EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 3, 2013

Note said LAX suspect wanted to kill at least one


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Note found in duffel bag said LAX suspect was determined to kill at least one TSA officer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The suspect accused of opening fire inside the Los Angeles airport was determined to lash out at the Transportation Security Administration, saying in a note that he wanted to kill at least one TSA officer and didn't care which one, authorities said yesterday.

It's not clear why Paul Ciancia targeted the agency, but the note found in his duffel bag suggested the 23-year-old unemployed motorcycle mechanic was willing to kill almost any officer he could confront with his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

"Black, white, yellow, brown, I don't discriminate," the note read, according to a paraphrase by a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

The suspect's screed also mentioned "fiat currency" and "NWO," possible references to the New World Order, a conspiracy theory that foresees a totalitarian one-world government.

Terminal 3, the area where the shooting happened, reopened Saturday afternoon. Passengers who had abandoned luggage to escape Friday's gunfire were allowed to return to collect their bags.

Police: Subway vigilante Bernie Goetz, who shot 4 in 1984, sold undercover officer marijuana

NEW YORK (AP) — Subway vigilante Bernie Goetz, who ignited a national furor over racism and gun control after he shot four panhandling youths on a train in the 1980s, has been charged with misdemeanor sale and possession of marijuana, authorities said yesterday.

Goetz was nabbed in a sting operation in Union Square park Friday evening for selling $30 worth of pot to an undercover officer, police said. He asked the woman if she wanted to get high, then went back to his apartment, where he has lived for decades, and returned with marijuana, authorities said. He was arrested on charges of criminal sale of marijuana.

Goetz wasn't being targeted specifically; he just happened to cross paths with the undercover officer assigned to crack down on drug dealing in the park, authorities said.

The 65-year-old was arraigned Saturday in Manhattan Criminal Court on three misdemeanor drug charges for sale and possession of marijuana. He was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court next month. His lawyer couldn't be reached for comment.

Goetz became a household name as the skinny, bespectacled white man who, on Dec. 22, 1984, rose from his seat on the No. 2 train in Manhattan and shot four black teens inside a subway car with an illegal handgun. The teens had sharpened screwdrivers and were asking him for $5. Goetz said it was self-defense and the youths intended to rob him.

2 French journalists die in north Mali kidnapping

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Gunmen abducted and killed two French radio journalists on assignment in northern Mali yesterday, French and Malian officials said, grabbing the pair as they left the home of a rebel leader.

The deaths come four days after France rejoiced at the release of four of its citizens who had been held for three years by al-Qaida's affiliate in North Africa.

It was not immediately clear who had slain the Radio France Internationale journalists. France launched a military intervention in January in its former colony to try and oust jihadists from power in Kidal and other towns across northern Mali. Separatist rebels have since returned to the area.

French President Francois Hollande expressed his "indignation at this odious act."

Claude Verlon and Ghislaine Dupont were grabbed by several armed men in a 4x4 after they finished an interview, officials said.

Pakistan accuses US of sabotaging peace talks by killing domestic Taliban leader

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Pakistani government yesterday accused the U.S. of sabotaging peace talks with domestic Taliban fighters by killing their leader in a drone strike, as the militants began the process of choosing a successor.

The rise in tension, even though the U.S. took out Pakistan's No. 1 enemy, shows just how complicated the relationship between the professed allies can be. The two repeatedly have clashed over issues such as drone strikes and Pakistan's alleged support for militants fighting U.S. troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Taliban leader slain Friday, Hakimullah Mehsud, was a ruthless figure known for a deadly attack on a CIA base in Afghanistan and a bloody campaign that killed thousands of Pakistani civilians and security personnel.

The Pakistani army has launched numerous operations in the country's northwest in a failed attempt to subdue the group, which aims to topple Pakistan's democratic system and impose a harsh version of Islamic law. It also seeks an end to the country's unpopular alliance with the U.S.

Pakistan's government, which took office in June, has pushed peace talks with the Taliban as the best way to end the conflict, although many people are skeptical a deal is possible.

Sticker shock often follows cancellation notice for those with individual health care policies

MIAMI (AP) — Dean Griffin liked the health insurance he purchased for himself and his wife three years ago and thought he'd be able to keep the plan even after the federal Affordable Care Act took effect.

But the 64-year-old recently received a letter notifying him the plan was being canceled because it didn't cover certain benefits required under the law.

The Griffins, who live near Philadelphia, pay $770 monthly for their soon-to-be-terminated health care plan with a $2,500 deductible. The cheapest plan they found on their state insurance exchange was a so-called bronze plan charging a $1,275 monthly premium with deductibles totaling $12,700. It covers only providers in Pennsylvania, so the couple, who live near Delaware, won't be able to see doctors they've used for more than a decade.

"We're buying insurance that we will never use and can't possibly ever benefit from. We're basically passing on a benefit to other people who are not otherwise able to buy basic insurance," said Griffin, who is retired from running an information technology company.

The Griffins are among millions of people nationwide who buy individual insurance policies and are receiving notices that those policies are being discontinued because they don't meet the higher benefit requirements of the new law.

Top cop is US go-to man in Honduras for war on drugs, denies death squad charge

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — In a capital accustomed to daily bloodshed, the man in charge of law enforcement is as feared as the criminals. Few dare speak his name above a whisper.

Five-star Gen. Juan Carlos Bonilla was accused a decade ago of running death squads and today oversees a department suspected of beating, killing and "disappearing" its detainees. He is the top cop in the country that serves as a way station for most South American cocaine bound for the United States and beyond.

Bonilla is also the U.S. government's go-to man in Honduras for the war on drug trafficking.

Though the State Department officially keeps the 49-year-old chief at arm's length over his dubious past, Bonilla embraces the U.S. government as his "best ally and support." If the U.S. wants to fight drug trafficking in Honduras, it has to work with Bonilla.

"I am the director general, and I don't delegate that responsibility to anyone," Bonilla said during his first interview with a reporter since 2011.

International panel's leaked report predicts more illness, war, disease with global warming

WASHINGTON (AP) — Starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease already lead to human tragedies. They're likely to worsen as the world warms from man-made climate change, a leaked draft of an international scientific report forecasts.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will issue a report next March on how global warming is already affecting the way people live and what will happen in the future, including a worldwide drop in income. A leaked copy of a draft of the summary of the report appeared online Friday on a climate skeptic's website. Governments will spend the next few months making comments about the draft.

"We've seen a lot of impacts and they've had consequences," Carnegie Institution climate scientist Chris Field, who heads the report, told The Associated Press on Saturday. "And we will see more in the future."

Cities, where most of the world now lives, have the highest vulnerability, as do the globe's poorest people.

"Throughout the 21st century, climate change impacts will slow down economic growth and poverty reduction, further erode food security and trigger new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hotspots of hunger," the report says. "Climate change will exacerbate poverty in low- and lower-middle income countries and create new poverty pockets in upper-middle to high-income countries with increasing inequality."

75 years after Kristallnacht, ranks of Holocaust survivors shrinking at retirement home

CHICAGO (AP) — Listen to the many harrowing stories of war, suffering and survival, all under one roof:

On the third floor, there's Margie. A prisoner of Nazi labor camps, she hauled backbreaking cement bags and was beaten with clubs. Sometimes, she had only a piece of bread to eat every other day. She weighed 56 pounds when she was freed.

Down the hall, there's Edith. Though pregnant, she miraculously avoided the gas chamber at Auschwitz. She lost her mother, father and husband in the camps. After liberation, she faced even more heartbreak: Her son died days after his birth.

Up on the eighth floor, there's Joe. As a boy of 10, he was herded onto a cattle car and transported to a concentration camp — the first of five he'd be shuttled to over five cruel years.

These Holocaust survivors share a history and a home: a retirement community founded more than 60 years ago for Jews who'd been victims of Nazi persecution. For decades, it was a refuge for those who'd endured the living hell of Auschwitz, Theresienstadt, Mauthausen and other camps. And a haven, too, for those who'd fled before the dark night of German occupation fell over their homeland.

Egyptian TV station criticized for suspending program of popular satirist

CAIRO (AP) — A private Egyptian TV station came under fire from public figures and fans of a widely popular satirist Saturday after it blocked the airing of his weekly show critical of the military and the country's recent nationalist fervor.

Minutes before the program of Bassem Youssef, often compared to U.S. comedian Jon Stewart, was to air Friday, broadcaster CBC said it was suspending it because the satirist and his producer violated editorial policy.

The channel's decision appeared to be a reaction to the sharp criticism Youssef came under by supporters of the army after his first episode following a four-month hiatus.

The station's CEO said management had warned the satirist, asking him to take into consideration the angry response from the public after his first episode.

Mohammed el-Amin told the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya website that Youssef ignored the warning and violated the "journalist code of ethics," forcing them to suspend the show. El-Amin said the show has not been cancelled.

Swings in gas prices more common as nation runs on fewer refineries; woe to drivers in Kokomo

NEW YORK (AP) — Local gasoline prices are swinging up and down ever more drastically, a result of a national fuel system that is operating with a shrinking margin for error.

Jumps of 20 cents per gallon or more in a single day are becoming more common, for example, according to an AP analysis of daily and weekly price changes at 120,000 U.S. gasoline stations tracked by GasBuddy.com. Sixty-three times this year at least one U.S. metro area has seen such a change. Like the 24-cent increase Decatur, Ill. drivers saw on Jan. 26, or the 24-cent increase in Superior, Wis. on April 30, and the 28-cent increase in Henderson, Ky. on Sept. 19.

Not since 2008 have there been so many 20-cent changes. Last year those happened 58 times. In 2011 they happened just 21 times, and in 2010 just 7 times.

"There's more and more feast or famine," says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service and GasBuddy.com.

The problem, analysts say, is a fuel system increasingly vulnerable to short-term shocks. That's because refiners try to keep stocks of gasoline low to save money, just as other manufacturers aim to operate on a "just-in-time" inventory schedule. The nation has about 26 days' worth of gasoline demand in storage, compared with 30 to 40 days' worth during much of the 1980's and 1990's, according to the Energy Department. Also, there are 143 operating refineries, about half the total from 1980, so, if one has a problem, supplies quickly drop.