The Lookout
  • Saddam Hussein statue April 9, 2003 (Getty Images)

    The Marine whose flag was used to cover the face on the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad’s Firdos Square before it was toppled at the beginning of the war with Iraq, has refused to lend the memento to the Marines on the 10th anniversary—to the day—of that televised event.

    Former Lt. Tim McLaughlin told the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Va., that he did not want the flag to be used in propaganda.

    "Over the years, I've become more aware of the symbolism that attached to the flag," McLaughlin told Jordan Heller from Salon. "But for me, it doesn't have any of those things—and I don't want it to again."

    As described by Salon, the flag was given to McLaughlin by Sen. Chuck Schumer’s office for his aid to victims on 9/11. He brought the flag to Iraq, thinking he'd take a photo of it overseas. Then, his commander asked to borrow it to drape over the head of the Iraqi dictator's statue.

    “There was no big intention behind it,” the marine told Salon. “My commander said,

    Read More »from Marine won’t lend military the flag that covered Saddam Hussein statue’s face
  • A stabbing victim is loaded into a helicopter on the Lone Star College CyFair campus. (Reuters)

    At least 14 people were wounded in an apparent mass stabbing at Lone Star College's CyFair campus in Cypress, Texas, on Tuesday morning.

    The suspect, a white male armed with what one witness described as an X-Acto knife, was detained, police said. The suspect, believed to be 21, was enrolled at the school.

    Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said police received a 911 call at 11:12 a.m. local time reporting a white male "on the loose stabbing people."

    The school was placed on lockdown.

    "Seek shelter now," Lone Star College's Twitter feed warned Tuesday afternoon. "If away, stay away."

    The incident occurred near and around the school's Health Science Center and remains an active crime scene, Garcia said.

    "Buildings are still being searched," he added.

    Four victims were transported by helicopter with serious injuries "consistent with laceration," a spokesman for the Harris County Sheriff's Office said. Two others were taken by ambulance to a local trauma center.

    Two of those victims are in critical condition, he said. Four are in fair condition. Others victims were treated for minor injuries, and two refused treatment, Garcia said.

    One witness told CNN that the stabber was hearing impaired.

    An announcement was made over loudspeakers warning students to seek shelter. "This is an emergency," the announcement said, according to KHOU-TV. "Everybody stay inside of your rooms. Do not leave your rooms."

    An alert issued on the school's website indicated that "another suspect may possibly be at large." But Garcia said surveillance video reviewed by police indicated there was one "and only one" suspect.

    An Instagram user who said he helped apprehend the stabber posted a photo of a man face down on the ground with a backpack. He said the man had stabbed five people, including two girls in the cheek. "Everyone ran the other way ... ," he said. "Me and this kid got em." #copsaretooslow

    Police would not confirm the exact weapon used, but said no firearms were found at the scene.

    The campus was evacuated, Vice Chancellor Randy Key told reporters, and the college will remain closed for the remainder of the day.

    In January, three people were wounded in a shooting at Lone Star College's North Harris campus near Houston. More than 90,000 students attend classes across the Lone Star College system's six campuses.

    Read More »from Lone Star College stabbing: At least 14 wounded, suspect in custody
  • Firefighters hug near the entrance to Sandy Hook Elementary School, Dec. 21, 2012. (Dylan Stableford)

    NEWTOWN, Conn.—Since the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, parents and pundits have debated what to do with the building itself—with ideas ranging from remodeling the school and building a memorial to the 26 victims to razing and rebuilding the school in another location.

    Late last week, a task force composed of 28 Newtown officials charged with figuring out the future of the school and its students met here for the first time, establishing a set of ground rules and a timeline for delivering recommendations.

    “There is no road map for this kind of process,” Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra said Friday during the first of five scheduled meetings, according to the Newtown Bee. “We come as elected representatives faced with a significant, serious challenge.”

    [Related: In Newtown, a gun debate does not rage on—at least in public]

    The group hopes to deliver a plan to the Board of Education by May 3. The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, a Bethesda, Md.-based consulting firm, is assisting with the proposals.

    Sandy Hook Elementary School has remained closed since the shootings, with students attending classes at Chalk Hill School in nearby Monroe.

    A set of 10 principles were presented by the task force, based on private meetings with parents and school officials:

    Read More »from Newtown task force meets to decide future of Sandy Hook Elementary School

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  • 10 Things to Know for Today
    10 Things to Know for Today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

  • Moscow fights back after sanctions; battle rages near Ukraine crash site

    By Polina Devitt and Gabriela Baczynska MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) - Russia fought back on Wednesday over new U.S. and EU sanctions imposed over Ukraine even as G7 leaders warned of further steps, while Ukraine's government accused pro-Russian rebels of placing land mines near the site of a crashed Malaysian airliner to prevent a proper investigation. Russia announced a ban on most fruit and vegetable imports from Poland and said it could extend it to the entire European Union, a move Warsaw called Kremlin retaliation for new Western sanctions over Ukraine imposed on Russia on Tuesday. Moscow called the new EU and U.S. sanctions "destructive and short-sighted" and said they would lead to higher energy prices in Europe and damage cooperation with the United States on international affairs.

  • Turkish women laugh online to protest deputy PM's remarks
    Turkish women laugh online to protest deputy PM's remarks

    Hundreds of Turkish women posted pictures of themselves laughing on Twitter on Wednesday to protest comments by Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, who had urged women not to laugh in public to "protect moral values". Melda Onur, a lawmaker from the main opposition party CHP, said on Twitter that Arinc's comments portrayed laughing as a dishonourable act and left women exposed to violence. Arinc criticised the media on Wednesday for taking his comments out of context and focusing on a small part of his speech, in which he said he advised both men and women to adopt "ethical behaviours".

  • The economy is headed downhill from here: Peter Schiff
    The economy is headed downhill from here: Peter Schiff

    The government reported Wednesday that the economy grew at an annual rate of 4% last quarter. Euro Pacific Capital's Peter Schiff says that quarter will be the strongest quarter this year.

  • Panasonic, Tesla to build big US battery plant
    Panasonic, Tesla to build big US battery plant

    American electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. is teaming up with Japanese electronics company Panasonic Corp. to build a battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. expected to create 6,500 jobs. The companies ...

  • Rebels and oligarchs: 7 key players in eastern Ukraine

    Known by his nom de guerre Strelkov, or “shooter,” Igor Girkin is a prominent rebel commander. A native of Russia, Mr. Girkin oversaw rebel forces in Slovyansk before being pushed back to Dontesk by an Ukrainian offensive. He has a long history of participating in conflicts including those in Transnistria, Serbia, and Chechnya. According to several reports, Girkin is an avid war reenactor who especially enjoys the period of the Russian Civil War.

  • Argentina slides into default as debt talks fail
    Argentina slides into default as debt talks fail

    NEW YORK (AP) — The collapse of talks with U.S. creditors sent Argentina into its second debt default in 13 years and raised questions about what comes next for financial markets and the South American nation's staggering economy.

  • Russia warns sanctions will backfire on West
    Russia warns sanctions will backfire on West

    A defiant Russia said Wednesday that Western sanctions over Ukraine would backfire on the United States and lead to energy price hikes in Europe after Brussels and Washington unveiled the toughest punitive measures against Moscow since the Cold War. Russia's response came as the Ukrainian military pushed on with its offensive against pro-Russian rebels in the east, retaking the town of Avdiyivka, only a dozen kilometres (eight miles) from the main rebel city of Donetsk. The Russian foreign ministry warned the United States it was shooting itself in the foot and said it was punishing the Kremlin for "independent policies that Washington finds inconvenient." Moscow also warned that European consumers would bear the brunt of sanctions targeting Russia's vital energy, arms and finance sectors.

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