WASHINGTON – Suicides among Army National Guard and Reserve members increased last year, even as the number of active-duty troops across the military who took their own lives dropped by more than 15 percent, according to new statistics.
Not only did suicides among Army National Guard and Reserve members increase from 140 in 2012 to 152 last year, but the 2013 total exceeded the number of active-duty soldiers who took their own lives, according to the Army.
There were 151 active-duty soldier suicides last year, compared with 185 in 2012, Army officials said.
Inciting violence online yields prison
A New Jersey man who used his Islamic organization’s website to advocate violence against those whose ideas he found offensive to his religion was sentenced Friday to 2 1/2 years in prison – a modest term that a federal judge said he imposed so people would understand the line between free speech and criminal calls for violence.
Yousef al-Khattab, 45, renounced his postings during the hearing in federal court in Alexandria, Va., asking U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady to hold him responsible only for what I say, not how other people understood it.
O’Grady said he believed al-Khattab would not make the postings again but was skeptical that his intention had been only to spark discussion.
Coast Guard rescues 3 on raft in Atlantic
Three people and a dog were rescued Friday from a life raft in the Atlantic Ocean about 900 miles northeast of Bermuda after their sailboat sank in a storm, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The 49-foot sailboat Blue Pearl sank Thursday evening after being badly battered from two days of storms, according to an audio recording with the sailboat’s captain posted by the Coast Guard.
We were preparing to die, said 55-year-old Leonard Rorke, a United Kingdom citizen who is the sailboat’s owner.
The sailboat’s crew had an electronic position-indicating radio beacon in the life raft that allowed the Coast Guard to direct ships toward the crew’s location.
Congressman faces campaign charges
Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, who has been dogged by allegations of campaign violations since his first campaign for Congress in 2009 and 2010, is facing criminal charges from federal prosecutors, his lawyer said Friday.
A House Ethics Committee announced in November that Grimm was under investigation for possible campaign finance violations. The case concerns the use of straw donors to amass illegal campaign contributions.
Dead cats in bags hanging in trees
About 25 dead cats found in plastic bags hanging from trees in a New York suburb were apparently killed with blows to the head at various times over the past year, an investigator said Friday.
Ernest Lungaro, director of enforcement at the Westchester County SPCA, said necropsies on three of the cats revealed blunt trauma to their skulls.
The strange scene was discovered Thursday by a public works crew doing an annual cleanup. The SPCA was called in and counted 25 bodies, Lungaro said.
Christie: I’ll behave on the boardwalk
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who once got into it with a heckler while eating an ice cream cone with his family at the Seaside Heights boardwalk, promises he’ll be on his best behavior this summer in the place where MTV’s Jersey Shore raised bad beach behavior to an art form.
I’ll try not to get into any fights on the boardwalk, he said. Then he hedged a bit, adding, I’ll keep it to a minimum.
Christie was in Seaside Heights on Friday to examine progress in rebuilding from a September fire that burned a large part of the walkway in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park. About two-thirds of the rebuilding has been completed.
Sonar scan to widen for missing airliner
The seabed search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet is set to widen as a sonar scan of the most likely crash site deep beneath the Indian Ocean nears completion without yielding a clue, authorities said Friday.
In Beijing, about 50 relatives of Chinese passengers on the plane continued a sit-in protest outside the Malaysian Embassy after officials failed to show up to update them on the search.