January 7th, 2012
06:54 PM ET

Mount Rainier park reopens after deadly shooting

Mount Rainier National Park reopened to the public Saturday for the first time since ranger Margaret Anderson was shot to death on New Year's Day.

All services at the park were available expect for "snowplay." Anderson was the direct supervisor of the rangers there, and many on that crew - and elsewhere in the park - needed more time before returning to work, said park spokesman Charles Beall.

"This tragedy has pretty much affected every employee at the park," he said.

Authorities believe Anderson, 34, was killed by Benjamin Colton Barnes, a former soldier whose body was found face down in a creek, not far from where he allegedly shot Anderson.

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Filed under: Crime • Washington state
January 7th, 2012
05:21 PM ET

Paramedic accused of sexual assault inside ambulance

A Connecticut paramedic has been charged in the alleged sexual assault last month of a woman who was only semiconscious in the back of an ambulance, according to police.

Mark Powell, 49, was charged with first-degree sexual assault and unlawful restraint after he turned himself over to authorities Thursday, according to Hamden Police Capt. Ronald Smith.

Smith said the 22-year-old woman received emergency medical treatment after hitting her head on Christmas Day and was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital. It was during that time in the ambulance that the alleged victim, who was strapped to a stretcher, was assaulted, Smith said, citing the woman's account.

The woman said she waited three days to report the incident because she was embarrassed and afraid, according to Smith.

The American Medical Response released a statement earlier this week saying that Powell has been placed on administrative leave.

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Filed under: Connecticut • Crime
January 7th, 2012
05:19 PM ET

Venezuela taps general designated as drug kingpin by the U.S. for top defense job

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has tapped a leading general accused by the United States of being a drug "kingpin" to be the country's new defense minister.

Gen. Henry Rangel Silva will replace Carlos Mata Figueroa, according to the state-run AVN news agency. Chavez, who called Rangel a "good soldier," made the announcement Friday in the central city of Guanare, the agency reported.

The United States added Rangel to its kingpin list in 2008 for allegedly providing support to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, commonly known as the FARC.

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Filed under: Venezuela
Gotta Watch: Extreme sports
Winter windsurfers take to the ice in Montana.
January 7th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Extreme sports

There are some people out there who operate on 100% pure adrenaline. Normal sports and activities aren't enough, so they take it to another level. These thrill seekers throw caution to the wind and take risks just to feel that rush. You've Gotta Watch these daredevils attempt the unthinkable. And like they say, do not try this at home!

Windsurfing on ice? — Windsurfing on water isn't anything new, and some people choose to windsurf on land. But what happens when temperatures drop below zero? Instead of taking up ice fishing, these self-proclaimed "crazy" people modified their own boards to glide across a frozen lake. Their rigs have reached 30 mph, but wait until you hear how fast some others have gone!

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Filed under: China • Gotta Watch • Montana • Sports • Washington state
January 7th, 2012
06:06 AM ET

Grandmother says family had nothing to do with toddler's disappearance

The grandmother of a missing Maine toddler says no family members in the home the night the girl vanished had anything to do with her disappearance.
"I feel violated. Somebody came into my home and took my granddaughter who was sleeping," Phoebe DiPietro said during her first television interview about Ayla Reynolds, the now 21-month-old toddler.
Ayla disappeared December 17. Police have said they believe foul play was involved. They also say the DiPietros have fully co-operated in the investigation.

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Filed under: Crime • U.S.
January 7th, 2012
02:03 AM ET

Report: Federal workers 'pressured' to approve citizenship papers

Some U.S. immigration officers charged with reviewing citizenship applications believe federal policy favors promoting immigration over protecting national security, according to a draft report by an agency watchdog.
When asked whether they had ever been asked by a supervisor to approve applications that should have been denied, 63 of the 254 immigration officers, or nearly 25%, answered "Yes."
Asked if they had enough time to interview applicants, 109, or 43.4%, said they had "serious concerns" that interview times were too short to make a good determination.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
January 7th, 2012
12:42 AM ET

The harrowing journey of the girl who called herself Tika Cortez

Jakadrien Turner's lies last year to authorities in Texas - including adopting an alter ago and claiming she was from Colombia - set off a harrowing journey that, according to posts on a Facebook page featuring photographs of her, she seemed to later regret.

By Friday, the troubled teenager was finally back in the United States, after being arrested and then deported to a country that she'd never been in before. It was a months-long escapade that has her family asking questions about how she got to the South American nation and what happened to her while there.

Jakadrien's journey began April 2, 2011, in a Houston, Texas, shopping mall where the 15-year-old was arrested for shoplifting a white shirt, black vest and jeans. It was a petty crime that turned out to be the first step in her changing her identity.

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Filed under: U.S. • World