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Monday
Nov222010

Report: Americans Value Safety over Privacy at Airports

Photo Courtesy - ABC News | Washington Post(WASHINGTON) -- Results from a recent poll by ABC News and The Washington Post say that Americans are in favor of the use of naked-image full-body X-ray scanners at airport security checkpoints by a two-to-one margin.

Despite the support for full-body scans, 50 percent of Americans polled said they are not in favor of aggressive pat-down procedures. Additionally, those who fly most frequently show the most opposition to the enhanced security checks.

Ultimately, those surveyed seemed to value safety over privacy.

ABC 2010 News Radio 

Monday
Nov222010

Missing North Carolina Teen's Remains Found Near Boston

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(MILTON, Mass.) -- Remains found in Milton, Mass., last Monday were identified as 16-year-old Delvonte Tisdale, according to the Norfolk District Attorney William Keating's public information officer David Traub.

How Tisdale got all the way from his home near Charlotte, N.C., to a quiet suburb of Boston is still unclear, as is who might be responsible for the teen's death.

"We have a dead 16-year-old," said Traub. "There are a number of questions that are still under investigation."

Tisdale's body was found on the side of a road and had "obvious, massive trauma to the body," according to Traub. The cause of death has not yet been determined.

Traub declined to comment on reports that Tisdale was found with his arms and legs broken and with visible damage to his head.

Craig Tisdale, the victim's brother, told the Charlotte Observer that his brother may have been running away from his father, with whom he did not have a good relationship.

Tisdale's father, Anthony Tisdale, was unable to be reached for comment.

He said that Tisdale had planned to get a ride to Baltimore, where his mother lives, from friends heading to Boston, according to the paper. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov222010

Teacher in Student Sex Scandal Is Pregnant

Photo Courtesy - WFAA-TV Dallas/Ft. Worth(DALLAS) -- A 26-year-old former high school science teacher who was arrested for having sex with one of her students is pregnant, amid speculation that her alleged victim may be the father.

Jennifer Riojas is out on bond after being arrested Wednesday for sexual assault against a child under 17. The arrest came nearly a month after she resigned from her job as a science teacher at Carter-Riverside High School in Fort Worth, Texas.

Court documents detail a tawdry affair between student and teacher, with the two even taking to the teenager's hospital bed for sex at one point.

ABC's Dallas affiliate WFAA reported that the paternity for Riojas' baby has not been established, but that the teenager came forward because he was concerned that he might be the father.

Riojas is next due in court Dec. 7.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov222010

Jury Finds Man Guilty of Murdering Chandra Levy

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON D.C.) -- A jury has reached a guilty verdict in the trial of a man charged with killing congressional intern Chandra Levy, who disappeared in 2001.

The case became a sensation when Levy was linked to then-Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.).

Salvadoran immigrant Ingmar Guandique was charged with killing Levy in D.C.'s Rock Creek Park where she jogged.

Defense lawyers said during trial he was a scapegoat for a botched investigation.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov222010

TSA Pat Down Went Too Far, Agency Chief Says

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said Monday that at least one airport passenger screening went too far when an officer reached inside a traveler's underwear, and the agency is open to rethinking its current protocols.

An ABC News employee said she was subject to a "demeaning" search at Newark Liberty International Airport Sunday morning. "The woman who checked me reached her hands inside my underwear and felt her way around," she said.  "It was basically worse than going to the gynecologist.  It was embarrassing.  It was demeaning.  It was inappropriate."

That search was against protocols and "never" should have happened, TSA Administrator John Pistole told ABC News Monday.  "There should never be a situation where that happens," Pistole said.  "The security officers are there to protect the traveling public.  There are specific standard operating protocols which they are to follow."

Pistole, reponding to complaints from passengers, has maintained that the TSA will not change its pat down procedures.  But on Monday he said the agency is "open" to changing security procedures.

"The bottom line is, we are always adapting and adjusting prior protocols in view of the intelligence and in view of the latest information we have on how the terrorists are trying to kill our people on planes," Pistole said.  "If that means we need to adjust the procedures, then of course we're open to that."

In recent days, several passengers have come forward to tell shocking stories about their experiences with TSA officers.

Thomas Sawyer, a bladder cancer survivor, said he was humiliated after a pat down broke his urostomy bag, leaving the 61-year-old covered in his own urine.  Sawyer said he warned the TSA officials twice the pat down could break the seal.  And in another incident, Cathy Bossi, a long-time flight attendant and breast cancer survivor said the TSA made her take off her prosthetic breast.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov222010

St. Louis Is Nation's Most Dangerous City, Study Finds

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- St. Louis, Missouri is now the nation's most dangerous city, beating out Camden, New Jersey for the spot, according to a new study released by CQ Press Sunday.

The study found that St. Louis had over 2,000 crimes per 100,000 residents, compared to the national average of about 430 crimes per the same number of residents.  These new figures helped St. Louis overtake Camden, which held the top spot last year.

Rounding out the top five are two Michigan cities -- Detroit and Flint -- and Oakland, California.  Colonie, New York remained the safest city for the second year in a row.

CQ Press based their findings on population numbers and crime data obtained from the FBI.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov212010

Al Qaeda Reveals Cost of Foiled Mail Bomb Plot

Photo Courtesy - ABC News/Handout(WASHINGTON) -- Printer bombs planted on two cargo flights last month cost only a few thousand dollars and were intended to affect the American economy, according to a newly published al Qaeda-affiliated magazine.

The attempt was called "Operation Hemorrhage," boasted the magazine, and the entire plot cost al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, only $4,200.

Yesterday, a special edition of Inspire magazine -- an English-language propaganda publication produced by AQAP -- gave a detailed description of how the attempted attack was conceived and produced.

"Two Nokia mobiles, $150 each, two HP printers, $300 each, plus shipping, transportation and other miscellaneous expenses add up to a total bill of $4,200," one article said.  "That is all that Operation Hemorrhage cost us. In terms of time, it took us three months to plan and execute the operation from beginning to end."

The magazine also revealed the attack was not meant to kill more than the plane's pilot and co-pilot, and was meant to force the U.S. government to spend billions of dollars on preventive security screening measures.

The strategy, the magazine said, was "of attacking the enemy with smaller, but more frequent operations is what some may refer to as the strategy of a thousand cuts. The aim is to bleed the enemy to death."

AQAP also took credit for the September crash of a UPS cargo flight in Dubai. However, U.S. and U.A.E. officials have concluded that the crash was not an act of terrorism.

The publication was unusual for the level of detail and candor with which AQAP revealed its attempt and threatened future attacks, said a terrorism analyst who monitors jihadist groups online.

"We have never seen a jihadist group in the al-Qaeda orbit ever release, let alone only a few weeks after, such a detailed accounting of the philosophy, operational details, intent and next steps following a major attack," said Ben Venzke, head of IntelCenter.

"This may represent a new level of interaction by jihadi groups following an operation and is a far cry from the days of shadowy claims and questions as to who was actually responsible."

The magazine also mocked preventive measures taken by Western governments after the attempted attack: "The British government said that if a toner weighs more than 500 grams it won't be allowed on board a plane. Who is the genius who came up with this suggestion? Do you think that we have nothing to send but printers?"

AQAP is largely based in Yemen, where the printer bomb plot was hatched. The group mailed the two printers from Yemen, addressing them to Jewish institutions in Chicago.

Shortly after they were sent, Saudi intelligence was able to learn the tracking numbers and passed the information to U.S. counterparts. The packages were intercepted and disabled in Dubai and England.

The plot itself was not unexpected. The CIA and the White House were aware of 'dry run' attempts in the weeks leading up to the Oct. 29 plot.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov212010

Murder Mystery: Mother, Three Kids Killed in Florida Home

Photo Courtesy - WTXL Tallahassee, Fla.(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) -- Police are desperately trying to unravel the horrible mystery of who killed a mother and her three young children in their Florida home.

Autopsies were being performed Sunday on the woman, her 6-year-old twin daughters and her 3-year-old son, who were found Saturday morning after a neighbor called the police.

Police have not identified the four victims, who lived in a recently built quiet subdivision near Florida State University and Florida A&M University. The woman and her children lived alone in the house, so police are talking to their relatives and friends to learn what they can and find out if there was anyone who might have wanted to hurt them.

Neighbors who gathered Saturday were in shock, watching police going in and out of the house with bags of evidence, as the children's bicycles lay in the open garage.

Police are asking anyone with any information about the family to call the Tallahassee Police Department at 850-891-4200.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov212010

Hillary Clinton: Understand Fury over Enhanced Pat-Downs

File photo. Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Hillary Clinton is the latest of Obama administration officials to weigh in on the enhanced security pat-downs and screenings taking place at airports across the country.

In an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation, the secretary of state was asked whether she would submit to an enhanced pat down.

"Not if I could avoid it, no," Clinton said. "I mean, who would?"

"I understand how difficult it is, and how offensive it must be for the people who are going through it," she said.

Clinton suggested that the administration and its experts were open to changes in the controversial procedure, echoing a message sent by President Obama on Saturday.

"I understand people's frustrations," the president said, "And what I've said to the TSA is that you have to constantly refine and measure whether what we are doing is the only way to assure the American people's safety. And you also have to think through are there ways to do it that are less intrusive."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov202010

Ohio Coroner: Victims Stabbed, Dismembered Before Stuffed Into Tree

Photo Courtesy - WSYX Columbus, Ohio(MOUNT VERNON, Ohio) -- An Ohio woman, her young son and a family friend were “attacked with a knife and stabbed multiple times in the back and chest,” the Knox County Coroner's Office revealed Saturday, before their bodies were dismembered, stuffed into garbage bags and left in a hollow tree.

Authorities found the remains Thursday when Matthew Hoffman, the man in custody for kidnapping the fourth member of the group – 13-year-old Sarah Maynard, who was recovered from Hoffman’s basement – tipped them to a location.

The victims include Sarah's mother, Tina Herrmann, 32, Sarah’s younger brother, Kody Maynard, 10, and 41-year-old family friend Stephanie Sprang.

The bodies were found just miles from Hoffman's home, where Sarah was found last week by a SWAT team.

Hoffman is a 31-year-old drifter who was recently released from a Colorado prison after serving a term for arson and burglary. He was arrested last Sunday and charged with kidnapping.

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