A Nanuet, N.Y., man has been arrested on terroristic threat and weapons charges after allegedly posting death threats on Facebook against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (R), Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), several Democratic Congressional leaders and the Congressional Black Caucus. Police searching the home of Lawrence Mulqueen, 49, found two rifles, bayonets, ammunition, body armor, a sword and a knuckle knife, police said. He's a convicted felon prohibited from owning the weapons, said Clarkstown police Sgt. Glenn Cummings. Mulqueen used a pseudonym on the Facebook posts, Cummings said.
Next week, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan will be in Rome as part of the conclave that will choose the next pope. But first, Dolan was deposed for three hours yesterday about sexual abuse at the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, which he led from 2002 to 2009, where 575 people have filed claims against the church. As the archdiocese attempts to file bankruptcy, lawyers for the victims want to know what Dolan knew and when. A representative for the victims' group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests argued that Dolan "did a lot of creative maneuvering of priest sex offenders and creative accounting of church money," as previously reported, without punishing those responsible.
A new Reuters/Ipos poll shows that more than half of U.S. citizens want "most or all" of the country's illegal immigrants deported. Reuters reports that the results point to the hurdles lawmakers face in the ongoing reform of the country's immigration laws. Thirty percent of those polled think that most illegal immigrants, with some exceptions, should be deported, while 23 percent believe all illegal immigrants should be deported. Only 5 percent believe all illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States legally, and 31 percent want most illegal immigrants to stay.
A New York mother has been charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child after she allegedly hired two strippers to perform lap dances on the guests at her son's 16th birthday party. Judy Viger, 33, hired the women from a company called Tops in Bottoms and arranged for them to perform in a private room at the Spare Time Bowling Center in South Glens Falls on Nov. 3.
Walmart is pressing a felony charge against a 63-year-old worker who has been accused of stealing a bag of Oreo cookies from the Indiana store where she worked on the maintenance crew. Penny Winters was arrested this week after Walmart launched an internal investigation upon the discovery of an empty cookie wrapper. A subsequent review of surveillance footage showed "Winters select the package of cookies, open it, and proceed to consume multiple cookies during her work shift," according to a Portage Police Department report.
As President Obama faces a tough showdown with congressional Republicans over the looming sequestration cuts, a new poll shows the commander-in-chief with his highest approval rating in over three years. A Bloomberg National poll released Wednesday found that 55 percent of Americans approve of Obama's performance, his highest rating in the poll since September 2009. The poll also found that 49 percent of respondents believe that the president's proposals to increase government spending in key areas are more likely to spur job creation than GOP-backed efforts to cut both spending and taxes. read more
A newspaper in rural Mississippi is defending its decision to run a cover story on what it called the first same-sex marriage in the county. Jessica Powell married Crystal Craven, who has been battling brain cancer, by exchanging vows even though their union is not legally recognized in the state. The Laurel Leader-Call put a photo and story of the couple on its front page. "We were well aware that the majority of people in Jones County are not in favor of gay marriage," newspaper owner Jim Cegielski wrote in an editorial. "However, any decent newspaper with a backbone can not base decisions on whether to cover a story based on whether the story will make people angry. The job of a community newspaper is not pretending something didn't take place or ignoring it because it will upset people. No, our job is to inform readers what is going on in our town and let them make their own judgments."
As the big names of the movie industry tackle that all-important question of what to wear to the Oscar ceremony on Sunday, there is one group of people who are still waiting for their invitation. Why do stunt men and women not have an Oscar category? "It's disheartening because you've put your life and blood through it," said Jack Gill, who has been setting himself on fire and crashing cars in the cause of entertainment since the 1970s. "When I got Steven Spielberg and Jim Cameron and [Arnold] Schwarzenegger and those guys signing a petition; once I took that into the Academy, I thought they would see that all of these eminent people really believe that we deserve this."
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta informed hundreds of thousands of his civilian employees this week that they could be furloughed if the sequester takes effect on March 1. In a letter to the entire Department of Defense workforce, Panetta warned that "should sequestration occur and continue for a substantial period, DoD will be forced to place the vast majority of its civilian workforce on administrative furlough." This could impact as many as 800,000 civilian employees, which Panetta argued "will result in a serious erosion of readiness across the force." read more
The owner of magazine Reader's Digest has filed for bankruptcy for the second time in less than four years, citing a greater-than-expected decline of the media industry. A pre-negotiated Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan is sought by the company to reduce its $534 million debt load by 80 percent, according to documents filed Sunday in U.S. bankruptcy court. The parent company publishes magazines, books, music and videos and has more than $1.1 billion in assets. read more
Cracked.Com: Off the top of your head, how many of your friends can you think of make less than $11,000 a year? Maybe they work some mind-numbing part-time job, taking cover charges and stamping hands at a strip club. Or if you're a bit older, how many families do you know of who have one person working, bringing in less than $23,000 to support a spouse and a couple of kids? [...] Poverty is a hot topic for politicians, but it seems like every time they open their mouths about the subject, stupid falls out.
Hotel guests at the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles have been drinking, showering and brushing their teeth in water that was contaminated by a dead body in a cistern on the roof. The body of missing tourist Elisa Lam, 21, was found Tuesday by a maintenance worker at the 600-room, $65-a-night hotel after guests complained about low water pressure. "The moment we found out, we felt a bit sick to the stomach, quite literally," said guest Michael Baugh. County Department of Public Health officials said the health risks are minimal but are running tests on the water.
Joan Walsh: Tough-talking freshman Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is attacking critics with a bold tactic: whining. The man who told the world, without evidence, that defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel might have taken money from Hamas or North Korea now complains his critics are trying to "silence" him -- but it won't work. ... Of course, bullies like Cruz have a long tradition of playing the victim. When Michele Bachmann, the Tea Party's last incarnation of Joe McCarthy, accused Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin of ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, she and her allies likewise claimed persecution at the hands of her detractors (which also included McCain). read more
A federal civil rights complaint has been filed against the Arlington, Texas, school district by the mother of an eighth-grade boy who had pencil shavings poured into his mouth by his teacher at Boles Junior High. Deidre Brown, the mother of 13-year-old Marquis Jay, filed a complaint with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights. The female teacher was suspended but has returned to work. "Instead of coming out clean and saying we don't tolerate this, they decided to cover it up and let her go back to class," said Kyev Tatum, who is representing the family.
Ron Fournier: Your federal government is almost certain to blow past the March 1 deadline for averting $1.2 trillion in haphazard budget cuts that could cost 700,000 jobs. Don't worry. We know whom to blame. President Obama makes a credible case that he has reached farther toward compromise than House Republicans. But knowing who's at fault doesn't fix the problem. To loosely quote Billy Joel: You may be right, Mr. President, but this is crazy. Is this fiscal standoff (the fifth since Republicans took control of the House in 2011) just about scoring political points, or is it about governing? read more