National Roundup

 Colorado 

Soldier accused of deliberately avoiding salute 
FORT CARSON, Colo. (AP) — Officials at Fort Carson in Colorado are investigating reports a soldier posted a photo on Instagram of herself deliberately avoiding saluting the flag.
Base officials issued a statement Wednesday saying they are aware of a social media post allegedly made by Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey indicating she stayed in her car to avoid a flag ceremony and they are looking into the situation.
The investigation involves the photo and the accompanying comment that the soldier is hiding to avoid saluting the flag. The story was first reported by the Army Times. Fort Carson spokeswoman Dani Johnson said Sheffey wasn’t available for comment.
Fort Carson officials said Wednesday they will continue to educate soldiers on standards and discipline and appropriate professional conduct on social media.
 
New York
Apple files new appeal in e-book antitrust case 
NEW YORK (AP) — Apple filed papers on Tuesday telling a federal appeals court in New York that a judge’s finding it violated antitrust laws by manipulating electronic book prices “is a radical departure” from modern antitrust law that will “chill competition and harm consumers” if allowed to stand.
Apple filed its formal written arguments before the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking the appeals court to overturn the judgment in Apple’s favor, or grant a new trial in front of a different judge.
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote concluded last year that the Cupertino, California-based company colluded with book publishers in 2010 to raise electronic book prices. She appointed Washington lawyer Michael Bromwich as monitor for two years after concluding Apple was not doing enough to ensure it no longer violated antitrust laws.
Apple’s papers filed Tuesday refuted the antitrust finding, and said its entrance into the e-book market “kick-started competition in a highly concentrated market, delivering higher output, lower price levels, and accelerated innovation.”
Apple had also filed a request that the monitor’s work be suspended until the appeals court decides whether he was correctly appointed. A three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled earlier this month that he can once again take up his work but under the limits decided upon by Cote.
An email seeking comment from the Department of Justice was not immediately answered.
 
New York
28 indictments in retirement fraud in disability case 
NEW YORK (AP) — A sprawling criminal case accusing more than 100 retired firefighters, police officers, jail guards and others of scamming the Social Security disability system ensnared 28 more people with charges Tuesday, including sons of some alleged ringleaders.
The case already involved 106 people and $22 million in what the Manhattan district attorney’s office says were ill-gotten psychiatric disability benefits. Prosecutors had estimated, when unveiling the case last month, that it ultimately could encompass hundreds of people and as much as $400 million.
“These defendants are accused of gaming the system by lying about their lifestyle,” DA Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in a statement Tuesday. “Their lies were repetitive and extensive.”
The retirees are accused of falsely claiming they had depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or other psychological problems so crushing they couldn’t work. Many recipients were advised to link their supposed symptoms to 9/11, prosecutors say.
Yet some led lives that baldly contradicted their claims -- running a martial-arts studio, flying helicopters, traveling overseas, and more, according to prosecutors.
The new allegations are similar: faking psychiatric problems to get Social Security disability benefits. Prosecutors say many recipients were advised to link their supposed symptoms to 9/11.
Two new defendants — Saverio “Sam” Esposito, 48, and Douglas Hale, 53 — are charged with collecting benefits in a fraud their fathers allegedly steered.
Esposito’s lawyer, Kira Treyvus, had no immediate comment.
Douglas Hale asserts his innocence, lawyer Keith O’Halloran, said.
“We look forward to fighting these charges in court,” O’Halloran said.
The defendants’ fathers, retired police officer Joseph Esposito and benefits consultant Thomas Hale, are among four men accused of coaching the retirees on how to fake symptoms and taking tens of thousands of dollars in secret kickbacks. All four deny the allegations.
 
California
Si­nger admits se­e­king murder of estranged wife 
VISTA, Calif. (AP) — The lead singer of Grammy-nominated metal band As I Lay Dying pleaded guilty Tuesday to trying to hire someone to kill his estranged wife.
Timothy Lambesis, 32, remains free on $2 million bond until he is sentenced May 2 on one count of solicitation of murder in Vista Superior Court, north of San Diego.
Lambesis was recorded telling an undercover agent that he wanted his wife killed, according to prosecutors. The investigation began last April after Lambesis allegedly told a personal trainer at his gym that he wanted to get rid of his wife.
The undercover agent, San Diego County Sheriff’s Officer Howard Bradley, testified last year that Lambesis met him at an Oceanside bookstore in May and said he wanted his wife “gone.”
Bradley said he asked Lambesis directly if he wanted his wife killed, and the singer replied, “’Yes, I do.’”
Lambesis said his wife, Meggan Lambesis, had restricted his visits with their three adopted children after they separated in September 2012, Bradley testified at a preliminary hearing. The singer also told the agent that he was angry that Meggan Lambesis would get a large share of his income in a divorce settlement.
Bradley said Lambesis told him at the end of their meeting, “Just to clarify, just so you know, I do want her dead.”
As I Lay Dying formed in San Diego in 2000 and has released six albums, including 2007’s “An Ocean Between Us,” which reached No. 8 on Billboard’s charts. A single from the album, “Nothing Left,” was nominated for a Grammy for top metal performance.
The band plays in an aggressive style that features lightning-speed metal guitar riffs. The group’s philosophical lyrics have attracted a following of Christian rock fans.
Two benefits recipients have pleaded guilty since their arrests in the first wave of charges last month.

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