Lawyer: 'Infowars' host Jones often acts like 'cult leader'

Apr 27, 2017 12

A lawyer for the ex-wife of right-wing radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones says the radio personality is a “cult leader” who’s turning their children against his former wife.

Attorney Robert Hoffman made the claims Thursday during closing arguments in the custody trial involving Jones and ex-wife Kelly Jones, who’s seeking sole or joint custody of their three children.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that Randall Wilhite, a lawyer for Alex Jones, said earlier in court that the children, ages 9, 12 and 14, are thriving under Jones’ care and he should remain the sole caregiver.

Testimony before a Travis County jury began last week.

Alex Jones previously testified that his “Infowars” shows, which are broadcast on radio, YouTube and other platforms, reach at least 70 million people a week.

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Information from: Austin American-Statesman, http://www.statesman.com

Canadian sent to US prison for smuggling immigrants in 1999

Apr 27, 2017 8

A Canadian man has been sentenced to 15 months in a U.S. prison nearly 20 years after he smuggled immigrants across the Detroit River.

Justice moved slowly in the case of Thanh Nguyen because he fled home to Ontario, Canada, and didn’t appear for his sentence in 2000.

Nguyen, now 42 years old, was arrested last summer in Windsor, Ontario, a city across the river from Detroit. He was sentenced Thursday for smuggling immigrants on a boat back in 1999. Nguyen apologized to a judge, saying he was immature at the time.

It’s unclear why it took so long to find him. Defense attorney Marshall Goldberg says Nguyen wasn’t “living in the shadows.” He had a driver’s license and operated businesses in the Windsor area.

Woman convicted in mom's death; case tied to found remains

Apr 27, 2017 10

A jury has returned a guilty verdict in the New York murder trial of the sister of a sex worker whose disappearance led to the discovery of 10 sets of human remains along a highway near a beach.

An Ulster County jury Thursday found 28-year-old Sarra Gilbert guilty of stabbing her mother to death, rejecting a defense claim she was driven by mental illness.

Prosecutors say she stabbed 52-year-old Mari Gilbert 200 times and bashed her head with a fire extinguisher in a Catskills home last July. She faces 25 years to life in prison when she’s sentenced in August.

Her sister Shannan Gilbert vanished in 2010 after fleeing a client. Her searchers found 10 sets of human remains near Jones Beach. Police believe they were victims of unsolved serial killings but Shannan Gilbert accidentally drowned.

Faith and millennials: Bringing them back into the fold

Apr 27, 2017 11

How can you keep your child from losing faith during his or her college years — and well beyond that time period?

A new book takes on the pressing issues of faith, practicing that faith, and today’s millennials.

LAWSUIT SPARKS DEBATE ON WEST VIRGINIA PUBLIC SCHOOL BIBLE CLASSES

In the book, “Abandoned Faith: Why Millennials Are Walking Away and How You Can Lead Them Home,” co-authors Alex McFarland and Jason Jimenez cite a disturbing study from LifeWay Research and Fuller Youth Institute. The study estimated that more than half of high school graduates will leave the church and become disengaged in their faith.

“This is alarming because many emerging adults are making big decisions that affect more than just their own lives — and they are making those decisions without faith in God,” the authors write.

OPINION: MESSAGE FOR CHECK-BOX CHRISTIANS

“Many, many parents I meet want desperately to see their children stay close to God and the faith taught in their home and church,” McFarland told LifeZette. “But as cultural influences, friends, media and host of other pressures inundate them, it sometimes can be difficult to stay true, especially for young people who are questioning their futures.”

McFarland, based in Greenville, South Carolina, is a religion and culture expert, national talk show host, speaker and author of 18 books, of which “Abandoned Faith” is his latest. He also serves as director for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at the Christian Worldview Center of North Greenville University in Greenville. He also spent 20-plus years training teens and adults in the biblical worldview, including as teen apologetics director at Focus on the FamilyHe is a regular contributor to LifeZette as well.

Loss of faith among the younger generation might be an issue — but what can be done to change it?

“From speaking with tens of thousands of young people over the years, I have learned that if they have just a few adults who will come alongside them and encourage them to grow in their faith, there’s a much better chance they will remain in the church and rooted in Jesus long into adulthood,” he said. “One or two positive influences can make a world of difference in the faith — and life — of a young person.”

“There are many reasons why young people may become disillusioned with church, religious organizations or faith in general, such as mistrust, skepticism, rebelling against a negative experience, pressure from atheist or agnostic friends, or a variety of other influences,” explained McFarland.

Click for more from LifeZette.

Search on for 2 Arkansas children after mother found dead

Apr 27, 2017 2

Authorities in Arkansas are searching for two young children whose mother was found dead in a creek.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that the body of a woman discovered on Tuesday has been identified as 43-year-old Bethany Jo Wester of Mena, Arkansas.

Wester’s body was discovered in a creek southwest of Cove in far western Arkansas. Officials say her death is being investigated as a homicide although the cause of death and other details have not been released.

Authorities say her children, 10-year-old Reilly James Scarbrough and 2-year-old Acelynn Carrie Wester, are considered missing and endangered. In a statement, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says Acelynn was last seen on April 20 and Reilly was last seen on April 23.

Helicopter hits NC home, crashes; 2 hospitalized

Apr 27, 2017 11

Two people have been transported to the hospital after they lost control of the helicopter they were operating, hit a house, and then crashed in a back yard near Newton, N.C.

The crash happened about 1:20 p.m. Thursday, according to Catawba County EMS. Neighbors rushed to help the injured.

SC BUS DRIVER SAVES ALL STUDENTS IN UNDER A MINUTE AFTER HEAD-ON CRASH

Emergency crews tell FOX 46 one person was flown to Charlotte with critical injuries and the other person was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

Authorities say the helicopter crew was surveying the area for a local gas company for a new gas line when the crash occurred.

Witnesses say they observed the helicopter swaying up and down before clipping a house. 

The FAA is investigating the cause of this crash.

Click for more from Fox 46.

The Latest: California police say woman died helping friend

Apr 27, 2017 10

The Latest on the apparent random beating death of an elderly California woman (all times local):

2 p.m.

California police say an 86-year-old woman on a morning walk was sexually assaulted and beaten to death coming to the assistance of an exercise partner in an apparent random attack.

Police say a young man attacked to the two women Wednesday morning while they walked around a high school track near Sacramento. Police say the 86-year-old woman was using a walking stick in an attempt to protect her 61-year-old friend from the attacker when he turned his attention to her.

The younger woman received minor injuries and the older woman was pronounced dead at the scene when police arrived.

An 18-year-old man has been detained, but not charged.

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1 p.m.

Northern California police say they have detained a young man in the apparently random beating death of an 86-year-old woman on a morning walk around a high school track.

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department says the 18-year-old man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of assaulting another elderly woman later in the day several miles away. Investigators say the teen is a person of interest in the homicide, but he has not been charged.

Authorities declined to identify the suspect and the victims.

Investigators say the 86-year-old woman and a 61-year-old companion were walking on a high school track when a man punched and kicked them around 6 a.m. Wednesday, killing the older woman. Another person walking on the track called police.

Police say the attack appeared to be random.

Mother of Hawaii boy missing for 20 years released from jail

Apr 27, 2017 10

The mother of a Hawaii boy who disappeared 20 years ago is being released from jail after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the 6-year-old’s death.

A judge is allowing supervised release for Jaylin Kema, who has served a year in jail.

State Department of Public Safety Spokeswoman Toni Schwartz says Kema was released from Hawaii Community Correctional Center Thursday.

Her husband, Peter Kema Sr., pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this month and provided authorities with information about the location of the boy’s remains.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Rick Damerville says her release is contingent upon conditions including drug testing, not leaving Hawaii Island and no contact with her children.

Court-appointed defense attorney Brian De Lima says she will return to the Puna home where she lived when she was arrested.

From 0-100: Presidents' first days come at varying speed

Apr 27, 2017 12

A president’s first 100 days can be a tire-squealing hustle from the starting line (Franklin Roosevelt), a triumph of style over substance (Jimmy Carter), a taste of what’s to come (Ronald Reagan) or an ambitious plan of action that gets rudely interrupted by world events (pick a president).

Here’s a snapshot of the first 100 days for presidents back to the one who set the standard for getting big things done fast:

FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT, 1933

Roosevelt came to office in the Great Depression, with one in four workers idle, more than 80 percent of the stock market’s value gone, farmers destitute, urban dwellers in breadlines, and banks failing at an alarming rate, eliminating the savings of millions. Fellow Democrats controlled the House and Senate.

FDR immediately declared a temporary national closure of banks to stop panic withdrawals, called a special session of Congress and won passage of an emergency law to stabilize the banking system.

He came forward with a flurry of legislation that set the pillars of the New Deal in place within his first 100 days, “the most concentrated period of U.S. reform in U.S. history,” say Alan Brinkley and Davis Dyer in “The Reader’s Companion to the American Presidency.” More than a dozen sweeping laws were enacted in that time as FDR threw the public purse behind the cause of industrial recovery, agricultural renewal and public works, expanding federal powers in the process. Social Security and much more came later.

FDR’s burst of productivity gave rise to U.S. history’s 100-day benchmark for new presidents.

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HARRY TRUMAN, 1945

“I felt as if I had lived five lifetimes in those first days as president,” Truman said of his ascension from vice president upon FDR’s death, April 12, 1945, during World War II.

On May 7, Germany surrendered; Japan pressed on.

On Truman’s 116th day as president, Aug. 6, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, then on Nagasaki three days later.  Japan surrendered Aug. 14.

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DWIGHT EISENHOWER, 1953

The war hero came to power without plans to overturn the status quo in domestic policy and his 100 days unfolded without much of a mark. The armistice ending the Korean War happened later that year and the domestic achievement for which he has become most known, the interstate highway system, later.

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JOHN KENNEDY, 1961

A master orator, JFK was not a high achiever in his first 100 days, a period marked by the bungled Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba by U.S.-trained Cuban exiles and the Soviet Union’s launch of the first human into outer space.

Kennedy proved more sure-footed in Cold War brinksmanship that followed, declaring a quarantine on Soviet shipping to Cuba to prevent the establishment of missile bases able to strike the U.S.  The Soviets relented in 1962, defusing a crisis that had brought the nuclear powers perilously close to war.

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LYNDON JOHNSON, 1963

LBJ’s priority when Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963 made him president was stability, unity and security. Those goals, and efforts to pass items on JFK’s agenda, dominated his early days. Johnson fiercely wheeled and dealed behind an agenda of his own as time went on. The Civil Rights Act passed in 1964 and, after he won the presidential election that year, Medicare, Medicaid and other pillars of his Great Society fell into place, even as his escalation of the Vietnam War eroded his standing with the public.

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RICHARD NIXON, 1969

On the surface, Nixon’s early months offered few clues to the foreign policy strides that would register in history or to the dark scheming that would destroy his presidency. He visited Europe for eight days in his first full month, three years before his groundbreaking visit to China. In March, he ordered a secret and sustained bombing campaign on Cambodia — its eventual revelation further drove opposition to the Vietnam War.

Nixon’s main domestic initiatives were down the road, as was the Watergate scandal and related machinations against political adversaries that ultimately drove him from office under a looming impeachment.

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GERALD FORD, 1974

Nixon’s resignation in disgrace made Ford president on Aug. 9, when he declared “our long national nightmare is over.”  A burst of relief and popularity followed but his decision a month later to pardon Nixon sank the public’s estimation of him and that never recovered. Inflation was raging and the economy was worsening but he lacked the clout in Congress to achieve a quick fix. Before his 100 days were done, midterm elections handed Democrats stronger majorities in both houses of Congress.

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JIMMY CARTER, 1977

The Democrat’s first 100 days were largely about tone. Although he sent lawmakers ambitious legislation on economic stimulus, energy conservation, immigration and more, he got little of it despite Democratic control of Congress. Brinkley and Dyer write that Carter set out to demystify the presidency by ending the playing of “Hail to Chief” at his events, donning a cardigan sweater for a televised address, having his Cabinet members drive their own cars and asking Americans to recognize that “even our great nation has its recognized limits.”

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RONALD REAGAN, 1981

Reagan took office with fellow Republicans in control of the Senate, Democrats in control of the House, and big plans brewing to put the government on a conservative path.

He got off to a fast start — but not by achieving a mountain of legislation in the first 100 days. Rather, he used his powers of persuasion with lawmakers and the public to soften the ground for the most consequential tax, spending and government-overhaul Congress had seen in decades. After more than two months in office, Reagan was shot in an assassination attempt that nearly killed him — a shocker that rallied support behind him even as he was temporarily sidelined by surgery and convalescence — and never completely recovered. Congressional approval of his sweeping plan came later that year.

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GEORGE H.W. BUSH, 1989

His priority was to get out of Reagan’s shadow. Despite only modest achievements in his first 100 days, like a bipartisan budget agreement, Bush capped the period with a six-state tour to talk about his goals and successes. Momentous times were unfolding — the Berlin Wall came down that November and the Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991, a Cold War resolution for which Reagan got the most credit in the U.S. Bush, though, unleashed a massive U.S. military effort and broad international coalition to reverse Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.

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BILL CLINTON, 1993

With Congress under Democratic control, Clinton promised to put legislation in play within 100 days to overhaul health care, guaranteeing coverage for everyone. That became a drawn-out failure, ultimately collapsing in late 1994. Surrounded by figures from his days as Arkansas governor, Clinton got off to a rocky start negotiating the ways of Washington.  The Democrat’s early months were dominated by controversies over his appointments; his first two choices for attorney general flopped, as did his first choice to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division. His pledge to end discrimination against gays in the military drew attention away from central parts of his agenda in the early going.

But his 100 days were not without results: He won passage of a law guaranteeing 12 weeks of unpaid family leave at larger companies for child care and family illnesses.

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GEORGE W. BUSH, 2001

The Republican who eked into office after the closest U.S. presidential election in history dealt with a Republican-controlled House and a Senate that was evenly divided (as if the presidential vote wasn’t dramatic enough). Republicans held the tie-breaking vote in the Senate until June, when a GOP lawmaker switched to vote with Democrats.

Bush did not get much more in his 100 days than a House vote backing central elements of his big tax cuts. A dispute with China intervened over a collision between a U.S. spy plane and a Chinese fighter plane that killed the Chinese pilot and resulted in the detention of the U.S. crew.

The tax cuts came later. Then the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, which changed everything.

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BARACK OBAMA, 2009

Obama came to office in the worst economic crisis since the Depression and both houses of Congress in the hands of fellow Democrats. Financial institutions had been failing, the auto industry was in trouble and unemployment was on the rise, over 8 percent in February 2009 on its way to more than 10 percent before the end of the year.

Lawmakers from both parties were inclined to act quickly and did, even as they fought over the details of how to respond to the tanking economy.

Obama signed a massive stimulus package into law in his first month. He also achieved laws expanding health care for children and advancing equal pay for women in his first 100 days, leaving the epic struggle over “Obamacare” for later in the year and 2010.

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DONALD TRUMP, 2017

Of 10 major pieces of legislation Trump promised to put in play in his first 100 days, none was achieved and only one made it formally to Congress — the failed first effort to replace his predecessor’s health law. The contours of another, a big package of tax cuts, were announced this week. The confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court stood as his biggest achievement with fellow Republicans in control of Congress.

Trump moved aggressively with promised executive orders, most of which have limited effect, and courts blocked a key pledge to freeze entry to the U.S. of people from certain Muslim-majority countries.

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This story has been corrected to reflect the year of the 9/11 attacks.

Man gets probation in Ohio military base security breach

Apr 27, 2017 12

A man who drove through a security gate at Ohio’s largest military base, causing the evacuation of two buildings, has been sentenced to two years’ probation.

The Dayton Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/2oJM6Cw ) that Edward Novak must also comply with mental health counseling and substance abuse testing as part of the sentence imposed Wednesday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Newman.

Novak pleaded guilty in federal court in Dayton in February to charges of trespass, driving under the influence and disorderly conduct.

Public defender Cheryll Bennett said she and Novak were happy with the sentence.

Authorities say the unarmed Beavercreek man entered a secure building at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in November 2015 after driving past guards at a security gate.

The intrusion hindered operations at the base near Dayton for hours.

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Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com