Rihanna Chris Brown Spotted on South Beach Together

February 28, 2009 by  
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“They’re together again. They care for each other,” an unidentified source gushed to the magazine.

“While Chris is reflective and saddened about what happened, he is really happy to be with the woman he loves,” the source said.

The relationship apparently started warming up again after Brown called Rihanna last week to wish her a happy 21st birthday. Rihanna then reached out to Brown.

“She doesn’t care about her image. She is so in love with that boy that it doesn’t matter,” said a source.

Brown, 19, has been lavishing Rihanna with jewels, designer shoes, a handbag and the video game “Guitar Hero” in an effort to make up.

“It doesn’t matter what he buys her, though,” said the source. “She loves him. For his part, he knows he screwed up and he is going to try like hell to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Rihanna’s father, Ronald Fenty, said he’s OK with them getting back together.

“I love my daughter with whatever road she takes. I’m behind her win or lose. I will be supportive,” Fenty told Us Weekly magazine’s Web site from his home in Barbados.

A Brown rep had no comment and Rihanna’s publicist couldn’t be reached.

Brown, a rising star with a huge teen fan base, was charged with making criminal threats following a reported attack on Rihanna after Clive Davis‘ pre-Grammys party on Feb. 8.

A picture of a bruised Rihanna with swollen lips was leaked on the Internet last week, apparently from Los Angeles police files, and added credence to widespread reports that she was the woman involved.

The assault on the eve of the Grammy Awards caused both stars to cancel their scheduled appearances.

It sent shockwaves through the music industry, stunned fans of the couple who had been dating for about a year, and rocked Brown’s career.

“Goodies” singer Ciara reportedly ditched plans for a duet with Brown and has hinted she’ll leave his vocals out of her single, “Turntables.”

Rapper Flo Rida has already pulled his collaboration with Brown on his upcoming album “R.O.O.T.S.” and a Sacramento radio station has banned Brown’s songs from rotation indefinitely.

The incendiary singer also is said to be omitted from promo clips for the upcoming movie “Bone Deep.”

Rihanna returned to her family in Barbados and Brown issued a statement Feb. 15 saying he was “sorry and saddened” about the incident and was seeking counseling

Police hunt ‘Grim Sleeper’ serial killer

February 27, 2009 by  
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Los Angeles police are searching for a serial killer dubbed the “Grim Sleeper,” who is thought to have killed 11 people.

The killer, who police say murdered from 1985 to 2007, was nicknamed the Grim Sleeper because he seemed to take a break between homicides, police said.

Authorities this week released a 9-1-1 tape recorded shortly after a killing in 1987, in the hope of producing clues.

“Yes … I’d like to report a murder,” an anonymous caller says on the tape. “The guy that dropped her off was driving a white and blue Dodge van. He threw her out. … He threw a gas tank on top of her. All that you can see sticking out is her feet.”

Police found the scene just as the caller described and found the van. But they are still searching for the caller and members of the now-defunct church that owned the van.

The killer is wanted in 11 deaths and another homicide attempt, police say.

Detectives say they have the Grim Sleeper’s DNA, and a $500,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest and prosecution. The killer shot his victims, police said.

Porter Alexander has waited two decades for the Grim Sleeper’s arrest. His daughter Alicia Alexander became the Grim Sleeper’s eighth victim in 1988, police say.

“No one should have to face anything like this,” he said. “To experience their daughters or sons taken away as early as she was.”

Massive drug sweep nets 750 arrests

February 25, 2009 by  
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WASHINGTON (AFP) – US and Mexican authorities have arrested 750 people over 21 months in an anti-drug sweep, including 52 members of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel who were detained Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder said.

The cartel members were arrested as part of an “international narcotics trafficking and money-laundering investigation called Operation Accelerator,” Holder told a press conference.

The operation — which investigated crimes in the United States, Mexico and Canada — netted some 59 million dollars in cash, 12,000 kilos (12 tonnes) of cocaine, 544 kilos (1,200 pounds) of methamphetamine and 1.3 million Ecstasy pills.

“An operation of that scope and magnitude can only be effective with combined forces against the enemy,” Holder said, praising cooperation between agencies and governments in the investigation.

Asked by a reporter whether he was worried violence from the world of Mexican drug runners could spill over to US cities and towns, Holder admitted he was “concerned.

“The problems that Mexico faces are also problems that we face,” stressed the attorney general.

“We would be naive to think that we can restrict the concerns that the Mexicans have to only Mexico, that the violence will only be there.”

The bloody war between rival cartels, fighting for control of drug trafficking into the United States, the world’s biggest consumer of cocaine, has produced internal chaos in Mexico.

Unrest related to the drug trade has caused the violent deaths of some 5,300 people throughout the country last year alone, according to official figures, despite a government crackdown that saw the deployment of nearly 36,000 troops.

The US Drug Enforcement Administration‘s Acting Administrator Michele Leonhart, speaking alongside Holder, said the investigation unveiled the scope of the cartel’s international network, including a “super meth lab that is so sophisticated we’ve seen none like it anywhere.”

The raids uncovered drug factory machines able to produce 12,000 ecstasy tablets an hour, Leonhart added.

The operation not only took out cartel operatives in larger US cities such as New York and Los Angeles, but in smaller towns like Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Brockton, Massachusetts.

Over the course of a few years, Leonhart said, the northeastern Ohio town of Stow, a relatively sleepy urban region of 35,000 residents, became a hotspot for international drug runners.

“Just underneath the surface of this peaceful city, the Sinaloa cartel had been sending cocaine through this community’s local airport,” she revealed.

The traffickers regularly ferried dozens of kilos (pounds) of cocaine from California to Stow, she said.

“This cocaine ended up not just on the streets of larger cities like Cleveland and Columbus but also in surrounding small towns and onto the campuses of the schools in the region.

The operation, however, effectively “shut down” drug cartel networks throughout North America, Leonhart added.

“The DEA will continue attacking the international drug trade with every tool at our disposal, fighting to defeat those who put deadly drugs on our streets and engage in violence in our communities,” she vowed.

At the end of last year, the DEA said their operations to clamp down on production and supply routes over the preceding 21 months substantially impacted drug quality and cost within the United States.

The price of a gram of cocaine in the United States from January 2007 to September 2008 soared 89 percent, from 96.61 dollars to 182.73 dollars, the anti-drug agency said.

An analysis of 24,000 drug busts across the country, found that cocaine purity dropped during the same period, from 67 percent to 46 percent, the DEA said.

Bank that got bailout $ throws lavish parties?

February 25, 2009 by  
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A bank that got $1.6 billion dollars in government bailout money sponsored a series of “lavish parties” during a golf tournament in Los Angeles last weekend.

Chicago-based Northern Trust bank spent millions of dollars sponsoring the tournament and associated client events. The website TMZ reports that this included dinners, concerts by Sheryl Crow and Earth,Wind and Fire, a private party at the House of Blues and gift bags from Tiffany. Also, hundreds of people were flown in and put up in luxury hotels.

A Northern Trust official confirms to CNN that the bank sponsored the events, but not on the taxpayers’ dime. He said the bank is healthy and didn’t ask for TARP money, but entered the program at the request of the government. He added that their “normal cash flow” — and not TARP funds — paid for the event.

But the bank’s explanation may not be enough for some. Congressman Barney Frank is writing a letter to Northern Trust calling on it to pay back the money it spent on these events. Frank says this behavior demonstrates “extraordinary levels of irresponsibility and arrogance.” And in the Senate, John Kerry says he’ll introduce a bill this week to end what he calls the “extravagant spending practices” of banks getting taxpayer money. Under his legislation – banks wouldn’t be able to host, sponsor or pay for conferences, or holiday or entertainment events in the year they get government funds.

In December – Northern Trust announced plans to cut 450 jobs this year.

Arrest made in Boynton home invasion shooting

February 24, 2009 by  
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BOYNTON BEACH, FL — Police arrested 28-year-old Casey Jeffs in the shooting of two roommates in a Sunday home invasion.

According to a police report, a witness confessed to police that he had driven Casey Jeffs to an apartment in Boynton Beach so Jeffs could retrieve his personal belongings from Patrick Hovsepian.

The witness stated when he and Jeffs approached the apartment a female tried to exit the apartment but was grabbed by the neck and was forcefully put back into the apartment by Casey Jeffs.

The witness said he saw Jeffs point a handgun at the female, later identified as Tara Reardon, and heard a gunshot and saw a flash coming out of the muzzle of the gun.

The suspect heard several other shots during a heated argument between Jeffs and the two victims inside of the apartment and fled in a taxi.

Jeffs called the witness to tell him he would take him back to Broward County.

Jeffs advised the witness to discard the cellphone and admitted to shooting the two victims inside of the apartment.

Police issued a warrant for the arrest of Casey Jeffs.

Police arrested Jeffs at his Aventura home and charged him with two counts of attempted first degree murder, kidnapping, armed burglary and life felony enhancement with a firearm.

Jeffs is being transported to the Palm Beach County Jail and will face a judge Wednesday.

Source: wptv.com

Infant, 4 others shot near Mardi Gras parade route

February 24, 2009 by  
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NEW ORLEANS – An infant and at least four other people were shot Tuesday along a parade route packed with Mardi Gras revelers, police said. Two suspects were in custody and the victims were recovering. The shootings happened near the Garden District about 1:40 p.m. after the last major parade of the celebration, Rex, had ended. Truck floats that follow the parade were passing when gunfire broke out.

“It sounded like a string of fireworks, so I knew it was more than one shooter,” said Toni Labat, 29, a window company manager. She was with her two children, a 2-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl.

“Everybody was petrified. They hit the ground, the floats stopped, everybody on the floats ducked,” Labat said.

Labat said one man dragged himself on the ground screaming for help after being wounded and another man was gasping for air and bleeding from his mouth.

Police spokesman Bob Young said the victims were taken to local hospitals. The infant was grazed by a bullet and not seriously hurt, Young said.

Two male suspects, ages 18 and 20, were in custody and three weapons believed used in the shooting had been recovered, he said.

The violence, along the oak-lined Uptown streetcar line, marred what had been a generally peaceful day of revelry in which hundreds of thousands of people partied in the streets on the final day of Carnival. Another shooting was reported on Friday night after an argument, but otherwise, the event was generally problem-free.

Beau Beals, 45, said he was outside a house party on St. Charles Avenue when the shooting erupted. He said and other partiers tossed children over a metal fence to get them to safety, but others kept waiting for beads and other trinkets being tossed from the floats as if nothing had happened.

“They had an ambulance out here picking the guy up off the street and people didn’t stop vying for throws,” Beals said.

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