A half-naked, hammer-wielding man claimed he was Tupac Shakur as he smashed up more than one dozen Philadelphia Police vehicles early Wednesday morning.
The vandal did damage to at least 14 police cruisers parked outside the 6th Police District in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood, according to Philadelphia Police Capt. Brian Korn. The man carried an archaeology hammer -- a small pickax-like device when he got out of his car near the police station around 5:15 a.m.
He was wearing only boxers and boots as he began to swing the hammer at police cars, SUVs and even the front door of the station, according to investigators.
Some of the damage done to the police cars included broken windshields and dented doors. Police didn't put an immediate price tag on the havoc done.
Federal prosecutors in New York are examining whether General Motors is criminally liable for failing to properly disclose problems with some of its vehicles that were linked to 13 deaths and led to a recall of 1.6 million vehicles
, Reuters and The Associated Press reported. The probe is in its early stages. Investigators are reviewing information about how the company followed up with reports of problems with ignition switches that first came to light 10 years ago, NBC News reported. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration previously opened an investigation into whether GM reacted fast enough in its recall.
A cracking and corrosion problem on Boeing 777s that could cause a mid-air break-up of the aircraft prompted a warning from air safety regulators weeks before the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, federal records show. The Federal Aviation Administration ordered checks on hundreds of U.S.-registered 777s following reports of cracking in the fuselage skin underneath a satellite antenna, NBC News reported. The agency said the additional checks, which were due to take effect on April 9, were needed “to detect and correct cracking and corrosion in the fuselage skin, which could lead to rapid decompression and loss of structural integrity of the airplane.” The missing Malaysia Airlines jet was 12 years old and had completed 7,525 cycles, the airline said. It was not immediately clear if the airline had already begun to implement the extra checks as part of its maintenance routine. Airworthiness directives that lead to the grounding of an entire fleet of aircraft are rare.
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A comedian who once drove a New York City taxi is under fire for a video he posted online this week in which passengers were surprised by an albino Burmese python slithering in the back seat of a cab.
The city Taxi and Limousine Commission and PETA both blasted comic Jimmy Failla for the video, called “Snakes on a Cab,” reports Gothamist. The video, released to promote Failla's new book, shows customers shrieking, running away and cursing when they see the 14-foot serpent in Failla's taxi.
TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg told Gothamist the agency is going to look into whether Failla, who still holds a valid taxi license, should have his privileges revoked.
A spokeswoman for PETA also came out against the video, telling Gothamist that the passengers’ reactions to the snake were “extremely stressful” to the serpent.
Failla’s publicist told Gothamist that a licensed handler was present for the video and made sure the snake was relaxed throughout the shoot.
Two teenage girls are behind bars following allegations they tortured a boy with "a diminished mental capacity."
The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office said 17-year-old Lauren Bush and a 15-year-old girl recorded the assaults against the 16-year-old victim on their cell phones. The teens allegedly stabbed the victim, dragged him by his hair and forced him to perform various sex acts.
Investigators said the suspects also coerced the teen to walk on a partially frozen pond, which resulted in him falling through the ice several times.
Bush was charged as an adult.
The St. Mary's County public defender's office had no comment on the case.
An online video that shows a professional bike rider using homeless people on Los Angeles' Skid Row as props has caused outrage. In the video, posted to the Facebook page of OSS Bike Shop, BMX bike rider Brandon Begin and two friends are seen jumping over sleeping homeless people with their bikes. Adam Grandmaison owns OSS Bike Shop, located just a block away from Skid Row. He said he wasn’t around when the video was made, and that while he questioned whether he should post the video, he ultimately chose to because "nobody got hurt." LAPD Officer Deon Joseph has been working on Skid Row for 16 years and was disappointed to hear that Grandmaison plans to keep the video posted. "I’d like to have him come for a Skid Row tour so I can educate him on homelessness and what these individuals go through, I mean their life is hard enough," Joseph said.
What had been under-the-radar accusations erupted into a political firestorm Tuesday, when a top lawmaker took to the Senate floor to accuse the CIA of spying on her panel — possibly breaking the law and violating the Constitution. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says the nation's top spy agency has been spying on the panel, charges that CIA chief John Brennan denies. So what's at root? After the panel launched a three-year probe in 2009 of Bush-era CIA interrogation tactics, the CIA turned over 6.2 million pages of documents stored on a CIA computer network at a secure location. But Feinstein said in a Senate speech Tuesday that CIA employees interfered with the probe by removing certain documents and carried out an improper search of the computer system Senate staffers were using. Among the documents she said disappeared: Internal documents that documented CIA wrongdoing.
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President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are in a problematic political position with less than eight months to go before November's midterm elections, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Obama’s job-approval rating has dropped to 41 percent and Republicans hold a one-point edge over Democrats when it comes to which party voters prefer to control Congress, 44 percent to 43 percent. Although that lead is within the poll’s margin of error, Republicans have fared well in elections in the past when they’ve had a slight lead on the question. In addition, many top Senate contests in 2014 will happen in states Obama lost in 2012. Still, Obama’s favorable/unfavorable numbers (41 percent/44 percent) in the poll are better than the Republican Party’s (27 percent/45 percent).
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The Houston megachurch led by Pastor Joel Osteen has been targeted by thieves who stole cash, checks and credit card information from a safe. Police spokeswoman Jodi Silva said Tuesday that nobody has been arrested in the theft from Lakewood Church. Silva declined to estimate how much was stolen. Church officials are cooperating with police and had no further comment Tuesday. The offerings were given Saturday and Sunday. Investigators believe the safe was broken into between 2:30 p.m. Sunday and 8:30 a.m. Monday. Lakewood followers had been advised to monitor their accounts. Church officials say there's no data breach and the stolen funds are insured. Credit card information was in donation envelopes. More than 38,000 people attend weekly services led by Osteen, whose televised sermons reach nearly 100 countries.
The brown, bullet-marked toilet door through which Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend was set up in the courtroom at the athlete's murder trial Wednesday, suggesting prosecutors will attempt to recreate his shooting of Reeva Steenkamp a year ago for the judge.
New Jersey's United States senators will hear testimony today from victims of Superstorm Sandy still trying to get back on track nearly a year and a half after the storm. U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez will lead the hearing on Capital Hill. He will be joined by New Jersey junior Sen. Cory Booker and others at the 10 a.m. ET hearing. Menendez spoke to New Jersey residents earlier this week about the problems they're having with recovery efforts from Sandy. They expressed frustration about the tangled bureaucracy required to receive assistance, including a lack of clear guidelines and no streamlined process. Menendez's Senate subcommittee hearing will examine Sandy coordination efforts between federal, state and local officials.
The Miami Dolphins announced Tuesday night that they have traded Jonathan Martin – the player at the center of a bullying scandal that drew national attention – to the San Francisco 49ers for an undisclosed draft choice. Martin suffered "significant emotional distress" at the hands of three of his Dolphins teammates, including fellow offensive lineman Richie Incognito, according to independent NFL investigator Ted Wells. “We feel that this move is in the best interests of all parties involved. We wish Jonathan well,” new Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey said on Twitter. Incognito was suspended indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team on Nov. 3.
President Obama stopped at a Gap store in Manhattan Tuesday, purchasing sweaters for his daughters and a workout top for his wife, in a show of support for the chain's decision to raise wages for U.S. employees. The Gap has committed to raising wages to a minimum of $10 an hour by next year. Obama wants Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10, but lawmakers have resisted. At the store, Obama perused khakis and sweatshirts before a saleswoman talked him through some options for his girls. For the first lady, he picked out a navy blue zip-up workout shirt. Obama, who was in New York for Democratic fundraisers, said he's "continuing to push Congress to boost minimum wage." "Congrats to the Gap, and I am very pleased with my sweaters," Obama said.