Gunman acted alone to kill four Marines at Tennessee military facilities – July 16, 2015 12:16PM ET Updated July 17, 2015 12:45AM ET

An FBI official said late Tuesday that “there is no indication at this point that anybody else was involved”

Investigators have no evidence that anyone but a lone gunman was involved in the fatal shooting of four marines at two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee, said an FBI official late on Tuesday night.

The gunman, identified by FBI officials in Knoxville, was 24-year-old Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, although the spelling of his first name was in dispute, with federal officials and records giving at least four variations. He was believed to have been born in Kuwait, and it was unclear whether he was a U.S. or Kuwaiti citizen, a U.S. official requesting anonymity told The Associated Press. He resided in Hixson, Tennessee, which is a few miles across the river from Chattanooga.

Abdulazeez fired from inside his car when he went to the recruitment center, but then got out of the vehicle to shoot the four marines at the training center, FBI agent Ed Reinhold told a news conference late Thursday.

In addition to the Marines killed, three people were reported wounded, including a sailor who was seriously hurt.

Authorities would not say how the gunman died, but the U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity said investigators believe Chattanooga police fired the fatal shot that killed him. At least one military commander at the scene also fired at Abdulazeez with his personal weapon, but forensic investigators determined that police killed him, the official said.

Reinhold said Abdulazeez had “numerous weapons” but would not give details. He said investigators have “no idea” what motivated the shooter, but “we are looking at every possible avenue, whether it was terrorism, whether it’s domestic, international, or whether it was a simple criminal act.”

Reinhold also said late Thursday “there is no indication at this point that anybody else was involved.”


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U.S. probe into airline collusion needs more than circumstantial evidence – BY SCOTT MAYEROWITZ, ERIC TUCKER AND DAVID KOENIG July 3, 2015 at 11:31 AM EDT

An American Airlines jet is seen here after a press conference at DFW Airport in Fort Worth, Texas, on Wednesday, July 20, 2011. Photo by Mike Fuentes/Bloomberg News

An American Airlines jet is seen here after a press conference at DFW Airport in Fort Worth, Texas, on Wednesday, July 20, 2011. Photo by Mike Fuentes/Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — As the Justice Department launches an investigation into possible collusion in the airline industry, experts say the government faces the burden of proving that carriers were deliberately signaling business decisions to each other.

Airlines routinely increase flights based on demand. A particularly cold winter in the Northeast, for instance, might merit more flights to the Caribbean. And sometimes, routes are cut because there isn’t enough demand. Nothing is illegal about that.

Any company can limit the supply of its own products, whether airline tickets, sneakers or smartphones. But it would be illegal for airlines to work together to limit flights in order to drive up fares.

The government’s investigation is just in its initial phases. Letters went out this week to American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. Together, those four carriers control more than 80 percent of the domestic seats on planes.

Airlines are quick to say they can’t talk about pricing decisions. But in recent years, airline executives and Wall Street analysts have been much more open in discussing how the airlines have kept their passenger capacity — the number of seats they put into given markets — in check. With that capacity kept from growing too fast, airplanes have been fuller and carriers have been able to command higher ticket prices. That’s led to record profits.

But were airlines simply responding to Wall Street’s questions about capacity, or were they illegally agreeing not to compete too hard as part of an effort to make more money?

“Matching supply to demand is not a novel idea and running a company for profit is not a crime,” Raymond James analyst Savanthi Syth told investors in a note Thursday.


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If You’ve Always Thought Whole Foods Was Too Expensive, You Were Right – by Jessica Goldstein Posted on June 24, 2015 at 2:58 pm



Whole Foods is expensive. Everyone knows it and yet somehow so many people still shop there; we’ve all just come to accept that Whole Paycheck is what it is, just like how people who would rather not have to chew their food have come to accept that those fruit-and-veggie juices will cost at least $10.

Nowhere is this ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ attitude about high prices on grander display than New York. Questioning why anything costs so damn much — apartments, coffee, cocktails, this list could go on forever, because everything — is like asking why the sun insists on rising in the east. Which is maybe how grocery shoppers in Gotham wound up getting fleeced by Whole Foods for the past fiveyears.

The New York Daily News is reporting that the City of New York has launched an official probe into Whole Foods Markets. Why? Because “dozens of inspections dating back to at least 2010″ reveal that the upscale chain has been regularly overcharging customers.

The Department of Consumer Affairs conducted a string operation last fall that “specifically checked the accuracy of the weight marked on pre-packaged products.” Here’s what they discovered (emphasis added):

Inspectors weighed 80 different types of items at Whole Foods’ eight locations in the city that were open at the time. They found every label was inaccurate, with many overcharging consumers, agency spokeswoman Abby Lootens told The News.

Plenty of other New York food shops appear to abide by the same sketchy practices: 77 percent of the 120 grocery stories included in the investigation had at least one violation to their name. But Commissioner Julie Menin told The News that Whole Foods was the guiltiest offender by far, sparking the full investigation that took place last year: “Our inspectors told me it was the worst case of overcharges that they’ve ever seen.”

Whole Foods has been fined over and over again for the same violations, including adding taxes to items that aren’t even taxable and overcharging at the scanners. And last summer, Whole Foods settled a similar investigation in California by paying $800,000.

Through a FOIA request, The News found that Whole Foods stores in New York “have received more than 800 violations during 107 separate inspections since 2010, totaling more than $58,000 in fines.”

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EPA: Fracking Doesn’t Pose “Widespread, Systemic” Danger to Drinking Water – —By Tim McDonnell| Thu Jun. 4, 2015 1:02 PM EDT

The Environmental Protection Agency today released a long-awaited draft reporton the impact of fracking on drinking water supplies. The analysis, which drew on peer-reviewed studies as well as state and federal databases, found that activities associated with fracking do “have the potential to impact drinking water resources.” But it concluded that in the United States, these impacts have been few and far between.

Charles Mostoller/ZUMA

The Environmental Protection Agency today released a long-awaited draft report on the impact of fracking on drinking water supplies. The analysis, which drew on peer-reviewed studies as well as state and federal databases, found that activities associated with fracking do “have the potential to impact drinking water resources.” But it concluded that in the United States, these impacts have been few and far between.

The report identifies several possible areas of concern, including: “water withdrawals in times of, or in areas with, low water availability; spills of hydraulic fracturing fluids and produced water; fracturing directly into underground drinking water resources; below ground migration of liquids and gases; and inadequate treatment and discharge of water.”

However, the report says, “We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources.”

The report considered not only the hydraulic fracturing action itself, but all of the water-related steps necessary to drill, from acquiring water to disposing of it. Here’s an illustration from the report:


The report, which the Obama administration had hoped would provide a definitive answer to a core question about the controversial drilling technique, has been five years in the making. During that time, the EPA has faced numerous battles with the oil and gas industry to procure necessary data. Even before the report was released, some scientists voiced skepticism about its findings because of gaps in the data regarding what types of chemicals were present in water supplies prior to fracking activities.

As Inside Climate News explains:

For the study’s findings to be definitive, the EPA needed prospective, or baseline, studies. Scientists consider prospective water studies essential because they provide chemical snapshots of water immediately before and after fracking and then for a year or two afterward. This would be the most reliable way to determine whether oil and gas development contaminates surface water and nearby aquifers, and the findings could highlight industry practices that protect water. In other studies that found toxic chemicals or hydrocarbons in water wells, the industry argued that the substances were present before oil and gas development began.

Prospective studies were included in the EPA project’s final plan in 2010 and were still described as a possibility in a December 2012 progress report to Congress. But the EPA couldn’t legally force cooperation by oil and gas companies, almost all of which refused when the agency tried to persuade them.

Report: FBI investigating medical device that spread cancer in women – CBS NEWS May 27, 2015, 6:10 PM

The FBI reportedly is investigating a medical device that was withdrawn from the market last year after it was found to spread cancer in women. The Wall Street Journal reports investigators are looking into what Johnson & Johnson, the largest manufacturer of the device, knew about the problems.

Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division manufactured power morcellator devices which were withdrawn from the market after the FDA warned they could spread cancer. AP PHOTO/MEL EVANS

The device, known as a laparoscopic power morcellator, was used by surgeons during certain minimally-invasive hysterectomy procedures or to remove uterine fibroids. The morcellator ground up tissue so it could easily be removed through tiny incisions. But when the device was used on women who had undiscovered uterine sarcoma cancer, it had the effect of spreading cancerous tissue throughout the abdomen and pelvis.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the cancer risk in April 2014, saying morcellation could “significantly worsen…the patient’s likelihood of long-term survival.”In November, the FDA required a strong new warning on the product label.

Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson that made the devices, advised doctors to stop using them and withdrew them from the market, although models made by other companies remain available.

Prior to that, about 60,000 such procedures were performed every year, estimated Dr. William Maisel, deputy director for science and chief scientist at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

Asked about the investigation, J&J/Ethicon told CBS News they have not been contacted by the FBI regarding morcellation devices.

But at least one of the affected patients has been interviewed by the FBI about her case. Dr. Amy Reed, an anesthesiologist and mother of six, became an outspoken critic of the devices after she underwent a hysterectomy with a morcellator at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2013. Follow-up testing showed she had cancer that had spread through her abdomen.

Reed’s husband, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, told CBS News the couple had reached out to the FBI starting in late 2013 and “finally, agents in New Jersey listened.” He said they were interviewed last October and again recently about their concerns.

Baltimore grand jury charges six officers in Gray case – BBC News May 22nd

A Baltimore grand jury has charged all six police officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray.

State Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby announced the revised charges on Thursday, but the most serious charges – including second-degree murder – remained.

Gray suffered a severe spinal cord injury in police custody in April and died a week later.

His death sparked weeks of protests and later riots and looting in Baltimore.

“As is often the case, during an ongoing investigation, charges can and should be revised based upon the evidence,” Ms Mosby said.

The grand jury did not return charges on the false imprisonment charges that were brought against some of the officers.

Ms Mosby brought the false imprisonment charges earlier claiming that Gray’s arrest was unjustified and illegal.

Marilyn Mosby delivers news of the charges
The Baltimore police union has called for Marilyn Mosby to step down from the case

However, the grand jury did return new reckless endangerment charges that were not part of the original charges announced three weeks ago.

Ms Mosby has said that Gray’s neck was broken while he was being handcuffed and placed into a police van. She also said that police repeatedly ignored his pleas for medical attention.

The officers are scheduled to appear in court on 2 July.


The grand jury charges

  • Officer Caesar Goodson: 2nd-degree depraved heart murder, involuntary manslaughter, 2nd degree negligent assault, manslaughter by vehicle by means of gross negligence, manslaughter by vehicle by means of criminal negligence, misconduct in office for failure to secure prisoner and failure to render aid, reckless endangerment
  • Officer William Porter: Involuntary manslaughter, assault in the 2nd degree, misconduct in office, reckless endangerment
  • Lieutenant Brian Rice: Involuntary manslaughter, assault in the 2nd degree, assault in the 2nd degree [second of two similar charges], misconduct in office, reckless endangerment
  • Officer Edward Nero: Assault in the 2nd degree (intentional), assault in the 2nd degree (negligent), misconduct in office, reckless endangerment
  • Sergeant Alicia White: Involuntary manslaughter, 2nd degree assault, misconduct in office, reckless endangerment
  • Officer Garrett Miller: Intentional Assault in the 2nd degree, assault in the 2nd degree, negligent misconduct in office, reckless endangerment

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Amtrak engineer made no report of object hitting windshield before crash: NTSB – Sun May 17, 2015 5:13pm EDTNTSB officials on the scene of the Amtrak train #188 derailment in Philadelphia, May 13, 2015. REUTERS/NTSB/HANDOUT

U.S. federal investigators have found no record that the engineer of the Amtrak commuter train that crashed in Philadelphia last week reported an object hit his locomotive in the minutes before it derailed, a U.S. official said on Sunday.

NTSB officials on the scene of the Amtrak train #188 derailment in Philadelphia, May 13, 2015. REUTERS/NTSB/Handout

NTSB officials on the scene of the Amtrak train #188 derailment in Philadelphia, May 13, 2015. REUTERS/NTSB/HANDOUT

U.S. federal investigators have found no record that the engineer of the Amtrak commuter train that crashed in Philadelphia last week reported an object hit his locomotive in the minutes before it derailed, a U.S. official said on Sunday.

The comment by Robert Sumwalt, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, comes as investigators are looking to explain what caused a circular pattern of damage found on the locomotive’s windshield after the accident.

“We listened to the dispatch tape, and we heard no communications at all from the Amtrak engineer to the dispatch center to say that something had struck his train,” Sumwalt told ABC television’s “This Week.” Sumwalt spoke on several television networks on Sunday.

The NTSB has asked the FBI to help it examine the damage to the windshield, which is about the size of a grapefruit.

“This idea of something striking the train, that’s one of the many things we are looking at right now,” he said.

Sumwalt told CBS that investigators have all but ruled out the idea that a gunshot caused the damage to the windshield.

On Friday, investigators interviewed two assistant conductors and the engineer who was driving the train when it derailed. The accident killed eight passengers and sent 200 to local hospitals.

One conductor had told investigators she may have heard the engineer say over the train’s radio that something hit the windshield, Sumwalt said. But so far officials have found no independent corroboration of such a communication.

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The secret weapon for America’s beleaguered police – By BEN SCHRECKINGER 5/9/15 5:16 PM EDT

Amid unprecedented criticism, a union chief has a plan to redeem law enforcement’s image

American law enforcement, long accustomed to deference from Washington, faces an unprecedented onslaught. Its public image is in the tank, the Justice Department is fielding calls to investigate departments across the country and lawmakers from both parties are pushing to pass reform right now. It’s a perilous time for police, but the cops have a secret weapon: Jim Pasco. And Jim Pasco has a plan.

Pasco, the executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, the nation’s largest law enforcement union, has consistently defended officers, even rebuking President Obama as unrest flared in Ferguson. “I would contend that discussing police tactics from Martha’s Vineyard is not helpful to ultimately calming the situation,” he said in August. But the steady series of controversial deaths of black men — in New York, South Carolina and Baltimore — has spurred Pasco to action. His strategy for the present crisis: Slow down the pace of reform with a congressional commission to study the issues and come back with recommendations.

Pasco is betting he can leverage his carefully-built relationships — which extend to both sides of the aisle and into the top reaches of the White House and the Justice Department — to take the most drastic remedies, like opening a string of “pattern and practices” investigations, off the table.

It’s an approach reminiscent of the NRA’s response to urgent calls for new gun control measures after the mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012. The group commissioned a private task force led by Asa Hutchinson, now the governor of Arkansas, which came back four months after the shooting with a recommendation that schools arm staff members.

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Vox Sentences: Justice Department will investigate the Baltimore police – Updated by German Lopez on May 8, 2015, 8:00 p.m. ET

1. Baltimore under investigation

A protester walks through tear gas in Baltimore. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

  • The Justice Department will investigate the Baltimore Police Department for excessive use of force and other abusive practices to evaluate whether police systemically violated the Constitution and locals’ civil rights.

    [Vox / German Lopez]

  • The announcement follows weeks of tense protests over the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died on April 19 after suffering a severe spinal cord injury in a police van despite repeated pleas for medical help.

    [Vox / German Lopez]

  • The Justice Department’s COPS Program is already helping with some limited reforms, following a 2014 report that found the city had paid about $5.7 million since 2011 to settle police brutality accusations.

    [Baltimore Sun / Mark Puente]

  • “Despite the progress being made, it was clear that recent events … had given rise to a serious erosion of public trust.”

    [Attorney General Loretta Lynch]

  • One reporter asked the US attorney general if the Baltimore Police Department is different than Ferguson’s because it’s more diverse — but systemic racism affects everyone, even black cops.

    [Vox / German Lopez]

  • To read more about Freddie Gray’s arrest and the protests that followed, check out Vox’s full explainer.

    [Vox / German Lopez]

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When I first met my shrink, I wasn’t so sure about him. He’s handsome, fit, not much taller than me, reticent. I couldn’t tell if his reticence was disapproval and judgment or if he was just doing his job: staying quiet, staying neutral. I’m new to therapy, and, frankly, had wanted a woman therapist, but here I was with this silent, unreadable man and I didn’t know how to feel comfy about it.


So I Googled him. I found his Facebook page, saw that he might be a band geek (like me), that he seems generally empathetic and that he has a cute dog that sometimes wears clothes.

That’s how I got comfortable.

A couple of weeks ago, Anna Fels wrote for the New York Times about patients Googling their therapists. Written from the perspective of a Googled therapist, the piece cautions against the ways in which knowing about your doctor’s personal life can affect the experience of therapy. She also acknowledged it happens in the other direction, too: ER nurses, for instance, are Googling their patients to find out if they’re criminals, or if they’re famous, or just if they’re anything interesting at all.

“The experience of evaluating a patient with fresh eyes and no prior assumptions may, for better and for worse, disappear,” Fels wrote.

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