November 19th, 2011
06:58 PM ET

California university to investigate police use of pepper spray

University of California Davis' chancellor Saturday called police use of pepper spray on Occupy protesters "chilling" and established a task force to look into the incident.

The startling video broadcast by CNN Sacramento affiliate KOVR showed an officer, in a sweeping motion, spraying seated protesters point blank Friday before other officers moved in. Eleven people were treated on site for effects of the spray. Two of them were sent to the hospital, university officials said.

"Yesterday was not a day that would make anyone on our campus proud; indeed the events of the day need to guide us forward as we try to make our campus a better place of inquiry, debate, and even dissent," Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said in a statement.

UC Davis spokeswoman Claudia Morain told CNN that 25 tents were in place Friday afternoon - despite fliers explaining the campus prohibits overnight camping.

After written and verbal warnings, officers reminded the protesters they would be subject to arrest if they did not move their tents, Morain said.

A group of protesters sat on a path with their arms interlocked as police moved in to remove the tents.

At one point, protesters encircled the officers and blocked them from leaving, the spokeswoman said. Cut off from backup, the officers determined the situation was not safe and asked people several times to make room, Morain said. One officer used pepper spray when a couple of protesters and some of the 200 bystanders moved in, she added.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: California • Crime • Occupy Wall Street
November 19th, 2011
06:22 PM ET

Teens charged in death of retired NFL player's son

Four southern California teenagers have been charged following the apparent drug overdose death of an 18-year-old high school quarterback whose father is a retired NFL player, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Saturday.

Three of the teens have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Griffen Kramer, son of former pro quarterback Erik Kramer, who played for several NFL teams including the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, officials said.

Griffen Kramer played quarterback at Thousand Oaks High School, which lists him as a 6-foot 210-pound senior.

Kramer was found dead October 30 in a friend's bedroom in Agoura Hills, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: California • Crime • Justice
November 19th, 2011
05:37 PM ET

McDonald's, Target drop egg supplier after animal cruelty report

McDonald's and Target dropped an egg supplier this week after an activist group released disturbing video showing what it says shows animal cruelty at three of the company's barns.

The undercover video, released by Mercy for Animals, was allegedly shot between May and August at facilities run by Sparboe Farms in Colorado, Iowa and Minnesota. It shows hens crammed in crowded cages, workers burning beaks and one, trying to shove a bird inside the pocket of a co-worker, apparently for fun. Another worker presses his thumb against the back of a chick's neck until it breaks.

"Regarding the undercover videos, the behavior on tape is disturbing and completely unacceptable. McDonald's wants to assure our customers that we demand humane treatment of animals by our suppliers. We take this responsibility - along with our customers' trust - very seriously. It's important to note that the most alarming actions on video did not occur at Sparboe's Vincent, Iowa, facility that supplies McDonald's. Nonetheless, our extremely high standards for our suppliers prohibit this conduct," McDonald's said in a statement, announcing its decision to cut ties with Sparboe Farms.

Target similarly said it was dropping Sparboe Farms, which describes itself as the fifth-largest shell egg producer and marketer in the United States.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Animals • Colorado • Fast Food • Food • Iowa • Minnesota
November 19th, 2011
03:58 PM ET

Deficit committee still talking

Members of the congressional committee created to craft a bipartisan deficit reduction deal continued working into the weekend despite growing pessimism over their inability so far to reach agreement.

Republican committee members held a conference call Saturday morning, a senior GOP aide said. The aide declined to describe the discussions.

"I assume bipartisan conversations are continuing," the aide said.

Although the 12-member panel technically has until Wednesday to finish its work, it faces a practical deadline of Monday to make a proposal public to trim $1.2 trillion from the deficit over 10 years, then send it to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office for review.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Budget • Economy • Politics