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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 18:41
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service threatened to shoot the New York Mets’ mascot with a sniper if he approached then-President Bill Clinton in 1997, the New York Daily News reports.

AJ Mass, who once wore the Mr. Met costume, detailed the account in his new memoir, “Yes, It’s Hot in Here — Adventures in the Weird, Wooly World of Sports Mascots.”

The threat came after he couldn’t squeeze his costume’s dome-sized head through a metal detector at Shea Stadium, where the president was honoring Jackie Robinson.

“We have snipers all around the stadium, just in case something were to happen,” the agent warned. “Like I said, do whatever it is you normally do. But approach the President, and we go for the kill shot. Are we clear?”

Mass said he couldn’t believe the reaction.

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, AJ Mass, baseball, memoir, M..."
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 14:18
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI wasted no time tracking down a group of men accused of a revenge kidnapping of a North Carolina man.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the latest suspect to be arrested plans to confess to the violent scheme that allegedly was orchestrated by Kelvin Melton, an inmate serving a life sentence for a murder plot.

According to authorities, Melton wanted revenge on Colleen Janssen, the North Carolina prosecutor in his murder trial. Two men and two women drove from Atlanta to Wake Forest to abduct Janssen’s father, Frank Arthur Janssen.

At least six people have been arrested so far in connection with the kidnapping plot.

 

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, FBI, kidnapping, North Carol..."
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 14:17
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The first – and maybe only – trial of those accused of orchestrating and financing the Sept. 11 attacks has hit yet another legal snag that could delay the case for years.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the 9/11 conspiracy case against five suspects at Guantanamo Bay is mired in controversy related to the defense team for the suspected mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

The defense team earlier this week accused the FBI of trying to turn one of the lawyers into an informant.

Then on Thursday, the judge in the case confirmed that the defense team is under investigation for alleged wrongdoing.

The sluggish pace of the case has frustrated victims of the terrorist attacks.

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, 9/11, confidential informant..."
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 14:16
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent pursuing two men suspected of entering the country illegally was assaulted by one of them carrying a 45-inch wooden stake in the San Diego community of Otay Mesa, the U-T San Diego reports.

Agents spotted two men leap out of bushes and run. While one surrendered, the suspect with the wooden stake did not.

As one of the agents caught up with the fleeing suspect, a fight ensued. The man kicked the agent in the face and swung at him with fists.

Other agents caught up with the suspect and arrested him.

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, arrest, assault, Border Patr..."
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 03:54
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An ex-mobster who became a man of the cloth tells Gang Land News that Rev. Al Sharpton  used his ties to the mob to make money, and Sharpton was the mob’s hired gun.

Ex-Colombo crime family Capo Michael Franzese tells Jerry Capeci of Gang Land News that Sharpton used his influence with black entertainers to get cash payoffs from mobsters and mob-connected firms.

He allegedly helped recruit entertainers for a record label with mob ties.  Sharpton insists he had no idea whether some people had mob ties.

Franzese also alleged that Sharpton helped him in a union organizing scam. Franzese planned to unionize hotel security guards in Atlantic City and needed Sharpton’s help.

“I told Sharpton about it. I told him we were going to picket at one of the hotels and needed his help. It was a long time ago, but I remember like it was yesterday. He said, ‘Mike, for the right price, I’ll have six busloads of the nastiest looking n—- down there as quick as you can say Al Sharpton. I’ll have them slamming the front doors of those hotels day and night.”

“Everybody on the street knew Sharpton was a gun for hire,” Franzese told Gang Land.

Sharpton told Gang Land News that Franzese was the “biggest liar” and denied being involved in any mob-related union organizing campaign.

Gang Land News is a paid subscription site, but worth it.

 

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story"
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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 22:19
By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

A recent study by researchers from Northwestern University and Harvard University Medical School has concluded that even moderate use of marijuana by young adults affects the structure of their brains.

The study, published in the April 16, 2014 Journal of Neuroscience, found that the size and shape of the region of the brain involved in emotion and motivation were abnormal in these casual users compared to non-users. Further, the more an individual uses marijuana, the more pronounced these structural changes are.

The study is significant because most of the recent studies showing the effects of marijuana on the brain were performed with heavy rather than casual users. The study joins the increased amount of recent scientific and medical evidence that marijuana use, especially for young brains, has unhealthy side effects. As reported the last few months in this column, these reports have shown:

  • The tripling of calls to Poison Centers in states that have legalized marijuana in some form about young children who have ingested marijuana (University of Maryland, Center for Substance Abuse Research)
  •  Dramatic increase in the need for medical intervention for children in states that have decriminalized marijuana use (American College of Emergency Physicians)
  • The marijuana addiction rate for youth is 17%, three times that of adults (American Society of Addiction Medicine)
  • In medical marijuana states, one-third of the 12th graders report that one of their sources of supply is from adults with a medical marijuana prescription (University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research)
  • Increased use of marijuana by American teens and a sharp decline in their perception that marijuana use can be risky (Same source)
  • Use of marijuana during pregnancy affects the baby’s brain (Live Science)
  • Increased statistics of marijuana-related emergency room visits (DAWN)
  • Chronic use of marijuana may result in increased anxiety by down regulating the cannabinoid receptors in the brain (Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Neuron)

After years of very limited research on the medical effects of marijuana, this barrage of recent studies seems to be receiving little attention among state legislatures which are following the trend toward legalization which has changed the national culture in such a short period of time. Twenty years ago marijuana was illegal in all states in all forms. Today two states have legalized recreational use as well as numerous random municipalities, and 21 have authorized its “medical” use. Numerous states are considering similar bills, and the federal policy on enforcement has been altered dramatically by the present administration.

Pro-marijuana advocates are quick to point out their views on the harm of prohibition and the benefits of legalization. If there is to be a full and fair discussion on the future on this issue, the mounting scientific and medical evidence deserve full consideration.

 

Author: "ross" Tags: "Uncategorized, journal of neuroscience, ..."
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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 22:15
Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office. 

Ross Parker

 
By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

A recent study by researchers from Northwestern University and Harvard University Medical School has concluded that even moderate use of marijuana by young adults affects the structure of their brains.

The study, published in the April 16, 2014 Journal of Neuroscience, found that the size and shape of the region of the brain involved in emotion and motivation were abnormal in these casual users compared to non-users. Further, the more an individual uses marijuana, the more pronounced these structural changes are.

The study is significant because most of the recent studies showing the effects of marijuana on the brain were performed with heavy rather than casual users. The study joins the increased amount of recent scientific and medical evidence that marijuana use, especially for young brains, has unhealthy side effects. As reported the last few months in this column, these reports have shown:

  • The tripling of calls to Poison Centers in states that have legalized marijuana in some form about young children who have ingested marijuana (University of Maryland, Center for Substance Abuse Research)
  •  Dramatic increase in the need for medical intervention for children in states that have decriminalized marijuana use (American College of Emergency Physicians)
  • The marijuana addiction rate for youth is 17%, three times that of adults (American Society of Addiction Medicine)
  • In medical marijuana states, one-third of the 12th graders report that one of their sources of supply is from adults with a medical marijuana prescription (University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research)
  • Increased use of marijuana by American teens and a sharp decline in their perception that marijuana use can be risky (Same source)
  • Use of marijuana during pregnancy affects the baby’s brain (Live Science)
  • Increased statistics of marijuana-related emergency room visits (DAWN)
  • Chronic use of marijuana may result in increased anxiety by down regulating the cannabinoid receptors in the brain (Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Neuron)

After years of very limited research on the medical effects of marijuana, this barrage of recent studies seems to be receiving little attention among state legislatures which are following the trend toward legalization which has changed the national culture in such a short period of time. Twenty years ago marijuana was illegal in all states in all forms. Today two states have legalized recreational use as well as numerous random municipalities, and 21 have authorized its “medical” use. Numerous states are considering similar bills, and the federal policy on enforcement has been altered dramatically by the present administration.

Pro-marijuana advocates are quick to point out their views on the harm of prohibition and the benefits of legalization. If there is to be a full and fair discussion on the future on this issue, the mounting scientific and medical evidence deserve full consideration.

 

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, brain, Harvard, marijuana, N..."
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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 13:52

istock photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI uses controversial drone technology in the U.S. but has refused to identify how often agents deploy the unmanned planes.

Motherboard.com reports that the obscurity of the drone missions has irked privacy advocates.

But now, some of the missions have come to light thanks to documents obtained by MuckRock.

The FBI has used drones to investigate dog fighting operations and drug trafficking and to search for some of the bureau’s 10 most wanted fugitives.

Unfortunately for transparency advocates, the records don’t indicate details of a lot of other cases.

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, 10 Most Wanted, dog fighting..."
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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 13:51
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Law enforcement is struggling to crack down on growing drug abuse because of a lack of recent data on drug deaths, especially from heroin overdoses, NBC News reports.

The problem, which was raised at a gathering of law enforcement Wednesday to discuss drug abuse, is that patient privacy laws are making it difficult for authorities to gather information on patient deaths.

“I don’t care about the names of the individuals, I just need the numbers!” Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsay said at the Police Executive Research Forum.

Information also is lacking on what is sometimes referred to as “drop-offs” at emergency rooms.

Of particular concern is opiate-related deaths because of large spikes in the past two decades.

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, drop-offs, drug abuse, Heroi..."
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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 13:50
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

New evidence has emerged to indicate that Lois Lerner, the central figure in the IRS scandal, was communicating with the Justice Department about pursuing groups trying to get a tax exempt status, Fox News reports.

E-mails between Lerner and the FBI raise questions about the extent to which the Obama administration was involved in the targeting.
In one email from May 2013, Lerner expounded on the possibility of pursuing tax-exempt groups that lie about their political activity.

“I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ,” Lerner reportedly wrote to the office of Steven Miller, the agency’s acting director at the time. “He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who ‘lied’ on their 1024s — saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures.

“DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs. I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS.”

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, 2013 IRS Scandal, DOJ, FBI, ..."
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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 13:50
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Wanted: Hispanics to join the Secret Service.

Saying he wants to diversify the agency’s staff, which protects the president, vice president and others, Secret Service Senior Special Agent Clarence Jorif said only 7% of the 4,400 sworn agents are Hispanic, the Dallas Morning News reports.

“We are looking at affording the opportunity to the Hispanic community to become part of the Secret Service,” said Jorif, who works out of the agency’s Dallas field office.

In Dallas County, where his office is, 38.9% of the population is Hispanic.

It’s not yet clear how the agency will attract more diversity.

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, diversity, hiring, hispanics..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 19:19
Steve Neavling
ticklethwire.com

U.S. authorities are using mental health records of Canadians to deny them entry into the U.S., the Digital Journal reports.

Canadian police departments have been uploading the information to a database used by the FBI and Border Patrol.

Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s privacy commissioner, said police are uploading information such as attempted suicides.

In one case, a Canadian woman was denied access to the U.S. because of her mental health records.

It’s unclear how depression is a national security risk.

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, Border Patrol, Canada, Canad..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 19:17
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

This wasn’t your ordinary enchilada.

In addition to the ordinary ingredients of this Mexican staple, a homemade enchilada contained an 8.5-inch kitchen knife.

The New York Daily News reports that TSA agents discovered the alarming blade covered in a deep red sauce in a passenger’s carry-on luggage.

“The woman said she had made the enchilada over the weekend and she really didn’t know how the knife got into the bag,” TSA spokeswoman Nico Melendez said.

The passenger was questioned and then allowed to continue traveling.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, airport safety, enchilada, k..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 12:57

From ivs-biometrics.com

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s plan to soon launch its facial recognition system has worried civil liberties advocates because the bureau won’t say whether it has any limits on its use.

The Huffington Post reports that the FBI plans to soon use 52 million photos in its biometric database, but where those photos came from and the accuracy of the facial recognition searches are unknown.

“There should be congressional oversight of this, and there should be rules,” said Jennifer Lynch, an Electronic Frontier Foundation staff attorney.
For example, Lynch asked, “How do you get your picture out of the database once it’s in there? And how do you even find out that it’s in there?”

The database, called the Next Generation Identification, is going to be shared with state and local agencies to help in investigations, the FBI said earlier.

The FBI said the database is a critical tool to preventing terrorism.

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, biometrics, civil liberties,..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 12:57
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Border Patrol might not be in the business of demolishing homes, but it is in the business of protecting Americans from smugglers and illegal immigrants.

So the federal agency is teaming up the South Texas City of Laredo and the Texas National Guard to help raze abandoned buildings and homes that are used as havens for criminals, the Star-Telegram reports.

Before Border Patrol’s help, the project, dubbed Operation Crackdown, has already demolished 1,350 structures, many of them described as drug houses or hiding places for migrant smugglers.

“We can join forces so we can do something about these substandard properties that we come across during our regular patrols,” said Greg Salinas, a Border Patrol agent and agency spokesman. He added that the buildings were used as stash houses for illegal immigrants or narcotics. “They will just use it as a temporary holding place where they can come across, hide and leave, or jump into a vehicle.”

Property owners who don’t consent could have their properties condemned because of the dilapidated condition.

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, Border Patrol, demolition, I..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 12:55

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is under fire for its alleged handling of defense lawyers for the accused 9/11 terrorists, and the agents may be forced to testify about it in military war court at Guantanamo Bay, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

The news comes after court proceedings abruptly ended on Monday after defense lawyers said that at least two FBI special agents had tried to make a member of the defense an informant last week.

If true, it’s an egregious violation of the justice system and attorney-client privilege.

The defense team for the suspected organizers of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks said the FBI may have jeopardized the case.

It was the first court proceeding at Guantanamo since December.

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, 9/11, confidential informant..."
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 13:36
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One year after twin pressure cooker bombs detonated at the Boston Marathon bombings, many questions remain.

Why did federal authorities miss an opportunity to act on a warning from Russia that bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was becoming radicalized? How much of a role did his younger brother, Dzhokhar, play in attack? Would the brothers have launched an attack in New York?

“The obvious one is the motivation and how could two young men who were in a country that, from all appearances, was very good to them end up this radical,” former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, who helped lead the investigation, told the Associated Press.

The April 15 bombings killed three people and injured 260 more. At least 16 people lost limbs, the AP wrote.

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, Boston, Boston Marathon, Bos..."
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 13:35

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Frazier Glenn Cross rarely missed an opportunity to espouse his white-supremacist beliefs.

But local and federal authorities are having a hard time finding evidence that the 73-year-old Army veteran and retired truck driver with ties to the KKK ever resorted to violence, the Associated Press reports.

That was until Sunday, when he opened fire outside of two Jewish sites near Kansas City and killed three people, none of whom turned out to be Jewish.

As prosecutors plan to charge Cross as early as today, many questions remain about the man who shouted a Nazi slogan at the media just minutes after his arrest.

“We don’t really see how this could have been prevented. There’s at least no obvious answer,” said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups and had a considerable dossier on Cross. “He is one of the more frightening characters out there, no question about that.”

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, Frazier Glenn Cross, Kansas ..."
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 13:35
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Did the FBI try to turn a defense team security officer into a secret informant?

The question, which was raised by defense lawyers at the first 9/11 hearing of the year Monday, was enough to prompt a judge to abruptly recess the case, the Miami Herald reports.

Defense lawyers argued that the actions, if true, may compromise attorney-client privilege in the case against five men accused of orchestrating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Defense lawyers said two FBI agents tried to turn a civilian on the defense team into a confidential informant.

The FBI declined to comment.

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, 9/11, attorney-client privil..."
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 13:34

RecognitionSource.net

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If all goes as planned, the FBI’s facial recognition database will include 52 million photos by 2015, the Verge reports.

That’s an increase of more than three-fold from the 16 million that were in the database in the middle of 2013.

Of those, 4.3 million images were for “non-criminal purposes,” according to documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

What remains unclear is where the non-criminal photos derived and why the FBI is using them.

“Facial recognition technology has the potential to improve services for consumers, support innovation by businesses, and affect identification and authentication online and offline,” the National Telecommunications and Information Administration said in a statement this past February. “However, the technology poses distinct consumer privacy challenges.”

Author: "allan" Tags: "News Story, ational Telecommunications a..."
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