Sat, May 13, 2017 - Page 7 News List

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UNITED STATES

Trump orders voting probe

The White House says US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order creating a commission to look at the public’s confidence in the integrity of the voting system. The long-awaited panel follows Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations that millions of people voted illegally in last year’s election. The commission is to look at allegations of improper voting and fraudulent voter registration in states across the nation. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said US Vice President Mike Pence will chair the panel, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will co-chair it. She says the group plans to complete its work with a report to Trump by next year.

UNITED STATES

Man indicted in stock plot

A grand jury has charged a Florida man with plotting to set off explosions in Target stores so that he could gain financially from a plunge in the company’s stock price. An indictment filed on Wednesday in federal court in Ocala charges 49-year-old Mark Barnett with five counts of attempted arson, possession of a destructive device and unlawful possession of a weapon. A criminal complaint says the convicted felon offered a friend US$10,000 to place packages of food filled with explosives at Target stores along the east coast in February. The friend instead went to authorities, who say Barnett hoped to buy Target stock after the price plunged. In another bomb plot linked to financial gain, German prosecutors say a 28-year-old man schemed to net millions by betting against a soccer team and then bombing the team’s bus. The officials said last month that the man, identified only as Sergej W in line with German privacy laws, took out a five-figure loan to bet that Borussia Dortmund shares would drop, then bombed the team’s bus on April 11 when it left a hotel in an attack he tried to disguise as Islamic terrorism.

UNITED STATES

Mannequin ‘killer’ charged

A man who police suspect killed two homeless men in Las Vegas pleaded not guilty on Thursday to attempted murder in an unusual case charging him with trying to kill a mannequin that police posed as a decoy near the scene of the earlier killings. Shane Allen Schindler, 30, has not been charged in the Jan. 4 bludgeoning death of Daniel Aldape or the Feb. 3 killing of David Dunn, who police say were apparently sleeping when they were attacked. Schindler was arrested Feb. 22 after police said he was seen on surveillance video creeping up on the mannequin in a vacant downtown lot, pulling a hood over his head and using a two-handed grip to pummel the head of the decoy with a 1.8kg hammer. Schindler told police following his arrest that he knew it was a mannequin he was attacking, but prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo has said Schindler could not have known he was not attacking a human. Schindler’s court-appointed attorney, Ashley Sisolak, has withdrawn a challenge of his mental competency. She declined to comment about the case outside court. Schindler, who moved to Las Vegas from Bay City, Michigan, entered the plea in Nevada state court to attempted murder and carrying a concealed weapon. A grand jury indicted him last week. A judge set trial for Aug. 8. Clark County public defender Phil Kohn has derided the charge of attempted murder as a legal impossibility, saying someone cannot kill an inanimate object, but Nevada appellate law appears to support the charge. The state Supreme Court in 1976 and 1989 pointed to intent when it rejected arguments of legal impossibility in attempted crimes.

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