Sheriff says former LA cop Dorner was hiding across street from command post during manhunt
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — Fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner hid in a mountain condominium as a door-to-door manhunt took place outside and, after he finally made his break, apparently killed himself with a gunshot wound to the head amid a fierce gunbattle with police.
Dorner is believed to have entered the condo through an unlocked door sometime Feb. 7, soon after he arrived in the area of Big Bear Lake after killing three people. He then locked the door and stayed hunkered down for six days until the condo's owners came to clean it, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told reporters Friday.
Soon after he arrived in the mountain resort area 80 miles east of Los Angeles, deputies knocked on the door but left when they found the door locked and no sign of a break-in, McMahon said.
"Our deputy knocked on that door and did not get an answer, and in hindsight it's probably a good thing that he did not answer based on his actions before and after that event," the sheriff said of Dorner.
When the owners arrived, he tied them up and fled in their car, leading to a chase, a shootout that killed a sheriff's deputy and, ultimately, Dorner, who died in a cabin where he barricaded himself for his last stand.
Jesse Jackson Jr., wife to plead guilty; $750K from campaign allegedly spent on personal items
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a spectacular fall from political prominence, former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife agreed Friday to plead guilty to federal charges growing out of what prosecutors said was a scheme to use $750,000 in campaign funds for lavish personal expenses, including a $43,000 gold watch and furs.
Federal prosecutors filed one charge of conspiracy against the former Chicago congressman and charged his ex-alderman wife, Sandra, with one count of filing false joint federal income tax returns for the years 2006 through 2011 that knowingly understated the income the couple received. Both agreed to plead guilty in deals with federal prosecutors.
Both face maximum penalties of several years in prison; he also faces hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and forfeitures. But the government did not immediately release the text of its plea agreements. Such agreements almost invariably call for prosecutors to recommend sentences below the maximum.
The son of a famed civil rights leader, Jackson, a Democrat, entered Congress in 1995 and resigned last November. Sandi, as she's known, was a Chicago alderman, but resigned last month amid the federal investigation.
Jackson used campaign money to buy such things as a $43,350 on a gold-plated, men's Rolex watch and $9,587.64 on children's furniture, according to court papers filed in the case. His wife spent $5,150 on fur capes and parkas, the document said.
Facebook, home of 'The Hacker's Way,' gets hacked; none of users' personal data compromised
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook is getting an unwelcome look at the shady side of the hacking culture that CEO Mark Zuckerberg celebrates.
Intruders recently infiltrated the systems running the world's largest online social network but did not steal any sensitive information about Facebook's more than 1 billion users, according to a blog posting Friday by the company's security team.
The unsettling revelation is the latest breach to expose the digital cracks in a society and an economy that is storing an ever-growing volume of personal and business data online.
The news didn't seem to faze investors. Facebook Inc.'s stock dipped 10 cents to $28.22 in Friday's extended trading.
The main building at Facebook's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters lists its address as 1 Hacker Way. From there, Facebook serves as the gatekeeper for billions of potentially embarrassing photos and messages that get posted each month.
Incoming space rocks just hours apart point up danger to Earth; 'It's a shooting gallery'
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A space rock even bigger than the meteor that exploded like an atom bomb over Russia could drop out of the sky unannounced at any time and wreak havoc on a city. And Hollywood to the contrary, there isn't much the world's scientists and generals can do about it.
But some former astronauts want to give the world a fighting chance.
They're hopeful Friday's cosmic coincidence — Earth's close brush with a 150-foot asteroid, hours after the 49-foot meteor struck in Russia — will draw attention to the dangers lurking in outer space and lead to action, such as better detection and tracking of asteroids.
"After today, a lot of people will be paying attention," said Rusty Schweickart, who flew on Apollo 9 in 1969, helped establish the planet-protecting B612 Foundation and has been warning NASA for years to put more muscle and money into a heightened asteroid alert.
Earth is menaced all the time by meteors, which are chunks of asteroids or comets that enter Earth's atmosphere. But many if not most of them are simply too small to detect from afar with the tools now available to astronomers.
Meteor explodes over Russia's Ural Mountains; 1,100 injured as shock wave blasts out windows
MOSCOW (AP) — With a blinding flash and a booming shock wave, a meteor blazed across the western Siberian sky Friday and exploded with the force of 20 atomic bombs, injuring more than 1,000 people as it blasted out windows and spread panic in a city of 1 million.
While NASA estimated the meteor was only about the size of a bus and weighed an estimated 7,000 tons, the fireball it produced was dramatic. Video shot by startled residents of the city of Chelyabinsk showed its streaming contrails as it arced toward the horizon just after sunrise, looking like something from a world-ending science-fiction movie.
The largest recorded meteor strike in more than a century occurred hours before a 150-foot asteroid passed within about 17,000 miles (28,000 kilometers) of Earth. The European Space Agency said its experts had determined there was no connection between the asteroid and the Russian meteor — just cosmic coincidence.
The meteor above western Siberia entered the Earth's atmosphere about 9:20 a.m. local time (10:20 p.m. EST Thursday) at a hypersonic speed of at least 33,000 mph (54,000 kph) and shattered into pieces about 30-50 kilometers (18 to 32 miles) high, the Russian Academy of Sciences said. NASA estimated its speed at about 40,000 mph, said it exploded about 12 to 15 miles high, released 300 to 500 kilotons of energy and left a trail 300 miles long.
"There was panic. People had no idea what was happening," said Sergey Hametov of Chelyabinsk, about 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) east of Moscow in the Ural Mountains.
Oscar Pistorius, weeping in court, faces premeditated murder charge in girlfriend's slaying
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — In a courtroom, not an Olympic stadium, there was no click-click-click of Oscar Pistorius' prosthetic limbs. His only sound Friday was loud, uncontrollable sobs as prosecutors charged him with premeditated murder in the shooting death of his model girlfriend.
"Take it easy," Chief Magistrate Desmond Nasir told the Olympic star-turned-murder-defendant as his father, Henke, and his brother, Carl, reached out to touch his shoulder to comfort him.
The 26-year-old Pistorius, the double-amputee sprinter who won world acclaim by competing in last summer's London Olympics, did not speak or enter a plea. He held his head and wept as he heard the charge, which carries a life sentence.
A statement released later by his family and agent said Pistorius disputed the murder charge "in the strongest terms."
The track star's arrest in the Valentine's Day killing of 29-year-old model Reeva Steenkamp shocked South Africa, where Pistorius was a national hero dubbed the Blade Runner for his high-tech prosthetics and revered for overcoming his disability to compete in the London Games.
RI records of disgraced Catholic order Legion of Christ detail dubious fundraising practices
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Documents released Friday shed light on the inner workings of a secretive and now-disgraced Roman Catholic order called the Legion of Christ, including new details on how the organization solicited money from an elderly widow, eventually persuading her to bequeath it $60 million.
The documents, previously sealed in a lawsuit brought before Superior Court in Rhode Island, include thousands of pages of testimony from high-ranking leaders at the Legion, its members and relatives of wealthy widow Gabrielle Mee. They are the first-ever depositions of high-ranking Legion officials and include how the order's former second-in-command learned in 2006 that its founder had fathered a child.
The No. 2 said he didn't go public with the news of the paternity because the founder, the late Rev. Marcial Maciel, had already been sanctioned by the Holy See for having sexually abused seminarians and forced into a lifetime of penance and prayer.
Pope Benedict XVI took over the Legion in 2010 after a Vatican investigation determined that Maciel had lived a double life, including fathering three children by two women. The pope ordered a wholesale reform of the order and named a papal delegate to oversee it.
A Rhode Island Superior Court judge said last year that the documents raised a red flag because Mee, a steadfastly spiritual elderly woman, transferred millions to "clandestinely dubious religious leaders." But they had been kept under seal until The Associated Press, The New York Times, the National Catholic Reporter and The Providence Journal intervened, arguing that they were in the public interest. The Legion had argued media coverage of the documents could taint prospective jurors if there was a trial.
In Chicago, Obama talks about ways to build 'ladders of opportunity' into the middle class
CHICAGO (AP) — Pressing his case in the town that launched his political career, President Barack Obama called Friday for the government to take an active, wide-ranging role in ensuring every American has a "ladder of opportunity" into the middle class.
Speaking at Hyde Park Academy in Chicago, Obama sought support for proposals, unveiled this week in his State of the Union address, to increase the federal minimum wage and ensure every child can attend preschool. He also pitched plans to pair businesses with recession-battered communities to help them rebuild and provide job training.
"In too many neighborhoods today, whether here in Chicago or in the farthest reaches of rural America, it can feel like for a lot of young people the future only extends to the next street corner or the outskirts of town, that no matter how much you work or how hard you try, your destiny was determined the moment you were born," Obama said.
Ensuring that no child is denied the ability to go as far as his or her talents will allow means removing some of the roadblocks from early in life, Obama said, calling for intensified efforts to promote healthier family environments. He called for removing financial disincentives to marry and reforming child support laws in hopes that more children will grow up in stable homes — and, specifically, with a responsible father in the picture.
Holding himself up as an example, Obama reflected on the absence of his father during his childhood, but said he had advantages not enjoyed by others, such as the at-risk young men from an anti-violence school program he met just after arriving in Chicago.
Trapped in squalor, cruise ship passengers became comrades on long, difficult voyage home
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — When their cruise ship lost power, passengers aboard the Carnival Triumph could have been selfish and looked out only for themselves and their loved ones.
Instead, they became comrades in a long, exhausting struggle to get home.
As ship conditions deteriorated after an engine fire, travelers formed Bible study groups, shared or traded precious supplies and even welcomed strangers into their private cabins. Long after they've returned to the everyday luxuries of hot showers and cold drinks, passengers said, they will remember the crew and the personal bonds formed during a cruel week at sea.
The tired tourists finally reached land Friday and gave a glimpse into the intensely uncomfortable journey they had endured.
Sandy Jackson, of Houston, was fortunate to have an upper-level room with a balcony and a breeze that kept the air in her cabin fresh. Rooms on the lower decks were too foul or stifling, so Jackson took in five people, including four strangers.
What a payday: NFL owners pay Commissioner Roger Goodell $29.49 million in 2011 tax year
NEW YORK (AP) — Nice job, Roger Goodell. Here's your pay: $29.49 million.
NFL owners nearly tripled the commissioner's compensation in the 2011 tax year and likely made Goodell the best paid commissioner in U.S. sports.
According to the league's most recent tax return, much of Goodell's pay comes in the form of a $22.3 million bonus. His base pay was $3.1 million. The NFL was scheduled to file the return Friday.
While the league declined comment on specifics, it must, by law, make the return available upon request.
In 2011, the NFL went through a long lockout prior to the season. Goodell helped work out the new 10-year labor deal that ended the labor strife. That was followed by lucrative new TV contracts with CBS, ESPN, FOX and NBC.