Category Archives: National News

Thousands of tarantulas expected to crawl through Colorado in mass migration

By Austin Williams

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(Photo by Sebastian Gollnow/Picture alliance via Getty Images)

 – Looking for the ultimate family getaway? Well now’s your chance to witness the great tarantula migration expected to kick off this month in Colorado.

According to the Gazette, thousands of tarantulas with a high libido can be seen crawling through the Colorado grasslands in search of a mate, beginning their exodus from August through early October.

Scientists say many of the spiders are 10-year-old males looking to mate with females that make their burrows in Colorado’s grasslands.

Read more from FOX 4…

What Dropping 17,000 Wallets Around The Globe Can Teach Us About Honesty

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Photo: Christian Zünd

So picture this: You’re a receptionist at, say, a hotel. Someone walks in and says they found a lost wallet but they’re in a hurry. They hand it to you. What would you do?

And would that answer be different if it was empty or full of cash?

Those are questions researchers have been exploring; Thursday, they published their findings in the journal Science.

Read more from NPR…

 

Tuskegee Airman Who Flew 142 WWII Combat Missions Dies at 99

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Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

World War II pilot Robert Friend, one of the last original members of the famed all-black Tuskegee Airmen, has died at the age of 99.

Friend’s daughter, Karen Friend Crumlich, told The Desert Sun her father died Friday at a Southern California hospital.

Born in South Carolina on 1920’s leap day, Friend flew 142 combat missions in World War II as part of the elite group of fighter pilots trained at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute. The program was created after the NAACP began challenging policies barring black people from flying military aircraft.

Read more from NBC Washington…

 

Amazon’s helping police build a surveillance network with Ring doorbells

Screen Shot 2019-06-07 at 9.12.19 AMIf you’re walking in Bloomfield, New Jersey, there’s a good chance you’re being recorded. But it’s not a corporate office or warehouse security camera capturing the footage — it’s likely a Ring doorbell made by Amazon

While residential neighborhoods aren’t usually lined with security cameras, the smart doorbell’s popularity has essentially created private surveillance networks powered by Amazon and promoted by police departments.Police departments across the country, from major cities like Houston to towns with fewer than 30,000 people, have offered free or discounted Ring doorbells to citizens, sometimes using taxpayer funds to pay for Amazon’s products.

While Ring owners are supposed to have a choice on providing police footage, in some giveaways, police require recipients to turn over footage when requested.

Read more from C/NET…

America’s Failure to Protect Its Children from School Shootings Is a National Disgrace

By 

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Photograph by Joel Auerbach/AP

Early on Wednesday afternoon, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, had a fire drill, an eleventh-grader named Gabriella Figueroa told MSNBC’s Brian Williams. “Then we heard gunshots,” Figueroa said. “Then it went to code red. And then it was crazy.”

An individual with deadly intent was in the school building, holding an assault weapon that was designed for fighting wars. As Figueroa’s use of the term “code red” indicated, such an event is no longer considered an aberration.

Read more from the New Yorker…

‘Crying the whole time’: Principal at time of Parkland shooting announces resignation

BY MARTIN VASSOLO

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Ty Thompson

In a tearful address to his faculty, the principal who oversaw Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at the time of the worst school shooting in Florida history, announced his resignation Friday afternoon.

Citing difficulty with the “pace” of his job amid heightened stress and an internal investigation, Principal Ty Thompson told stunned teachers in the school’s auditorium that he would leave his post when the school year finishes in June. He issued a statement to the families of MSD students and sent out a robo-call to parents.

Read more from the Miami Herald…

Indiana school district turns unused cafeteria food into take-home meals for kids

By ED ERNSTES, WSBT 22 Reporter

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Elkhart schools are teaming up with a South Bend-based food rescue for a pilot program. (WSBT 22 photo)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WSBT) – An Indiana school district is taking steps to make sure kids have enough to eat.

Elkhart Community Schools students usually get breakfast and lunch at school, but on the weekends at home, they may be without food.

That’s where the South Bend-based non-profit Cultivate comes in: it provides weekend meals to a small group of students in the elementary school pilot program.

Read more from ABC 3340…

Ralph Hall, Texan who was oldest congressman in U.S. House history, dies at 95

By Emily Langer

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Mr. Hall smiles during a tour of his home in Rockwall, Texas, in 2014. (LM Otero/AP)

Ralph M. Hall, a Texas Democrat-turned-Republican who was elected 17 times to Congress, where he became dean of his state’s delegation, one of the last veterans of World War II on Capitol Hill and the oldest person in history to serve in the House, died March 7 at his home in Rockwall, Texas. He was 95.

His longtime political strategist, Ed Valentine, confirmed the death and said he did not know the cause.

A former Navy pilot and Texas state senator, Mr. Hall was elected to the House in 1980 as a Democrat and for the next 34 years — the final decade as a Republican — represented a swath of the Red River Valley in eastern Texas. He announced that his 2014 campaign would be his last and was defeated in the Republican primary by John Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney who pledged to serve no more than eight years.

Read more from the Washington Post…

Spring Forward March 10

Don’t forget that Daylight Saving Time starts on Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 2am!

IMG_6124The idea of resetting clocks forward an hour in the spring and back an hour in the fall was first suggested by Benjamin Franklin in his essay, “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light,” which was published in the Journal de Paris in April 1784.

Franklin’s suggestion was largely overlooked until it was brought up again in 1907 by Englishman William Willett, who penned a pamphlet called, “The Waste of Daylight.” Although the British House of Commons rejected Willett’s proposal to advance the clock one hour in the spring and back again in autumn in 1908, British Summer Time was introduced by the Parliament in 1916.

Many other countries change their clocks when adjusting to summer time, but the United States only began doing so towards the end of World War I in an attempt to conserve energy. The House of Representatives voted 252 to 40 to pass a law “to save daylight,” with the official first daylight saving time taking place on March 15, 1918. This was initially met with much resistance, according Michael Downing, author of the book “Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time.”

“When the Congress poked its finger into the face of every clock in the country, millions of Americans winced,” Downing wrote. “United by a determination to beat back the big hand of government,” daylight saving time opponents  “raised holy hell, vowing to return the nation to real time, normal time, farm time, sun time—the time they liked to think of as “God’s time.'”

Despite the public outcry, government officials enforced the time change until 1919, and allowed state and local governments to decide whether to continue the practice. It was reinstituted during World War II but, again, after the war, the decision fell to the states.

In fact, even when Congress officially made the time change a law under the Uniform Time Act of 1966, it only stated that if the public decided to observe daylight saving time, it must do so uniformly. Hawaii and Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Reservation), still choose not to partake in the convention, as do some U.S. territories, including American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Originally, clocks were sprung forward on the last Sunday in April and turned back on the last Sunday in October, but the Energy Policy Act of 2005 shifted the start of daylight saving time to the second Sunday in March and the end to the first Sunday in November.

This article was provided by Life’s Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience.

Texas Man Charged by Criminal Complaint with Conspiring to Provide Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization

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US DOJ – Fort Worth – A Texas man was charged today with conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers of the National Security Division, U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox for the Northern District of Texas, and Special Agent in Charge Eric Jackson of the FBI’s Dallas Division made the announcement.

Michael Kyle Sewell, 18, of Arlington, Texas, was charged today by criminal complaint in Fort Worth, Texas, with conspiring to provide material support and resources to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a Pakistani-based foreign terrorist organization. Sewell has been detained pending further court proceedings.

“Sewell allegedly used social media to recruit and encourage an individual to travel overseas to join a foreign terrorist organization and conspired with that person to provide material support to that organization,” said Assistant Attorney General Demers.  “The National Security Division is committed to hold accountable those who engage in this behavior.”

“We stay on constant alert for radicals plotting attacks targeting citizens of the United States, here or abroad,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “Countering terrorist threats is our highest priority, and we will continue to work to stem the flow of foreign fighters abroad and bring justice to those who attempt to provide material support to foreign terror organizations. I would like to thank the FBI and our Joint Terrorism Task Force partners for all that they do to keep our communities safe.”

“The men and women of FBI Dallas along with our local, state, and federal partners will continue to work diligently against homegrown violent extremists who provide support to any foreign terrorist organization,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jackson. “As threats are uncovered to the community we serve, the FBI and its partners must continue to ensure we are vigilant and determined to prevent any harm to this great nation.”

As set forth in the complaint, Sewell recruited an individual, identified in the complaint as co-conspirator 1, to join LeT, a designated foreign terrorist organization. Sewell met the coconspirator online and encouraged him to join LeT. 

Sewell provided the coconspirator with contact information for an individual who he believed could facilitate the coconspirator’s travel to join the organization. Unbeknownst to Sewell and the coconspirator, the facilitator was an undercover FBI agent.

Sewell coached the coconspirator about what to say to convince the facilitator that he was sincere in his desire to fight for LeT. Sewell also contacted the facilitator to vouch for the coconspirator’s authenticity. Sewell told both the coconspirator and the facilitator that he would kill the coconspirator if he turned out to be a spy. 

The coconspirator made contact with the facilitator and made arrangements with the facilitator to travel to Pakistan to join LeT.           

The FBI and its Joint Terrorism Task Force members; including the Arlington Police Department, the Fort Worth Police Department, the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Texas Department of Public Safety investigated the case.