Army Sgt. Robert Bales to be charged with 17 counts of murder in massacre of Afghan villagers
WASHINGTON (AP)— Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is expected to be told he faces 17 counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder, along with other charges, in connection with a shooting rampage in two southern Afghanistan villages that shocked Americans back home and further roiled U.S.-Afghan relations.
The charges come almost two weeks after the massacre in which Bales allegedly left his base in the early morning hours and shot Afghans, including women and nine children, while they slept in their beds, then burned some of the bodies.
Bales will be read the charges on Friday at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where he has been held since being flown from Afghanistan last week, a U.S. official said.
In addition to murder and attempted murder, the charges will include six counts of aggravated assault as well as a number of other violations of military law, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the charges before they were announced.
The 38-year-old soldier and father of two, who lives in Lake Tapps, Wash., faces trial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but it could be months before any public hearing.
Demand for arrest grows in shooting death of Florida teen at hands of neighborhood watch volunteer
SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — The investigation into last month's shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in an Orlando suburb is out of the hands of the beleaguered police chief and the county prosecutor with the Justice Department looking at possible civil rights violations and a grand jury perhaps considering charges.
Until admitted shooter George Zimmerman is led away in handcuffs, the parents of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and the civil rights activists and others who have rallied for their cause say they won't be satisfied.
"We cannot allow a precedent when a man can just kill one of us ... and then walk out with the murder weapon," said civil rights leader Al Sharpton, flanked by Martin's parents and a stage full of supporters at a rally in Sanford on Thursday night. "We don't want good enough. We want George Zimmerman in court with handcuffs behind his back."
Police Chief Bill Lee said earlier in the day that he was stepping down temporarily to try to cool the building anger that his department did not arrest neighborhood watch volunteer Zimmerman, who has said he shot Martin on Feb. 26 in self-defense. Hours later, the governor announced that the local state attorney, Norman Wolfinger, had recused himself from the case.
Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, believe Zimmerman should have been arrested. They claim he was profiling their son and acted like a vigilante.
French leader: New anti-terrorism legislation in works after alleged jihadist's shooting spree
PARIS (AP) —France'sprime minister says the conservative government is working on new anti-terrorism legislation after a killing spree by a radical Islamist gunman who was later shot dead following a standoff with police.
Francois Fillon says a bill would be drafted within two weeks, and the government will consult with leaders of the Senate, which is controlled by the opposition.
Fillon told RTL radio Friday that authorities "at no moment" suspected Mohamed Merah would be dangerous despite a long criminal record.
Merah, 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent, was suspected in the killing of three paratroopers, a rabbi and three Jewish children in three shootings since March 11. He died Thursday following a shootout with police.