Homicide record: This bankrupt city of 290,000 set a bloody new record for homicides this week, with nine violent deaths in just over 48 hours, including a triple murder and suicide that ended at an upscale retirement home. The spasm of violence brought Stockton’s 2012 homicide total to a new city record of 59. “I’ve never seen this many homicides in such a short time span,” said Officer Joe Silva, whose department suffered major cutbacks after the city’s finances collapsed. “Our detectives have worked around the clock since Saturday.” This Central Valley city, devastated by the real estate collapse and fiscal mismanagement, was forced to lay off police, firefighters, and other city workers in order to pay pensions and debt obligations. Peering over the yellow tape at a crime scene, resident Gloria Yamada told a reporter, “I feel like I want to get out of Dodge.”
Spa massacre: An armed man stormed into the suburban Milwaukee beauty spa where his wife worked and opened fire this week, wounding four women and killing three before fatally shooting himself, police said. Radcliffe Haughton, 45, showed up at the Azana Salon & Spa just days after his wife, Zina, was granted a restraining order preventing him from going near her. Zina Haughton was later identified among the three women killed during the terrifying shooting spree. Four other victims, all female, were shot, but their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. Witness David Gosh saw a screaming woman who ran “into the street [and] was pounding on cars.” She was followed by a man with a handgun who then ran back toward the spa, Gosh said. “He was the shooter. He was looking for an escape route.”
Rape comment: Republican U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock caused an uproar this week when he said that pregnancy resulting from rape was “something that God intended.” Mourdock, a Tea Party conservative locked in a tight race with Democrat Joe Donnelly, was asked during a debate whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest. “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” Mourdock said. Democrats immediately condemned the remark as “outrageous and demeaning.” Mitt Romney, who had endorsed Mourdock the day before the debate, said the comments “do not reflect” his views. But he did not withdraw his endorsement.
CIA agent sentenced: Former CIA officer John Kiriakou will be going to prison for revealing the name of a covert agent, the agency said this week. Kiriakou, 48, pleaded guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, and is expected to serve two and a half years in prison, the first to do so for this crime in 27 years. Kiriakou, who led the team that captured al Qaida leader Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in 2002, emailed the agent’s name to two journalists in 2007 and 2008. His sentence parallels that handed down to I. Lewis Libby Jr., former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, in connection with the disclosure of the identity of agent Valerie Plame Wilson. President George W. Bush commuted Libby’s prison term. CIA Director David H. Petraeus called the Kiriakou case “an important victory” for the intelligence community.
New York City
Record gift: In what is thought to be the largest gift ever bestowed on a U.S. park, hedge fund manager John Paulson this week pledged $100 million to the Central Park Conservancy, the caretaker of the 843-acre green space in the heart of Manhattan. Park officials confirmed that the Queens native’s gift was the largest monetary donation in the history of New York City’s park system. “I wanted to give an amount that would have an impact on the park, and that’s how I arrived at the number I did,” Paulson said. A self-made billionaire, Paulson reaped whirlwind profits by betting against the overheated housing market in 2007. His wealth, once estimated at $15.5 billion, reportedly fell to $11.8 billion after a losing bet on a strong economic recovery.
New York City
Terror attack foiled: A 21-year-old Bangladeshi man was grabbed by police last week as he repeatedly tried to detonate a 1,000-pound fake bomb outside the Federal Reserve Bank in Lower Manhattan. Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis was arrested at the scene and brought to federal court in Brooklyn to face charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al Qaida. Nafis, wearing a brown T-shirt and black jeans, was ordered held without bail. He was the target of an elaborate sting, in which he received inert bomb materials from an undercover federal agent. In an unpublished article, Nafis took responsibility for the bomb plot, claiming he wanted to “destroy America.” Howard Willie Carter II, who was described as Nafis’s accomplice, was also arrested after an FBI agent found child pornography on a laptop and hard drive in the trash near his apartment, according to a government document.
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