Branded as crazy by experts, an international team of scientists has generated an influenza virus with similar characteristics to the 1918 pandemic influenza virus that killed an estimated 50 million people. This controversial new study, which has split the scientific community, aimed at investigating the possibility of a pandemic influenza virus emerging from the pool of influenza viruses currently circulating in wild birds. The study has been published in Cell Host & Microbe.
Druglord Claims Feds Quizzed Him About Sex Life Of Sean "Diddy" Combs
During a debriefing session with federal investigators, James Rosemond, the music manager-turned-cocaine kingpin, was reportedly questioned about the sexual preferences of entertainers, including whether Sean Diddy Combs was having sexual relationships with under age boys, according to a U.S. District Court filing.
In an affidavit included as part of a new trial motion filed last month, Rosemond recounted his involvement in a series of nine pre-trial proffer sessions in late-2011. The meetings were attended by Rosemond, his lawyers, federal prosecutors, and Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service agents.
The purpose of the meetings was to allow federal investigators to question Rosemond, 48, about his criminal activities and evaluate whether he should be offered a cooperation agreement in advance of his narcotics trafficking trial. Facing overwhelming evidence of his guilt, Rosemonds best chance of avoiding life in prison was to strike a deal with Department of Justice lawyers.
However, investigators eventually declined to cut a deal with Rosemond, who was subsequently convicted at trial of running a drug ring that sold millions of dollarss worth of cocaine. Rosemond, who is nicknamed Jimmy Henchman, faces a mandatory term of life in prison when sentenced October 25 in Brooklyn federal court.
In advance of Rosemonds first proffer session, defense lawyers provided investigators with the names of eight of his cocaine suppliers, according to court filings. During the proffers that followed, Rosemond implicated himself in a pair of homicide plots, described his drug distribution network, and copped to other crimes.
Rosemond was also quizzed during an October 4 session about his contacts with several public figures, including Combs, Rev. Al Sharpton, and musician Wyclef Jean.
At Rosemonds trial last year, IRS Agent Marc Van Driessche testified that, during the proffer session, investigators questioned the music industry figure about his business transactions with Sharpton and Jean, and asked whether either celebrity engaged in illegal activity. Rosemond denied any improprieties on the part of Sharpton or Jean.
Van Driessche recalled that Rosemond was also asked about Combs since, We had information through other witnesses that the defendant may have made an admission to Sean Combs. The nature of this purported admission was not the subject of further testimony. Van Driessche added that Rosemond described having business dealings years earlier with Combs, and that they had a cordial relationship.
In his September 6 affidavit, Rosemond (seen at left) contended that he reluctantly agreed to the proffer sessions arranged by Gerald Shargel, his former lawyer. Rosemond added that investigators sought to get him to confess to crimes for which he had no involvement. When the defendant said he didnt know about a certain event
they accused him of lying, Rosemond claimed.
The confrontational sessions turned awkward, Rosemond stated, when an investigator showed him naked pictures of different women. The purpose of this purported investigative technique is not revealed in Rosemonds affidavit.
A prosecutor, Rosemond continued, then asked about entertainers sexual preferences, including, but not only, Sean Combs having sexual relationships with under age boys. Again, Rosemond provided no context for these alleged queries.
During Rosemonds trial, Shargel complained to Judge John Gleeson that federal prosecutors and agents were only seeking trophies when they questioned Rosemond about celebrities during the proffer sessions. And, when Rosemond provided nothing of substance on the high-profile figures, disappointed investigators rejected his clients bid for a cooperation deal. Prosecutors countered Shargels claim, declaring that Rosemond was untrustworthy and lied during the debriefing sessions.
Some of Rosemonds admissions during the proffer sessions were used against him during his criminal trial. In the new trial motion, Rosemonds current attorney argues that Shargel provided ineffective assistance of counsel by improperly opening the door to the governments use of the damaging proffer material.
Federal investigators are barred from discussing the details of confidential proffer sessions, the notes from which are not public. Shargel, Rosemonds ex-attorney, declined an interview request about the debriefing sessions.
Government shut down doesn't help
An early blizzard caught ranchers off guard this week in the state, killing as many as 20,000 head of cattle, a state official says.
But ranchers say they are the real victims.
The storm left many of them in ruins, and now Washington is leaving them out in the cold.
"With the government shutdown and no farm bill in place, we need South Dakotans to help their neighbors," Gov. Dennis Daugaard said.
This year's federal farm legislation got hung up in Congress before the shutdown. There's no money to help the ranchers, and Daugaard is asking for donations.
5 crazy side effects from the shutdown
STAMFORD, Conn. -- A 12-year-old Stamford girl was arrested by police Tuesday in connection with an alleged case of bullying, according to police.
The middle schoolers identity has not been released, and neither was the private school where the incident took place. Police did not disclose the nature of the bullying.
This behavior will not be tolerated by the Stamford Police Department, said Stamford Police Lt. Diedrich Hohn in a statement. If it is brought to our attention we will vigorously investigate the allegations and make arrests when appropriate. We investigate all claims of bullying and this type of behavior will not be condoned in a learning environment.
So much for iPad education
1916: all acts of war should be put to a national vote. Anyone voting yes had to register as a volunteer for service in the United States Army
Twitter's IPO filing, which came out yesterday, contained many new details about the social network user stats, revenue numbers, major shareholders. But one key part of Twitter's early days Biz Stone, one of the company's three co-founders was noticeably absent. Not "absent" as in de-emphasized, or buried in a footnote. Absent in the sense that Stone's name never appeared once, in the entire 117,000-word document.
Tom Clancy: Best-selling author of The Hunt for Red October dies aged 66
She should have shot a 17y.o. Boy.
Talk about perfect timing. The new issue of GQ hits stands next week and in the article they talk about James Gandolfini's drug and alcohol problem that shut down production of the Sopranos for a period of time and his movie The Mexican. In divorce documents his ex-wife filed, she alleges that Gandolfini was so messed up on coke and booze that he would hit himself in the head and was violent.
This is really happening?
[wonder how much big pharma paid him]
Actor reveals to the Guardian that HPV, transmitted through oral sex, was responsible for his throat cancer
Will he only eat Mac n Cheese?
What's it like trying to survive on $1.50 a day? Ben Affleck and other celebrities are going to try it and tell their fans what it's like from first-hand experience.
Mr. Affleck will keep the cost of what he eats and drinks below $1.50 for at least one day to publicize and fund raise for Live Below the Line, an effort of The Global Poverty Project, according to a report from omg! at Yahoo.
Its shopped for sure, but funny nevertheless
Michael W. Smith - Air Traffic Controller while in the Air Force. Relates his sightings and more importantly how he was consistently told to say that he was not seeing anything on the radar when he was.
Chuck Sorrells - As an Air Force Sergeant describes 7 UFOs over Edwards Air Force Base in 1965.
John Callahan - Former Division Chief of Accidents and Investigations at the FAA. This is one of the government officials with real evidence including 1/2 hour of UFOs on radar. Fascinating information and a real look at how the suppression works. He relates what he was told at the end of a meeting. Words that have almost become cliche but were really spoken: "This meeting never happened. We were never here."
[Now coming to the UK]
More and more women are turning to anti-anxiety drugs to deal with the stress of a new baby.
One in five new mothers suffers from heightened anxiety after giving birth, according to a study that will be published by Pediatrics next month.
One such mother, Anne-Marie Lindsey, told Good Morning America that her daily pill regime has helped cure the panic attacks she suffered after her son was born.
For 30 years, the Lebanese Hezbollah has claimed that its army is solely designed to take on Israel and liberate Muslim territory. Now, however, its fighters are engaged in ethnic cleansing in Syria.
Needless to say, Hezbollah (âthe Party of Godâ) has never engaged Israelis on any battlefield. Yes, it has launched terror attacks on Jews in Europe and Latin America, and fired rockets against Israel from a safe distance.
But whenever Israeli troops arrive on the ground, the âvolunteers for martyrdomâ melt away, hiding in mosques and hospitals among civilians.
As for âliberating Muslim territory,â Hezbollah has failed to snatch enough land on which to spread a prayer mat.
Created by the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hezbollahâs army is designed mainly to bully the Lebanese into submission. It is also used for terrorist operations in other countries, including Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen.
But it has hit a new low now, joining the despot Bashar al-Assadâs murder squads against Syrian people.
Last September when I reported that Hezbollah was fighting in Syria, the group and its masters in Tehran launched a campaign of denial. âHezbollah would never fire a bullet against Muslim brothers,â the partyâs TV station, Al-Manar, repeated.
Yet echoes of Hezbollahâs involvement in the massacre of civilians in Syria have been heard across the Middle East. Even the Lebanese media, operating with a Hezbollah gun pressed to their heads, confirm the story â albeit in a roundabout way.
The roundabout way is to publish news briefs in which one reads of so-and-so, a âHoly Warrior of Hezbollah,â who has âachieved martyrdomâ and been buried. One is not told how, when and where the âHolly Warriorâ achieved âmartyrdom.â Families are ordered not to offer details.
In recent days, however, some families of âmartyrsâ have broken the conspiracy of silence.
One of the latest âmartyrsâ is Ali Hussein Nassif, whose nom de guerre was Abu-Abbas. He fell on March 2 at the head of a Hezbollah squadron while trying to relieve pressure on a pro-Assad garrison in Syriaâs Harmal region, near the Lebanese border.
Seven of Nassifâs squad were killed; four wounded were transferred to a Hezbollah hospital in Lebanon. Syrian army Col. Seyf Kanju also died in the incident.
Talking through Skype on condition of anonymity, a relative of Nassif spoke of the familyâs âconsternationâ: âWe had believed that Hezbollah was only to confront Israel,â he said. âNo one told us that the party would train pro-Assad forces and fight alongside them.â
Relatives of another âmartyr,â Hussein Muhammad Nazar, confirm that he was killed Feb. 1 during a Hezbollah operation in Syria.
At least 21 other Hezbollah members have âachieved martyrdomâ since September. Most families refuse to confirm they died in Syria, but Hezbollah isnât involved in any other active fighting.