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TSA Draw Criticism for New Policy That Would Allow Knives, Golf Clubs on Planes

tsa.gov

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The announcement by the Transportation Security Administration last week that knives and other prohibited items will be permitted in airline cabs has incensed some travelers, lawmakers, aviation professionals and TSA employees, CNN reports. 

“I am aware of the argument that anything can be made into a weapon, but knives make it easy,” Nikki Stern, who lost her husband in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, told CNN. “The rules are so enormously confusing for the passenger and so arbitrarily applied.”

The new rule would allow knives with blades 2.36 inches or shorter on airline cabins, but blades cannot be fixed or locked into place.

Passengers also will be permitted to carry sports equipment such as two golf clubs, toy bats, ski poles, hockey sticks and pool cues.

The rules are to go into effect April 25.

Border Patrol Workers Face Up to 40% Pay Cuts under New Budget Reductions

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Border Patrol employees will lose up to 40% of their pay if they are forced to take 14 days of unpaid leave and eliminate overtime, Tucson News Now reports.

The agency released a statement:

“In order to address the more than half a billion in budget cuts imposed by sequestration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection must take significant budget reduction actions.  CBP will continue to make every effort to minimize the sequester’s impact on public safety and national security, but expects that planned furlough of employees, along with reductions to overtime and hiring freeze will increase wait times at ports of entry, including international arrivals at airports, and reduce staffing between land ports of entry. Even with these cuts though, individuals apprehended illegally crossing the southwest border will still be processed as usual.  CBP continues to evaluate further impacts of sequestration on our operations.   Because the length of the sequestration as well as funding levels through the end of the fiscal year are unknown at this time, it is difficult to project the impact of the reductions on individual employees or job occupations.”

Employees said the cuts add up.

“I mean that’s astronomical,” Tucson Border Patrol Union President, Art DelCueto, told Tucson News Mow. “I don’t know how anybody especially now a days, no matter how much money you’re making. I don’t know how anybody can take a 40% cut.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

FBI Overreaches to Set Up Potential Terrorists in Phony Attacks

By Business Insider
Opinion

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has busted an impressive number of homegrown terror plots over the past decade, but many people don’t realize how these plots materialize. In some cases, they are hatched not from a cave-dwelling fanatic, but actually from the Bureau itself.

Ever since 9/11, the task of thwarting terrorist plots has consumed the majority of the FBI’s budget — $3.3 billion compared to $2.6 billion for organized crime, according to Mother Jones.

The once exclusively investigative bureau has morphed into a counterterrorism agency, with field agents tapping into a nationwide network of informants that infiltrate mainly-Muslim communities.

The FBI targets the “disgruntled few” who would participate in a terrorist plot if given the opportunity, according to Mother Jones. In many cases, the FBI recruits potential terrorists and provides them with plans, equipment, and weapons — before finally shutting them down and getting credit for thwarting another attack.

To read more click here.

In Surprise Move, Judge Jails Ex-Detroit Mayor After Jury Convicts Him

Kwame Kilpatrick/photo by Lauren Davies of Deadline Detroit

 
By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT –– In a dramatic scene, a federal judge Monday afternoon ordered Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson off to jail pending their sentencing on public corruption charges.

After the ruling deputy U.S. Marshals approached the men, who both took off their suit jackets. They were then put in handcuffs. Kilpatrick popped something in his mouth, but it was unclear what it was.

U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds said it was a close call, but sided with the prosecutors who had argued that both Kilpatrick Ferguson be put behind bars pending sentencing. They argued that they were liars and cheats who had access to big money and violated court orders after their convictions in state court. Kilpatrick was convicted of lying during a deposition and in trial in state court. Ferguson was convicted in 2005 of pistol whipping an employee.

She noted Kilpatrick showed up to court and complied with all the pretrial conditions in federal court. But she said he had an incentive to show up to trial because he kept insisting he was innocent. She said that incentive to comply was no longer. She also said that Ferguson was someone who used intimidation.

Jim Thomas, Kilpatrick’s attorney, and Gerald Evelyn, Ferguson’s attorney, argued that they should remain free pending sentencing.

To read more click here.

 

Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! Jury Convicts Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, His Dad and Good Friend

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel and Bill McGraw
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Kwame Kilpatrick, the youngest mayor in Detroit history, who became a devisive figure and ended up in trouble with the law time after time, was convicted by a Detroit federal jury today on numerous public corruption charges, along with his long-time friend Bobby Ferguson. His father Bernard Kilpatrick was convicted on one count of filing a false tax return.

After 14 days of deliberation, the jury of six whites, five blacks and one Hispanic found Kilpatrick and Ferguson guilty on most counts incluindg racketeering conspiracy, extortion and bribery. The jury could not reach a verdict on the father involving the racketeering. U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds said the jury had reachd a verdict on Friday but decided to sleep on it and come back on Monday.

The jury found that Kilpatrick and Ferguson rigged bids and extorted money from contractors while Kilpatrick was mayor.

Specifically, the jury found Kwame Kilpatrick guilty on 24 of 30 counts. The jury acquitted him on three counts and were deadlocked on three others. The jury convicted Bobby Ferguson on 9 of 11 counts and Bernard Kilpatrick on one of four counts. Bernard Kilpatrick faced racketeering charge but the jury deadlocked ont that one. Most of counts against Kwame Kilpatrick and Ferguson carry a maximum penalty of 10 to 20 years. His father, who was convicted of filing a false tax return, faces up to three years in prison.

To read more click here.

 

Police and FBI Tracked bin Laden’s Son-in-Law For About 10 Years

By Mark Hosenball
Reuters

WASHINGTON – U.S. investigators tracked Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, for about 10 years before he was detained in Jordan and brought by the FBI to New York City in the past few days, U.S. officials familiar with the investigation said.

An FBI agent and a New York police detective together spent more than a decade investigating Abu Ghaith, not only for his role as a spokesman for al Qaeda after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington but for activities they believed he was involved in before 2001, said one official.

On Friday, Abu Ghaith pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court to conspiring to kill Americans, becoming one of the highest-ranking al Qaeda figures to face trial in the United States for crimes connected to the September 11 attacks.

To read more click here.

Iran Says It Wants to Help Find Out About Whereabouts of Ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Have we heard this before?

The Associated Press reports that Iran’s foreign minister says his country is prepared to help find out what happened to retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished six years ago while traveling to the Iranian island of Kish.

Iran has indicated in the past that Levinson is no longer in Iran.

 

Court: Border Patrol Must Have Reasonable Cause to Conduct Thorough Search of Electronic Devices

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol is prohibited from conducting a thorough search of an electronic device like a computer or cell phone unless there is reasonable suspicion of a crime, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday, the Inquisitr reports

But the ruling does not prevent Border Patrol from making cursory checks of electronic devices without reasonable suspicions.

The case involved a convicted sex offender whose laptop was seized at the US-Mexico border. After performing a comprehensive forensic audit, agents found child pornography, the Inquisitir reported.

Judges ruled that Border Patrol overreached its authority in that case.

“A person’s digital life ought not be hijacked simply by crossing a border,” the ruling reads.