National Roundup

Pennsylvania Elderly woman is robbed twice in a single day
MCKEES ROCKS, Pa. (AP) — Police say a western Pennsylvania woman had her checkbook stolen and as she went to the police station to report the crime, her purse was swiped.
Seventy-two-year-old Harriet Sweger says she was first robbed by a woman who bumped into her and grabbed her checkbook at a grocery store.
The McKees Rocks woman says she was driving to a police station when she stopped to ask for directions and had a man reach into her car and grab her purse.
Police in Stowe Township, Allegheny County say they have a suspect in the purse snatching but didn’t release a name.

New Jersey
Good Samaritans restrain victim and help the thief

PLAINFIELD, N.J. (AP) — Police say a thief got away after two good Samaritans grabbed the wrong person on a northern New Jersey street.
The Samaritans were driving down a street in Plainfield when they saw what appeared to be a man assaulting a woman early Monday.
But it turns out the man was walking down the street when he said the woman robbed him of about $400 in cash and a gold chain.
Public Safety Director Martin Hellwig tells the Courier News of Bridgewater the suspect ran off when the passing motorists intervened.
Investigators are using videotape to try to identify the suspect.

Supporters mount vigil for man shot while in squad car

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Dozens of supporters have gathered outside the motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was slain to pray for a young man who was fatally shot in the back of an Arkansas patrol car.
The vigil Monday night outside the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn., came hours after police released an autopsy report in the death of 21-year-old Chavis Carter.
The report said Carter’s death was a suicide, but several people at the vigil continued to question how a man in handcuffs could shoot himself in the head.
Police said officers in Jonesboro, Ark., searched Carter twice but didn’t find a gun before he was fatally shot July 28.

Regulators close  slaughterhouse shown in video

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Federal regulators have shut down a Central California slaughterhouse after receiving undercover video showing dairy cows, some unable to walk, being repeatedly shocked and shot before being killed.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which buys beef for the school lunch program and inspects meat facilities, suspended operations at Central Valley Meat Co. in Hanford, Calif.
The facility slaughters hundreds of cows a day after the cows lose their value as milk producers.
The USDA says it launched an investigation after receiving hours of videotape from animal welfare group called Compassion Over Killing.
The group says an undercover investigator was employed by the slaughterhouse and shot the video during two weeks in July.
Central Valley Meat Co. says in a statement that it would have no immediate comment on the video because it has not seen the footage.

Ex-boxing champ, city councilor arrested

NORWALK, Conn. (AP) — Police say a former boxing champion and Connecticut city councilor who yelled at officers and refused to leave a disturbance has been zapped with a stun gun and arrested.
Travis Simms is free on $1,000 bond.
The 41-year-old Simms is a former World Boxing Association light middleweight champion and served two years on the Norwalk city council. He faces charges including breach of peace after his Sunday night arrest.
Police say Simms was among those who refused to leave a large disturbance involving the widow of his adopted brother. They say he screamed at them and strongly resisted when they tried to handcuff him so they used a stun gun to subdue him.

NASA Curiosity Rover flexes arm for the first time

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif. (AP) — NASA’s Mars rover has taken another small step for robot-kind.
Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California say the rover Curiosity flexed its robotic arm Monday for the first time since before its November launch.
They say they’ll now spend weeks testing and calibrating the 7-foot-long arm and its extensive tool kit — which includes a drill, a scoop, a spectrometer and a camera, in preparation for collecting its first soil samples and attempting to learn whether the Martian environment was favorable for microbial life
On Monday engineers unfurled the arm, extended it forward using all five of its joints, then stowed it again.

Aussie general gets senior post at Army facility

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii (AP) — An Australian two-star general will become a deputy commander of U.S. Army Pacific, which oversees more than 60,000 American soldiers in the Asia-Pacific region, Army Secretary John McHugh said Monday.
Maj. Gen. Richard Maxwell Burr of the Australian Defense Force will direct training and supervise the command’s efforts to work with countries in south Asia, plus Australia and New Zealand.
McHugh told reporters Monday that the appointment is an extension of previous cooperation between Australia and the U.S.
Maj. Gen. Roger Matthews, another of the command’s deputy commanding generals, said Burr gives U.S. Army Pacific a regional expert who understands the intricacies of dealing with American allies.

New York
Millions seized in Hezbollah launder probe lawsuits

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. authorities say they’ve seized $150 million linked to a scheme by the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah to launder drug money.
Prosecutors in New York City announced on Monday they used a seizure warrant to take the money from an escrow account in Lebanon.
The prosecutors filed a lawsuit last year demanding hundreds of millions of dollars in money laundering penalties from Lebanese financial institutions and other entities.
Authorities had said that since 2007 more than $300 million was wired from Lebanon to the United States to buy used cars for resale in West Africa.