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Helicopter Jailbreak in Canada Helicopter Jailbreak in Canada

March 18, 2013 - It was though an action movie was being filmed, when two prisoners from a Canadian jail made a daring bid for freedom by being hoisted from the jail courtyard by a helicopter that had reportedly been hijacked by accomplices.

In what seemed to be a Hollywood film set, the two men were spirited from the jail Sunday afternoon in broad daylight, but were recaptured only hours later with their two accomplices.

One international news agency said two men who posed as tourists commandeered a helicopter from a local tour company. They ordered the copter’s pilot to fly to the St. Jerome jail outside of Montreal. Ropes or cables were then lowered to hoist prisoners up.

Danny Provencal and Benjamin Hudon-Barbeau were recaptured when the helicopter they escaped in was tracked about 50 miles away to Mont Tremblant. A man called a Montreal radio station claiming to be one of the prisoners. He wanted to explain the reasons the two escaped.

He said he knew it was not the best idea to do it, but he did not want to remain in prison any longer. The man claimed to by Hudon-Barbeau and said his fellow escapee planned the whole idea with his friends on the outside.

The pilot will be used by law enforcement as the key witness to the ordeal. Authorities found the pilot inside the helicopter that had been abandoned by the escapees and their accomplices. The escapees fled in a Cadillac but police were able to track them to Chersey a small town where they arrested them, just six hours following the daring escape.

Provencal, who is in jail serving a sentence of seven years for a number of charges including arson, could not be located at the home where the others were arrested. However, authorities found him Monday morning in Chersey.


Sixteen Killed, Dozens Injured in Explosion of Fireworks Sixteen Killed, Dozens Injured in Explosion of Fireworks

March 17, 2013- A truck laden with fireworks exploded in Central Mexico in a rural village during a religious procession. The blast killed at least 16 people and injured more than 150.

Authorities said the blast was set off after one of the fireworks malfunctioned and fell onto the truck, which ignited the fireworks the truck was carrying.

The explosion was so strong that burned clothes and the remains of some of the dead could be seen spread across an area of more than 100 yards in radius.

The procession was an annual event honoring Christ held during the 40 days of Lent. The town, Jesus Tepactepec, where the explosion took place has a small population of less than 1,000. Among those who died was at least on young child, said local officials.

Rescue helicopters, a number of ambulances and the military from a base located in the area rushed to the small village about 70 miles from the capital of Mexico City.

Bishop Francisco Moreno from the state of Tlaxcala, where the small town is located, told reporters that he had toured the area of the explosion as well as visited hospitals to see the injured.

Mexican holidays are typically filled with fireworks as well as the many religious celebrations that take place year round. However, the fireworks often times are manufactured and transported under conditions that do not have much regard for safety. On a periodic basis, incidents take place where fireworks’ explosions are fatal.

The tiny town of Jesus Tepactepec is known throughout the country for the manufacture of handicrafts, including wood figures and baskets. Its religious celebrations each year draw artisans from towns nearby who try to sell their products.

The processions and other religious celebrations also draw many national and international tourists from across the country and the world.


Man Cuts off Ankle Monitor, Kills Woman and Rapes Her Daughter Man Cuts off Ankle Monitor, Kills Woman and Rapes Her Daughter

March 16, 2013- Officials in New York are trying to piece together how a man who had been charged with possession of child pornography was able to cut off the monitoring bracelet attached to his ankle before carjacking a car at a local mall, stabbing and kill woman and then raping her daughter, who was 10 years old.

David Renz kidnapped the woman, a school librarian, and the woman’s daughter when they were leaving a Thursday night gymnastics class in Clay, New York a suburb of Syracuse, said state police.

The man bound both victims and then raped the daughter. Afterwards he drove the two to an area were the daughter was able to escape and a passing motorist found her. At that time, the motorist called 911 and said he saw a man fleeing, which allowed police to send officers and a helicopter to the area. Just a short time later, authorities apprehended Renz.

Authorities said they were still not sure how the 10-year old was able to escape and when the mother had been killed.

The young girl was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Police said her mother had been stabbed multiple times.

In January, Renz, who is 29, was charged with possessing child pornography. He was released pending his trial but could not use internet, had to wear the monitoring bracelet and could not go near arcades, parks or schools.

On Friday, Renz appeared in court to hear his charges. He was arraigned on kidnapping, rape and murder charges and will not receive bail. The woman’s name, who was murdered, was not released in order to protect the identity of the 10 year old.

Renz admitted after being arrested last June for child pornography that he had downloaded child pornography for the past six years from the Internet. Agents who reviewed the computer found more than 100 GBs of child pornography including over 3,000 images and 500 videos.

Florida Lawmakers want to end Internet Cafes Florida Lawmakers want to end Internet Cafes

March 15, 2013- Following the resignation of Jennifer Carroll the lieutenant governor of Florida and the arrest of dozens of people, state lawmakers are trying to shut down a myriad of internet cafes that have had online gambling that has skirted the state law for a number of years.

The 57 people arrested have been charged with racketeering and money laundering.

Leaders of the Florida legislature are trying to scrub clean campaign finance reports of any possible contributions received from companies that have been associated, the non-profit group that the massive fraud investigation is centered around – Allied Veterans of the World.

The public relations business of Carroll worked with Allied Veterans at the time Carroll was a member of the Florida House during 2009 and 2010.

On Tuesday, she resigned after the Department of Law of Enforcement of Florida questioned her. She however has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Internet cafes can sell phone cards or access to internet that customers are allowed to use at the café. Often times they use their time to gamble online, playing poker, electronic slots amongst other games.

Winnings as well as losses are kept track of through an access card, which a player can cash out when they leave the location.

These cafes have been given the name of storefront casinos by county and city government officials and sheriffs. However, pleas by many for regulation statewide have fallen on deaf ears. On Wednesday, that changed when Republicans in the state legislature rushed to add the cafes to the top of their committee agendas.

Allied Veterans is alleged by law enforcement to have earned over $300 million during a four year span while it was serving as a front for the gambling. Over that same period, the organization, based in Oklahoma spent nearly $2 million on political contributions. On Tuesday, 49 internet cafes were shut down during the arrest sweep.

White Smoke equals New Pope White Smoke equals New Pope

March 14, 2013 - The 115 Cardinals taking part in the Conclave were able to come to an agreement on Wednesday, as they elected a new Pope. At 7:00 pm local time, thousands of eyes were focused on the chimney above the Sistine Chapel waiting to see what color the smoke would be.

A roar from the thousands on hand went up as soon as the white smoke, indicating a new Pope had been elected, started pouring out of the chimney.

The cardinals elected the archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Mario Bergoglio to become the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church. Bergoglio took the name Francis 1 in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, becoming the first Latin American to be chosen Pope.

Pope Francis 1 started early Thursday, his first full day as the leader of more than 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide. He prayed at one of Rome’s churches for 30 minutes, while a crowd of more than 150 gathered and cheered outside.

The new Pope will visit the former pope Benedict XVI sometime soon. Benedict has been at the summer return for the pope since resigning on February 28.

The Vatican is scheduled to announce the Pope’s schedule going forward at a press conference to be held at 1:00 pm on Thursday local time.

Francis’ papacy contains many firsts: He is the first non-European elected to the papacy during modern times, the first Jesuit, the first from Latin America and the first Pope to use the name Francis, for the saint who devoted his life to the poor.

It is widely thought that Bergoglio was second behind Joseph Ratzinger who became Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 following the death of Pope John Paul II.

While Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio was known for living in a small modest apartment downtown instead of the ornate mansion the church had for the archbishop. He often used public transportation instead of a chauffeured limousine and he cooked many of his own meals.

Italy Warned by India over Marines Italy Warned by India over Marines

March 13, 2013 - Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India, said on Wednesday that consequences could take place if Italy fails to return two marines, who were accused of killing two fishermen from India, to stand trial.

The two marines have been accused of shooting and killing two fishermen off the Indian coast near the state of Kerela in 2012. Police there said they detained the two marines who deny committing the crime and this has triggered a diplomatic dispute with authorities from Italy over who has the criminal jurisdiction over the case.

Italy authorities said the marines should stand trial in Rome, as they argued that the incident took place within international waters and thus India violated international laws pertaining to the sea.

India’s Supreme Court in January ruled that the marines would be tried in Delhi in a special court. The following month, as a gesture of goodwill, the court accepted the request of the government of Italy to allow the two officers to visit Italy for a period of four weeks to take part in the Italian elections.

Italy now says the two marines would not return to India as was agreed. The Italian’s informed New Delhi on Monday of its decision to try the marines in Italy, saying the authorities of India violated the law.

The government of India responded to Italy’s announcement by saying it was completely unacceptable and insists that the authorities in Italy respect the court system in India and return the accused marines.

Singh told the Indian parliament that if Italy did not return the two marines there would be consequences in relations with Italy. Some people in India have called for the government to expel Daniele Mancini the Italian Ambassador from the country. Mancini had promised the Indian Supreme Court that the two marines would return from Italy.


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