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Murder rate in Indianapolis soars

Friday, May 30, 2014 - Updated: 10:30 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indianapolis is in the grip of one of its most violent years on record.

The Indiana capital has already recorded 60 homicides and is on pace to have its deadliest year in eight years. The city could even rival the record 162 slayings in 1998 if the hot summer months accelerate the violence as expected.

Authorities and community groups are grasping for ways to stem the bloodshed -- enlisting community groups for street patrols, adding more police officers and increasing the presence of McGruff the Crime Dog to keep younger kids from going bad.

But the numbers keep rising. City officials and community groups alike agree the dilemma is rooted in social problems that go back decades, and it won't be solved simply or quickly.

Man charged with impeding marathon bombing probe

BOSTON (AP) -- Federal prosecutors have charged a Massachusetts man with obstructing the investigation into the Boston Marathon bombings.

Prosecutors said today that 23-year-old Khairullozhon Matanov of Quincy is charged with destroying, altering and falsifying records in a federal investigation, and with making false statements in a federal investigation.

Authorities say that in the days after the April 2013 bombings, Matanov realized the FBI would want to talk with him because he knew the suspects and shared their "philosophical justification for violence." He's accused of deleting information from his computer and lying to investigators.

He's not accused of participating in the bombings or knowing about them in advance.

Matanov is scheduled to appear in court this afternoon.

IRA firebomb damages Northern Ireland hotel

DUBLIN (AP) -- A firebomb detonated today in a hotel lobby in the Northern Ireland city of Londonderry, but police said a swift midnight evacuation ensured that nobody was injured.

The incendiary device detonated inside the Everglades Hotel in Northern Ireland's second-largest city. Witnesses said a masked man tossed a bag beside the hotel's reception desk, said he was from the Irish Republican Army, and warned that a bomb inside the bag would explode in 30 minutes.

"Someone set off the fire alarm and I called the police," said Gary Rutherford, who had just dropped off relatives at the hotel. "It was quite confusing at the time for most of the guests because they were in bed. It was mayhem."

As British Army experts were deploying a remote-controlled robot to examine the bomb, it exploded and sent flames cascading throughout the evacuated lobby. Nobody was injured.

Grounded freighter cleared, Seaway reopens

ORLEANS (AP) -- Shipping traffic is back to normal on the St. Lawrence Seaway in northern New York after being shut down for more than two days by a grounded freighter.

Shipping traffic had been suspended along a stretch of the Seaway by the 656-foot craft, which ran aground Tuesday after losing its steering in U.S. waters near the Thousand Islands Bridge in the Jefferson County town of Orleans.

The U.S. Coast Guard says the Federal Kivalina was removed by a contracted salvage crew and two tugs from Montreal, and the Seaway reopened around 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Coast Guard investigators from Massena, New York, are investigating what caused the mishap.

The freighter was carrying 23,000 tons of canola seeds.

McDonald's not loving it in Thailand

BANGKOK (AP) -- McDonald's is not loving it in Thailand.

The burger chain's famous golden arches have become part of the iconography of anti-coup protests and it is warning activists to "cease and refrain" from using its trademarks.

One of the McDonald's stores in Bangkok has become a gathering place for protests following the May 22 military takeover because of its central location. Some protesters have used the McDonald's logo in their anti-coup signs, replacing the "m" in democracy with the yellow arches.

McThai, which operates McDonald's restaurants in Thailand, says it is maintaining a "neutral stance" amid political turbulence in the Southeast Asian kingdom famous for its ornate temples, vibrant nightlife and white sand beaches.

The company said it could take "appropriate measures" if protesters continue to appropriate its logo.

Officer gets $1.35M in discrimination suit

CENTRAL ISLIP (AP) -- A Long Island police lieutenant has been awarded $1.35 million in his racial discrimination lawsuit against the village of Freeport.

Lt. Christopher Barrella, who is white, had accused the village of awarding the police chief's job to a Hispanic officer with few qualifications and a lower test score.

Following the federal jury's decision Thursday, Barrella described the process as trying but said he always had faith in the jury system.

Newsday says the village has vowed to appeal.

The former mayor, Andrew Hardwick, was a defendant in the case but could not be reached for comment. He was the village's first black mayor.

Barrella had charged that Hardwick terminated and demoted qualified, experienced non-Hispanic whites.

Quake strikes southwestern China

BEIJING (AP) -- A moderately strong earthquake struck southwestern China near the border with Myanmar on today, injuring at least 33 people.

Residents fled buildings and students evacuated schools that had already been damaged by a quake in the same area last week.

Five of the injured people were in serious condition, said a woman at the Yunnan provincial earthquake monitoring bureau, who gave only her surname, Xu.

The quake was registered at magnitude 6.1 by China's earthquake monitoring agency.

Obama to meet with Shinseki

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama this morning said he would have a "serious conversation" with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki about whether he can stay in his job.

Obama says he will ask Shinseki whether he is "prepared and has the capacity" to fix sweeping problems in the VA's nationwide health care system. The president says he doesn't want any veteran to not be getting the kind of services they deserve.

Shinseki was scheduled to address a homeless veterans group today. He's facing increasing calls for his resignation from lawmakers in both parties.

Obama's comments came in an interview airing this morning on the television talk show "Live! With Kelly and Michael." A clip from the interview was aired Friday on ABC's Good Morning America.

Police knew about killer's videos during check

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies who checked on Elliot Rodger three weeks before he killed six college students were aware he had posted disturbing videos but never viewed them before or after determining he was not a threat to himself or others, the department disclosed Thursday.

The statement from the sheriff's office corrected an earlier assertion that deputies were unaware of the videos when they checked on him on April 30. It also provided new details on the sequence of events during that pivotal visit to Rodger's apartment, a time when he was planning the rampage that would end with him apparently taking his own life after being wounded by police.

The guns he used in the killings last Friday were stashed inside his apartment at the time, but police never searched the residence or conducted a check to determine if he owned firearms because they didn't consider him a threat.

The statement does not explain why the videos were not viewed or whether the deputies knew anything about the contents beyond a description of them being "disturbing."

The sheriff's department also revealed new details about the timeline leading up to the killings. It said Rodger uploaded his final video to YouTube detailing his "Day of Retribution" and stating his plans and reasons for the killings, at 9:17 p.m. on the day of the shootings, May 23. One minute later, he emailed a lengthy written manifesto to his mother, father and therapist that also detailed his plans and contempt for everyone he felt were responsible for his sexual frustrations and overall miserable existence.

The first gunshots were reported at 9:27 p.m. The rampage was over and Rodger dead just eight minutes later.

It was another 25 minutes before the therapist saw the emailed manifesto and 11 more minutes until the sheriff's office was contacted at 10:11 p.m.

     

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