Tag Archive: Colorado


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/12/duggar-family-baby-photo-grieving.html

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110421/ap_on_re_us/us_colorado_mall_fire

 Thu Apr 21, 6:49 am ET

LITTLETON, Colo. – Investigators want to question a person of interest about a pipe bomb and propane tanks found after a fire at a Littleton mall, a discovery that raised the possibility of a connection to the Columbine massacre anniversary.

Firefighters found two propane tanks and the bomb near the Southwest Plaza Mall’s food court after a small fire broke out Wednesday that was quickly squelched. The mall was evacuated around noon. No one was injured and the bombs didn’t explode.

Wednesday was the 12th anniversary of the shooting rampage at nearby Columbine High School and officials expressed concern that the mall incident could be somehow linked.

[Related: Changes in education after Columbine]

“The fact that has happened on April 20, 12 years later, near the school and with similar devices is very disturbing,” Jefferson County sheriff’s spokeswoman Jacki Kelley said.

A possible connection to Columbine will be explored.

“It’s something that can’t be ignored and won’t be ignored,” Kelley said.

The mall is about two miles from the school, where two student gunmen killed 13 people and themselves on April 20, 1999 in a rampage that stunned the nation.

Unexploded pipe bombs and a propane tank with explosives attached were found in the school after the shootings.

“If it’s kids, they’re crazy not to know what this means in this town,” Margie Hecht, who lives near the mall, told The Denver Post. “I remember that day and they wouldn’t think this is funny if they did.”

Through the years, students across the country have been accused of threats and incidents modeled after Columbine.

[Related: 12th anniversary of Columbine school shooting]

FBI spokesman Dave Joly said authorities have identified a person of interest seen on surveillance video entering a stairwell he said isn’t typically used by the public.

The man could be a witness or a suspect, Kelley said.

He is described as a white male with graying hair and a silver mustache. Photos taken from surveillance show him in a dark cap, gray and white striped shirt, dark jacket, blue jeans and dark shoes. He is seen entering a stairwell and carrying a white plastic bag.

Joly said it was too early to speculate whether the incident was an act of terrorism.

Sheriff’s officials said there are usually about 6,000 to 10,000 people in the mall around noon each day. Shoppers and about 300 mall employees left after the fire.

A daylong search didn’t turn up any other explosive devices in the mall, which was expected to be open for business Thursday.

About 25 schools were on lockout as a precaution, meaning access is restricted to one point, according to the Post. Classes had been canceled at Columbine High School in remembrance of those killed in the shootings.

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold wounded several students and killed 12 and one teacher before shooting themselves.

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Editors: People with information about the man on the video or the incident call the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 303-271-5616.

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Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com

Obama re-election launches with email, website

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110404/ap_on_el_ge/us_obama2012

By LIZ SIDOTI, AP National Political Writer Liz Sidoti, Ap National Political Writer 14 mins ago

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama formally launched his re-election campaign Monday, urging grass-roots supporters central to his first White House run to mobilize again to protect the change he’s brought over the past two years.

The official start of his second White House bid, in the midst of three wars, a budget fight with Congress, and sluggish economic recovery, comes 20 months before the November 2012 election.

“We’ve always known that lasting change wouldn’t come quickly or easily. It never does,” the Democrat said in an e-mail announcing his candidacy to more than 13 million supporters. “But as my administration and folks across the country fight to protect the progress we’ve made — and make more — we also need to begin mobilizing for 2012, long before the time comes for me to begin campaigning in earnest.”

He told them he was filing the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, and directed them to his new campaign website where a launch video featured clips from supporters talking about their continued backing of the Democrat.

“I don’t agree with Obama on everything but I respect him and I trust him,” Ed from North Carolina says, delivering what’s certain to become a key part of the president’s pitch as he tries to re-energize liberal backers who have criticized some of his policies and independent voters who have fled from him in his first term.

 

Between now and the election, the incumbent Democrat will work to convince a fickle America that he has delivered change, made the right moves and earned the chance to continue the job. He will have to defend policies that have proven divisive, chief among them his sweeping health care overhaul and his efforts to boost the slow-to-rebound economy.

Obama announced his bid just as the White House is in a budget standoff with Congress that could lead to a government shutdown, weeks after the commander in chief directed U.S. military operations to a third major warfront, Libya, and days after the post-recession economy showed more signs of a rebound with a report that the still high unemployment rate had fallen to 8.8 percent.

Republicans were quick to criticize the news.

The Republican National Committee circulated a research document that accused Obama of failing to lead on the budget and entitlement spending. And former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican competing for the chance to take on the Democrat next fall, released his own web video in which he says: “How can America win the future, when we’re losing the present? In order for America to take a new direction, it’s going to take a new president.”

Widely expected, Obama’s campaign launch was planned to coincide with the second fundraising quarter of the year. Filing paperwork will allow the president to begin raising money in earnest for what allies say could be a record-breaking haul of more than $1 billion for his campaign. That begins this month; he’s slated to visit major money venues of Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles in the coming weeks.

The campaign is based in Chicago, and many of the same people from his first bid remain involved, including former campaign manager David Plouffe, who now is in the White House, and chief political strategist David Axelrod.

Managing the campaign this time is Jim Messina, who played a senior role in the first bid and in the White House. Messina has spent the past few months touring the country to lay the groundwork with donors in hopes of building a massive fundraising network featuring both large and small contributions. He’s asked some 400 donors — called bundlers — to bring in at least $350,000 this year; the re-election website is geared toward raising money from grass-roots backers. Obama raised $750 million for his 2008 campaign.

Obama faces no primary challenger.

On the other side, the race for the GOP presidential nomination is just getting under way; more than a dozen Republicans are considering seeking the chance to challenge Obama in the next election. Only a few have taken the initial steps toward a candidacy; Pawlenty is among them. Several more are expected go forward to this month, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who ran in 2008 and lost the GOP nomination.

It’s a wide open race with no clear front-runner.

Nevertheless, Obama said he’s not taking anything for granted.

“We’re doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you — with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. And that kind of campaign takes time to build,” he said in the note to supporters.

“So even though I’m focused on the job you elected me to do, and the race may not reach full speed for a year or more, the work of laying the foundation for our campaign must start today,” Obama added. He directed them to the new red, white and blue website for what he said was “a campaign that’s farther-reaching, more focused, and more innovative than anything we’ve built before.”

The website features Obama’s new campaign logo — 2012 with the rising sun in the background, a version of his 2008 campaign logo — and announces that the campaign is kicking off.

“We’re opening up offices, unpacking boxes, and starting a conversation with supporters like you to help shape our path to victory, and this is where you say you’re in,” it says, urging people to organize and donate.

The video is a montage of testimonials from a demographically diverse group of backers who intend to stay involved in this campaign.

“It needs to reflect the changes that we’ve seen in the last two-and-a-half years,” says Katherine from Colorado. “Then we had an underdog senator. Nobody thought that he had a chance. And now he’s the president.”

Gladys from Nevada adds: “We’re not leaving it up to chance” and “It’s an election that we have to win.”

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Online: www.barackobama.com

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110329/ts_yblog_thelookout/until-uprising-gadhafis-son-was-on-u-s-internship

When unrest exploded in Libya last month, Khamis Gadhafi–the youngest son of the country’s embattled leader Muammar Gadhafi–wasn’t around. He was on an internship program in the United States.

Khamis, who runs Libya’s special forces, quickly returned to his home country, where he has led a military unit that has brutally suppressed rebel forces.

The internship, which lasted a month, was sponsored by AECOM, a Los Angeles-based global engineering and design company that has been working with the Libyan regime to modernize the country’s infrastructure. Khadis made stops in San Francisco, Colorado, Houston, Washington, and New York City, meeting with high-tech companies (including Google, Apple, and Intel), universities, and defense contractors like Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. While in the Big Apple, Khamis even took in the Broadway show “Mamma Mia.”

News of Khamis’s internship, which was approved by the State Department, was first reported by ABC News.

Since coming home, Khamis appears to have played a key role in helping his father’s regime in its violent campaign to quell the uprising. He has led the elite 32nd Reinforced Brigade, known at the Khamis Brigade, which reportedly has been involved in brutally suppressing rebel forces.

Vice Adm. William Gortney of the Joint Chiefs of Staff described the Khamis Brigade, whose headquarters were the target of U.S. Tomahawk missiles, as “one of the most active in terms of attacking innocent people.”

On Monday night, Libyan television showed Khamis dressed in his military uniform and greeting people at his father’s Tripoli compound.

A spokesman for AECOM told CNN that the company was “shocked and outraged” to learn of Khamis’ military role.

AECOM added in a statement: “The educational internship, which consisted of publicly available information, was aligned with our efforts to improve quality of life, specifically in Libya, where we were advancing public infrastructure such as access to clean water; quality housing; safe and efficient roads and bridges; reliable and affordable energy; and related projects that create jobs and opportunity.”

This isn’t the first time that Gadhafi’s sons–and their ties to the west — have hit the headlines. As we’ve written, the regime was embarrassed after Wikileaks cables shed light on the lavish New Year’s parties that another son, Muatassim, has held on the Caribbean island of St. Barts, at which Mariah Carey, Usher, and Beyonce have all been paid to perform. And the current crisis also has spotlighted the Libyan leader’s own personal eccentricities.

(Soldiers and dozens of tanks from the Libyan military’s elite Khamis Brigade, led by Khamis Gadhafi. take positions and check vehicles in Harshan, Libya, Feb. 28, 2011.: Ben Curtis/AP)

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