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Newslinks for 12/24/2005

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GOP senators stray on Patriot Act
Submitted by: News Director

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"Four Senate Republicans are defying their leadership and President Bush on renewing the USA Patriot Act because they say it lacks enough civil-liberties protection."

"While one of those Republicans -- Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska -- is often a public thorn in the side of leadership and Mr. Bush, the other three rarely take center stage as Republican renegades. Sens. John E. Sununu of New Hampshire, Larry E. Craig of Idaho and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska all vote with Republican leadership more than 90 percent of the time, according to an analysis by Congressional Quarterly."
 

Analyzing the Democrats' objections to renewal of the Patriot Act
Submitted by: News Director

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"Democrats are concerned that suspected terrorists are not given enough rights when being investigated by the FBI. Last week, not coincidentally, Democratic members of Congress leaked confidential information to the press regarding a directive by Bush in 2001 authorizing the National Security Agency to intercept international phone calls and emails coming in and out of the U.S. under suspicion for ties to terrorism. It is not clear what the ramifications are of leaking this information – for some reason I don’t think the investigation will be as thorough as the investigation has been into the Valerie Plame leak."
 

A reasonable price for national security
Submitted by: News Director

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"All of us value our liberty and our privacy, and should take notice when our government starts tampering with them. But most of us understand that absolute freedom and privacy cannot exist in any civilized society. Like it or not, each time our society — any society — is confronted by a new menace, it must adapt by imposing more regulations and restrictions."

"Not that long ago, airline passengers were able to fly anonymously and could carry with them pretty much anything they wanted, free from any kind of physical or magnetometer screening. The first few skyjackings changed that. ...The point is this: we have to relinquish some of our privacy in order to make society safer."
 

Without Civil Liberties, Homeland Security Will Fail
Submitted by: News Director

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"If Americans are in communication with terrorists or others that wish us ill, then the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, perhaps with additional jurisdiction to reach government actions overseas, is more than capable of serving as the neutral magistrate that our founders deemed essential to a free society."

"We don't need to shortchange our civil liberties to have a strong and vigorous homeland security. The opposite is true. Civil liberties are not an obstacle; they're a vital part of our strength. Government programs that ignore this will continue to poison the water for our legitimate national security needs."
 

AZ: Evidence — or a trophy shot?
Submitted by: News Director

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"The photograph of Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies looks like a team picture, with grinning officers showing off their guns and gear in front of the agency’s armored personnel carrier."

"Except for the lanky Hispanic man in the middle with his arms handcuffed behind his back. Sheriff’s officers call the picture evidence. But others outside the agency describe it as a 'trophy' shot that has no place in law enforcement. ..."

"'It appeared to me to be nothing more than a trophy photo by an unprofessional group of amateurs,' said Keith Frakes, former commander of the sheriff’s SWAT team who retired in April 2004. ..."
 

IL: E.C. officer, inspector admit to roles in trafficking cocaine
Submitted by: News Director

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"An East Chicago police officer and city building inspector admitted to their roles in a cocaine trafficking operation this week in plea agreements entered in federal court."

"Eligah Johnson, 45, of the 4100 block of Hemlock Street -- a 16-year patrol officer with the department -- was charged in August with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, distribution of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and use of a communication facility in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense."
 

MI: City offers cop cash to leave job
Submitted by: News Director

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"The city has offered a police officer $72,000 to leave the force amid allegations he staged his own shooting last year."

"The police department has refused to allow Harlon D. Green to carry a gun after investigators concluded he was shot with his own gun Feb. 26, 2004, in Flint, according to Genesee County Circuit Court records."

"The city claims the decision to keep Green off patrol was made in the interest of public safety, court records show."
 

SC: Former MUSC officer arrested
Submitted by: News Director

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"A former officer with the MUSC police force was arrested Thurs- day on charges of pawning a department-issued gun and bullet-proof vests, warrants state."

"Ivory Lee Beamon Jr., 35, of King Street in Charleston worked with the Medical University of South Carolina Public Safety Department from 2001 until he resigned in November. Papers filed with the state later that month say that MUSC Public Safety would not rehire Beamon because: 'It was discovered that this officer misappropriated state property and was found to have pawned his issued state-owned service weapon on (9) nine or more occasions.'"
 

SC: Former medical university police officer arrested
Submitted by: News Director

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"A former police officer with the Medical University of South Carolina has been arrested and charged with pawning his department-issued gun and bulletproof vests, according to the State Law Enforcement Division."

"Ivory Lee Beamon Jr., 35, of Charleston was arrested Thursday and charged with grand larceny and misconduct in office, warrants said."
 

TN: Cocke County Chief Deputy And Brother Face Charges
Submitted by: News Director

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"The Cocke County Sheriff’s Department’s second-ranking officer and his younger brother made initial appearances in U.S. District Court here Thursday morning on charges related to an alleged conspiracy to receive, possess and dispose of property they believed to have been stolen and transported across state lines."

"Patrick Allen Taylor, 39, the Cocke County Sheriff’s Department’s Chief Deputy, and his brother, Jarrod M. Taylor, 34, who is not a law-enforcement officer, had been arrested early Thursday morning by FBI agents as the result of an indictment returned against them by a federal grand jury on Dec. 13."
 

UK: Judge allows armed dealer home for Christmas
Submitted by: News Director

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"A JUDGE sparked fury when he released a gunman on bail - to spend Christmas with his family."

"Crack dealer Damien Sawyers was caught with a Skorpion CZ-91S sub-machine gun - capable of firing 14 bullets a second."

"His fearsome underworld arsenal also included three pistols - one disguised as a key ring."

"Sawyers, 25, faces a possible life sentence after jurors convicted him of possessing firearms and intent to supply almost £40,000 of crack cocaine and heroin."

"Yet thanks to a ruling branded 'disgusting' by anti-gun campaigners, Sawyers was bailed to spend Christmas at home with his mum."
 

Australia: Firearm concerns
Submitted by: News Director

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FULL TEXT BELOW:

MEDIA identity Jeremy Cordeaux has raised concerns about comments Supreme Court judge Margaret Nyland made this week in sentencing three men for manslaughter.

Justice Nyland did not say whether the firearm used in the fatal shooting of Stuart Watson in 2002 belonged to a licensed gun owner.

Mr Cordeaux, who is a licensed gun holder, yesterday said the real issue was the use of illegal guns by unlicensed people.

 

UK: Shot after letting man cross road
Submitted by: News Director

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"A MOTORIST was blasted in the arm when he slowed to let a gunman cross the road. The 35-year-old driver began pulling up to allow two men to cross in Love Walk, Camberwell, when one produced a firearm. The maniac fired through the car's window, hitting the stunned victim in the arm."

"He lost control of the car and ploughed into another parked vehicle."
 

Canada: Hamilton gun violence everybody's problem: Chief Mullan
Submitted by: News Director

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"Hamilton Police Chief Brian Mullan says all of the city's ethnic communities should be involved in halting the spread of street violence."

"'No single community is involved,' said Chief Mullan, during a rare appearance before city councillors this week. 'This is a multicultural issue. It's like the U.N. (United Nations).'"
 

PA: Governor Rendell signs bills
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"House Bill 1686 amends the sections of Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes related to paintball guns and paintball makers. The bill provides that a person may not carry a paintball gun or paintball marker in a vehicle on a highway unless: the item is empty of encapsulated gelatin paintballs; the propellant source is turned off; the paintballs are stored in a separate and closed container; and the item is in a secure wrapper, has a barrel-blocking device, or is not readily accessible from the passenger seat of the vehicle."

"The bill further provides that an individual may not fire a paintball gun or marker at a person who is not participating in paintball activities."
 

Australia: Murder trial for woman who shot robber
Submitted by: News Director

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"THE security guard Karen Brown will stand trial for murdering a man who bashed and robbed her outside the Moorebank Hotel in July last year."

"A magistrate ruled on Friday that although it could be said she had a strong defence for killing William Aquilina, there was a reasonable prospect that a jury would reject her defence and convict her of murder."
 

Gun believed to belong to Hitler up for auction in U.S.
Submitted by: News Director

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"A former officer with the MUSC police force was A rare German gun that may have belonged to Adolph Hitler allegedly taken as a souvenir 60 years ago when U.S. forces captured one of his secret hideaways could fetch thousands of dollars in an online auction next month, organizers said."

"No one knows for sure whether Hitler owned the Krieghoff Drilling shotgun/rifle engraved with the initials 'A.H.,' ..."

"Randall Gibson, author of 'The Krieghoff Parabellum,' a reference book on the gun maker, said the gun is likely authentic. The company gave engraved guns to Hitler and other high-ranking German officials as it sought military contracts before World War II."
 

Canada: Guns, crime and our government don’t mix
Submitted by: News Director

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"I wonder if the criminals had their guns that they used in these hideous crimes registered?"

"It was always known that if there was a problem with inner-city crime, gangs, and guns, the response had to be one that dealt with inner cities and with the gangs and their guns. And of course this means confronting some of the most delicate of issues, mixing race, poverty, police relations with these communities, drugs, and several others that need dealing with."

"Throwing up a national gun registry as an answer was the easy way out. It looked like it was the save all, stop all answer. Oh boy, did we get an eye opener!!"
 

UK: Third arrest after gun death of man, 32
Submitted by: News Director

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"A THIRD person has been arrested in connection with the shooting of two brothers in the street."

"Police said a 35-year-old was being held over the death of Robert Lennie, 32 and also the shooting of John, 34, who was left fighting for life, after the incident in Lincoln Road, Greenock."

"It follows the appearance of a woman in court yesterday. She was charged with murdering Robert and attempting to murder John."
 

OH: Victims of violence on state-mandated 'no-guns' campus offered free assistance
Submitted by: Buckeye Firearms Association
Website: http://www.buckeyefirearms.org

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"The (OSU) Lantern is reporting that the college has instituted a program to give aid to students who are victims of violence on an around the OSU campus. Judging by the story, the problem is bigger than you'll ever find in a university recruitment flyer." ...

"The story says that the Student Advocacy Center is there to help students who have been victimized, and can help replace things that have been stolen, like books, if the student is unable to purchase them. ..."

"Having made the mistake of listening to gun ban extremists whose predictions have, of course, failed to come to pass, Ohio legislators allowed the creation of many victim zones across the state of Ohio."

"If a student is eligible for and has acquired a concealed handgun license, this story proves there is absolutely NO reason to take away their right to self-defense just because they walk onto a college campus."
 

Canada: Raid yields machine guns
Submitted by: R. Smith

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"Police say gangs, money and drugs are behind an arsenal of weapons found in a north-central Regina house and a Qu'Appelle-area farm Wednesday."

"Ten people are facing a total of 184 charges related to drugs and weapons found in the homes, which included several handguns, machine guns and ammunition."
 

Brazil: Officer pointed gun at me, claims Maradona
Submitted by: News Director

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"DIEGO Maradona claimed a Brazilian police officer pointed a gun at him while he argued with officials at Rio de Janeiro's international airport on Thursday."

"Maradona, who was detained for showing contempt to authorities, was late arriving for a return flight to Argentina after playing Wednesday's charity soccer match organized by Zico, coach of Japan and a former Brazil star."

"Conviction on the charge is punishable in Brazil by up to two years in prison, and Maradona was released only after signing a legal document promising to return for all legal proceedings."

"At a news conference in Buenos Aires, Maradona charged that a police officer pointed a gun at his neck during the incident."
 

OH: Gun scare closes school
Submitted by: News Director

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"The Washington County Career Center near Marietta went on lockdown Thursday morning after an employee reported seeing a man with a weapon in the administration building. No one was injured in the incident. The man with the weapon was never found, but the incident heightened fears of everyone connected with the school where about 450 students are enrolled."
 

Injured cop loses Taser lawsuit
Submitted by: News Director

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"An Arizona jury rejected claims Thursday that Taser International Inc. failed to adequately warn users of its stun guns' potential dangers."

"The lawsuit, brought by an injured sheriff's deputy, was the first to go to trial among some three dozen personal injury, wrongful death or excessive use of force lawsuits that have been filed against Scottsdale-based Taser. A handful of other cases have been dismissed."
 

PA: DA says trooper was shot with his own gun
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"State police Cpl. Joseph R. Pokorny was shot and killed with his own service weapon -- one that he likely never drew during a traffic stop that turned fatal, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said yesterday."

"Cpl. Joseph R. Pokorny
It had been widely speculated after the Dec. 12 killing outside a Carnegie hotel that the shooter used Cpl. Pokorny's gun, inflicting a fatal wound in the chest and another in the back of his head."
 

Downward National Trend in Police Deaths Continues
Submitted by: riotboy

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"Two law enforcement groups said Friday that 153 officers have died in the line of duty so far in 2005, with the majority killed in traffic accidents and shootings."

"The number, just one fewer than the 154 reported killed in 2004, marks a continued downward trend over the last 30 years, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and Concerns of Police Survivors. The groups compiled the deaths from reports through Dec. 22."

"Traffic-related accidents claimed the lives of 62 officers in 2005. The ranks of officers killed in traffic accidents has risen 40 percent in the last 30 years, according to the groups."

-------
And yet, despite declining police deaths, New York legislators insist on painting them as being at epidemic levels and using them to push for more draconian gun control measures.
 

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