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(Updated 8:51 a.m.) Florida jail explosion kills 2, injures dozens PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MELISSA NELSON-GABRIEL, Associated Press   
Thursday, 01 May 2014 08:45

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — An apparent gas explosion rocked a jail in the Florida Panhandle late Wednesday, killing two inmates, injuring more than 100 people, and causing the building to partially collapse, according to a county spokeswoman.

 

At the blast site Thursday morning, pieces of glass and brick were strewn about on the ground. The front of the building appeared bowed out, with cracks throughout. Authorities blocked off roads leading to the jail.

"I ain't never heard anything like it," said Rodney Cozine, standing outside his neighboring home, looking at a large gash in the building and piles of debris.

The explosion happened about 11 p.m. CDT at a booking facility at the Escambia County Jail, and as many as 150 inmate and corrections officers were injured, said Kathleen Castro, the county's public information manager.

A couple of blocks from the jail, Ellis Robinson and his family awoke to a loud noise sometime after midnight, their home rattling. "It shook the whole house," he said. "I got up, the dog started barking, people were running up there." He spent the night observing the chaos and watching as inmates were loaded into buses.

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 May 2014 08:51
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Military sex assault claims up 50 pct. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press   
Thursday, 01 May 2014 06:55

WASHINGTON (AP) — Reports of sexual assaults by members of the military rose 50 percent after the Pentagon began a vigorous campaign to get more victims to come forward, prompting defense officials to order a greater focus on prevention programs, including plans to review alcohol sales and policies.

But officials are still unhappy with the low number of male victims who reported sexual assault, and they say there will be a greater emphasis in the months ahead on getting men to come forward and seek help. Final data obtained by The Associated Press show that about 14 percent of the reports filed last year involved male victims.

Defense officials said Wednesday that encouraging more men to report sexual assaults is a difficult challenge because male victims often worry that it will make people think they are weak and trigger questions about their sexual orientation. In most cases, however, sexual orientation has nothing to do with the assault and it's more an issue of power or abuse.

"There is still a misperception that this is a women's issue and women's crime," said Nate Galbreath, the senior executive adviser for the Pentagon's sexual assault prevention office. "It's disheartening that we have such a differential between the genders and how they are choosing to report."

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Toronto mayor says he'll take leave, seek help PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ROB GILLIES, Associated Press   
Thursday, 01 May 2014 06:38

TORONTO (AP) — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will take a leave of absence to seek help for alcohol, he said, as a report surfaced about a second video of the mayor smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.

Ford, who is seeking re-election in the Oct. 27 vote, said Wednesday he will take an immediate leave from his job and his campaign.

"I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time," Ford said in statement late Wednesday.

The Globe and Mail newspaper said it has viewed a second video of Ford smoking what appears to be crack cocaine in his sister's basement. The national newspaper said two Globe reporters viewed the video from a self-professed drug dealer showing Ford taking a drag from a pipe early Saturday morning.

The video is part "of a package of three videos the dealer said was surreptitiously filmed around 1:15 a.m., and which he says he is now selling for 'at least six figures,'" the paper reported.

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100,000 march as Moscow revives May Day tradition PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 01 May 2014 06:36

MOSCOW (AP) — About 100,000 people have marched through Red Square to celebrate May Day, the first time the annual parade has been held on the vast cobblestoned square outside the Kremlin since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

In keeping with Soviet-era traditions, Thursday's parade was organized by trade unions and honored the working man. But it also celebrated Russia's annexation of Crimea and was seen as part of President Vladimir Putin's efforts to stoke patriotic feelings.

Marchers held up signs saying "Let's go to Crimea for vacation" and "Putin is right." Russian flags fluttered through the crowd.

In past years, Communists and others have tried to keep up the May Day tradition with parades and rallies in central Moscow, but their numbers have steadily dwindled.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Father of killed exchange student criticizes U.S. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 01 May 2014 06:34

BERLIN (AP) — The father of a 17-year-old German exchange student shot dead in Montana has criticized the gun culture in the U.S.

Celal Dede told the German news agency dpa Thursday that "America cannot continue to play cowboy."

Dede, who traveled to the U.S. to arrange the transport of his son Diren's body, said he had never imagined his son could be shot for simply entering somebody's property.

The 46-year-old said he wouldn't have allowed his son to participate in the exchange if he had known.

A homeowner in Missoula, Montana, on Sunday fired four blasts from a shotgun into his garage, killing Diren Dede who was inside. He faces a charge of deliberate homicide.

Celal Dede said he hoped the man would receive a fair punishment.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
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