MULBERRY, Fla. – Law enforcement officers arrested a Florida pastor Wednesday as he drove to a park to light nearly 3,000 Qurans on fire in protest on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Polk County sheriff’s deputies arrested Pastor Terry Jones, 61, and his associate pastor, Marvin Sapp Jr., 44, each on a felony charge of unlawful conveyance of fuel as they traveled in a pickup truck towing a large barbecue-style grill filled with Qurans soaked in kerosene.
Jones had said he was heading to a nearby park to burn 2,998 Qurans – one for every victim of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Sheriff’s officials said that Jones was also charged with unlawful open-carry of a firearm, a misdemeanor.
Navy sex assault reports on rise
The number of sexual assaults reported to the Navy has grown by about 50 percent in the past year, which Navy officials said is a sign that a growing number of sailors feel more comfortable reporting an assault and believe something will be done about it when they do.
The Navy said it is on pace to end the 2013 fiscal year this month with about 1,100 reports of sexual assault.
That’s up from the 726 sexual assaults that were reported in the previous fiscal year.
Rear Adm. Sean Buck, the Navy’s top sexual assault prevention and response officer, told reporters at Naval Station Norfolk (Va.) the increase was something Navy officials had expected as they ramped up efforts to let sailors know that sexual assaults are being treated seriously.
Missouri falls short in gun-law override
A Missouri measure attempting to nullify some federal gun control laws fell a single vote short of enactment as the leaders of the state’s Republican-led Senate joined with Democrats to prevent a veto override.
Senators voted 22-12 for the veto override, coming up just shy of the required two-thirds majority. Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey and Majority Leader Ron Richard split from the rest of the GOP caucus that they lead to instead sustain the veto of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
The legislation declared that any federal policies that infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall be invalid in Missouri.
Girl, 12, with brain amoeba back home
A 12-year-old Arkansas girl who survived a rare and often fatal infection caused by a brain-eating amoeba went home Wednesday after being hospitalized since July.
Kali Hardig was diagnosed with a devastating infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis after a trip to an Arkansas water park this summer.
There were 128 such infections reported in the United States between 1962 and 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Before Kali, doctors could only point to one known survivor in the U.S..
Striking teachers clog Mexican road
Thousands of striking teachers seized two of Mexico City’s central thoroughfares on a double-pronged march to the president’s residence Wednesday, spawning traffic chaos after definitively losing their battle to block new educational reforms less than 24 hours earlier. Some briefly clashed with police.
The teachers disrupted the center of one of the world’s largest cities for at least the 14th time in two months, decrying a plan that tries to break union control of Mexico’s education system with standardized evaluations.