Tag Archive: CNN

Killer of Florida teen told police he was attacked first


By Barbara Liston

SANFORD, Florida |         Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:58pm EDT

SANFORD, Florida (Reuters) – The man who shot and killed an unarmed Florida teenager in a case that has sparked widespread public outrage told police the victim had punched him, knocked him down and slammed his head into the pavement repeatedly before he fired the fatal gunshot.

The account of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, was published for the first time on Monday in the online edition of the Orlando Sentinel.

Police in Sanford, Florida, the Orlando suburb where 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot dead on February 26, confirmed that the newspaper report appeared to be based on leaked information from someone inside the police department.

“The information in the article is consistent with the information provided to the State Attorney’s office by the police department,” the police said in a statement.

Zimmerman, a 28-year-old white Hispanic, has been widely criticized for following Martin, who was African American, and ignoring a police request that he stop doing so after calling the 911 emergency number to report that the young man in a “hoodie” hooded sweatshirt looked to be “up to no good.”

But in own his version of events, as outlined in the Sentinel report, Zimmerman had given up the chase and was walking back to his sport utility vehicle when Martin approached him from behind.

The two exchanged words before Martin punched the burly Zimmerman in the nose, sending him reeling to the ground. The teenager then began pummeling him and slammed his head into the sidewalk several times, the newspaper said.

At least one witness told police he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman who was calling for help, the newspaper said. It noted, however, that other witnesses had disputed who the cries were coming from.

ABC News quoted a police source as saying that Zimmerman, in a written statement, claimed that Martin also tried to take his gun before the shot was fired.

Zimmerman’s attorney has said his client acted in self-defense. He has not been arrested and Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which broadened the legal definition of self-defense when it was passed in 2005, provides people with immunity from detention or arrest if they use deadly force in their own defense without clear evidence of malice.


Whatever happened on that rainy February 28 evening in Sanford it came as Martin returned from a convenience store carrying a bag of Skittles candy and a can of Arizona iced tea.

Florida law enforcement has been under fire for weeks as protests decrying inaction in the case have spread to cities across the country.

More than two million people have signed an online petition calling for justice in the case, prompting Florida Governor Rick Scott on Monday to caution against a rush to judgment and say state authorities were still gathering facts.

“Justice will prevail,” Scott said in an interview with Reuters Insider in New York. “That’s what we all want. We want the … facts and we want to know that justice happens.”

Last Thursday, Scott said State Attorney Norman Wolfinger had agreed to remove himself from the investigation. Scott appointed another Florida prosecutor, Angela Corey, to handle the case. He also created a task force to study crime prevention and specifically the state’s Stand Your Ground law.

Asked if the case rose to the level of a possible hate crime, Scott said such a judgment would be premature.

Corey called for patience on Monday as her team of investigators continues looking into Martin’s killing.

“Justifiable use of deadly force has been asserted in this case, will continue to be asserted, which will make our job more difficult,” Corey told CNN, referring to the Stand Your Ground law.

Martin, a Miami high school student, was in Sanford, staying at the home of a friend of his father, because he had been suspended from school shortly before his death.

On Monday, a family spokesman said the 10-day suspension came after school officials discovered marijuana residue in a plastic bag inside Martin’s book bag.

“Regardless of Trayvon’s suspension, it had nothing to do with what happened on February 26,” Ryan Julison, the family spokesman, told reporters.

Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, suggested in comments at a news conference that the marijuana residue report was aimed at smearing her dead child.

“They’ve killed my son and now they’re trying to kill his reputation,” she said.

(Additional reporting by Edith Honan and Dan Trotta. Editing by Tom Brown and Christopher Wilson)

Who Is Daniel Radcliffe's New Girlfriend?http://movies.yahoo.com/news/daniel-radcliffes-girlfriend-180736794.html?nc

Harry Potter and the Mysterious New Girlfriend!


On Wednesday, Daniel Radcliffe was photographed in NYC taking a stroll — holding hands with a pretty young brunette.

PHOTOS: How the Harry Potter stars have grown up

So far, the identity of his new gal pal (wearing a loose purple tank top and leggings with her hair held back) has not yet been divulged.

The rather private Harry Potter star, 22, left a clue about a new love in his life during a July interview with Larry King on CNN. “I’ve got a girlfriend at the moment, who I am very much in love with,” the British star teased. “So, you know, we’ll see where that goes.”

Last summer, Radcliffe was said to be dating Olive Uniacke — the stepdaughter of a Harry Potter saga producer.

PHOTOS: Who is his celeb lookalike?

What kind of woman does Radcliffe favor? “Girls my own age are not really an option,” he said in 2009. “I find, generally speaking, they have to be entertained more than older girls do.”

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Nigeria: Neighbors became enemies in election riot

A Nigeria Police stand guard as suspected rioters await a court hearing in Kaduna, Nigeria, Wednesday, April 20, 2011. About 200 people were arraignedhttp://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110420/ap_on_re_af/af_nigeria_election

By JON GAMBRELL, Associated Press Jon Gambrell, Associated Press 53 mins ago

KADUNA, Nigeria – In the time it took to raise a machete or shout the name of a political party, neighbors again became enemies over politics split along religious lines in northern Nigeria. At least 70 people died this week after Muslim mobs targeted supporters of the oil-rich nation’s ruling party, while retaliatory attacks by Christians followed with a startling speed.

Those who survived almost uniformly said they did not know their attackers, though many looked away or quickly changed the subject as their homes lie in smoldered ruins. Others displayed incredible bravery, risking their own lives to rescue those of a different faith.

About 40,000 have now fled their homes, and it remains unclear whether some will return to their damaged homes to live among the very same people who wanted them dead. The town of Kaduna has seen spasms of sectarian violence over the last decade that have left more than 2,000 dead.

“It shows you how heartless human beings can be,” said Nathan Isaac, a 23-year-old student who was visiting a hospital treating the wounded.

The rioting began Sunday across Nigeria’s Muslim north, as early election results showed President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the nation’s south, with an insurmountable lead over Muslim opposition candidate and former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. Muslim rioters overwhelmed police and burned homes, churches and police stations. Christians began reprisal attacks soon after.

Patient Idris Ibrahim said he tried to outrun an angry mob that shouted the ruling party’s acronym. They overcame him, leaving gaping machete wounds to his back. They only left him after nearly severing his left hand, presuming he would die on the road. Then a Christian put Ibrahim, who is Muslim, inside a car and brought him to the hospital.

“I hid face down in the car,” Ibrahim said in the local Hausa language.

And the Rev. Habila Sunday said he was saved from angry mob in Kano who threatened to stab him by a Muslim man who told the crowd: “Before you kill him, you must kill me.” The stranger helped him hide for hours and provided him a phone to call for rescue.

Buhari has called the violence “sad, unfortunate and totally unwarranted” and urged his supporters to refrain from attacks. However, he continues to claim that Saturday’s election, which observers call one of Nigeria’s best, suffered from massive rigging by the ruling People’s Democratic Party.

“It is wrong for you to allow miscreants to infiltrate your ranks and perpetrate such dastardly acts as the mindless destruction of worship places,” Buhari said Wednesday. “Needless to say, this act is worse than the rigging of the elections.”

In an interview that aired Wednesday on CNN, Jonathan said that the postelection violence “was not a spontaneous reaction.”

“I don’t want to accuse anybody, but we believe that people must be behind this,” Jonathan said.

In Kaduna, 111 miles (180 kilometers) away from the country’s capital of Abuja, patients continued to be carried into St. Gerard’s Catholic Hospital on Wednesday. Administrators there said they’ve assisted more than 200 patients suffering from machete and gunshot wounds since the violence began, with at least 20 others dying from their wounds in doctors’ care.

Its morgue told the story of the fury that descended over the mobs: The bloated bodies of victims bore gunshot wounds and charred flesh, while one had been disemboweled.

It appears not all the victims suffered at the hands of rioters. Soldiers filled Kaduna’s streets after the violence and some patients at the hospital bore gunshot wounds that appeared to be from assault rifles. One patient recounted how a soldier slapped him in the face and pushed him to the ground before firing into his stomach. The man said he can no longer stand or eat.

Nigeria, a nation of 150 million people, is roughly divided between the Christian-dominated south and the Muslim north. A dozen states across Nigeria’s north have Islamic Shariah law in place, though the area remains under the control of secular state governments.

Thousands have been killed in religious violence in the past decade. In Kaduna alone, more than 2,000 died in riots in 2000 over implementing Shariah law. Rioting in 2002 killed dozens here as well.

The roots of the sectarian conflict across the north often have more to do with struggles for political and economic dominance. Opportunities remain few for those in the arid north, as jobs are scarce and a formal education remains out of the reach of many in a nation where most earn less than $2 a day. Meanwhile, politicians spend billions of dollars of oil revenues with little or no oversight — fueling popular dissent.

In Kaduna state alone, police say they’ve arrested more than 300 people for taking part in the rioting. Late Wednesday, officers brought about 200 suspects before a local court for an arraignment. Among the men were a few bewildered boys. Most went barefoot.

“You arm robbed and raped and killed a considerable number of people who had nothing to do with the riots,” chief magistrate Nasiru Idris told them through a Hausa interpreter.

Idris remanded them to prison for two months. Such a decision could be fatal to a number of them, as police and prison officials in the country often commit so-called “extra-judicial killings.” Others have been held for decades without facing formal charges. As the suspects came outside and sat in the parking lot under guard, a few began to cry.

The Rev. Andrew Dodo, the chaplain at St. Gerard’s, said he ministered to many people who still wondered what had happened. Still, during his recent sleepless nights, he said still offered the same prayers.

“I have always asked God for the gift of forgiveness,” the preacher said.


Yinka Ibukun in Lagos; Bashir Adigun in Abuja; Maggie Fick in Kano and Saadatu Mohammed in Gombe contributed to this report.


By EILEEN SULLIVAN and LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Eileen Sullivan And Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press Sun Mar 6, 6:54 pm ET

STERLING, Va. – Muslim Americans are not part of the terrorism problem facing the U.S. — they are part of the solution, a top White House official said Sunday at a Washington-area mosque.

Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough set the Obama administration’s tone for discussions as tensions escalate before the first in a series of congressional hearings on Islamic radicalization. The hearings, chaired by New York Republican Peter King, will focus on the level of cooperation from the Muslim community to help law enforcement combat radicalization.

The majority of the recent terror plots and attempts against the U.S. have involved people espousing a radical and violent view of Islam. Just a few weeks ago a college student from Saudi Arabia who studied chemical engineering in Texas was arrested after he bought explosive chemicals online. It was part of a plan to hide bomb materials inside dolls and baby carriages and blow up dams, nuclear plants or the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush.

King said the Muslim community could and should do more to work with law enforcement to stop its members from radicalizing and recruiting others to commit violence.

“I don’t believe there is sufficient cooperation” by American Muslims with law enforcement, King said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Certainly my dealings with the police in New York and FBI and others say they do not believe they get the same — they do not give the level of cooperation that they need.”

In New York City on Sunday, about 300 protestors gathered in Times Square to speak out against King’s hearing, criticizing it as xenophobic and saying that singling out Muslims, rather than extremists, is unfair.

McDonough said that instead of condemning whole communities, the U.S. needs to protect them from intimidation.

McDonough spoke to an interfaith forum at a Northern Virginia mosque known for its longtime relationship and cooperation with the FBI. The executive director of the center, Imam Mohamed Magid, also spoke, as did speakers from a local synagogue and a Presbyterian church.

The administration has tried to strike a balance on the thorny issue, working to go after homegrown Islamic extremists without appearing to be at war with the Muslim world. There has been an effort to build stronger relationships with Muslims — internationally and in the United States.

During his remarks Sunday, McDonough called the mosque a “typically American place” and said it reminded him of his Catholic parish where he grew up in Minnesota.

“Being religious is never un-American. Being religious is quintessentially American,” he said.

He commended the mosque’s members for taking “an unequivocal stand against terrorism.”

“You’ve sent a message that those who perpetrate such horrific attacks do not represent you or your faith, and that they will not succeed in pitting believers of different faiths against one another,” McDonough said.

The White House is close to finalizing a strategy for countering violent extremism. McDonough leads a working group of 13 federal agencies and offices — including the National Counterterrorism Center and the departments of Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Justice and State — focused on finding ways to confront the problem.

“No community can be expected to meet a challenge as complex as this alone,” McDonough said. “No one community can be expected to become experts in terrorist organizations, how they are evolving, how they are using new tools and technology to reach our young people.”


Baldor reported from Washington.

So, I was looking on Yahoo and found this. Now, I think that we, not just Muslims, should work with law enforcement to try to stop all this voilence from happening. I want to know what ya’ll think so please comment and tell me.

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