“Pro life”.. *claps*
President Obama said this afternoon that he was “shocked and outraged” by the killing of abortion doctor George Tiller, who was shot while attending church in east Wichita.
Wichita Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said at a news conference late this afternoon that a suspect in the shooting was in custody and on his way back to Wichita.
“However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence,” the president said in a statement issued by the White House.
The suspect, a 51-year-old male, was arrested without incident on I-35 in Johnson County about three hours after the shooting, Stolz said.
Police did not release the suspect’s name.
The investigation is in its “infancy stages,” Stolz said. He said the shooting appeared to be an isolated act.
Tiller, 67, was shot once just after 10 a.m. in the lobby of Reformation Lutheran Church at 7601 E. 13th St., where he was a member of the congregation.
Stolz said Tiller was shot in the foyer of the church. There were three or four eyewitnesses, he said. Six to 12 people were in the foyer at the time of the shooting.
Two men attempted to apprehend the suspect, but he pointed a gun at them and threatened them before fleeing, Stolz said.
The suspect’s car — a powder blue Ford Taurus registered to an owner in Merriam — was spotted just south of Gardner by two Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies. The Sheriff’s Office had suspected that the man would be coming back to his home on I-35, and the deputies waited for him.
As the car was spotted going north on the highway, the deputies followed and were quickly joined by three other sheriff’s patrol cars.
Lt. Mike Pfannenstiel of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office said officers pulled the car over just south of the main Gardner exit and got out with guns drawn. The man then got out of his car with his hands up.
“We took him down without incident,” Pfannenstiel said, adding that the man appeared to be driving the speed limit and made no attempt to elude the deputies.
Stolz said police anticipate the suspect will be charged with murder and two counts of aggravated assault. Investigators will present the case to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office on Monday.
The District Attorney’s Office will determine what charges will be filed, Stolz said. Federal charges are also a possibility, he said.
Tiller was serving as an usher at the church, one of six ushers listed in the church bulletin. He was handing out bulletins to people going into the sanctuary minutes before being shot.
Tiller’s family issued a statement through Wichita attorneys Dan Monnat and Lee Thompson:
“Today we mourn the loss of our husband, father and grandfather. Today’s event is an unspeakable tragedy for all of us and for George’s friends and patients.
“This is particularly heart wrenching because George was shot down in his house of worship, a place of peace.”
Wichita police Capt. Brent Allred said that several law enforcement agencies — including the FBI and the KBI — have been called in to help with the case.
Allred said the 10 a.m. church service had already begun at the time of the shooting.
Homicide detectives and Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston arrived at the church after the shooting.
Members of the congregation who were inside the sanctuary at the time of the shooting were kept inside by police, and those arriving were ushered into the parking lot immediately after the shooting.
Witnesses later were transported downtown for interviews and other members of the congregation were slowly released from inside the sanctuary.
Pastor David Jones and his wife Mary have been told that they cannot invite friends to their San Diego, Calif. home for a Bible study — unless they are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to San Diego County.
“On Good Friday we had an employee from San Diego County come to our house, and inform us that the Bible study that we were having was a religious assembly, and in violation of the code in the county.” David Jones told FOX News.
“We told them this is not really a religious assembly — this is just a Bible study with friends. We have a meal, we pray, that was all,” Jones said.
A few days later, the couple received a written warning that cited “unlawful use of land,” ordering them to either “stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit,” the couple’s attorney Dean Broyles told San Diego news station 10News.
But the major use permit could cost the Jones’ thousands of dollars just to have a few friends over.
For David and Mary Jones, it’s about more than a question of money.
“The government may not prohibit the free exercise of religion,” Broyles told FOX News. “I believe that our Founding Fathers would roll over in their grave if they saw that here in the year 2009, a pastor and his wife are being told that they cannot hold a simple Bible study in their own home.”
“The implications are great because it’s not only us that’s involved,” Mary Jones said. “There are thousands and thousands of Bible studies that are held all across the country. What we’re interested in is setting a precedent here — before it goes any further — and that we have it settled for the future.”
The couple is planning to dispute the county’s order this week.
If San Diego County refuses to allow the pastor and his wife to continue gathering without acquiring a permit, they will consider a lawsuit in federal court.
Exclusive In an unprecedented effort to crack down on self-serving edits, the Wikipedia supreme court has banned contributions from all IP addresses owned or operated by the Church of Scientology and its associates.
Closing out the longest-running court case (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Scientology) in Wikiland history, the site’s Arbitration Committee voted 10 to 0 (with one abstention) in favor of the move, which takes effect immediately.
The eighth most popular site on the web, Wikipedia bills itself as “the free encyclopedia anyone can edit.” Administrators frequently ban (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/04/29/wikipedia_blocked_doj_ip/) individual Wikifiddlers for their individual Wikisins. And the site’s UK press officer/resident goth (http://wikitruth.info/index.php?title=Image:David_Gerard_mugshot.jpg) once silenced an entire Utah mountain (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/06/wikipedia_and_overstock/) in a bizarre attempt to protect a sockpuppeting ex-BusinessWeek reporter. But according to multiple administrators speaking with The Reg, the muzzling of Scientology IPs marks the first time Wikipedia has officially barred edits from such a high-profile organization for allegedly pushing its own agenda on the site.
The Church of Scientology has not responded to our request for comment.
Officially, Wikipedia frowns on those who edit “in order to promote their own interests.” The site sees itself as an encyclopedia with a “neutral point of view” – whatever that is. “Use of the encyclopedia to advance personal agendas – such as advocacy or propaganda and philosophical, ideological or religious dispute – or to publish or promote original research is prohibited,” say the Wikipowersthatbe.
Admins may ban a Wikifiddler who betrays an extreme conflict of interest, and since fiddlers often hide their identity behind open proxies, such IPs may be banned as a preventative measure. After today’s ruling from the Arbitration Committee – known in Orwellian fashion as the ArbCom – Scientology IPs are “to be blocked as if they were open proxies” (though individual editors can request an exemption).
According to evidence turned up by admins in this long-running Wikiland court case, multiple editors have been “openly editing [Scientology-related articles] from Church of Scientology equipment and apparently coordinating their activities.” Leaning on the famed WikiScanner (http://wikiscanner.virgil.gr/), countless news stories (http://www.forbes.com/2008/07/19/security-hackers-internet-tech-cx_ag_0719wikiwatcher.html) have discussed (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20284811/) the editing of Scientology articles from Scientology IPs, and some site admins are concerned this is “damaging Wikipedia’s reputation for neutrality.”
One admin tells The Reg that policing edits from Scientology machines has been particularly difficult because myriad editors sit behind a small number of IPs and, for some reason, the address of each editor is constantly changing. This prevents admins from determining whether a single editor is using multiple Wikipedia accounts to game the system. In Wikiland, such sockpuppeting is not allowed.
The Wikicourt considered banning edits from Scientology IPs only on Scientology-related articles. But this would require admins to “checkuser” editors – i.e. determine their IP – every time an edit is made. And even then they may not know who’s who.
“Our alternatives are to block them entirely, or checkuser every ‘pro-Scientology’ editor on this topic. I find the latter unacceptable,” wrote one ArbComer. “It is quite broad, but it seems that they’re funneling a lot of editing traffic through a few IPs, which make socks impossible to track.”
And it may be a moot point. Most the editors in question edit nothing but Scientology-related articles. In Wikiparlance, they’re “single purpose accounts.”
Some have argued that those editing from Scientology IPs may be doing so without instruction from the Church hierarchy. But a former member of Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs – a department officially responsible “for directing and coordinating all legal matters affecting the Church” – says the Office has organized massive efforts to remove Scientology-related materials and criticism from the web.
“The guys I worked with posted every day all day,” Tory Christman (http://www.torymagoo.org/) tells The Reg. “It was like a machine. I worked with someone who used five separate computers, five separate anonymous identities…to refute any facts from the internet about the Church of Scientology.”
Christman left the Church in 2000, before Wikipedia was created.
This is the fourth Scientology-related Wikicourtcase in as many years, and in addition to an outright ban on Scientology IPs, the court has barred a host of anti-Scientology editors from editing topics related to the Church.
Many Wikifiddlers have vehemently criticized this sweeping crackdown. Historically, the site’s cult-like (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/06/the_cult_of_wikipedia/) inner circle has aspired to some sort of Web 2.0 utopia in which everyone has an unfettered voice. An organization (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,293389,00.html) editing Wikipedia articles where it has a conflict of interest is hardly unusual, and in the past such behavior typically went unpunished.
But clearly, Wikipedia is changing. In recent months, the site’s ruling body seems far more interested in quashing at least the most obvious examples (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/06/wikipedia_and_overstock_revisited/) of propaganda pushing (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/04/29/wikipedia_blocked_doj_ip/).
Scientology’s banishment from Wikipedia comes just days after the opening (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i7v1OA-sxTlACtuGXfF6SFbeHEZAD98DDQT04) of a (real world) trial that could see the dissolution of the organization’s French chapter.
DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s president said on Thursday a harrowing report into how Catholic priests and nuns had abused children had not come as a shock after her own convent school experiences.
“I had a fair idea it was happening,” Mary McAleese said in an interview with state broadcaster RTE.
“I was educated by Mercy Nuns, my brothers went to Christian Brothers schools. Some of the stories that come through the Ryan Report would not be unfamiliar to us.”
Revelations of floggings, slave labor and rape in Ireland’s now defunct system of industrial and reform schools have shamed Irish people, particularly older generations who did not confront the widespread abuse.
The report, chaired by High Court Justice Sean Ryan, criticized the Department of Education for colluding in the silence surrounding the abuse and noted children were also preyed upon by foster parents, volunteer workers and employers.
“I had always known that culture, that ethic, that domineering authoritarianism, allied unfortunately to a culture of corporal punishment and a culture of abusive corporal punishment,” said McAleese.
“It was pretty much a landscape of our childhood.” McAleese was born and educated in Northern Ireland which was not covered by the report.
The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, said this week that information about the abuse had been around for decades.
McAleese, a former professor of law, said abusers should be prosecuted as a result of the report.
“In so far as there are people still alive who are responsible for these criminal acts then surely part and parcel of what comes out of the Ryan report is and should be that they are brought before the proper authorities.”
The inquiry did not name abusers after a successful legal challenge by the Christian Brothers, which had been the largest provider of residential care for boys in Ireland.
A spate of scandals involving sex predator priests has dislodged the Catholic Church from its once pre-eminent position in Irish society but there is anger that many have avoided jail.
Religious orders named in the report have come under pressure to pay more compensation to victims. A 2002 deal capped their contribution to a redress fund at 127 million euros ($177 million). The total bill is expected to top 1 billion euros.
In the United States, the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay $660 million to 500 victims in the largest compensation of its kind.
Well, I’m sold. God has been proven. Though this does leave one question; if you know god exists (as a fact), then why do you need faith? I thought belief in god was all about faith and not needing proof. Hmm.
Marie Marot does not speak English, but the nun’s broad grin did not require translation from her native French.
“See that? That’s a million-dollar smile,” Marot’s attorney, Don Brewer, said Tuesday afternoon outside a Kane County courtroom where a jury found Marot not guilty of running a red light moments before a fatal crash in an Elgin intersection in 2007.
Marot, 24, who belongs to the Fraternite Notre Dame order, was driving a van to her Chicago convent about 12:15 a.m. on Oct. 7, 2007, when she slammed into a Honda Civic carrying four teens at the intersection of Illinois Highway 72 and Randall Road. One of the Honda passengers, Keith Forbes, 16, of Carpentersville, died in the collision.
Authorities accused Marot of running a red light as she drove south on Randall. But the nun, who had been working prior to the crash at the Algonquin pastry shop operated by her order, has contended her signal was green, Brewer said.
Jurors, who deliberated about 30 minutes before reaching their verdict in the two-day trial, left the courthouse without comment. Prosecutors also declined to comment.
Marot’s superior, Mother Marie Martha, lauded the decision. About 20 nuns from the Fraternite Notre Dame attended the trial Tuesday.
“We just thank God, and we are happy that the truth came to light,” Marie Martha said.
Jurors did not hear testimony about Forbes’ death because Judge Ron Matekaitis decided it could prejudice the trial. Marot was not charged in Forbes’ death.
Despite objections from prosecutors, Marot was allowed by Matekaitis to wear her habit during the trial. She did not testify and her attorneys did not call any witnesses, choosing to attack the credibility of the prosecution witnesses. In his closing argument, Brewer accused the driver of the Civic, Alexis Pena, 18, of East Dundee, of lying.
Pena testified Monday that she was certain she had the right of way as she drove west on Illinois 72 to drop off a friend. That friend, Jameson Sanchez, testified Tuesday that the signal was green.
But Brewer said the teens went through the red light and then later blamed Marot.
“She ran the red light,” Brewer said of Pena, who shook her head in disagreement as she sat in the courtroom with her mother.
Another motorist, Miguel Realzola of Crystal Lake, testified Tuesday that Marot’s van was ahead of him by about six car lengths as they approached the red light. The van did not slow down as it ran the light and plowed into the Civic, he said.
But Brewer attacked Realzola’s credibility, saying the witness had made a deal with prosecutors over pending traffic charges and a misdemeanor charge. Realzola and prosecutors denied there was any deal.
“I don’t think he can be believed,” Brewer said to the jury about Realzola.
Had Marot been found guilty of the traffic violation, she would have faced a fine. The verdict could have implications on civil lawsuits filed against Marot by Pena, another passenger, and the family of Forbes.
“It’s a major boost for the defense in the civil case,” Brewer said.
Marot’s order is a “traditional Catholic” group but is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.
A Catholic community worker was beaten to death by men shouting that they were members of the Ulster Defence Association, his widow said today.
Evelyn McDaid, a Protestant who suffered serious head injuries when she tried to save her husband Kevin,spoke as police questioned nine men over the killing.
“UDA, they called themselves the UDA. I went across to help him and they beat me while they beat him,” she said.
“My neighbour had to step in to save me and she was pregnant and they beat her too and she shouted ‘I’m pregnant’ and they didn’t care.”
She added: “It was all to do with religion, and I’m not even a Catholic. I am a Protestant, it’s a mixed marriage, but they just seem to hate us so much.”
Mr McDaid, 49, was killed in Coleraine, Co Londonderry, on Sunday evening. Another man, Damien Fleming, 46, is in intensive care and his case is being treated by police as attempted murder.
Both men were targeted by separate gangs of up to 40 men who entered a mainly Catholic housing estate after Glasgow Rangers won the Scottish Premier League.
Mrs McDaid appealed for the Catholic community not to respond to the attacks.
“He wouldn’t want retaliation for it,” she said.
“He wouldn’t want my sons to get hurt, he wouldn’t want this. He was trying to keep the peace, he didn’t want all this, the nonsense that’s been going on here for years and years. He wanted peace.”
Mr McDaid, a former plasterer, had three sons and a foster son. His widow said that the family’s life had been shattered.
“My life’s over,” she said. “A big part of me is missing now. He was my soulmate and now that’s finished. I have to try to go on for the wee foster boy and my other three sons. I have to try and go on but I’ve lost a very big part of me and I can never replace that, never ever.”
Celtic scarves have been tied on railings and flowers left close to the scene of the savage attack.
Ryan McDaid, one of the dead man’s sons, claimed that police stood by and did nothing during the attack. “The police sat and watched as Dad died, they never moved,” he said.
“There were four police officers in a car and they sat and watched from Pates Lane. They never moved, never came, never helped.
“Before I rang the police on my mobile I was shouting at them [the police in the waiting patrol car]. They didn’t want to know, they were 100 yards away. They saw the whole thing and did nothing.
“He died in my arms, dad was staggering up the road, he had gone out to help Damien. Damien was getting beaten and I rang the police on my mobile. Four or five times I rang 999. They said they were coming.
“When dad staggered up and he fell I was trying to bring him around again and I rang the ambulance on my mobile as he was in my arms. Police arrived in a van and ran up and gave Dad CPR but it was too little too late.”
Mr McDaid said that the family would be taking the matter to the Police Ombudsman’s Office.
A police spokesman said that all the circumstances surrounding Mr McDaid’s death were being thoroughly investigated.