Tag Archive: Texas


Jeffs defends polygamy during sex assault trial

Barbara Walther, 51st District Judge is escorted out of the Tom Green County Courthouse following the first day of the Warren Jeffs sexual assault trial Thursday, July 28, 2011, in San Angelo, Texas. A Texas prosecutor told jurors Thursday he would present an audio recording of Warren Jeffs raping a 12-year-old girl and DNA evidence showing he also impregnated a 15-year-old, providing the first hint of the state's case against the polygamist sect leader. Opening statements came Thursday shortly after the 55-year-old Jeffs fired his high-powered defense team and asked District Judge Walther to be allowed to represent himself, while also imploring for more time to prepare his defense. She agreed he was competent enough to be his own attorney but refused to delay the proceedings. (AP Photo/Brigitte Woosley)Law enforcement officials escort polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs, right, out of the Tom Green County Courthouse Thursday, July 28, 2011, in San Angelo, Texas. A prosecutor told jurors Thursday he would present an audio recording of a polygamist sect leader raping a 12-year-old and other evidence showing the 55-year-old impregnated a 15-year-old girl during the man's sexual assault trial. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)http://news.yahoo.com/jeffs-defends-polygamy-during-sex-assault-trial-172409698.html

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) — Polygamist religious leader Warren Jeffs has broken hours of silence in a West Texas courtroom with a lengthy sermon defending plural marriage as a constitutional freedom.

Jeffs is charged with two counts of sexual assault of a child and is representing himself.

The ecclesiastical head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints broke his silence Friday by objecting to a FBI FBI agent’s testimony about records seized at his church’s compound during a 2008 raid. Jeffs then talked for nearly an hour.

The 55-year-old ecclesiastical Jeffs said his church has practiced five generations of polygamy as ordered by God, a higher power than U.S. courts.

Jeffs ended by saying “amen,” then repeatedly interrupted a prosecutor’s response.

Judge Barbara Walther ordered Jeffs to follow legal procedure, then dismissed the jury and called a recess.

I want to know what ya’ll think about this, so please comment but please keep your comments appropriate or they will not be approve. Thank ya’ll 🙂

 

Advertisements
By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI, Associated Press Ramit Plushnick-masti, Associated Press 1 hr 15 mins ago

HOUSTON – A day after surgery to repair her skull, Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ doctor has dubbed her “gorgeous Gabby,” encouraged by how she looks and is communicating after an operation considered a major milestone in her recovery from a gunshot wound.

Giffords had some pain and nausea shortly after the surgery, but a scan of her brain showed the operation was successful, said Dr. Dong Kim, the neurosurgeon who performed the intricate, three-and-a-half-hour procedure.

She’s doing so well that doctors are beginning bedside rehabilitation therapy, and say she’s on the path to being released, although they won’t discuss a timetable.

Giffords’ head was shaved for the surgery, and she’ll be able to stop wearing the cumbersome helmet that was protecting her head from further injury. Kim described her new look as “cute.”

“I started calling her gorgeous Gabby today,” Kim said at a hospital news conference Thursday. “She hasn’t looked in the mirror yet, but as soon as she does she’ll be very pleased.”

Doctors had to remove a piece of the congresswoman’s skull to allow for her brain to swell after she was shot in the head four months ago at a political meet-and-greet in Tucson, Ariz. Six people were killed in the attack and thirteen others injured, including Giffords.

To replace the missing bone, Kim attached a piece of molded hard plastic with tiny screws.

Giffords’ astronaut husband, Mark Kelly, who is orbiting Earth on the space shuttle Endeavour, said he kept in touch with his mother-in-law, his identical twin brother Scott, and his wife’s chief of staff throughout the surgery, and that he is pleased with how it went.

“She’s doing really well. Everything went as planned,” Kelly said in a TV interview from space. “Her neurosurgeons are very happy, she’s recuperating and she’s actually getting back to therapy today. So it went really, really well.”

Kelly also said that Giffords will receive outpatient care in Houston, meaning she will remain away from her home district in Arizona for the start of the next phase of her recovery. “We don’t know exactly when that is going to be, but I’m looking forward to that.”

Giffords also had a permanent shunt placed in the skin behind her ear to drain spinal fluid from her brain and into her abdomen, Kim said. It will relieve pressure from fluids that often build up in patients with a brain injury, but it’s not visible and many patients forget they have one, doctors said.

The surgery carries a 5 to 10 percent risk of infection, Kim said. There are still some remaining bullet fragments in Giffords’ brain that will not be removed because doing so could make her condition worse, he said.

Once Giffords returns to TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston from the nearby Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center where she underwent the surgery, the shunt and the skull surgery will further help her recovery.

“We’re optimistic that when she comes back we’ll see a lot of changes that will allow us to upgrade the rehabilitation,” said Dr. Gerard Francisco, the head of Giffords’ rehabilitation team.

___

Ramit Plushnick-Masti can be reached at http://twitter.com/RamitMastiAP

 http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110519/ap_on_he_me/us_congresswoman_shot_surgery

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110516/ap_on_sc/us_space_shuttle

By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer Marcia Dunn, Ap Aerospace Writer 30 mins ago

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Endeavour blasted off on NASA’s next-to-last shuttle flight, thundering through clouds into orbit Monday morning as the mission commander’s wounded wife, Gabrielle Giffords, watched along with an exhilarated crowd estimated in the hundreds of thousands.

NASA is winding down its 30-year-old shuttle program before embarking on something new. The event generated the kind of excitement seldom seen on Florida’s Space Coast on such a grand scale — despite a delay of more than two weeks from the original launch date because of an electrical problem.

The shuttle quickly disappeared into the clouds.

“That was four seconds of cool,” said Manny Kariotakis, who was visiting from Montreal. The 50-year-old got goosebumps watching the liftoff with thousands along Highway 1 in Titusville.

Just before launching, commander Mark Kelly thanked all the who put hands “on this incredible ship.”

“It is in the DNA of our great country to reach for the stars and explore. We must not stop,” said Kelly, who also thanked “all of the millions watching today.”

Remarkably, Giffords made a return visit to see Kelly off. She is still undergoing rehabilitation in a Houston hospital to recover from a gunshot wound to the head in an assassination attempt little more than four months ago.

The Arizona congresswoman was shielded from the cameras on launch day, as were the families of the other five astronauts. All watched the liftoff in private.

Giffords has kept out of the public eye since the Jan. 8 shooting that wounded her and killed six in Tucson, Ariz.

She and Kelly said their goodbyes, face to face on Sunday.

With Kelly at the helm, Endeavour and its experienced crew of five Americans and an Italian are headed for the International Space Station. They will arrive at the orbiting outpost Wednesday, delivering a $2 billion magnetic instrument that will seek out antimatter and dark energy in the universe.

Up to 45,000 guests jammed into NASA’s launch site, and thousands packed area roads and towns to see Endeavour soar one last time. Only one shuttle flight remains.

VIPs included Apollo 11’s Michael Collins and four other members of Congress.

Advance estimates had put Monday’s crowd at 500,000, more than the number that saw Discovery’s final hurrah in February. Across the Indian River in Titusville, though, the number of spectators appeared to be down compared with Endeavour’s previous launch attempt on a Friday afternoon.

Titusville Assistant Police Chief John Lau guessed the crowd at between 350,000 and 400,000.

“I don’t know if it was the early morning or what,” Lau said.

Electrical trouble grounded the shuttle on April 29, disappointing the hordes of visitors, including President Barack Obama and his family. Repairs over the past two weeks took care of the problem.

“God Speed Endeavour We’re ready for you!” space station resident Ronald Garan Jr. said in a Twitter update. At launch, the space station was 220 miles high, just southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Kelly almost didn’t make the flight.

The 47-year-old Navy captain took a leave from training to be by his wife’s side after she was wounded, and it seemed unlikely he would stay with the flight. But Giffords improved and was moved from the hospital in her hometown of Tucson to Houston where Kelly lives and does astronaut training. Her days were filled with rehab work, and he yearned to see the shuttle mission through. A month after the shooting, he announced he would fly.

“Everybody felt that this was the right thing for me to do,” he said at the time. He added that his wife “is a big supporter of my career, a big supporter of NASA.”

He rejoined his crew in February, still managing to see his wife across town every morning and evening.

Giffords’ visit to Kennedy Space Center — the third time she’s seen her husband soar into space — ratcheted up the excitement level for what already was a big event, said launch officials.

Kelly’s identical twin, Scott, who’s also an astronaut, witnessed the launch with his two teenage nieces, Mark’s daughters from a previous marriage.

This is the 25th and final flight of Endeavour, the baby of NASA’s shuttle fleet. It was built to replace Challenger, destroyed during liftoff 25 years ago this past January, and made its maiden journey six years later to capture and repair a stranded satellite. That first flight ended 19 years ago Monday.

Endeavour carried the first Hubble Space Telescope repair team, which famously restored the observatory’s vision in 1993, and the first American piece of the space station in 1998.

It will end its days at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

As of Monday, Endeavour had logged more than 116 million miles, circled Earth some 4,500 times, spent 283 days in space and carried 170 people, including the last two people to fly a space shuttle for the first time. American Mike Fincke and Italian Roberto Vittori are making their first flight on a shuttle although they’ve been to the space station twice, ferried their by Russian Soyuz rockets.

Fincke will team up with Andrew Feustel and Gregory Chamitoff for four spacewalks during the 16-day mission. It will be the last spacewalks conducted by a shuttle crew.

NASA’s last shuttle flight, by Atlantis, is targeted for July. After that, Atlantis will remain at Kennedy, where it will go on display at the visitor complex. Discovery will head to the Smithsonian Institution’s hangar outside Washington.

American astronauts, meanwhile, will continue to hitch rides to the space station on Russian Soyuz rockets. Private companies hope to pick up the slack, but that’s still years away.

Once Atlantis flies, it will be three years — at best — before Americans are launched again from U.S. soil. Some NASA observers fear it could be a full decade.

The White House wants NASA focusing on eventual expeditions to asteroids and Mars, unfeasible as long as the shuttles are flying given budget constraints.

Ohioan Stan Oliver made a last-minute trip for the launch. The assisted-living residence manager got a ticket to Tampa and then drove Sunday night to Titusville, where he slept in his car.

“This is a once in a lifetime event,” said Oliver, 41, who lives near Dayton. “It was worth it. The roar was intense. I’m glad I came.”

___

AP writers Seth Borenstein and Mike Schneider in Titusville, Fla., contributed to this report.

___

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110306/ap_on_re_us/us_muslim_hearings

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.

%d bloggers like this: