It was a story that sent shivers down the collective spine of people of good will across the world. Five members of a young Israeli family — including a 3-month old infant — were brutally slain in their home by two Palestinian men. Now, Israel Defense Forces court sentenced the second of two men responsible for the savage Fogel family massacre to five life sentences.
Amjad Awad, a 19-year-old student, carried out the crime with his cousin, Hakim Awad, who was already sentenced to five consecutive life sentences in October 2011.
The judges’ panel contemplated whether to give Awad the death penalty, saying the youth “doesn’t have a fragment of regret in his heart.” However, ultimately the judges said that despite the horrid acts he carried out, they decided not to sentence him to a harsher punishment than the one the military prosecution had requested.
The remorseless Palestinians — linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – killed parents Ehud and Ruth, along with three of their young children: Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and 3-month old Hadas in the family’s Itamar home on March 11, 2011.
Both Awad cousins confessed to the murder and forensic evidence, including DNA samples and fingerprints found at the scene, corroborate their confession.
The Awad cousins set out that Friday evening — Shabbat for observant Jews – bearing knives and a wire cutter. Haaretz provides the disturbing details on how the attack was said to have unfolded after that:
Read more here.
Later today, Jon Huntsman is planning on getting out of a race he never had any chance of winning. The man, after all, happily served as Obama’s Ambassador to China. He wrote letters praising the Illustrious One. I was happy to have Huntsman in the race to pull votes away from the other Progressive running, Mitt Romney. Now there is not much blocking Romney from the inevitable. The Establishment wanted their man and they will have him. And America will have Obama for another four years. No one will choose Obama-lite over the real deal after all. Why take RomneyCare when you can have ObamaCare?
National Journal reports:
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman will announce on Monday that he is dropping his bid for the Republican presidential nomination after a disappointing finish in last week’s New Hampshire primary, a source confirmed to National Journal.
Huntsman will endorse Republican front-runner Mitt Romney, squashing any potential rumors that he will seek to run as an independent candidate.
The endorsement will take place at 11 a.m. EST at the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where Huntsman had previously scheduled several campaign events on Monday.
Some maintain this won’t help Romney because Huntsman was atrracting Democrats. They are wrong as is evident from the voting in New Hampshire. Romney did not sweep the place like expected with Huntsman in the race. Romney was not expected to do as well in South Carolina with his previous fourth place finish in 2008 there. But with Huntsman out and Newt, Santorum and Perry splitting the conservative vote and Paulbots doing their thing, South Carolina should be smooth sailing for Romney. With a win in South Carolina catapulting him to Florida where he is polling well and the winner takes all the delegates…Romney’s path is clear. Senator Grahamnesty and Representative Scott have said that the race should be over if Romney wins their state. Screw the other 47 states then?
Read more here.
A Los Angeles woman was arrested after she offered sexual favors in exchange for chicken McNuggets, Burbank police said.
Khadijah Baseer of Los Angeles reportedly opened customers’ car doors in the drive-thru of McDonald’s on the 1700 block of Olive Avenue about 11 p.m. Wednesday, asking for free chicken McNuggets in exchange for sexual favors, Officer Joshua Kendrick said.
A man told police Baseer approached him but he refused the offer.
Climate change subscribers say the fight against global warming will require younger soldiers.
On Monday, the National Center for Science Education, a nonprofit group that denounces intelligent design and supports an evolution-only curriculum in the classroom, will expand its mission. The organization of scientists, anthropologists and others is turning its attention to climate change, and it will mount an aggressive effort to teach the nation’s schoolchildren that climate change is real and is being driven by human activity.
“For 20 years, we’ve helped teachers cope with what we can only describe as societal or political problems in teaching evolution. They’re running into the same opposition in teaching climate change,” NCSE Executive Director Eugenie Scott said. “We worry, because of our experience with evolution, that basic science is going to be compromised as a result of this political and ideological opposition. Good science needs to be taught.”
Critics point out important distinctions between the defense of evolution and the promotion of climate change, since the latter carries more obvious and immediate policy implications. Alarmists call for broad federal policies to combat climate change, such as President Obama’s proposed “cap-and-trade” legislation, which is designed to limit carbon emissions. Although that measure is on hold, a law imposed by the European Union requires all airline companies to pay for their carbon emissions during flights in and out of Europe. Officials at the United Nations have even called for a global tax on carbon dioxide emissions.
Ms. Scott maintains that the NCSE won’t advocate for teachers to push liberal policy solutions to climate change, but others fear that students will be targets of political indoctrination.
“If you say it’s man-made, you must be implying some solutions. [Climate change] is taught to promote a particular political point of view, and that’s the problem,” said Kathleen Porter-Magee, senior director of the High Quality Standards Program at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a Washington-based conservative education think tank.
Read more here.
Big Brother is joining the battle of the bulge.
A group of Long Island students will soon be wearing controversial electronic monitors that allow school officials to track their physical activity around the clock.
The athletics chair for the Bay Shore schools ordered 10 Polar Active monitors, at $90 a pop, for use starting this spring. The wristwatchlike devices count heartbeats, detect motion and even track students’ sleeping habits in a bid to combat obesity.
The information is displayed on a color-coded screen and gets transmitted to a password-protected Web site that students and educators can access.
TOO FAR, TOO FAST? School aide records a student’s heart rate.
The devices are already in use in school districts in St. Louis and South Orange, NJ — and have raised privacy concerns among some parents and observers.
But Ted Nagengast, the Bay Shore athletics chair, said, “It’s a great reinforcement in fighting the obesity epidemic. It tells kids, in real time, ‘Am I active? Am I not active?’ We want to give kids the opportunity to become active.”
The monitors are distributed by Polar Electro, of Lake Success, LI, the US division of a Finland firm.
In the South Orange-Maplewood School District, where earlier versions of the devices have been used for two years, upper-grade students’ marks in phys ed are based in part on heart-rate monitors and activity sensors.
Teachers use hand-held computers to collect data from each student’s wrist monitor during class, then upload the information to the school computer system for storage and long-term tracking.
But privacy advocates and parents worry that schools are using electronic monitors in phys ed without families’ knowledge or consent.
“I didn’t even know it was going on, and I’m active in the school,” said Beth Huebner, of St. Louis.
Her son, a fourth-grader, wore a Polar Active monitor in class without her OK last fall at Ross Elementary School.
“We have gotten no information about the Web-site security or where the data will go,” Huebner said.
“When you get into monitoring people’s biological vital signs, that’s a pretty intrusive measurement,” said Jay Stanley, of the American Civil Liberties Union. “There are key privacy interests at play.”
Read more here.
In an effort to cut down on car break-ins, Detroit police are beginning to fine car owners who decide to park in areas that have been designated as susceptible to larceny.
The Associated Press (via the Detroit Free Press) reports that street parking in certain areas will be prohibited and violations enforced. But Jeff Wattrick, a writer for Mlive.com, doesn’t quite see how this is fair.
You don’t punish victims or potential victims for crime. Penalizing patrons of downtown businesses because someone else might break into their cars is both morally repugnant and counter-productive to the goal of a vibrant, revitalized downtown.
This policy is nothing short of an embarrassing admission of futility by an absolutely hapless police department. Rather than seeking a constructive solution to a problem afflicting an increasingly vibrant business district, Detroit officials elected to punish law-abiding citizens and entrepreneurs making a go of it in Detroit.
Read more here.