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Unmanned military balloon floats over Pa., could pose danger

Unmanned defense dept. balloon looseAn unmanned Army balloon, nearly as long as a football field, broke loose in Maryland today and floated north over Pennsylvania, according to NORAD.

The balloon, known as a Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, detached from its mooring at Aberdeen shortly before noon. You can view a high-resolution image of the balloon here.


Officer fired for 'unacceptable' force in removing South Carolina student

SC Officer firedThe police officer caught on video flipping a female teen student backward in her desk and tossing her across a South Carolina classroom has been fired, it was announced Wednesday.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told reporters that the officer, Deputy Sheriff Ben Fields was terminated, saying the "maneuver that he used was not based on training or acceptable."


Former House Speaker Hastert pleads guilty to lying to FBI

HastertDennis Hastert pleaded guilty Wednesday to lying to the FBI in a hush-money scheme, agreeing to a deal with federal prosecutors that recommends he serve no more than six months in prison and averting a trial in the case.

A judge, however, could go beyond that recommendation and give the former House speaker up to five years behind bars.


Martial law: California police officers to be equipped with nunchuks

nunchuksAn ancient martial arts weapon will arrive on the streets of a small California town, in the hands of police officers adopting the way of the paddy wagon – to protect and serve with nunchakus in hand.

The police department in Anderson, north of Sacramento, announced this week that it plans to equip and train its force of 20 officers with the weapon, also called nunchuks, as a new means to detain uncooperative suspects while “limiting injuries”.


South Carolina school video: Officer-pupil clash investigated

SC school videoA US sheriff's department says it is investigating after a video emerged showing an officer throwing a female pupil across a classroom.

The footage posted online on Monday was said to be filmed in a school in Columbia, South Carolina.  US media said the pupil had refused to leave the classroom when asked. The school "resource officer" was called.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said there was "no justification" for the incident.


Ole Miss Removes Mississippi Flag With Confederate Emblem

Ole Miss flagThe University of Mississippi has stopped flying the state flag on its Oxford campus because the banner contains the Confederate battle emblem that some see as a painful reminder of slavery and segregation.

Interim Chancellor Morris Stocks ordered the flag lowered Monday morning.

The action came days after the student senate and other groups adopted a student-led resolution calling for removal of the banner from campus.


FBI vastly understates police deaths in chases

police chases deathsThe Federal Bureau of Investigation has drastically understated the number of police who have been killed in high-speed chases, counting only 24 deaths since 1980 despite records showing more than 360 officers killed in vehicle pursuits in that time span, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

At least 363 police officers have been killed in chases from 1980 through 2014, according to a USA TODAY analysis of the U.S. Transportation Department database of fatal vehicle crashes and records of officer deaths maintained by two private police-memorial groups. That's 15 times the number of chase-related deaths than the FBI has counted, and makes chases the fifth-leading cause of police deaths, USA TODAY found.


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