WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Authorities say a Florida teen has been charged with threatening a school shooting in a postcard to Santa and signing a classmate’s name last fall.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that the 15-year-old boy was arrested Monday and charged with making written threats to kill or do bodily harm.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office says the holiday postcard was dropped off in November at a Wesley Chapel Macy’s. The note threatened at shooting at nearby Wiregrass Ranch High School. Detectives interviewed a female student whose name was signed to the postcard but ruled her out as a suspect.
Authorities say fingerprints on the postcard led to the teen boy, who had a previous misdemeanor arrest.
SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – A decorated Navy SEAL platoon leader charged with war crimes in Iraq was due back in a San Diego military court on Wednesday for a hearing focused on his lawyers’ allegations that prosecutors engaged in illegal snooping on the defense team and news media.
The hearing comes less than a week before Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher is scheduled to go on trial in a court-martial charging him with murdering a helpless, wounded Islamic State fighter in his custody and shooting unarmed civilians.
But defense assertions that the Navy prosecutor, together with agents of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and presiding judge, have engaged in wrongdoing could lead to a substantial delay in further proceedings against Gallagher.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges, including premeditated murder, two counts of attempted murder and obstructing justice.
U.S. President Donald Trump weighed in on the case publicly in March when he ordered Gallagher moved to less restrictive pre-trial confinement “in honor of his past service to our country.”
The New York Times reported days ago that Trump was reviewing Gallagher’s case for a possible pardon, along with several other U.S. military personnel accused or convicted of war crimes.
Gallagher’s private attorney Timothy Parlatore denied knowing anything about a pardon. “We’ve not asked for one,” he told Reuters on Tuesday.
Parlatore’s defense was focused for now on what he alleges is prosecutor misconduct. He has accused Navy lawyers of conducting illegal surveillance of defense attorneys and reporters by way of electronic tracking software secretly embedded in emails that were sent to the defense.
The software ostensibly was used in an effort to pinpoint the source of confidential information leaked to the press.
QUESTION THE JUDGE
On Wednesday, the Navy judge, Captain Aaron Hugh, will hear arguments over Parlatore’s motion to question the lead prosecutor, NCIS agents and the judge himself under oath.
Navy officials have declined to comment on the allegations, and much of the court record has been sealed.
NCIS has previously issued a statement saying it used “an audit capability” in its investigation of leaks but insisted it did not involve “malware” or other technology to infect or compromise a computer system, said Brian O’Rourke, spokesman for U.S. Naval Base San Diego, where the proceedings take place.
The stakes could not be higher for Gallagher, 39, a career combat veteran and two-time Bronze Star recipient who began his Navy service as a medic. The case stems from his latest deployment to Iraq in 2017.
Gallagher asserts he is wrongly accused and that fellow SEAL team members testifying against him – several under grants of immunity – are disgruntled subordinates who fabricated allegations to force him from command.
Reporting by Steve Gorman; editing by Bill Tarrant and Darren Schuettler
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Lawyers for U.S. President Donald Trump, three of his children and the Trump Organization will demand in court on Wednesday that a judge stop Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp from providing financial records to Democratic lawmakers investigating Trump’s businesses.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump reacts as he speaks at the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride event after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo
Republican Trump, who is seeking re-election next year, has aggressively sought to defy congressional oversight of his administration since Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives in January.
Trump said last month that the administration was “fighting all the subpoenas” issued by the House, hardening his position after the release of a redacted report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller on how Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election to help Trump and the president’s attempts to impede the investigation.
The contents of the subpoenas have not been made public. Wednesday’s hearing in federal court in Manhattan is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (1630 GMT).
Deutsche Bank has long been a principal lender for Trump’s real estate business and a 2017 disclosure form showed that Trump had at least $130 million of liabilities to the bank.
In March, before issuing a subpoena, Democratic lawmakers asked Capital One for documents concerning potential conflicts of interest tied to Trump’s Washington hotel and other business interests since he became president in January 2017.
Deutsche Bank and Capital One said in court filings on May 10 they are not taking a position on whether the subpoenas should be blocked.
Trump, his adult children, Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka, and the Trump Organization are seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent Deutsche Bank complying with subpoenas from the House Financial Services Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, and Capital One from complying with a subpoena from the Financial Services Committee.
In a lawsuit filed on April 29, lawyers for Trump, his children and the Trump Organization argued that the subpoenas were too broad, and that Democrats are hoping they will “stumble upon something” that could be used for political attacks on the president.
“The subpoenas were issued to harass President Donald J. Trump, to rummage through every aspect of his personal finances, his businesses, and the private information of the President and his family,” the complaint said.
The banks are the only defendants in the case, but the House committees have intervened to oppose Trump’s effort to block the subpoenas.
“We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations,” Deutsche Bank said in a statement ahead of the hearing.
Capital One declined comment.
Representative Maxine Waters, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, told reporters after the lawsuit was filed that Trump had “cast a gauntlet.” “We will fight him,” she said.
Michael Stern, who served as senior House counsel from 1996 to 2004, said in an interview on Tuesday that Trump and the other plaintiffs faced an uphill battle. He said the judge was unlikely to look into the committee’s motives in issuing a subpoena “as long as it might produce some information that’s relevant to legislation.”
On Monday, a federal judge in Washington ruled against the president in a similar case, finding that Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars LLP, must comply with a congressional subpoena for Trump’s financial records.
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta found that Congress was “not engaged in a fishing expedition for the President’s financial records when it subpoenaed Mazars and said that documents obtained might assist Congress in passing laws and performing other core functions.
Trump called Mehta’s decision “crazy” and “totally the wrong decision by obviously an Obama-appointed judge,” referring to Trump’s Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama. U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos, who was also appointed by Obama, is overseeing the New York case.
Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Grant McCool
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Six people have died in election rioting in the Indonesian capital, authorities said Wednesday, as supporters of the losing presidential candidate burned vehicles and battled police and the government announced restrictions on social media.
The clashes began Tuesday night when supporters of former general Prabowo Subianto tried to force their way into the downtown offices of the election supervisory agency and have continued unabated since then. More than two dozen vehicles were burned as rioters took over neighborhoods in central Jakarta, throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at police who responded with tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets.
Subianto, a volatile ultra-nationalist politician, has refused to accept the official results of the April 17 election and instead declared himself the winner. The Election Commission on Tuesday said President Joko Widodo, the first Indonesian president from outside the Jakarta elite, had won 55.5% of the vote, securing the moderate technocrat a second term. Subianto, an elite figure from a wealthy family connected to former dictator Suharto, also lost to Widodo in 2014. He has made four unsuccessful bids for the presidency since Suharto was ousted in 1998.
Rudiantara, the communications and information technology minister, said features of social media including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp will be restricted on a temporary basis to prevent the spread of hoaxes and inflammatory content. He said messaging systems will still work for text and voice messages but photos and videos will be blocked.
National police chief Tito Karnavian said the people who died in the rioting were hit by gunshots or blunt devices. Authorities are still investigating the death causes and are not ruling out the involvement of third parties acting as provocateurs.
“There are attempts to create martyrs, blaming security officials for building public anger,” he said.
The rioting in Jakarta was planned and not spontaneous, according to police. Officers found an ambulance filled with stones and some of the dozens of people arrested had envelopes of money, said national police spokesman Muhammad Iqbal.
The government had deployed some 50,000 police and soldiers in Jakarta in anticipation of protests following the official election results. Many residents have left the city and parts of the downtown are closed to traffic with the election supervisory agency and Election Commission barricaded with razor wire.
In the past week, authorities have arrested three pro-Subianto activists on suspicion of treason. They included Sunarko, a retired general and former commander of Indonesia’s special forces who uses a single name. Police allege there was a plot to seize crucial government buildings in Jakarta.
Subianto’s campaign plans to challenge the election in the Constitutional Court. They allege massive fraud in the world’s third-largest democracy but have provided no credible evidence.
The former special forces general and members of his campaign team had said they would mobilize “people power” during days of street protests. The former general has also called on supporters to refrain from violence.
Subianto ran a fear-based campaign, emphasizing what he sees as Indonesia’s weakness and the risk of exploitation by foreign powers or disintegration. He aligned himself with hard-line Muslim groups and won massive majorities in conservative provinces such as Aceh, which follows Shariah law, but was defeated by Widodo in the president’s populous East Java and Central Java strongholds.
Widodo’s campaign highlighted his progress in poverty reduction and improving Indonesia’s inadequate infrastructure with new ports, toll roads, airports and mass rapid transit.
(Reuters) – A storm system that blasted the U.S. South was weakening on Tuesday but another was on its way after thunderstorms and tornadoes left a swath of destruction, killed at least two people and tore up a NASCAR grandstand.
A storm cloud formation is seen in Collinsville, Oklahoma, U.S., May 20, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media on May 21, 2019. BRI’ANNE WALTON/via REUTERS
More than 30 tornadoes struck on Monday and Tuesday from Texas, Oklahoma and across the southern plains into Missouri, said meteorologists with the National Weather Service.
While this weakening storm system is expected to roll into the Great Lakes region early Wednesday, another system is brewing Wednesday night into Thursday, said Brian Hurley, a forecaster with the NWS Weather Prediction Center.
“The Southern Plains can’t catch a break,” Hurley said. “More storms will develop overnight into Thursday morning.”
Rainfalls are predicted to be about 2 inches across eastern Kansas, Oklahoma, and into western Missouri, with localized spots getting up to 5 inches, he said.
“That whole area is still under the gun,” Hurley said.
In Wheatland, Missouri, at the Lucas Oil Speedway, a reported tornado injured 7 people, flipped over cars, toppled campers and damaged the grandstands, with local media images showing piles of twisted metal and upside down vehicles.
The Memorial Day weekend “Lucas Oil Show-Me 100” races at the speedway, about 120 miles southeast of Kansas City, were canceled indefinitely. A crowd topping 3,000 fans of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) had been expected, track officials said on Tuesday.
Dozens of people were rescued from rising floodwaters and felled trees that smashed homes and blocked roadways in Oklahoma on Tuesday.
Crews using boats pulled at least 50 people from rising water as heavy downpours inundated roads and homes, Oklahoma Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Keli Cain said.
Two deaths from a traffic accident on a rain slicked Missouri highway were reported by police late Monday.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson declared a state of emergency on Tuesday for the state, out of concern for floods from cresting rivers and streams, with forecasts of more rain on the way.
Forecasters said the Missouri River is expected to crest on Thursday at more than 32 feet at the state capital of Jefferson City. Local media including NBC News said that is two feet higher than the city’s levees.
Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Graff