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Alleged drug kingpin arrested in Puerto Rico after decade-long hunt by federal authorities

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Federal authorities arrested a fugitive alleged drug kingpin Saturday after a decade-long chase through the Caribbean marked by his narrow escapes and public taunting that he paid off police to remain free.

Known as the Pablo Escobar of the Caribbean, Jose Figueroa Agosto was caught wearing a wig while driving through a working-class Dominican neighborhood of San Juan. When he realized he was being followed, he tried to run on foot as he had last September in the Dominican Republic after a pursuing vice squad shot out a tire on his Jeep.

But this time U.S. Marshals, FBI, drug enforcement agents and Puerto Rican police caught up.

“We asked him his name, and he simply answered that we knew who he was,” said Antonio Torres, who heads the U.S. Marshal Service’s fugitive task force in Puerto Rico.

“It is a tremendous arrest, definitely,” U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez told a news conference Saturday, where she was surrounded by other cheerful federal authorities.

Escobar, the Colombian drug lord of the 1980s, was an escaped convict who died in a shootout with police in 1993.

Figueroa, who was 45 in March, is suspected of shipping Colombian drugs to the U.S. mainland through Puerto Rico, where he escaped from prison in 1999 after presenting a forged release order. He had served only four years of a 209-year sentence for killing a man suspected of stealing a cocaine shipment.

He moved to the Dominican Republic a month later and was briefly detained during a 2001 drug investigation, but was let go because he was using an alias.

Read more here.

Violent Offenders Had Sex With Dates At Youth Prison Party

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – The New York State Commission of Correction says top officials and staff were irresponsible when they authorized and failed to supervise a party at a youth prison where some violent offenders had sex with dates.

The commission faults the Office of Children and Family Services for directing the Goshen Secure Center in the Hudson Valley to hold the December party for four offenders as a reward for good behavior. They ranged in age from 17 to 20, three doing time for murder and one for armed robbery.

The commission says officials knew little about the four female guests, ranging from 16 to 27, who were driven from Albany and New York City by state workers in state vehicles.

OCFS says it has stopped social events and disciplined seven of its staff.

NAACP Wants to Make Neverland a State Park

The NACCP, which captured national attention this week by formally condemning the “racist elements” in the Tea Party, is now supporting a California state lawmaker’s proposal to turn the former home of the King of Pop into a state park.

Assemblyman Mike Davis said this week that California NAACP president Alice Huffman and others approached him with the idea of the state Department of Parks and Recreation taking over the Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County.

The Los Angeles legislator said the idea is worth studying and that fans from around the world would visit Michael Jackson’s former estate.

Huffman, who also serves on the state Parks Commission, told the Sacramento Bee that she thinks the idea could be a huge success.

“I think Michael’s history is world history and I think it would become the No. 1 attraction for the state parks if we could pull it off,” he told the newspaper.

Jackson’s 2,500-acre estate once housed amusement park rides and a zoo with tigers and snakes, but many of the estate’s attractions were dismantled or sold after his death in 2009.

Colony Capital LLC, a Santa Barbara-based private equity firm, took control of Neverland in a venture with Jackson after he nearly lost the estate to foreclosure. Jackson signed over control of the estate to Colony Capital for $35 million in 2008.

read more here.

Maryland will offer federally funded abortions

Obamacare is leading to taxpayer dollars being used to pay for abortions. One state after another is ripping away the pretense that such use of taxpayer dollars would not be used for abortions. The latest is Maryland – a state with one of the highest Catholic percentage of voters in the nation and the scene of a hot political race for the Senate between the popular Republican former governor Robert Ehrlich and Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley. This issue may resonate with voters there and play a role on November 3rd.
From CNS News:

Maryland will join Pennsylvania as the second state to use federal tax dollars to pay for abortions under the new health care law signed by President Barack Obama in March, according to information released by Maryland’s State Health Insurance Plan.

[...]

During the debate over the health-care bill, President Obama delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress, saying: “Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.”

The day the House voted to pass that bill, President Obama also signed an executive order purporting to prevent federal funding of abortions in the programs it created.

[...]

“This is one more example of a broken promise in ObamaCare,” said Pence. “It is morally wrong to end an unborn human life and it is reprehensible to take taxpayer dollars from millions of pro-life Americans and use them to pay for abortions.”

Pence urged Congress to enact new legislation to stop abortion funding through the health-care law.

Well..the chickens are coming home to roost, as Pastor Wright might say. Americans were warned that Barack Obama was deceptive and manipulative (why one writer, after reviewing his modus operandi as a state legislator called him “Senator Stealth”) and now we see his deceptions made increasingly visible.

Even the Obama-aligned liberal think tank The Center for American Progress believes there is nothing in the federal law that prevents federal money (our taxpayer dollars being used to fund other people’s abortions). The charade put on by Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak and the White House is increasingly become all too apparent. As Barack Obama might declare “America was bamboozled”.

Not the first time – America was bamboozled in 2008; the business community was bamboozled in 2009-10; the AMA was bamboozled; the NRA was bamboozled-and that is just a small sampling.

Meet Sharron Angle

Sharron Angle first realized the extent of the brewing revolt against Washington in late March, at a tea party protest in Searchlight, Nev. A “Woodstock of the West,” she calls it. “More than 30,000 people sojourned to this tiny rural town of 900 people,” Mrs. Angle says. “The highways were jammed up and became parking lots.”

To get to the stage, this 60-year-old grandmother of 10 says she “climbed on the back of a Harley Davidson Road King bike and rode through the immense crowds.” Once there, she reminded the throng that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid must be replaced.

Now, after sprinting past two better-known and better-funded opponents in the June Republican primary, the party has chosen Mrs. Angle to go up against him. “I knew that if we were going to actually defeat Harry Reid,” Mrs. Angle says, “we had to have a candidate who would offer a sharp policy contrast. Someone who would not just pay lip service to limited government principles, but had a solid record of voting that way time and again. I’m that candidate.”

Thus has Sharron Angle—a former teacher, business owner, state legislator and political rabble-rouser—emerged as one of the three most prominent figures in the tea party movement. Sarah Palin and Rand Paul of Kentucky are the other two. Her campaign to become the next U.S. Senator from Nevada figures to be among the most closely watched, and surely among the most colorful, contests this November.

Read more here.

Bachmann forms Tea Party Caucus

Rep. Michele Bachmann is bringing the tea party movement under the tent, giving it a more official voice in the House of Representatives. Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/39848.html#ixzz0twtvgWol

Republicans have been wrangling for more than a year over how exactly to handle the tea party movement, but now Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is bringing them under the big tent.

The House Administration committee, which usually takes days to approve something of this nature, approved Bachmann’s request to create a House Tea Party Caucus in a day. It will certainly give the national movement a more official voice within the House Republican Conference.

Bachmann, already a hero within the tea party, sent a letter to House Administration Chairman Robert Brady (D-Pa.) Thursday to register the House Tea Party Caucus to serve as an “informal group of members dedicated to promote Americans’ call for fiscal responsibility, adherence to the Constitution and limited government.”

Bachmann, in a statement, said Americans have “had enough of the spending, bureaucracy and the government-knows-best mentality running rampant today throughout the halls of Congress.”

Read more here.

Immigration Immigration Immigrant Deaths in Arizona Desert Soaring in July

PHOENIX — The number of deaths among illegal immigrants crossing the Arizona desert from Mexico is soaring so high this month that the medical examiner’s office that handles the bodies is using a refrigerated truck to store some of them, the chief examiner said Friday.

The bodies of 40 illegal immigrants have been brought to the office of Pima County Medical Examiner Dr. Bruce Parks since July 1. At that rate, Parks said the deaths could top the single-month record of 68 in July 2005 since his office began tracking them in 2000.

“Right now, at the halfway point of the month, to have so many is just a very bad sign,” he said. “It’s definitely on course to perhaps be the deadliest month of all time.”

From Jan. 1 to July 15, the office has handled the bodies of 134 illegal immigrants, up from 93 at the same time last year and 102 in 2008. In 2007, when the office recorded the highest annual deaths of illegal immigrants, 140 bodies had been taken there through July 15.

Parks said his office, which handles immigrant bodies from three counties, is currently storing roughly 250 bodies and had to start using a refrigerated truck because of the increase in immigrant deaths this month.

He said many of the bodies seem to be coming from the desert southwest of Tucson, where it tends to be hotter than eastern parts of the border or the Tucson metro area.

Authorities believe the high number of deaths are likely due to above-average and unrelenting heat in southern Arizona this month and ongoing tighter border security that pushes immigrants to more remote, rugged and dangerous terrain.

Erik Pytlak, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Tucson’s average nighttime lows in the first 15 days of July are the hottest for that period in recorded history.

Read more here.