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Manhunt for Accused Pennsylvania Cop Shooter Closes ...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 12:21pm

PennDOT(CANADENSIS, Pa.) -- Schools in one northeastern Pennsylvania district are closed Wednesday morning as authorities search for a sharpshooting survivalist suspected in a deadly ambush against state police troopers.

Eric Matthew Frein, 31, is accused of firing at police during a shift change at the Blooming Grove barracks in Pike County Sept. 12.

Corporal Bryon Dickson, 38, died in the attack, while Trooper Alex Douglass, 31, is recovering following surgery.

Due to the manhunt, the Pocono Mountain School District -- which consists of 10 schools -- are closed Wednesday because of safety concerns for students and staff.

Authorities received a break in the case Monday, when a man walking his dog in a wooded area noticed a green Jeep partially submerged in a pond and alerted police. Police searched the vehicle and found two spent .308 cartridges, camouflage face paint, a black hooded sweatshirt, two empty rifle cases, and information concerning foreign embassies.

The vehicle was registered to E. Michael Frein, the suspect's father, who is a retired Army major. The father told police that he trained his son to shoot and added that his son "doesn't miss."

He also told police that he was missing two weapons, a .308 rifle with a scope and an AK-47.


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Independent Scotland? Cases Made Before Thursday Vote

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 8:31am

iStock/Thinkstock(GLASGOW, Scotland) -- The Scots are about to decide their destiny.

With a mixture of raucous argument, romantic nostalgia, economic number-crunching, and hair-raising suspense, millions of Scots are bracing for the vote Thursday. The urgency in the air is palpable.

What is striking is how vital and universal this debate is. Everyone you meet is talking, canvassing, dreaming, fighting and playing the bagpipes -- or at least it seems that way, sometimes. An astonishing 97 percent of Scots eligible to vote have registered for this referendum.

The most recent polls show that those who want Scotland to stay in the United Kingdom have a very slight lead -- but one within the margin of error.

In these last 24 hours, it seems, those who will vote "no" to Scottish independence have finally roused themselves and found their passion and their voice.

In Glasgow, Scotland, Wednesday morning, speakers young and old, professional politicians and ordinary citizens, poured out their hearts before a fired-up crowd, urging a rejection of separation from London.

"We are Clyde-built," said one shipbuilding worker, referring to the river that this proud industrial town bestrides. "And what we've built together in the U.K., we will keep."

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a Scotsman from Kirkcaldy, seemed almost overcome with emotion as he summoned the ghosts of the United Kingdom's war dead down through the centuries, "Scotsmen, Welshmen, Englishmen and Irishmen lying side by side."

"We who vote no love Scotland," Brown said.

But on the other side, there is plenty of passion, too. And there is hope that a dream long deferred is about to come true.

"Freedom!" hollered David Bell, a taxi driver, in a pub in Edinburgh, Scotland, last night.

Holding up a 10-pound note with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth on it, Bell savagely crumpled it up in his fist, saying, "Take that!"

The pro-independence movement goes deeper than all that, though. At the heart of the argument for separation from London is a bitter dissatisfaction among many Scots with a trend in the United Kingdom since Margaret Thatcher towards a more market-based conservatism than people in Scotland want. Scots have come to see themselves as more European, more socially democratic, and less reflexively pro-American in foreign policy than the establishment that governs them from London.

There are all kinds of practical problems with independence: Would Scotland use the pound sterling as its currency? What would happen to the U.K. national debt? Would the Union Jack, the flag that combines English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh elements -- need to be changed?

But in the end, the question for the voters here is simple and profound: What does it mean to be Scottish?

It's rare that a people get to ask that sort of question so clearly and so formally as they will Thursday. And after all the arguing and the speechifying and the bagpiping, the Scots are ready to give their answer.


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Though Quiet on New ISIS Video, White House Is Uncha...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 11:25am

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- The White House is not responding to the release of a short video titled "Flames of War Trailer" that was apparently produced for the terror group ISIS and appears to show attacks on U.S. tanks and troops.

One clip in the 52-second video, which YouTube has removed from its site, shows President Obama saying, "American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq."  Part of the audio from the president's remarks is laid over video of former President Bush walking under a "Mission Accomplished" banner and a shot of the White House.  The video cuts to a frame with the words: "FLAMES OF WAR: FIGHTING HAS JUST BEGUN."  Another frame reads: "Soon, God willing."

As the president meets with military officials in Tampa, Florida, for a briefing on a proposed plan to train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS, the White House remains silent on the video. White House officials, however, are emphatic that there is absolutely no change in the President's position that he will not send ground troops to Iraq.


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