February 12, 2015 |
THERE'S NO chance a story finds a happy ending when a man lies dead on the ground with a bullet in his head. That's the cold, unavoidable truth at the heart of every homicide investigation that unfolds in this city, whether a trigger was pulled by someone settling a drug dispute or by a cop struggling with a suspect. What families of victims strive for instead is justice and truth , words and concepts that have become controversial - and harder to define - whenever someone dies as a result of a police-involved shooting.
February 5, 2015 |
A former Philadelphia Police Department clerk and her husband were charged Tuesday with stealing department-owned ATVs and falsifying documents to cover up the thefts, the District Attorney's Office has announced. Sharon Hammitt, a clerk in the department's Auto Pound Unit for 26 years, and her husband, John Hammitt, have been charged with theft, forgery and related crimes, prosecutors said on Tuesday. District Attorney Seth Williams said in a statement that Sharon Hammitt - whose job involved keeping records of impounded vehicles - and her husband stole three ATVs from the unit between 2005 and 2010.
January 26, 2015 |
A Notre Dame University law professor says the legal and moral issues related to the U.S. government's use of unmanned drones to kill individuals in war zones could be more difficult than similar issues on torture. "There is a seductive quality of killing with drones" because they are high-tech and sleek, said Mary Ellen O'Connell. She referred to targeted deaths by drones as "extrajudicial" killings. "International law does not support what the United States and other countries are doing with drones," she said.
March 28, 2014 |
When Bashar al-Assad's forces gassed the Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh in August, the fumes penetrated Qusai Zakaria's apartment within minutes. A female neighbor knocked on his door with two unconscious children, but he couldn't breathe or talk. The 29-year-old struggled to the street, where women and children were running about wildly and dropping dead; he saw a young teenager with pale blue eyes on the ground "staring at nothing. " Then his heart stopped, and his body was thrown on a pile of corpses with white foam dripping from their mouths.
October 10, 2013 |
Most of the 3,350 furloughed federal civilian employees at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and 947 others at New Jersey National Guard facilities have returned to work as the government shutdown continues, officials said. The Guard workers came back Tuesday, Joint Base employees Monday. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel rescinded furloughs imposed Oct. 1, saying the employees contributed to military readiness. Nationally, nearly all of the 350,000 who were sent home without pay last week were recalled by the Defense Department.
September 13, 2013
HATED DOING it, but it had to be done, and in full view of thousands of my FFFs (Fake Facebook Friends). Late Tuesday night, I posted a remembrance of 9/11 - the thousands of civilian lives lost, plus a thank you to our military, the first responders and the nameless heroes in our intelligence services. You know how they say there's one in every crowd? On Facebook, among the thousands of normal people (more or less) there are the likes of Steve Forman, who posted: "Why did Bush take so long to react to a horrible disaster planned by himself, his brothers, and anyone with him?"
July 23, 2013
JERUSALEM - Israeli and Palestinian officials voiced skepticism yesterday that they can move toward a peace deal, as the sides inched toward what may be the first round of significant negotiations in five years. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced late last week that an agreement has been reached that establishes the basis for resuming peace talks. He cautioned that such an agreement still needs to be formalized, suggesting that gaps remain. In his first on-camera comment yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to lower expectations by saying the talks will be tough and any agreement would have to be ratified by Israelis in a national referendum.
July 23, 2013 |
Judge Jack M. Marden, 80, of Souderton, a retired U.S. Army Appellate Court judge who was active in the Souderton community for the last two decades, died Thursday, July 18, at his home of renal failure. He died on his 57th wedding anniversary. Judge Marden, a retired Army colonel, served in the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps for more than 31 years, and for 26 years as a civilian judge. In retirement, he made his mark as chairman of the Souderton zoning board and board member of the Indian Valley Senior Adult Activity Center.
July 11, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - A roadside bomb struck a motorcycle-drawn cart carrying women and children between two villages Tuesday in western Afghanistan, killing all 17 people on board. The tragedy was a grim reminder of the dangers facing Afghan civilians ahead of the 2014 withdrawal of foreign combat troops. International troops already have pulled back into a largely advisory and training role as they try to prepare Afghan soldiers and police to take over their own security. That effort has been marred by a series of attacks by Afghan troops or insurgents disguised in their uniforms.
June 14, 2013
THERE IS AN ICONIC scene from one of my favorite movies, "A Few Good Men," in which an enraged Col. Jack Nicholson cuts down Lt. Tom Cruise with five words: "You can't handle the truth. " On celluloid, that moment was designed to convince us that the military was filled with unforgiving, brutal automatons who demanded absolute obedience from their inferiors. In other words, cheers for Jack were not what the director hoped to elicit. And yet, that moment was about as authentic as they come, a raw and unvarnished glimpse of something that makes many civilians, especially women, cringe: the culture of military command.