circuit of the state of Ohio we've had a lot of good rulings -- and I am glad that they took the case, and I look forward to their decision."
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Iraqi Student Kills American Christian Teacher, Then Him Self

A local Muslim student at a private school in northern Iraq fatally shot his gym teacher, a Christian from the United States, before shooting himself on Thursday. Local authorities said sectarianism was not the motive, but the victim's father disagrees.

Biyar Sarwar, an 18-year-old student at the Classical School of the Medes in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah, shot his gym teacher Jeremiah Small, a 33-year-old American citizen and reportedly a believing Christian, before turning the gun on himself during a morning sports lecture Thursday, The Daily World reported.

While Small died on the spot, Sarwar died later at a hospital in Sulaimaniyah, about 160 miles northeast of the national capital city of Baghdad.

Small was from Cosmopolis, western Washington state near the coast. Small, locally seen as an intensely religious man, went to Iraq seven years ago to teach after graduating from Central Washington University.

"He is one of my personal heroes of the faith," Pastor Brad Gill of Light and Life Community Church in Hoquiam was quoted as saying. "He influenced thousands of people in his life. He is one of the deepest Biblical thinkers I know, and he poured his life into his students and the staff in that school."

The victim's father, J. Dan Small, recalled, "Every time he went through the airport scanner we knew we were having to let go, not knowing if we would ever see him again. He was doing what he loved doing and his students are testifying to that. He told his mom at Christmas that he didn't want to die in his sleep."

The Associated Press quoted a witness, Ahmed Mohammed, as saying that an argument erupted between Small and Sarwar in the classroom at the private Christian school. "Then I heard the gunshot. I turned my head and saw the body of the American teacher on the ground with blood near it. All the students started to run out of the room. Seconds later, as I was running to the reach the school gate, I heard another gunshot."

In a short while, another student shouted that Sarwar had killed himself, the witness said. "So I rushed back to the class with other students to see the teacher on the ground with three bullets in his head and chest, and bloody, and Biyar with a bullet in his head."

Sulaimaniyah police said the shooting appeared to be a murder-suicide without mentioning any motive. City Mayor Zana Hama Saleh was quoted as saying that Small was not a missionary, and Sarwar "had no radical religious tendencies." "Maybe the student had mental problems," she said.

However, Small's father said other witnesses on Facebook suggest the shooting occurred as his son was opening his class in prayer as was his custom. "My kids have been in touch with students over there who were in the classroom and it did not happen as is being represented," he said.

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Florida Bible Study Group Robbed At Gunpoint

At first, the victims of a home-invasion robbery — 16 college students gathered for a Wednesday evening of Bible study — thought it was a prank when two men with bandannas over their faces burst in with guns.

But they soon realized the home-invasion robbery at the apartment of two brothers, a University of Florida medical student and a UF fine arts student, was real.

The incident ended hours later when three men and a woman were arrested after a standoff with police.
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