WASHINGTON – A man who volunteered at a gay community center had a backpack full of Chick-fil-A sandwiches and a box of ammunition when he said I dont like your politics and shot a security guard at the headquarters of a conservative lobbying group, authorities revealed Thursday.
Floyd Lee Corkins, II, was ordered held without bond on charges that he opened fire a day earlier at the Family Research Council, an influential conservative Christian group that has supported the president of the fast-food chain and his staunch opposition to same-sex marriage.
The shooting drew finger-pointing about whether inflamed rhetoric on either side was to blame.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said reckless rhetoric from organizations that disagree with his groups opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage was to blame for the shooting.
Corkins was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that have been reckless in labeling organization hate groups because they disagree with them on public policy, Perkins said.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization in Alabama that tracks and litigates hate groups, labeled the FRC as a hate group in 2010 for what it called the groups anti-gay stance.
Holmes hears plight of Aurora victims
The suspect in the Aurora movie shooting showed no emotion in court Thursday as a lawyer discussed a charitys efforts to distribute $4 million it raised for the victims.
James Holmes attended the brief procedural hearing in which the prosecution sought the judges permission to release contact information on the 12 people killed and 58 injured. Most documents in the case have been sealed, so even that step required Judge William Sylvesters approval.
People have been incapacitated or lost family members and are in dire financial straits, prosecutor Rich Orman said.
Sylvester later ruled that Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance could receive the contact information to give out the $4 million but only after the victims agreed. The organization must keep the information confidential.
Pathologist testifies wife was murdered
A forensic pathologist who performed a second autopsy on Drew Petersons third wife years after she was found dead in her dry bathtub testified Thursday that theres just one plausible explanation for her death: She was murdered.
But under aggressive questioning by the defense, Dr. Larry Blum conceded that some of his well-respected counterparts disagreed and still maintained her death was an accident.
A coroner initially ruled Kathleen Savio died in an accidental fall in her bathtub. Her 2004 death was reclassified a homicide only after Petersons fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, vanished in 2007 and Blum did his new examination.
Blum told jurors Thursday he didnt believe a single, fatal slip could explain how Savio had a fresh gash on the back of her head and a pattern of deep bruises on the front of her body.
Army suicide cases doubled last month
Suicides among active-duty soldiers in July more than doubled from June, accelerating a trend throughout the military this year that has prompted Pentagon leaders to redouble efforts to solve a puzzling problem.
The Army, which is the only branch of the military that issues monthly press statements on suicides, said 26 active-duty soldiers killed themselves in July, compared to 12 in June. The July total was the highest for any month since the Army began keeping such statistics, according to Lt. Col. Lisa Garcia, an Army spokeswoman.
The Marine Corps had eight suicides in July, up from six in June. The Air Force said it had six in July, compared to two in June. The Navy had four in July but its June figure was not immediately available.
Rodent disease at Yosemite kills man
A man died and a woman became seriously ill after contracting a rare rodent-borne disease that might have been linked to their stay at a popular lodging area in Yosemite National Park, officials said Thursday.
The man was the first person to die from hantavirus pulmonary syndrome contracted in the park, though two others were stricken in a more remote area in 2000 and 2010, officials said.
Testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health showed the virus was present in fecal matter from deer mice trapped in Curry Village, an historic, family friendly area of cabins.
Aerial firefighting at night gets OK
Congressional representatives say the U.S. Forest Service has decided to allow nighttime aerial attacks on wildfires in Southern California.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Congressmen Adam Schiff and Buck McKeon announced the change of police on Thursday.
The Forest Service has previously restricted aerial firefighting operations to daylight hours for safety reasons.
The issue has been under discussion since the 2009 Station Fire burned 250 square miles of the Angeles National Forest in 2009. Some critics of the firefighting effort contend it could have been contained when it was just a small blaze if nighttime aerial firefighting had been allowed.
Kennedy visits Mayo and Rep. Jackson
Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy says Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is facing a deep depression and has a lot of work ahead of him to reach a full recovery.
Kennedy told The Associated Press he met with the Chicago Democrat at Minnesotas Mayo Clinic on Thursday for more than an hour.
Jackson is being treated for bipolar disorder and has been on medical leave since June 10.
Kennedy calls depression a powerful illness and says Jackson is receiving the best care available. He says Jackson recognizes the challenges he faces and has great determination. Kennedy says hes confident Jackson will recover.
Kennedy retired from Congress last year. He has talked openly about his own battles with bipolar disorder and has been treated at Mayo.
59 killed in wave of attacks in Iraq
Insurgents in Iraq unleashed a relentless wave of attacks from before dawn until late at night Thursday, killing 59 people and wounding many more in a deadly show of force aimed at undermining the governments authority.
The bomb and shooting attacks made for the countrys deadliest day in more than three weeks, rattling nerves as families prepared to gather for a holiday weekend. More than 150 people have been killed in violence across the country since the start of August, showing that insurgents led by al-Qaidas Iraqi franchise remain a lethal force eight months after the last U.S. troops left the country.
Retrial for Islamic leader in Trinidad
A sedition trial for the leader of an Islamic group that once staged a deadly coup attempt in Trinidad has ended with a hung jury.
A judge ordered a retrial Thursday for Yasin Abu Bakr after jury members reported they could not come to a decision after six hours of deliberation. The trial had lasted four months.
Abu Bakrs Jamaat al Muslimeen group stormed Trinidads legislature in July 1990. Twenty-four people were killed.