Craig Stephen Hicks has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder after he allegedly killed three Muslim college students in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Tuesday night, the Charlotte Observer reported. Deah Barakat, 23; Barakat's wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and Yusor's sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, were all shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene. A police spokesman said the shooting was over a long-running parking dispute between Hicks, who is an outspoken atheist, and the trio. The U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina said the shootings were not "not part of a targeted campaign against Muslims in North Carolina." Although the father of the two slain girls, Mohammad Abu-Salha, said the killings were "a hate crime" and called the shootings "execution-style," Hicks' ex-wife said he cared about individual rights and that religion played no role in the incident.
President Obama has sent Congress draft legislation for authorizing the use of military force against ISIS. He has asked for it to be limited to three years, but with no geographic restriction on where the threat may be pursued. The legislation mentioned the deaths of James Foley, Steven Sotloff, and Kayla Mueller. In a letter accompanying the draft, Obama wrote, "Local forces, rather than U.S. military forces, should be deployed to conduct such operations." His letter also states, "The authorization I propose would provide the flexibility to conduct ground combat operations in other, more limited circumstances, such as rescue operations involving U.S. or coalition personnel or the use of special-operations forces to take military action against ISIL leadership."
During opening statements of the trial for the man accused of killing "American Sniper" Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield, it was revealed that the victims could tell he was mentally unstable. Eddie Routh's trial began Wednesday with a log of text messages from Kyle to Littlefield, including one saying "This dude is straight up nuts." Littlefield texted back, "He's right behind me, watch my six." That was on Feb. 2, 2013. Both men were killed at a gun range at Rough Creek Lodge within a few hours of those texts. District Attorney Alan Nash stressed to the jurors that Routh's history of being in and out of mental and veterans hospitals for years did not excuse his behavior. "Mental illness does not deprive people from being good citizens," Nash said. However, one of Routh's lawyers took a different approach to his mental illness. "He thought he had to take their lives because, in his psychosis, he thought they were going to take his," said Tim Moore.
Apparently being a hard news man was not how Brian Williams saw the rest of his career. The suspended NBC Nightly News anchor reportedly lobbied executives a couple of years ago to take over as host of The Tonight Show once the network decided to move on from Jay Leno. Williams was also warned years ago by former anchor Tom Brokaw and former NBC News President Steve Capus to "be careful" about his war story, which has now been proven false.
According to Kanye West, the reason he got up on stage at the Grammys when Beck won Album of the Year was because "the voices in my head told me go." West claims, however, that he wasn't trying to take away Beck's moment. In an interview with Ryan Seacrest, West also said he is working to get in the studio with Taylor Swift, despite their past. He also defended his post-Grammys rant claiming Beyoncé should have beaten Beck, saying "someone's got to be mad" but that "it's not a black or white thing at all."
Restaurants and food companies can slap "Sriracha" on anything and they don't owe the makers of the popular hot sauce a dime. Vietnamese refugee David Tran built a Sriracha empire but failed to ever trademark the deliciously spicy sauce. Now, Heinz, Frito-Lay, and Subway are just using "Sriracha" as a descriptor without using Tran's sauce. Tran doesn't have any problem with it and he has no desire to trademark Sriracha. "Everyone wants to jump in now," he said. "We have lawyers come and say 'I can represent you and sue' and I say 'No. Let them do it.'" That may be because sales of his original Sriracha bottles have grown by as much as $80 million a year in just the last two years.
Hall of Fame college basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian passed away at the age of 84 on Wednesday. Tarkanian led the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to four Final Fours and a national championship in 1990, building a basketball dynasty for the school. Known as Tark the Shark, he had a controversial career and was known for recruiting players from junior colleges and not doing background checks. He often went head-to-head with the NCAA, successfully suing the organization for $2.5 million for trying to run him out of college athletics.
On the second day of his trial in France, more details of former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn's lurid sex life were revealed. Apparently, in addition to sex parties, Strauss-Kahn allegedly brought a prostitute with him to IMF headquarters in Washington, D.C. Strauss-Kahn has denied that he knew the women were prostitutes. He claims that paying for sex would be too risky for the head of the IMF, which was busy "saving the world from an unprecedented" financial crisis.
Over a period of 36 hours in October 2014, at least 221 women and girls were raped in the town of Tabit near Darfur by Sudanese armed forces, according to a Human Rights Watch report. Sudan has denied the report and had refused access to peacekeepers. When it relented and gave them access briefly on Nov. 9, they prevented investigators from carrying out their mission. Victims say they were threatened by government officials with prison or death if they spoke of what happened. The attack could be considered a crime against humanity.
The Jackie Robinson West of Chicago team has been stripped of its 2014 U.S. Little League championship, which has instead been awarded to a squad from Las Vegas. "After an extensive review of the operations of Jackie Robinson West Little League and Illinois District 4, the Little League International Charter/Tournament Committee has determined that the Jackie Robinson West Little League and Illinois District 4 Administrator knowingly violated Little League International Rules and Regulations by placing players on their team who did not qualify to play because they lived outside the team's boundaries," a Little League news release says. Apparently the team used a fake boundary map when it met with league officials, and stacked the team with players from the suburbs. Jackie Robinson West lost to a South Korean team in the championship game.
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