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Archive for July 18th, 2013

Drug Dealer Says Accused Mobster ‘Whitey’ Bulger Forced Him to Play Russian Roulette

Whitey Bulger

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Accused Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger forced a former drug kingpin to play Russian roulette in the back room of a nightclub in 1983, according to testimony at the racketeering and murder trial, Reuters reports.

“The conversation wasn’t going too well… But I wasn’t going to pay him $1 million. I just wasn’t going to do it,” William David Lindholm testified.

Lindholm said Bulger, leader of the Winter Hill Gang, wanted $1 million in cash. Bulger lodged a bullet in the chamber and pulled the trigger with the gun pointing at Lindholm’s head.

Lindholm said he convinced Bulger that his marijuana dealing wasn’t as big as it was and only had to turn over $250,000, Reuters wrote.

NSA Leaker Snowden May Be Granted Temporary Asylum in Russia

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

NSA leader Edward Snowden issued a hand-scrawled application for temporary asylum in Russia, and his lawyer said he could soon walk out of Sheremetyevo airport, The Christian Science Monitor reports.

“The question of giving him temporary asylum won’t take more than a week. I think that in the near future he will have the possibility to leave the Sheremetyevo transit zone,” the independent Interfax agency quoted the lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, as saying.

Although Russian President Vladimir Putin had appeared reluctant to help Snowden, The Christian Science Monitor wrote that the president appears to be resigned to the idea.

“As I understand it, Snowden didn’t aim to spend his whole life in Russia. I don’t understand how a young man decided to do what he did, but it’s his choice,” Putin said.

NYPD Commissioner Kelly Seems Open to Head Department of Homeland Security

NYPD Commissioner Kelly/nypd photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly appears to be open to considering the top job at the Department of Homeland Security, the New York Daily News reports.

Rep. Pete King said the city’s top cop is “not saying no” to the possibility of taking the job.

The comment follows President Obama’s comments about Kelly in a TV interview, saying he is “one of the best there is” in fighting terrorism.

“Mr. Kelly might be very happy where he is. But if he’s not, I’d want to know about it,” Obama said. “Obviously, he’d be very well-qualified for the job.”

Kelly is among names that have been floated as a potential replacement for Janet Napolitano.

Federal Review Finds As Many As 27 Problematic Death Penalty Convictions

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As many as 27 people were convicted of the death penalty by exaggerated scientific testimony, an unprecedented federal review of old criminal cases shows, the Washington Post reports.

The review found that FBI forensic experts may have mistakenly linked to defendants to the exaggerated testimony.

In one case in May, the review led to an 11th-hour stay of execution in Mississippi in May.

How many people were wrongfully convicted will be further studied, the Post wrote.

The outcome may have a lasting impact on the wisdom of the death penalty.

Commentary: Frightening Questions Raised Over Drones Patrolling Border

 

istock photo

Glenn Garvin
The Columbus Dispatch

Last month, when the Senate passed an amendment to its immigration-reform bill that included $46 billion to beef up border security, Sen. John McCain declared: “We’ll be the most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall!” He didn’t know the half of it.

Since then, documents released as part of a lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation have revealed that the Department of Homeland Security has been preparing to fly armed drones along the border.

A long-term-planning document prepared by the department’s Customs and Border Patrol service, which is using Predator drones for surveillance along the border, would authorize the use of “ nonlethal weapons designed to immobilize” targets of interest.

That gets scarier when you thumb through some of the other newly released documents, which reveal that the Border Patrol plans to more than double its drone fleet over the next three years, to 24, and make them more easily available to other government agencies.

To read more click here.

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