Day: May 10, 2017

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Aaron Hernandez received dozens of violations during time in Massachusetts prison, records show – Hernandez's fiancee thought suicide was a 'hoax'


Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez spent nearly two years in a Massachusetts prison involved in fights and receiving dozens of infractions before he hanged himself in his cell last month, disciplinary records revealed. 

Hernandez, whose conviction in a 2013 murder was erased on Tuesday, received 78 disciplinary offenses in 12 incidents while he was at Souza-Baranowski Correction Center, USA Today reported. Most of them took place within the first three months he was there. 

In May 2015, he allegedly received 25 of the violations within eight days, shortly after he was found guilty of murdering semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. 

AARON HERNANDEZ’S MURDER CONVICTION ERASED

The former New England Patriots star was involved in three fights and served as a lookout at the prison for a period of time. In his first fight, Hernandez reportedly told officers that prison wasn’t for him. 

“This place ain’t [expletive] to me,” Hernandez told officers. “I’ll run this place and keep running [expletive]. Prison ain’t [expletive] to me.” 

In another incident, Hernandez attacked an inmate for trying to shake his hand, according to USA Today.  

“Hernandez struck [name redacted] with a closed fist to the face and both men engage [sic] in a physical altercation,” according to the incident report. “The combatants ignored several direct orders to cease their actions and chemical agent was utilized to separate the inmates.”

Hernandez and the inmate were placed in segregation after the incident. 

On Dec. 3, 2015, corrections officers found a knife-shaped piece of metal that was wrapped with a cloth at one end and attached to a tether. It was his ninth incident of the year. 

INSIDE THE MIND OF AARON HERNANDEZ

The last few months of Hernandez’s time in prison, he continued to commit offenses. He was involved in three more incidents before he hanged himself using a bedsheet.

Corrections officers found Hernandez in the his jail cell shortly after 3 a.m. on April 19. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The words “John 3:16” were written on his forehead and wall, Fox 25 Boston reported. A Bible was also left open to the verse that read: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Three notes were later discovered in the cell, two of which were addressed to his fiancee Shayanna Jenkins and their 4-year-old daughter. 

His suicide came five days after a jury acquitted him in the 2012 shooting deaths of two men. On Tuesday, a judge erased his conviction in the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd because Hernandez died before the repeal was heard. 

Hernandez’s appellate attorneys made their request under a long-standing legal principle holding that when defendants die before their direct appeal is decided, their convictions are vacated. Prosecutors argued that dismissing Hernandez’s murder conviction would reward his decision to take his own life.

“Despite the tragic ending to Aaron Hernandez’s life, he should not reap the legal benefits of an antiquated rule,” Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III said in a statement. 

The district attorney plans to file an appeal. 



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MEET DESO DOGG The devious rapper who joined ISIS, cheated death


A B-list German rapper who found stardom when he joined ISIS, cheated death and embarrassed the Pentagon topped himself when he got the girl – an FBI translator who set out to catch him and became his wife.

Germany’s fascination with Denis Cuspert, who found modest fame a decade ago as “Deso Dogg,” a rapper who once toured with American rapper DMX, spiked when he resurfaced in Syria as a high-visibility leader of ISIS. He was dubbed the black-clad terror army’s top recruiter, trading on his credibility with a generation of young, disaffected loners and appearing in numerous propaganda videos.

Then the Pentagon announced in October 2015 that the man now known as Abu Talha al-Almani had been killed by an airstrike near the Islamic State-controlled city of Raqqa, Syria.

“Cuspert was a foreign terrorist fighter and operative for ISIL [Islamic State] who used social media to take advantage of disaffected youth and potential Western recruits,” Defense Department spokeswoman Elissa Smith said at the time.

It was not the end of Deso Dogg.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency Verfassungsschutz — the rough equivalent of the FBI — publicly disputed the Pentagon’s account.

“Information about the death of Cuspert has circulated a number of times and up until now cannot be confirmed,” wrote the German intelligence officials in their annual intelligence report in 2015.

The Germans knew that prior reports of Cuspert’s demise had been greatly exaggerated. German media had reported him dead in 2014, only to see him reappear in a propaganda video, triumphantly hoisting the severed head of an infidel.

“Cuspert is the most well-known of Islamic State German fighters,” said a German terrorism expert who has tracked Cuspert. “If he is not killed, he will remain a long time [as a member of] the Islamic State.

The Pentagon reversed itself in August 2016, stating Cuspert survived the airstrike. What the U.S. government did not acknowledge, until last week, was that Cuspert’s biggest humiliation of the West had been going on all along. That report corroborated one published on FoxNews.com more than two years ago.

In 2014, Cuspert seduced a turncoat translator who had been part of a Detroit-based FBI team that set out to track him down. Daniela Greene fell in love with her quarry online and left for the small northern Syrian city of al-Rai armed with an AK-47. She eventually left, returned to the U.S. and served two years in prison before her story got out.

Now, fresh details about her time with the man who went from forgettable rapper to jihadi rock star have emerged in the German publication BILD.

Greene flew to Istanbul and made her way to Gazientep in Southeastern Turkey where she crossed the border into Syria. Cuspert personally picked up Greene once she crossed into Islamic State territory in late June of 2014, BILD reported.

According to a BILD interview with a German ISIS fighter, Greene said she hailed from Canada and the Germans at the Islamic State’s former stronghold did not know she spoke fluent German.

“Cuspert said that he still had to take care of something and needed to borrow a sport utility vehicle from a German fighter,” said the German Islamic State member.

Greene quickly drew attention to her behavior.

“When the Germans left the room for a short period of time and returned, she had rummaged through the closet and searched for things,” the source told BILD.

Still, she received special treatment due to a combination of her beauty and her marriage to a terrorist VIP.

“It was talked about how beautiful she [Greene] looked and that she could have participated in Germany’s ‘Next Top Model” show,’“ said BILD’s source, who lived in al-Rai, a town of a little over 4,000 people, while Greene was there.

Greene wore a black abaya — a robe-style dress — and hijab to cover her hair, choosing not to veil her face like other women in Islamic State-controlled territory in Iraq and Syria. Her role was to stay within the German Jihadi colony in Syria, where she received extra attention.

“Melons, cold water and Pepsi were brought to her,” the source said.

Long before Cuspert became an ISIS leader, he was a petty criminal whose rap lyrics revealed a dark and twisted mind. The son of a Ghanian father who left Cuspert’s German mother, he recorded three albums for a Berlin-based gangsta rap label and scored a minor hit with “Willkommen in meiner Welt” (Welcome to my World) in 2010.

“Welcome to my world full of hate and blood,” went part of the song. “Children’s souls weep softly when the black angels sing.”

According to a report in Vice.com, he converted to Islam in 2010 following a near-fatal car accident. In 2012, Cuspert left Germany for Egypt, before eventually making his way to Syria where he joined Al Qaeda. When Islamic State broke away from the terror group behind 9/11, Cuspert pledged his loyalty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In 2016, the Turkish Army, along with Syrian rebels, evicted the Islamic State from al-Rai. The whereabouts of Cuspert, who named a son after Al Qaeda founder Usama bin Laden and once threatened to slit former President Obama’s throat, are unknown. Until his distinctively tattooed body turns up, he is presumed very much alive.

Benjamin Weinthal reports on human rights in the Middle East and is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter @BenWeinthal



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EXPLOSIVE CHARGE White House says Comey threw ‘stick of dynamite’ into Justice Department


The White House on Wednesday defended President Trump’s decision to fire James Comey, saying the former FBI director threw a “stick of dynamite” into the Department of Justice, and committed “atrocities” in his handling of the Clinton email saga.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked at the daily press briefing why Trump had soured on Comey, despite recent statements by Press Secretary Sean Spicer that Trump had confidence in the FBI director.

Sanders denied reports that Trump had put Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein up to recommending the firing, which caught Washington by surprise Tuesday evening. Instead, Sanders said, Rosenstein himself recommended the firing in a Monday meeting with Trump over Comey’s handling of the Clinton email scandal. The White House says that Trump then asked Rosenstein to put that recommendation into writing, which he did.

“I cannot defend the director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails,” Rosenstein wrote in his subsequent letter to Trump, “and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken. Almost everyone agrees that the director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives.”

Trump told reporters Wednesday the decision came because Comey “was not doing a good job.” Some Democrats have expressed concern that the firing is related to the FBI’s investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Sanders said Trump had been considering letting Comey go from his role since the election, and that there had been “an erosion of confidence,” but indicated that the final straw for Rosenstein and Trump was Comey’s testimony last week before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. At that hearing, Comey answered wide-ranging questions about his controversial handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server last year.

Sanders said Comey’s testimony showed that he had committed “atrocities in circumventing the chain of command” at the Department of Justice and said he had thrown a “stick of dynamite” by going around then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch in calling a press conference in July 2016 to announce his recommendation not to press charges against Clinton.

“When you…throw a stick of dynamite into the Department of Justice, that cannot be ignored,” Sanders said.

When a reporter at the briefing argued that there was little in Comey’s testimony that was not already widely known, Sanders said it was the first time Comey had “publicly and openly” made clear how he handled the probe.

Sanders also took a shot at Democrats complaining about Comey’s firing, saying it was the “purest form of hypocrisy” considering their frequent past criticisms of the former FBI director. She said it was “startling” that Democrats aren’t celebrating the move,

“I think it’s startling that Democrats aren’t celebrating this since they’ve been calling it for so long,” she said.

Adam Shaw is a Politics Reporter and occasional Opinion writer for FoxNews.com. He can be reached here or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.



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UNFRIENDLY RECEPTION Betsy DeVos booed during Fla. graduation address


Boos, catcalls and the turning of backs welcomed the commencement speaker at Wednesday’s Bethune-Cookman University graduation ceremony.

For 20 minutes, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s most opposed cabinet secretary nominee during confirmation hearings, endured jeers from the graduates and interruptions from the university president to calm down the crowd.

At one point, President Edison Jackson even threatened to “send your diplomas in the mail” if the noise didn’t stop.

DEVOS DELIVERING COMMENCEMENT SPEED DESPITE UNREST

For most of her speech, and during her receipt of an honorary degree in Human Letters, the students continued the past 10 days of contention that, of all people, she won the invite for the keynote address.

In her speech, DeVos directly addressed the controversy.

“As I said, I’m grateful to be with you today,” said DeVos. “While we will undoubtedly disagree, let us do so respectfully, and let us here each other out.”

When the historically black university announced May 1 that DeVos would be the speaker, the local NAACP, National Federation of Teachers and Florida Education Association immediately voiced outrage, arguing she’s an enemy of public education, a champion of school choice, favors using tax dollars to pay for kids to attend religious, private schools and is ignorant about the origins of historically black colleges and universities.

MONEY TO PREP POOR KIDS FOR COLLEGE? SORRY, WRONG SIZE TYPE

That opinion comes from a statement DeVos released in February, referring to historically black colleges and universities:

“HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice. They are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality.”  

Many historically black school leaders expressed shock and dismay that DeVos didn’t also mention how segregation, racism and Jim Crow forced the creation of black colleges in the first place, i.e., there was no “choice.”

Students, alumni and the NAACP organized an online petition drive calling on DeVos to be disinvited and for Jackson and Board Chairman Joe Petcock to resign.  

On Wednesday, President Jackson defended the DeVos invitation, saying “It’s important to understand that people will disagree, but that does not mean that you roll over and play dead because you disagree.  This is a good day for us. Can you imagine how many institutions would love to have the secretary of education, the highest educational officer in the land, to be their commencement speaker and hopefully open new doors for this institution?”

Jackson added that the Department of Education controls 87 percent of Title IV funding and money is needed at historically black colleges and universities to help students graduate with degrees and impact their communities.

 Caylin Mason,  one of Bethune-Cookman’s 300-plus 2017 graduates, said he was excited about graduation: “Four years..it all paid off.” But when asked about the controversy over DeVos, Mason had two words.

“No comment.”

Phil Keating joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in March 2004 and currently serves as FNC’s Miami-based correspondent.



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US Marines drink reindeer blood in arctic training


About 200 U.S. Marines qualified for a rare Navy Arctic Service Ribbon this week after training in the first deployment to Norway since World War II.

In Norway on Tuesday, Lt. Gen. John Wissler, commander of Marine Corps Forces Command, congratulated the Marines from Camp Lejeune, N.C., on earning the rare decoration, after their somewhat “Cold War-era” six-month deployment–this is the first time foreign troops have been allowed to be stationed in Norway since the 1940s.

“There’s a lot of ribbons you don’t have to do s— to get; this isn’t one of them,” Wissler said. “As a Marine Corps, we’ve been very used to operating in sort of jungle and desert environments, but we’re not as good at operating in Arctic environments as we need to be.”

According to Military.com, Marines who were part of the training said they learned how to dry sweat-dampened clothes using their own body heat, slaughter reindeer and drink their blood and practice melting and boiling snow to prepare freeze-dried food.  

“This company of Marines, and those Marines that accompanied you in your training, are capable of engaging and locating, closing with and destroying by fire and maneuver any enemy that we would encounter in an Arctic environment,” Wissler said. “So my heartiest congratulations to you.”

U.S. officials downplayed any link between the operation and NATO’s concerns over Russia, but the deployment came at the same time as thousands of troops were sent to Poland to strengthen Eastern European allies concerned over Russia’s aggression.

A spokesman for the Norwegian Home Guards who hosted the Marines told Reuters that U.S. troops would learn about “winter warfare” and that it “has nothing to do with Russia or the current situation.”

The deployment was part of a bilateral agreement between Oslo and Washington. 

Brooke Singman is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.



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Christopher 'Big Black' Boykin, star of MTV's 'Rob & Big,' dies at 45


Rob & Big star Christopher “Big Black” Boykin has died.

ET can confirm that the 45-year-old entertainer and musician passed away on Tuesday morning. There is no news yet on cause of death, however, TMZ reported that “multiple people connected to Chris… believe it was a heart attack.”

Boykin and his best friend, skateboarder Rob Dyrdek, starred in their eponymous MTV reality show from 2006 to 2008.

The Mississippi native was also Dyrdek’s bodyguard, and the series followed their adventures, from holding an exorcism to breaking Guinness world records, including eating the most powdered doughnuts eaten in less than 3 minutes.

Boykin also appeared on Dyrdek’s other MTV shows, including Ridiculousness and Rob Deryk’s Fantasy Factory.

On Tuesday, Boykin’s Fantasy Factory co-star, Chanel West Coast, tweeted her condolences, writing, “RIP @BigBlack. My heart is crushed. I’ll remember all the times you made me laugh and my prayers go out to your family.”

The former U.S Navy serviceman is survived by a 9-year-old daughter, Isis

Click for more from Entertainment Tonight.



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Minnesota students hold walk-out protest over city’s plan to disband police department


Minnesota students walked out of class on Tuesday to protest a city council’s decision to disband the town’s police department.

Police believe about 1,300 students from the Forest Lake High School, Century and Southwest junior high schools walked out of class in a show of support for the police after the Forest Lake City Council voted 3 to 2 on Monday to disband the Forest Lake Police Department, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Twenty-three police officers will lose their jobs, according to CBS Minnesota. Law enforcement services for the area will be contracted with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. 

STUDENT PROTESTERS TAKE OVER UC SANTA CRUZ ADMINISTRATION BUILDING

The Forest Lake City Council said the choice will save roughly $387,000 per year and expand police service positions from 25 to 27, but many residents opposed the decision, according to Fox 9.

Hundreds of the town’s citizens crowded into the council’s office during Monday’s vote in support of keeping the local police force.

“This is a community who loves its relationship with the police department,” Forest Lake City Council member Mara Bain, who voted against the plan, told “Fox and Friends.”

Mayor Ben Winnick of Forest Lake who favored the move, broke the city council’s tie vote.

The decision is not finalized until the contract is approved by the Washington County Board of Commissioners on May 16.

REPUBLICAN STUDENTS PROTEST AT BOARD MEETING, DEMAND TRUSTEES PROTECT POLITICAL DIVERSITY ON CAMPUS

“Our teachers have always told us ‘you have voices, so use them, and make yourselves heard,’” said 17-year-old Forest Lakes High School junior Clara Olson, who helped arrange the walkout, in an email to Fox News.

“If the city council was truly doing their job, this would never have progressed this far. They haven’t been listening to the people,” Olson said.

Olson hopes the county commissioner will see how the community came together and peacefully protested.



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Delaware officer saves suicidal man from bridge


A Rehoboth Beach police officer is being credited with saving the life of a suicidal man who was found hanging over the railing if the Lewes Canal Bridge.

Back on April 20th, officers were called to the scene for reports of a person hanging over the railing of the bridge on the northbound side of the bridge around 2:15 p.m.

Pfc. Josh Kosiorowski and Cpl. Curtis Sauve responded to the scene, and could see a male sitting on the railing of the bridge, and the man appeared to  be holding an alcoholic beverage,  while looking down at the roadway 30-feet below.

The officers approached the man, and realized that he did not see them coming. Officer Kosiorowski moved quickly and quietly to approach the man from behind, and grabbed him around the upper torso, and pulled him to safety, before the man realized what was happening.

Click here for more from Fox 29.

 

 



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LIVE BLOG Huckabee-Sanders : Trump 'lost confidence' in Comey


White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders held the daily press briefing Wednesday in which she addressed the firing of FBI director James Comey.

Follow FoxNews.com’s live blog below. Mobile users click here.



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HOW ABOUT 'THANKS'? Vet gets nasty note after parking in reserved space


A United States Navy veteran said he discovered a hateful note on his car Saturday night after he parked it in a veteran-designated space at a North Carolina supermarket. 

Rod Boyle, 56, said he parked his car in a “reserved for veterans” spot at a Harris Teeter location in Wake Forest to quickly grab a view items, The News & Observer reported. As he was leaving the parking lot, he discovered the note flapping on his windshield. 

“You are a [expletive] moron! I hope karma visits you often! (this is parking for our veterans),” the note said. 

Boyle, who served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years before retiring, said he was initially angry and shocked that someone would place a note like that and assume he didn’t serve in the military. 

“What business is it of someone to make that assumption?” Boyle told The News & Observer on Tuesday. 

“I am a veteran. What made you think I wasn’t? You can’t tell if someone is a veteran just by what they look like, or the car they drive.”

VETERANS BLAST VA HOSPITAL IN DC TOWN HALL MEETING

Boyle didn’t want the incident to go unnoticed, so he drove back to the store and showed the note to the store manager. 

“I told them, ‘I’m not angry at you or the store, and I know there’s nothing you can do,’ but I wanted them to know,” Boyle said. 

The retired Navy veteran said he couldn’t stay angry because it was the individual’s right to speak out even without the correct facts. 

“I feel tremendous honor for how the USA allowed me to proudly serve our country. My service was not only to defend, but also for the rights of Americans,” Boyle said.

“One of those rights is freedom of speech, such as for a person to make an assumption, write a note and touch a car.”

He told the news outlet that he hopes his story will make others think twice before jumping to conclusions. 

WWII VETERAN GOES SKYDIVING FOR 96TH BIRTHDAY

Harris Teeter has offered veteran-designated parking spaces since October 2014. The company said in a statement to Fox News that it has reached out to Boyle to thank him for his service in the U.S. military. 

“It is extremely unfortunate anyone would receive a note like this, and we are certainly disappointed it happened while this veteran was shopping in our store,” a Harris Teeter spokeswoman said. 

Boyle has not responded to Fox News’ request for a statement. 



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