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Friday, December 13, 2013

California Mercy Killer Charged with Murder

Lance Anderson will be charged with murder after he shot both his wife and sister in the head. Anderson is being held without bail and, if convicted, faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole. Authorities allege Anderson fatally shot his very sick wife, Bertha Maxine Anderson, at their home, then took a cab to a nursing facility, where he shot his near-comatose sister, Lisa Nave. According to Los Angeles police, Anderson then placed the firearm on a nearby nightstand and calmly waited for officers to arrive in the nursing home’s courtyard.

Officer Paul Vernon of the Los Angeles Police Department said earlier this week that his detectives were still investigating motives behind the slayings. “I use the term ‘mercy killing’ in terms of describing a killing here because I want people to understand that this man did not randomly walk into a hospital to commit this crime,” Vernon said. “He knew his sister was there in a vegetative state.”

Iraqi Pipeline Attack

Eighteen people were murdered today near a gas pipeline outside the northeastern Iraqi town of Muqdadiya, when unidentified militants fired on them as they dug a trench to extend the pipeline. Ibrahem Aziz, who was wounded in the assault, told Reuters, “Three of them got out of a car and started firing on the workers inside and outside the trench.”

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack as of yet, but as 15 of those killed were Iranian workers and the pipeline is owned by an Iranian oil and gas company, officials believe militants from the Iraqi arm of al-Qaeda may be to blame.

Officials Change Drone Strike Story

Yemen’s official security committee confirmed yesterday’s drone strike, which killed 13 people, targeted a number of al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) leaders. In a statement, the committee said, “inside the car, there were members and leaders who masterminded [attacks on] armed forces, police, and vital institutions.” This contradicts a statement yesterday from a Yemeni military official which said a U.S. drone mistook a motorcade heading to a wedding party in the central city of Radda, for an al-Qaeda convoy. He said tribesmen known to the villagers were among the dead.

Yesterday’s drone strike was the second in Yemen since the AQAP attack against Yemen’s military headquarters, which killed 56 people. Al-Qaeda said that attack was retribution for the U.S. drone strikes.

Iran Walks on JPA Talks

Iranian diplomats have walked away from landmark negotiations regarding the Iranian nuclear program due to an expansion of U.S. sanctions against Iran. Under the terms of the Joint Plan of Action, Iran agreed to halt parts of its nuclear enrichment program for six months in return for $7 billion in sanctions relief. The U.S. agreed not to unveil any new nuclear sanctions. The United States denies that blacklisting more companies and people accused of evading sanctions against Iran violates the deal reached in Geneva last month, with State Department spokesperson Marie Harf saying, “We have been very clear throughout the entire negotiating process with the Iranians that we were going to continue designations. They knew that.”

Still the Iranian delegation appears to disagree, saying that Washington had violated “the spirit” of the Geneva deal. Iranian diplomat Abbas Araqchi told journalists, “This is a game of double standards – it is not in accord with the talks we have had and it is against the spirit of the Geneva agreement.”

Weekend Read: In the Belly of the Beast

In 1906, Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle to shed light on “the inferno of exploitation” involved in the typical meat factory. Since then the meat industry has taken significant strides to prevent similar exposés. Paul Solotaroff details the work of some activists who’ve circumvented those efforts in Rolling Stone.

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