A military jury on Wednesday recommended the death penalty for convicted Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan, for the 2009 massacre on the Army base that left 13 people dead and 32 others wounded.
The 13-member panel deliberated for 2½ hours, and the president of the jury - or foreman– announced the finding in open court with a clear voice, that Hasan "be put to death."
The convicted killer said nothing as the decision was announced, and had appeared emotionless earlier in the morning when dramatic closing arguments in the sentencing phased were held without his participation.FULL STORY
The judge in the court-martial of an Army psychiatrist charged in a deadly shooting spree on a Texas military base rejected three options presented by his lawyers under which he would plead guilty and ordered the trial to begin in May.
Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood in November 2009, called the worst incident of its kind on a military base.
FBI and Army officials repeatedly ignored multiple warning signs that could have prevented the November 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, according to a long-awaited report released Thursday by two U.S. senators.
The inability to act was a result of both bureaucratic inefficiency and an unwillingness to identify and confront homegrown Islamic extremism, the report concludes.
Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan is accused in the shootings, which left 13 people dead and 32 wounded. He faces a likely court-martial and potential death penalty.FULL STORY
Bitter cold, with some more snow and ice mixed in, will follow the monster storm that dominated much of the country earlier in the week. Wisconsin can expect wind-chill values between 20 and 25 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, and parts of Maine and New Hampshire can expect several inches of new snow, the National Weather Service said. Sleet and freezing rain are expected along the Gulf Coast. All of this is coming as vast areas try to clear streets and restore electricity after the massive storm that brought as much as 2 feet of snow to some locales.
Australians are still feeling the effects of Cyclone Yasi, whose torrential rain and high winds have knocked out power to large portions of the country's northeast.
Middle East protests
Demonstrations continue in Cairo, Egypt, after anti-government protesters held their ground overnight in the capital city's Tahrir Square. Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said Wednesday's attacks on demonstrators would be investigated.
Meanwhile, in Jordan, the main Islamist group says it plans further street demonstrations Friday in the capital to protest the appointment of a new prime minister by King Abdullah II. The Islamic Action Front, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, has rejected talks with new Prime Minister Marouf al Bakhit, who is forming a new government. But several of its representatives will be meeting the king later Thursday.
And in Yemen, thousands of anti-government protesters gathered near Sanaa University, indicating many in the country were not satisfied with President Ali Abdullah Saleh's recent announcement that he would not seek re-election. About a kilometer away, a large crowd of government supporters gathered for a demonstration.
Fort Hood report
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman and Ranking Member Susan Collins will hold a news conference at noon to release their bipartisan report on the failures of the U.S. government to prevent the November 5, 2009, shooting at Fort Hood Army Post that killed 13 people and wounded 32 others.
Chinese New Year
Today marks the beginning of year 4709 on the Chinese calendar, the Year of the Rabbit. Celebrations were taking place across Asia.
The investigating officer in the case of the accused Fort Hood shooter has recommended that the military pursue the death penalty against Maj. Nidal Hasan, according to his lawyer.
Col. James Pohl, who acted as a judging during the just completed Article 32 hearing, also recommended a general court martial for Hasan, who faces 13 counts of pre-meditated murder and 32 counts of attempted pre-meditated murder in the shootings at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009.
Still open for dialogue - Freed activist Aung San Suu Kyi said she would continue working on matters of democracy and human rights in Myanmar and doesn’t worry about being detained again.
The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize recipient has spent 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest for her dogged opposition to authoritarian rule in Myanmar. She insists all parties - both inside and outside of the country - must continue working together.
Suu Kyi said she’d like to begin engaging Gen. Than Shwe, Myanmar's top military leader and head of state, in dialogue.
[Updated at 11:18 a.m.] The prosecution has completed presenting its case against alleged Fort Hood shooter and Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan.
The investigating officer has recessed the proceedings until November 15th, at which time the defense will have an opportunity to present its case.
[Updated at 10:18 a.m.] The prosecution said it plans to wrap up its case against alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan on Thursday, and Hasan's legal team will present its defense in more than two weeks.
The prosecution has called more than 50 witnesses who have delivered chilling testimony about the shooting rampage that left 13 dead at a Texas military base. Hasan is the subject of an Article 32 hearing, which will determine if there is ample evidence to proceed with a court martial.
The former Army psychiatrist is charged with killing 13 people and wounding dozens more in a November rampage.
An Army officer said he thought the rapid rate of gunfire meant there was more than one shooter in last November's Fort Hood massacre.
But when the shooting ceased after police brought down Nidal Hasan, it became clear he had acted alone, Major Stephen Richter said.
Army investigators said Wednesday that Major Nidal Hasan had 177 rounds left when he was finally shot down by police last November.
Hasan is charged with killing 13 people and wounding dozens of others after a rampage last November at Fort Hood. A police officer, Major Mark Todd, told the military hearing on Wednesday that he found extra magazines and a second handgun, a revolver, after Hasan finally was subdued, wounded four times.
Todd and his fellow civilian police officer, Sgt. Kim Munley described the gunfight outside the building where the final stand-off occured.
"I challenged him, 'Halt, military police, drop your weapon,'" Todd said during his testimony Wednesday morning. "He raised his weapon and fired."
Munley, who was widely praised for her role in ending the shooting admitted in testimony that she did not know how many times she had hit Hasan.
Even before the Fort Hood shooting ended, nurses and medics rushed to help the wounded.
"Nurses and medics get the [expletive] out here now - we have soldiers bleeding," Sgt. First Class Maria Guerra recalled herself yelling.
"You train for this, you train for this, let's go," she said as civilians and soliders came out of hiding to save their fallen buddies.
A witness in the case against Maj. Nidal Hasan recalled Tuesday the sound that the accused Fort Hood shooter made as he walked down the halls of the processing center where he'd opened fire that November day.
Shell casings were wedged in the tread of Hasan's combat boots, making a distinctive "clack, clack" as he walked, said Ted Coukoulis, a civilian nurse, on the sixth day of the alleged shooter's military hearing.
Coukoulis testified in the Article 32 evidentiary hearing that will determine whether the case will proceed to a court martial and the possible death penalty for Hasan.
"It was a casual walk," Coukoulis said, comparing it to how someone would walk through a mall. "He stopped firing and started walking toward where I was - clack, clack, clack."
A survivor of last year's Fort Hood, Texas, shootings testified Monday that the gunman showed no emotion as he killed 13 people and injured dozens more.
"He wasn't happy, he wasn't angry," Sgt. 1st Class Miguel Valdivia said of the accused shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan. "It was some kind of passive look."
Valdivia's testimony came on the fifth day of an Article 32 hearing at the base to determine whether there is enough evidence for Nasan to proceed to a court-martial in the November 2009 shooting spree on the military base.
The distant rumble of big guns on Fort Hood's artillery range rattles the ceiling tiles in the small military courtroom.
But the sounds of war training don't interrupt the intensity inside the military hearing as dozens of witnesses here recall that day last November when 13 people were shot to death and 32 wounded on the base in central Texas.
Training with Paladin howitzers is part of everyday life at Fort Hood, the country's largest Army base. Most of the shooting victims were preparing to ship out to the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
But nothing prepared them for what happened to them at home - dodging bullets as a gunman cut down their buddies.
[Updated at 5:19 p.m.] In response to a question about the telephone video, a Fort Hood official, who insisted on anonymity because of the ongoing criminal investigation related to the shooting, said: "Since this matter was raised during the Article 32 hearing, it is for the Article 32 hearing officer to decide whether to make further inquiries to the soldier's chain of command for additional information."
[Original post] The shooting at Fort Hood was captured on video by a soldier using his cell phone camera as he hid from the shooter, but he was ordered to erase it, the soldier said Friday.
Pfc. Lance Aviles spoke of the video as he testified on the third day of the Article 32 military hearing for Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is accused of killing 13 people and wounding 32 in the 2009 shooting.
Aviles said he was ordered by a noncommissioned officer to delete the video on the day of the shooting. He did not describe to the court what the video contained.
He said he saw the gunman stop to reload and considered rushing him. But by the time Aviles got up, he said, the shooter "had already loaded another magazine. So instead of running to him, I ran off to the right."
The Army psychiatrist accused in last year's Fort Hood, Texas, shootings faced off with the most severely injured survivor Thursday in a small military courtroom.
Maj. Nidal Hasan looked down as Staff Sgt. Patrick Zeigler described his four bullet wounds and how part of his brain had to be removed because of skull and bullet fragments.
Zeigler, using a cane, walked slowly to the witness stand at Fort Hood for the last testimony of the day in an evidentiary hearing, which is expected to last for weeks. Hasan is accused of being the gunman in the November 5 shootings that left 13 people dead and dozens wounded.
Zeigler testified he heard the gunman shout out "Allahu Akbar" just before the firing began.
"After I heard that, I pretty much froze up because I knew what that meant," said Zeigler about the phrase, which is Arabic for "God is great."
The shooting happened so fast that is sounded like an automatic weapon, one soldier testified.
Some said they didn't realize they were wounded until they saw their own blood. And others told how they tried to play dead, hoping the gunman would pass them by.
The testimony came Thursday at Fort Hood, Texas, during the military's evidentiary hearing into the case of Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is accused of the Fort Hood shootings last November that left 13 people dead and dozens wounded.
Spc. Keara Bono testified she was reading a book in the Fort Hood building, moving through the paperwork and medical tests to deploy to Iraq. Suddenly, she said, she was wounded in the head.
"At that moment, all I smelled was blood because my face was covered with it," she testified Thursday afternoon.
Pfc George Stratton said he was at the processing center that November day getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan. It was to be his third deployment.
"All of a sudden my ears started ringing, and I heard loud gunfire right in my ears. Round after round – pop! pop! pop! pop! pop! just like that," he testified.
Stratton says he dropped to the ground, and saw a fellow soldier lying on the ground near him, covered in blood. He stood up.
"As soon as I turned I saw Maj. Hasan behind me. He was holding an older-fashioned pistol. As soon as I looked at him, he brought his magazine up and loaded it. He looked straight down at me, we made eye contact, and he brought his weapon down toward me. I turned on him, and the weapon fired. It hit me in the left shoulder, my arm went limp," Stratton said. "I couldn't feel it at all."
Stratton says he then hit the ground, and crawled as fast as he could to the door.
Testifying Wednesday afternoon, Spc. Amber Barr described how she and her buddies ran for their lives when the shooting began.
"I saw there was blood. I smelled sulfur in the air and I realized it was not a drill," she said.
"It was absolute chaos," she continued. "People just trying to shield themselves from the gunshots."
Barr said she and others managed to get outside and she helped half-carry, half-drag a friend to a nearby pick-up truck which took them and others to the Fort Hood hospital. It was only then, when she tried to sit down, she realized she herself had been shot in the lower back, she said.
Spc. Matthew Cooke told the hearing he was shot four times but was so charged up on adrenaline he didn't realize he had been wounded. He still carries bullet fragments in his body.
The military is holding an evidentiary hearing into the case of Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is accused of the Fort Hood shootings last November that left 13 people dead and dozens wounded.
The first witness in the Fort Hood massacre hearing gave a chilling account Wednesday of how he and others were shot last November.
Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, speaking on the second day of the Article 32 hearing, said Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan pulled a weapon from underneath his uniform and began firing.
Hasan is charged with the murder of 13 people at Fort Hood on November 5 and the wounding of 32 others.
"I noticed the weapon he was firing had an infrared sight, like a laser sight on the weapon," Lunsford said. "He was aiming at the soldiers."
The military opened a hearing Tuesday for Maj. Nidal Hasan, the U.S. Army psychiatrist accused of last year's Fort Hood shootings, then adjourned it almost immediately.
Hasan is accused of killing 13 people and wounding 32 in a shooting spree at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas.
The hearing will determine whether Hasan will be court-martialed - which could potentially lead to the death penalty.