A thief with a machete held up a gas station, police say — then the clerk pulled a machete of his own

By Angela Fritz | The Washington Post

There was probably no way for the gas station clerk to know that the customer would be carrying a machete. And there was probably no way for the alleged robber to know that the man he was about to demand money from also had a machete, squirreled away behind the counter.

But both of those things were true, according to Huntsville, Ala., police, who released surreal video of the alleged robbery this week.

Video from the security cameras at the Conoco gas station on Pulaski Pike in Huntsville shows a man knocking on the station clerk’s door on March 16 and pulling what appears to be a machete out of his pants. We’ll call him Machete Suspect.

Then the angle of the video changes — we get three different views of this alleged robbery — to the camera behind the cash register. There, we see the clerk has already pulled a machete of his own. Plot twist; we now have a Machete Clerk.

Machete Suspect and Machete Clerk seem to be talking it out for a few moments, and it’s easy to think, given the new circumstances, that they’re negotiating a machete detente. But things escalate, with both men making swings that local media reported left cuts on their hands.

Machete Clerk drives Machete Suspect out of the store, tearing down the front door in the process. Video cuts to the camera outside, and we see the second suspect (Machete Getaway Car Driver?), who is clearly not wielding a machete but engages the Machete Clerk nonetheless.

Upon seeing the pair’s car, Machete Clerk begins to wail on it with the machete — the left headlight, the right headlight, the windshield — which doesn’t do as much damage as would, say, a baseball bat or something with a little more weight …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

Parents in college admissions scandal hire a formidable array of lawyers

By Patricia Hurtado and Erik Larson | Bloomberg

What do you get the parents who have everything?

If they’re accused of cheating their kids’ way into college, a damn good lawyer.

The parents charged in the college admissions scandal that erupted last week are hiring lawyers at some of the nation’s most prominent firms. Among them: Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, which has represented Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Jeff Bezos in his battle with National Enquirer owner American Media Inc., and Ropes & Gray LLP, which handled a sexual-abuse investigation for the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Other firms include Latham & Watkins LLP, the second-largest law firm in the U.S. by revenue, Sidley Austin LLP, the sixth, and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, the 21st, according to the American Lawyer’s 2018 ranking.

Then there are the bicoastal boutique firms. Patric Hooper’s Los Angeles-based shop, Hooper, Lundy & Bookman PC, is representing Dr. Gregory Colburn and his wife, Amy, with lawyers from the firm’s offices in San Francisco and Boston. Hooper said in an interview that the husband, a radiation oncologist, can’t work because the case has triggered a review by the California medical board.

The Justice Department is “painting all the parents and the children with the same brush,” he said. “We’re not knocking the other parents,” but the Colburns, who allegedly paid to have someone else take their son’s SAT, weren’t accused of bribing college sports coaches, he said.

“We’re not a big law firm, but we are a national one,” Hooper said. “I’ve spent 40 years defending doctors in matters brought by the government.”

The U.S. attorney in Boston charged 50 people, including 33 parents, in the nationwide scandal, calling it the biggest college admissions scam the Justice Department had ever prosecuted. The parents allegedly paid college consultant William Rick Singer to pay off coaches and exam …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

Two JetBlue pilots accused of drugging, raping female flight attendants

By Allyson Chiu | The Washington Post

When the JetBlue plane from Washington touched down in San Juan, Puerto Rico, three women from the flight crew did what most visitors to the tropical island paradise would do: They checked into their hotel and made a beeline for the beach.

But what was supposed to be a relaxing overnight layover between flights in May last year didn’t stay that way for long, two of the women said in a lawsuit filed this week in New York federal court.

The women, identified as Jane Doe No. 1 and Jane Doe No. 2, allege their trip took a nightmarish turn when they were drugged by two JetBlue pilots they met on the beach. Jane Doe 1 said she and another co-worker, who is not involved in the lawsuit, were also allegedly raped by one of the pilots and accused him of “intentionally” giving her a sexually transmitted disease.

The suit, which names JetBlue and the pilots, Eric Johnson and Dan Watson, claims the airline failed to take any “corrective action” against the men even after the women reported the incident last year. The 24-page document was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on Monday.

“The pilots were not suspended,” Abraham Z. Melamed, an attorney for the two women, told The Washington Post on Thursday. “They were not put on any sort of leave. They continued to work and continue to work to this day without any ramifications.”

For one of the women, that means she still has to encounter one of the men at work, Melamed said.

“You can imagine the type of effect that’s had on her,” he said. “In every instance, she’s had to abruptly leave wherever she is.”

In a statement emailed to The Post, JetBlue said it cannot comment on …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

Letter: Human connection impeded by 24/7 internet connection

Human connection impeded
by 24/7 internet connection

In regards to, “Opinion: Why we should ban kids’ smartphone use in school” (Mercurynews.com, March 12), I completely agree that we should ban phones during the school day.

As a teenager in Silicon Valley, it often feels as though internet connection is impeding human connection. Why talk to one another during lunch when you can text the same message?

During the school day, students utilize technology to complete classwork and, after hours of screen time, they continue to “plug in” at home for entertainment and assignments.

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These countless hours of screen exposure every day have resulted in a noticeable decrease in my own attention span. I think that banning phone usage during the school day is advisable and would be beneficial so that teenagers can begin to fight the hold that modern technology has on them.

Sophie Holohan
Los Gatos

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