Monday, December 10, 2012

Colorado Police Break up Sex Trafficking Ring

The accused pimps
The Colorado Attorney General's Office announced, on Monday, that twelve people had been arrested as part of a sting against a sex trafficking ring.

Eight of the twelve are accused of sex trafficking and pimping underage girls, while the other four are accused of being amongst their customers.

Three of them told police they were part of the Crips gang.

The group operated in Aurora, Colorado Springs, Commerce City, Lakewood, and Parker.

Attorney General John Suthers promised that, "the men who paid for sex with minors will be brought to justice".

It was not released how long the group had been running, or how many girl had been caught in the trafficking.

Missing From North Carolina: Kayla Campbell, 16

Sixteen year old Kayla Campbell is missing from Mint Hill, North Carolina.

She was last seen Sunday afternoon at about 14:30 EST.

During a search, her bike, helmet, and cell phone were found by a pond, near her home, Monday afternoon.

A dive team was called in, but nothing was found in the pond.

The pond is also nearby Interstate 485.

Police have yet to declare an amber alert.

Kayla is described as five foot six, one hundred and fifteen pounds, with long brown hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information should call the Mint Hill Police at 704-847-5555.

Diarra Forced to Resign in Mali

Prime Minister Cheikh Modibo Diarra was arrested in Mali, late Monday night.

Soldiers came to his home, dragged him into a car, and then drove him to the Kati military camp.

Within hours, Diarra was seen resigning, on national TV, early Tuesday morning.

In March, a military junta took over the country.

They were eventually forced, mostly by international pressure, to appoint a prime minister.

Their choice was Diarra, who had regularly campaigned for international troops to help reunite the country.

The northern section of the country was taken over by Islamists, while the south was busy dealing with the coup.

Drug Ring Shut Down in Colorado

Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey announced that sixteen people had been arrested as part of a drug ring investigation, in Colorado.

The drug ring had been taking place in Aurora, Denver, Edgewater, Lakewood, and Wheat Ridge.

They had been bringing in meth from Arizona and cocaine from California.

When police moved in, they also found that the group had been running a cockfighting organization.

Amongst the charges, the ring members face, are various drug charges and money laundering.

Chavez Announces Successor Just in Case

Hugo Chavez has once again headed to Cuba for cancer treatment.

This time was different, however, as he admitted that his continued illness might end his reign.

Chavez was just reelected, to another term, two months ago.

During the campaign he regularly assured voters that he had beaten cancer, but it now looks like that may have been subterfuge to not look weak.

Before leaving for Cuba, he announced a successor, in a press conference.

He asked the people to vote for Vice President and Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro if the need should arise for a new election, due to his incapacity to continue on as President.

If an election does take place, Maduro would face a big challenge, as Chavez only won the October election with fifty-four percent of the vote.

CU Students in Jail for Lacing Brownies With THC

Two CU students are in jail after they laced brownies with THC and then gave them to their class.

Eight people ate the brownies, three of whom became ill afterwards, and were hospitalized for a short time.

Their teacher had set a "bring food to class day", and was one of those hospitalized.

THC is the active ingredient in marijuana.

As they had not informed anyone that the brownies had marijuana in them, they face charges of drugging the eight people.

Under Colorado law they could face up to twelve years of jail time, for each count, meaning they could face nearly one hundred years in prison, just for that.

Police have also added second degree assault charges, for those who became ill.

Thomas Ricardo Cunningham, twenty-one, and Mary Elizabeth Essa, nineteen, will now each have a felony on their record, for the incident.

Egypt's Military Given Power to Arrest Dissidents

Egypt's government gave the military extra powers, on Monday.

Under the new law, the military now has the right to arrest anyone who was seen as a threat to the referendum, scheduled for Saturday.

They will also be in charge of protecting "vital institutions", such as polling locations.

Opposition leaders have cried out against this measure, as one more strike against democracy and free speech.

The military stressed that this is a limited time power, that they will no longer have come Sunday, and that it is purely a safety measure.

Morsi's government announced the step after opposition leaders refused to recognize the referendum as legitimate.

Australian Police Issue Advisory Against Using Apple Maps

Apple Maps' problems continues, as does the app's failings.

Australian police have issued an official advisory against using the guide program.

The maps and directions are so bad that police say they have had to rescue multiple people from life threatening situations, because they followed the instructions Apple Maps gave them.

According to Victoria police they've rescued six people who had been looking for the town of Mildura, but were taken over forty miles away, thanks to the app.

Instead of the town they ended up in the middle of the Murray Sunset National Park desert, where temperatures hit over one hundred and ten degrees and there is no cell reception.

Police have also contacted Apple, in hopes of getting the issue fixed.

Apple says that fixing it has become a top priority, amongst many fixes for the map app.

US Navy SEAL Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas Checque

US Navy SEAL Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas Checque, twenty-eight, died from a head wound sustained during an operation in Afghanistan.

He was part of the SEAL team which rescued an American doctor, who had been kidnapped.

The operation took place Saturday night, Checque died Sunday morning.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, on Sunday, "The special operators who conducted this raid knew they were putting their lives on the line to free a fellow American from the enemy's grip. They put the safety of another American ahead of their own, as so many of our brave warriors do every day and every night. In this fallen hero, and all of our special operators, Americans see the highest ideals of citizenship, sacrifice and service upheld. The torch of freedom burns brighter because of them."

Checque originally came from Monroeville, Pennsylvania, before joining the Navy, and eventually becoming a SEAL.

He joined the Navy in 2002 after graduating from high school, according to a brief service record provided by the Defense Department. After attending recruit training in Illinois and advanced training in Virginia, he entered the SEAL program in April 2003.

Checque was assigned to his first SEAL unit in August 2004, and transferred to SEAL Team Six, in September 2008.

His former high school superiors and classmates at Norwin High School in North Huntington, Pennsylvania, remembered him as diligent and enthused about joining the military. "He worked hard everyday and never complained," his former wrestling coach Rich Ginther told CNN affiliate WPXI. "I remember his senior year him basically telling us what he was training for, and it was to get in special forces."

The current vice principal, who graduated two classes ahead of Checque, called him a role model for the current students.  "It's scary to hear these kind of stories that come out," said Micheal Choby, "but I'm going to testament to the kind of man Nick built himself to be for these kids who are here aspiring to be in the military."

Former classmate Stefanie Stewart says she sat next to Checque on the school bus almost every day.
"He always knew he wanted to go into the military," she said. "He was a very driven individual, had a very keen sense of mind. A strong minded person. But underneath that, you could tell he had a good heart."

Checque, who enlisted in the Navy in October of 2002, was the recipient of the following awards and decorations: Bronze Star Medal w/Combat 'V', Joint Service Commendation Medal w/Combat 'V', Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/Combat 'V', Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon (2), Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Two Missing People Found on Monday

Two of the people we mentioned as missing, on Sunday, were found Monday.

Fourteen year old Taysia Moren Rhoades Jackson was recovered safely, according to Derby, Kansas police.

No further information was given on why she disappeared, or where she was found.

Derby Police did say she was safe and unharmed.

Seventy-seven year old Charlie Powers returned home, he had gone to North Carolina as he had talked about.

It seems he just forgot to confirm with anyone that he was leaving South Carolina, for the weekend.

Concerns were high for him as he requires daily medication to combat his Alzheimer's.

Terrorists Are Able to Enter the US via a Federal Refugee Program

Some terrorists, including two Al Qaeda affiliates who were living in Kentucky at the time of their indictment, have been able to enter the US legally through a resettlement program for “vulnerable” refugees.

The US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is a joint venture between US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the State Department. Together, the two agencies are responsible for determining which refugees are granted USRAP resettlement consideration.  This is done by way of face to face interviews with the applicants. The majority of refugee referrals received are from the United Nations. In order to qualify for the program a refugee must:
  • Have a substantiated fear of persecution based on religion, political viewpoint, race or nationality
  • Have a continued need for protection
If an applicant meets all criteria, the UN has advised that the refugee should be granted permanent residence status and given rights akin to those provided to nationals.

A myriad of serious issues exists in this program. USCIS Refugee Affairs Division Chief, Barbara Strack, testified at a congressional hearing focused on terrorist exploitation of refugee programs and the significant security vulnerabilities within her division. Strack told the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “has been working closely with interagency partners to improve, refine, and streamline the security vetting regime for refugee applicants and for other immigration categories.”

What the agency would like to avoid are more incidents like the Kentucky case in which two Iraqi nationals, who were given refugee status under USRAP, were federally indicted for attempting to send weapons and money to Al Qaeda in Iraq. The two were also indicted for conspiracy to kill a US national abroad. Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi pleaded guilty to the charges and are scheduled to be sentenced early next year.

At the December 4 hearing on terrorist exploitation of refugee programs, it was revealed that the Kentucky case was not a one time glitch in the system. Chairman of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, Patrick Meehan (R-PA), voiced some concerns, testifying that the “threat posed by refugees with ties to Al Qaeda is much broader than was previously believed.” This is basically a reiteration of FBI Director Robert Mueller’s testimony, last year, before a House Intelligence Committee in which he admitted having ongoing concerns about individuals who may have been resettled here in the United States that have some association with al Qaeda in Iraq. In addition to that, immigration officials have given the FBI the names of roughly three hundred Iraqi refugees, for further investigation.

USRAP has assisted in the relocation of millions of refugees over the decades, but has come under scrutiny in recent years due to its vast size (USRAP admits approximately three times the number of refugees as the rest of the developed world, combined), ineffective security measures and the acquiescence of the US to the UN in determining who is admitted to the program. Additionally, accurate background checks are not easy to obtain for refugees admitted from countries without reliable government records.

According to an investigation, “common criminals, war criminals, international fugitives and terrorists have all used the USRAP and its related asylum provisions for entry into the United States.”  It was also discovered that “bribery of UN officials is commonly reported among those attempting to secure refugee admission to the United States.”

CIS Fellow, Don Barnett, in his report titled “Refugee Resettlement – A System Badly in Need of Review” has outlined the main issues the resettlement program needs to address:
  • The program is rife with fraud, profitable for hundreds of “non-profit” organizations, and is a potential channel for terrorism into American communities.
  • Policy about who is admitted as a refugee to the United States has been surrendered to the UN and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that stand to benefit from the program.
  • In recent years, up to 95 percent of the refugees coming to the United States were referred by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or were putative relatives of U.N.-selected refugees.
  • Given the impact that refugee resettlement has on all other forms of immigration, both legal and illegal, the UN can be thought of as setting US immigration policy for future generations of Americans.
  • Meaningful background checks are difficult to obtain for refugees admitted from countries without reliable government records. Common criminals, war criminals, international fugitives, and terrorists have all used the USRAP and its related asylum provisions for entry into the United States.
  • Bribery of UN officials is commonly reported among those attempting to secure refugee admission to the United States.
  • The US welfare system is a global magnet, which has been instrumentalized by the international refugee industry. The use of welfare, subsidized housing, Medicaid, and other programs is staggering. Including the cost of ongoing welfare, which is permanent for many refugees, easily raises the cost of the domestic resettlement program to ten times the official estimates of $1.1 billion annually.
  • Official refugee admission numbers do not present the full picture. The initial admission leads to exploitation of the chain immigration system. Recent DNA testing revealed false claims of “family connections” as high as ninety  percent in some groups. Refugee groups that were originally small and supposedly self contained have set off significant inflows of legal and illegal immigration.
  • Currently the rate of background checks provided for refugees from certain countries and the denial rate based on those background checks is classified information. This data should be made public.
  • UN News Service report found that Somalis are using United Nations refugee camps in Zambia as “stepping stones” to the United States. According to the story, the Somalis first settle in Zambian refugee camps and then slip into neighboring Zimbabwe and Namibia. From there, they “filter into South Africa before negotiating their way onto Mexico bound ships. Once in Mexico, they can easily walk into the USA as their final destination.
  • The lack of secure official records from most refugee sending countries would mean we can’t be sure even about given names and ages.
  • Risk assessment of some of these individuals is nearly impossible, especially if they aren’t already registered somewhere as suspect.
  • The rejection rate based on failing the “background check” is classified information. We have no idea how many are screened out by this process from such countries as Somalia, Iraq, or Iran all among the top-five sending countries in recent years.
  • With the enormous role granted the UN in our refugee program, corruption in the UNHCR must be a matter of the highest concern. A torrent of corruption is pouring in with the program.
Let’s hope that the indictment of the two Iraqi nationals and the investigation into and hearing on the exploitation of the resettlement program will serve as a wake up call for USRAP, and a major overhaul will ensue.