The Lookout
  • Mexican officials seize ‘narcotank’

    GettyImages_114562553

    Authorities in Jalisco, Mexico, recently seized this tricked-out 2011 Ford F-350 Super Duty truck, above, that had been transformed by drug gang members into an obviously DIY armored vehicle. The steel-plated "Z Monster," as the truck was called, could fit 20 men and was outfitted with a rotating machine gun turret.

    Drug gangs are crafting armored "narcotanks" in order to battle the Mexican military--and each other. Security forces complain they're battling gangs that are better armed than they are. In Colombia, gangs have been caught using homemade submarines, and other cartels use ultra-light airplanes to transport drugs to the United States without grabbing the attention of the Border Patrol. The L.A. Times' Daniel Hernandez reports that The Zetas and Gulf cartels wear military-style uniforms, making them "indistinguishable from actual soldiers" and confusing the locals.

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  • CIA to examine bin Laden compound

    bin Laden 2A CIA forensics team will examine the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed, after receiving permission from Pakistan, the Washington Post reports.

    The agency will use sophisticated technology, including infrared cameras, to look for any al Qaeda materials that may be hidden between walls or buried at the terror leader's lair. U.S. commandos spent only 40 minutes in the compound  when carrying out the raid that killed bin Laden earlier this month. Still, they came away with what the government has described as the largest intelligence haul ever recovered on al Qaeda or any other terrorist network.

    But the CIA wants to return for "another, more thorough, look," a U.S. official told the Post.

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  • AP060209015258The number of bachelors degrees given out by for-profit colleges skyrocketed by 418 percent since 2000, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

    Of the 4.4 million students who enrolled in college between 2000 and 2009, 27 percent of them enrolled in private for-profit institutions. The decade before that, only 7 percent of new undergrads enrolled in for-profit schools. The industry's success is partly due to its unorthodox focus on advertising and recruitment.

    For-profit schools such as the University of Phoenix and ITT Technical Institute have drawn criticism from education wonks and lawmakers for aggressive recruitment tactics targeting low-income students. Detractors note that many for-profit schools hire recruiters working on commission to tap into people's "pain" and feelings of inadequacy. Many for-profit colleges get as much as 80 percent of their total revenue from their students' federal loans--and a good deal of that money goes right back into the schools' advertising campaigns.

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  • Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader Call Out Interviewer for Not Seeing, Knowing Anything About Their Movie
    Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader Call Out Interviewer for Not Seeing, Knowing Anything About Their Movie

    For reporters who interview actors about upcoming movies in which they're appearing, it always helps to see the film in question. Failing that, you can always do some quick online research. Those steps would have saved KWGN Denver's Chris Parente the embarrassment he experienced while interviewing the stars of "The Skeleton Twins," Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig.

  • Colorado's pot market getting new competition
    Colorado's pot market getting new competition

    DENVER (AP) — Colorado's new marijuana industry is in for a brand new element Wednesday — competition.

  • Pediatricians urge IUDs or implants for teen girls
    Pediatricians urge IUDs or implants for teen girls

    CHICAGO (AP) — Teen girls who have sex should use IUDs or hormonal implants — long-acting birth control methods that are effective, safe and easy to use, the nation's most influential pediatricians' group recommends.

  • The truth about October markets
    The truth about October markets

    There is almost nothing unique about October, at least not in an investable sense. It's a mental trap, almost irresistible precisely because it's so simple.

  • School spending by affluent is widening wealth gap
    School spending by affluent is widening wealth gap

    Education is supposed to help bridge the gap between the wealthiest people and everyone else. Ask the experts, and they'll count the ways: Preschool can lift children from poverty. Top high schools prepare ...

  • Family: Canadian man jailed in Cuba innocent

    VAUGHAN, Ontario (AP) — The son of a Canadian automobile executive who has been sentenced to 15 years in jail in Cuba on corruption charges said Monday his dad maintains he's innocent and is determined to fight for his freedom.

  • In al Qaeda attack, lines between Pakistan military, militants blur

    By Syed Raza Hassan and Katharine Houreld KARACHI Pakistan/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Months after Owais Jakhrani was sacked from the Pakistan navy for radical Islamist views, he led an audacious mission to take over a warship and turn its guns on a U.S. naval vessel in the open seas. The early September dawn raid at a naval base in the southern city of Karachi was thwarted, but not before Jakhrani, two officers and an unidentified fourth assailant snuck past a patrol boat in a dinghy and engaged in an intense firefight on or around the ship. ...

  • Sophisticated 600-Year-Old Canoe Discovered in New Zealand
    Sophisticated 600-Year-Old Canoe Discovered in New Zealand

    Sophisticated oceangoing canoes and favorable winds may have helped early human settlers colonize New Zealand, a pair of new studies shows. The remote archipelagos of East Polynesia were among the last habitable places on Earth that humans were able to colonize. In New Zealand, human history only began around 1200-1300, when intrepid voyagers arrived by boat through several journeys over some generations. A piece of that early heritage was recently revealed on a beach in New Zealand, when a 600-year-old canoe with a turtle carved on its hull emerged from a sand dune after a harsh storm.

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