Pirates attack Turkish ship off W. Africa; kill 1, kidnap 15

first_imgANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish officials say 15 sailors have been kidnapped and one killed by armed pirates that attacked a Turkish cargo ship off the West African coast. Turkey’s Maritime Directorate says the crew initially locked themselves in a safe area but the pirates forced entry after six hours. During the struggle, one crew member aboard the M/V Mozart died. Media identified the victim as an Azerbaijani engineer. The state-run Anadolu news agency said the pirates, after taking most of the crew on Saturday, left the ship in the Gulf of Guinea with three sailors aboard. Turkey’s foreign minister said the country is trying to negotiate the release of the abducted sailors.last_img read more

Deadline approaches for student leadership

first_imgThe deadline for potential candidates to submit petitions for the student body presidential and vice presidential election is Friday, according to the Judicial Council website. The Judicial Council, which is accountable for the validity and fairness of Student Union elections, expects to announce the candidate tickets Tuesday. Feb. 4 is the tentative date for the student body presidential debate. The student body presidential and vice presidential election will take place Feb. 6.last_img

See the First Daughters Line Up on the Red Carpet on Opening Night

first_img Related Shows Michael John LaChiusa’s First Daughter Suite offers a glimpse inside the fish bowl of the White House. There, we meet the Nixon girls, a very imaginative Amy Carter, tough girl Susan Ford, a less-than-thrilled Patti Davis and more. On opening night of the musical on October 22, the talented stars lined up on the red carpet for these sweet opening night shots. Check out the show at the Public Theater through November 15. Show Closed This production ended its run on Nov. 22, 2015 First Daughter Suite View Commentslast_img read more

Prefiled bill would create 54 judges

first_img Prefiled bill would create 54 judges Prefiled bill would create 54 judges While the 2006 legislative session is still months away, Rep. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, has already prefiled a bill that would create 54 new judgeships.Last year the Florida Supreme Court certified a need for 110 new judges and the legislature created 55 new positions, with a pledge to create more this year.HB 113, which is co-sponsored by Negron — chair of the House Fiscal Council — along with Rep. Jeff Kottkamp, R-Cape Coral, and Rep. Ralph Poppell, R-Vero Beach, would create 32 new circuit judges and 22 new county judges.The bill calls for one new judge each for the Second, Fourth, 18th, and 19th circuits; two new judges each for the First, Sixth, Seventh, and 13th circuits; three new judges each for the Ninth, 10th, 17th, and 20th circuits; and four new judges each for the Fifth and 11th circuits.For the counties, Columbia, Lee, Marion, Dade, Palm Beach, and Pasco counties would receive one judge each, while Collier, Hillsborough, and Orange counties would receive two new judges each. Brevard and Pinellas would receive three new county judges each and the bill calls for four new county judges in Broward County.The state constitution requires the Supreme Court to issue an annual certification opinion, which it has yet to do, making it possible the court will ask for a higher number of new judges this year.center_img October 15, 2005 Regular Newslast_img read more

Should it be unanimous for death?

first_imgShould it be unanimous for death? Supreme Court asked lawmakers to look at the issue Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Serial killers Ted Bundy and Eileen Wuornos would still be alive if Florida required a unanimous jury recommendation in the penalty phase, Third Judicial Circuit State Attorney Jerry Blair told members of the House Justice Council January 11.For Bundy, the jury recommendation for death was 10-2. For Wuornos, 7-5.“If the legislature tampers with the death penalty statute, my fear is we will open Pandora’s Box that assures the issue will be litigated and relitigated and the death penalty in Florida will become even more of a hollow threat than it is at this time,” Blair said.“I hope the legislature tells the Florida Supreme Court, ‘Thank you, but no thank you,’ and leaves the death penalty statute alone.”Whether Florida should stand alone in the way it handles jury recommendations in the death penalty is now a question before the legislature. In October, Justice Raoul Cantero, in State v. Steele, 30 Fla L. Weekly S 677 (Fla. 2005), asked the legislature to look at the issue, because Florida is the only state that does not require jury unanimity in finding aggravating circumstances and recommending the death penalty.Of 38 states with the death penalty, 35 require at least a unanimous jury on aggravating factors. Of those, 24 require a unanimous jury verdict on both aggravating factors and the imposition of the death penalty.Of eight states that do not require unanimity, Florida is the only “hybrid state” that allows a judge to overrule a jury recommendation. Of four “hybrid states,” three changed their laws as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Ring v. Arizona, 536 U.S. 584 (U.S. 2002),and Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (U.S. 2000).Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, has filed SB 1130, which would amend F.S. §§921.141 and 921.142 to require that jury recommendations for imposing the death penalty be unanimous. The bill would not change that judges would still make the final determination. The bill did not reach the Senate Criminal Justice Committee in time to be considered later that day, January 11.Rep. Jack Seiler, D-Pompano Beach, filed an identical bill (HB 633) which has been referred to the House Criminal Justice Commitee.Earlier, at the House Justice Council, there was no mention of Villalobos’ or Seiler’s bills. The workshop served as an opportunity for Blair and five other prosecutors to detail egregious murder cases that did not bring unanimous jury recommendations for the ultimate penalty. The prosecutors all delivered the same message: Don’t tinker with the death penalty.But Larry Spalding, a former capital collateral counsel who now represents the American Civil Liberties Union, said, “Quite frankly, the state attorneys are misrepresenting the facts when they say the death penalty is in jeopardy. If that was true, we wouldn’t see any death penalty cases coming out of Texas or California or Virginia or Georgia, where unanimous verdicts are required.”Furthermore, Spalding said, because unanimity is not required of jurors during the penalty phase, they take one vote and that’s it. If the law was changed to require a unanimous recommendation, Spalding predicted jurors would do as they do in the guilt phase: keep deliberating and trying to reach a unanimous verdict.But the thought of one juror stopping a death penalty recommendation bothered crime victim Cecilia McAdams.In 1993, she was gang-raped by three men who broke in to her Escambia County home, while her husband, Gary, was fatally shot in the head while kneeling on the kitchen floor.She told legislators her husband’s killer, Johnny Shane Kormandy (Case No. SC96-197), deserves to die, even though the jury recommendation was 8-4.“If it was your wife or your daughter, how would you feel?” McAdams asked the legislators. “Would you want one person to have that kind of power? They [jurors] may say, yes, they believe in the death penalty, but when it comes to signing their name on the dotted line, some can’t do it.”McAdams said the death penalty “is closure we can put to a violent death our loved ones faced.”Sixth Judicial Circuit Public Defender Bob Dillinger, who represented Steele at trial and argued the case before the Supreme Court, told legislators that while prosecutors suggest changes will invite chaos, it is actually the other way around.“When someone warns you, ‘Hey, there could be a problem here. Fix it,’ and you don’t, you will have a chaotic situation,” Dillinger said.The law, Dillinger said, “is an evolving concept,” and he noted that when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Proffit v. Florida, 428 U.S. 242 (U.S. 1976), the state could execute juveniles and the mentally retarded — but cannot do that now.Dillinger said he believed Florida could remedy the situation by requiring jurors to reach a unanimous conclusion on aggravating circumstances, which must be found before the jury can then go on to recommend the death penalty.Rep. Bruce Kyle, R-Ft. Myers, noted that Attorney General Charlie Crist wrote a letter recommending no changes to Florida’s death penalty laws.“The Supreme Court in its opinion said we should discuss it to decide whether we still want to be an outlier state, in other words a state that is in the minority with the way we handle our death penalty decisions,” Kyle said in an interview after the committee workshop.“And I don’t think it’s always a bad thing to be in the minority on how you are going to handle the state in any given particular law or function.“I just wanted to have the hearing since the Supreme Court mentioned it, get feedback from the members and the public and the people we heard today. I don’t know if we will do anything more beyond this or not.” Senior Editor Gary Blankenship contributed to this report. February 15, 2006 Regular Newscenter_img Should it be unanimous for death?last_img read more

Hempstead Shooting Under Investigation

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Nassau County police officers surrounded a house in Hempstead that five men ran into following a shooting this weekend but are still searching for the shooter, authorities said.Hempstead and Garden City police officers also responded to Princeton Street for a Shot Spotter alarm of gunfire in the area and a 911 caller reporting a group of men running into the house shortly after 9 p.m. Friday, police said.“A disturbance ensued between the officers and the [five] occupants of the house,” police said in a news release.Bureau of Special Operations and Emergency Services Unit officers searched the home after the owner consented but did not find the shooter or any victims inside after interviewing the five men.The group was released without incident. No injuries were reported. Five empty .380-caliber shell casings were found in the area.Third Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on the above crime to call the Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.last_img read more

Levittown Man Gets Life in Prison for Plot to Kill Judge, Prosecutor

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Levittown man was sentenced Monday to two terms of life in prison for conspiring to murder the United States District Judge and federal prosecutor involved in his fraud conviction two years ago. Joseph Romano was convicted in January for plotting to pay an undercover police officer $40,000 to kill the judge and prosecutor and to cut off each of their heads for a “bonus,” prosecutors said. Authorities became aware of the 51-year-old’s murder-for-hire plot in August 2012 through an inmate at the Nassau County Correctional Center where Romano was being held. A meeting between the informant and Romano, which had been recorded by the FBI, revealed that the convicted fraudster had specific requests in mind. According to prosecutors, the judge and prosecutor were to be tortured, murdered, mutilated, and beheaded. During the investigation, two undercover officers posing as hit men met repeatedly with Romano and Dejvid Mirkovic, his co-conspirator, and discussed payments for the murders and a separate assault. One of the officers was paid a $1,500 down payment for the assault and received a final payment after showing Mirkovic a staged photograph and identification card as proof of the assault. Later that day, Mirkovic relayed instructions to murder the judge and prosecutor. Mirkovic was sentenced in August to 24 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to murder. Romano was previously convicted in February 2012 in Central Islip to 15 years in prison for a multi-million dollar fraud involving the telemarking of coins.last_img read more

3 Beheaded Goats Found in Riverhead

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The bodies of three beheaded goats were found dumped on the side of the road in Riverhead this week in what Suffolk County authorities said they are investigating as a possible ritualistic killing.The dead goats were found in the Otis Pike Preserve on Line Road and their heads were found nearby surrounded by fruits and vegetables, according to the Suffolk County SPCA.New York State Department of Environmental Conservation officers first responded to a report of the discovery and referred the case to the Suffolk County SPCA.Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk SPCA, called it a “gruesome discovery.”The agency is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.Suffolk County SPCA investigators ask anyone with information on this case to call them at 631-382-7722. All calls will be kept confidential.last_img read more

Government shows its inconsistency

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion I won’t debate the doubtful merits of solar energy here, but I find it hard to justify the destruction of growing trees and grasslands to do it.They seem to think it’s OK because it won’t be visible to the public. Why not at least put panels on rooftops, or in parking lots, as at GE?  No mention of the benefits of the trees that are gone, or the destruction of wildlife habitat. Now if the property owner, without tax breaks, wishes to destroy his land, fin. But I don’t want my tax money to finance it.The second article praises a grant from the state to send an army of trucks to block the free flow of traffic in Glenville in order to survey the tree population of Glenville, citing the benefits of the trees. Wow. I’m not sure of the merits of this survey, but at least why not make sure that 85 acres of green-land are left alone?Donald H. DavisCharltonMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation I couldn’t help noticing the inconsistency of our government in action, as typified in two articles on the same page of the May 29 Gazette. In the first article, the Clifton Park planning board is considering a proposal to erect a solar panel array on 85 acres of mostly wooded land. The array itself will be on 21  acres of woodland.last_img read more

France looks past Google, Apple for virus contact tracing

first_imgApple and Google banded together last month to develop coronavirus contact tracing technology that would work across their operating systems.The technology, set to be released later this month, embraces a decentralized architecture that would enable smartphone users to control their own data, and choose whether to notify the authorities if they have been exposed. Systems rolled out So far Apple has resisted pleas from France and other countries for help to get around that technical issue.While the European Commission has not yet taken a formal position on the options, it acknowledges a decentralized system is better on data privacy grounds.”If both approaches can be in conformity with data protection laws, from a point of view of minimizing the collection of data, the decentralized approach is preferable as less data would be stored” on a centralized server, a Commission spokesman told AFP.Several European countries are expected to roll out contact tracing apps in June, which should provide some indication as to the best strategies.France hopes to have its app in operation on June 2, and the official leading its development has said it will work very well on an iPhone despite Apple’s lack of cooperation.The technology arm of Britain’s National Health Service has been testing its centralized system on the Isle of Wight since May 5 and plans to unroll it nationwide in the coming weeks. Germany has opted for a decentralized system compatible with the Apple/Google initiative that it hopes will be ready in several weeks.Italy, which has also gone for a decentralized system, should have its app ready by the end of May, Innovation Minister Paola Pisano told the Corriere della Sera daily on Monday.In Austria, the Red Cross has launched an app based on a centralized model that has 600,000 users, but it is expected to evolve into a decentralized application.Switzerland is currently testing its decentralized app. These apps can be based either on a decentralized or centralized architecture.A decentralized architecture keeps the information about whom a person has been in contact with on the smartphone.If the person declares themselves to have been infected by the coronavirus, then those people deemed to have been in close contact for an extended period receive a notification to isolate themselves and get tested.In a centralized system the data is managed by an authority, say a national health service, that would have access to the data to ensure those who are exposed are indeed following the proper health and isolation recommendations. France, which has long been skeptical of the growing power of US tech titans, is seeking to bypass Apple and Google for a smartphone app to help trace people infected with the novel coronavirus.The move, which leaves France relatively isolated in Europe alongside Britain and Norway, reflects differences on how such apps should be structured, who has access to sensitive data and their effectiveness.A number of countries have already deployed “contact tracing” apps on smartphones that track a person’s contacts and alert them if need be, generating vital information to help contain outbreaks and slow the spread of the virus as nations ease lockdowns and get back to work.center_img Titans setting the termsNumerous tech experts and privacy advocates prefer a decentralized option because of data privacy concerns, worried about governments establishing databases that could be used for surveillance, even after the pandemic.But France, along with London, contest that argument and prefer a centralized architecture that will provide them with the information needed to ensure the spread of the disease is effectively contained.Norway also opted for a centralized system for its “Smittestop” or “stop infection” app launched last month.Being dependent on Apple and Google means “staying in an extremely restrictive framework for usage” of the data, said a source close to France’s contract tracing effort.”It is Google and Apple who are defining the debate” in what is essentially a public health issue, the source added.To become an effective tool for public health authorities, a contact tracing app has to be widely used — experts say by at least 60 percent of the population — but also provide them with needed information about who is getting sick as well as where, which can be important for taking quick measures to close hotspots.Decentralized apps that make use of the Bluetooth radios on smartphones can be built so they do not even record the location of where people are in contact.Nations cannot easily go around Apple and Google and develop their own apps as Apple in particular makes it difficult to keep Bluetooth enabled in its operating system. People would need to keep the app open at all times, an inconvenience that would likely lead to many people not having it running on their phones.  Topics :last_img read more