TIME shooting

Fort Hood Shooter’s Mental Health Linked to Rampage

Multiple Soldiers Wounded By Shooter At Fort Hood
General Mark Milley, III Corps and Fort Hood Commanding General, speaks to press during a press conference Thursday April 3, 2014. Drew Anthony Smith—Getty Images

Fort Hood official said the suspect linked to the deadly shooting had a medical history indicating an “unstable psychiatric or psychological condition”

Mental-health problems may have contributed to the shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, which immediately followed a verbal altercation between the suspect, Army Specialist Ivan Lopez, and another soldier, said Fort Hood Commanding General Mark Milley on Thursday.

In a news conference, the lieutenant general said Lopez had a medical history indicating an “unstable psychiatric or psychological condition” that he said investigators believe to be a “fundamental underlying factor.” Milley said on Wednesday that Lopez was undergoing evaluation to determine if he suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder, but he was not diagnosed.

Earlier Thursday, Army Secretary John McHugh told Congress the suspect was undergoing treatment for depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances, and that after an examination last month the Army planned to “continue to monitor and treat him as deemed appropriate.”

Lopez, 34, allegedly killed three people and injured 16 others before turning the .45-caliber gun on himself. Twelve people remain hospitalized. At the news conference Thursday, Milley said there was a “strong possibility” that Lopez was in a verbal fight immediately prior to the shooting on Wednesday, but there was no indication the suspect targeted specific people in the rampage. He also reiterated that investigators have not ruled out any motivations for the attack, though he said they had found no links to extremism.

Lopez, from Puerto Rico, enlisted in the Army in 2008 and was deployed twice — including for four months in Iraq in 2011 — where he drove trucks and did not see combat, McHugh told Congress. He added that Lopez was married and investigators had questioned his wife.

About 25% of servicemen returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq suffered posttrauma mental-health problems, according to Yuval Neria, director of the Trauma and PTSD Program at Columbia University. And despite growing national awareness, he said, many soldiers still do not receive appropriate treatment, exasperating symptoms that can include frustration and anger.

“It’s important to note that PTSD by itself is not a disorder that is characterized by violence,” Neria said. “Where posttrauma-related depression is not addressed in time and it is not addressed appropriately, then you can see anger and frustration, and eventually the risk of violence.”

TIME Internet

So Far, Online Gambling Revenues Have Been Pathetic

Peter Dazeley—Getty Images

State budget makers and gaming interests have drastically, laughably overestimated the amount of money that would be generated with the advent of legalized online gambling, especially in New Jersey.

In March 2013, New Jersey officials forecast that online gambling would yield somewhere in the neighborhood of $180 million in tax revenues for the state during the first fiscal year Internet gaming was legal. But the estimates have been falling ever since—to $160 million when Christ Christie signed the state budget last summer, and down to just $34 million earlier this year, after a few months of legalized online gambling had passed. More recently, the state treasurer said that no more estimates on online gambling revenues would be made public, which seems wise considering how previous predictions have fared.

From the end of November, when legalized online gambling in New Jersey, through February 2014, a mere $4.2 million in tax revenues has been collected by the state, leading one legislative budget officer to now project an estimate of $12 million in revenues for the year, the Associated Press reported. The revised estimate for next year’s revenues was listed at $48 million. At that pace, it would take four or five years for the state to take in revenues equal to the amount it was supposed to collect in tax revenues during the first year of legal online gambling.

It’s not just state officials who seem mystified by the lackluster returns. Caesars Entertainment recently informed the New Jersey Star-Ledger that its online gaming operation was experiencing decent success in a few parts of the state—Jersey City, Toms River, Cherry Hill—but that it couldn’t explain why interest was strong in some areas and almost nonexistent in others.

New Jersey isn’t the only state that seems to have drastically overestimated online gambling’s potential as a budgetary savior. When Delaware’s gambling sites launched, there were often only a couple dozen players online at any moment, and almost immediately it became apparent that revenues wouldn’t come anywhere near to the first-year estimates. Toward the end of March, Morgan Stanley issued a note regarding longer term prospects for online gambling in the U.S. “We are lowering our estimates to better reflect the insights we have gained following the first few months of operations in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware,” the note stated, lowering the anticipated gross online gambling spending for 2017 from $5 billion to $3.5 billion, and for 2020 from $9.3 billion to $8 billion.

Toward the end of 2011, mind you, Morgan Stanley was estimating an online gambling market of $14 billion annually, though that was based on broader legalization.

Casino companies give plenty of reasons why online gambling hasn’t taken off in New Jersey and other states, including the continued existence of unregulated (illegal) gambling site competitors, the fact that some banks aren’t allowing their credit cards to be used for placing bets online, and basic lack of awareness among consumers. Surely, some if not all of the factors holding online gambling back can be addressed in time.

That’s assuming legalized online gambling will be around for a while. Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., who obviously has no problem with people gambling in person because he runs casinos, has been waging a war against online gambling for months, at one point penning an op-ed calling Internet gaming “a societal train wreck waiting to happen.” With the backing of Adelson, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) recently sponsored a bill that would effectively outlaw online gambling throughout the country.

A group supported by Adelson, the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, has released a series of online ads warning about the risks posed to children and their families in a world where gambling is available on screens 24/7, and it’s not always possible to tell who is using an online account. As the National Journal pointed out, one of the ads shows how a kid with a smartphone can be playing Angry Birds one minute, then be addicted to blackjack the next:

“I was playing Angry Birds and then, you know, I just found it,” the teen narrates, as images of online blackjack and poker tables flash on screen. “It’s a lot cooler knowing that I’m playing a real game, not just, like, Candy Crush or Fruit Ninja.”


Boston Bombing Report Praises First Responders But Details Police Errors

Police officers searched house to house for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, in a neighborhood in Watertown, Mass., on April 19, 2013.
Police officers searched house to house for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, in a neighborhood in Watertown, Mass., on April 19, 2013. Brian Snyder—Reuters

New report found that preparations by marathon organizers and local authorities may have saved lives, but says law enforcement co-ordination during manhunt was chaotic and at times dangerous

Correction appended April 4

A report on the law enforcement response to the Boston Marathon bombings almost one year ago has detailed dangerous confusion and lack of coordination among police during the dramatic post-bombing manhunt.

The Harvard Kennedy School report details near-fatal mistakes in the chase of brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, days after pressure-cooker bombs killed three people and injured 264 at the finish line on April 15.

In a chaotic shootout after the suspects gunned down a university police officer, police surrounding the brothers were in each other’s line of fire, the report found, in one of several instances where officers put themselves at risk of friendly fire.

During that shootout, in which Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed while his younger brother evaded the police, officers bringing a wounded colleague to the hospital had to drive several blocks out of the way to avoid a tangle of parked police cars from various law enforcement agencies.

In another incident, when officers converged on the area where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was reported to be hiding in a small dry-docked boat where he was later captured, members of different local SWAT teams deployed to the same nearby rooftop debated who was responsible, with both officers ending up staying put.

The report also found that officers involved in the search were awake for 36 hours or more at times during the search between the Monday of the bombing and Friday, when police located the surviving bombing suspect.

But the study, titled “Why Was Boston Strong” and based on roughly 100 interviews with law enforcement and public officials, also praised the level preparedness among emergency responders and police, particularly on the day of the explosions, when many lives were saved because of swift and orderly medical response.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now 20, has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges, some of which carry the death penalty. His trial is slated to begin in November.

This article originally misstated Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s plea to multiple federal charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

TIME weather

April Showers Set To Dump Foot Of Snow On Minnesota

Much of the northeast and midwest is ready for the onset of spring but there's no reprieve in sight for winter-weary Minnesota, where a storm at the end of the week may drop up to 16 inches of snow

Minnesotans are conditioned to shrug off snowstorms—but even residents of the Land of 10,000 Lakes might be sighing at news of an April snowstorm set to dump up to 16 inches on the state at the end of this week.

Spring has begun to settle in across other parts of the country after a tenaciously cold winter that placed the phrase “polar vortex” into the common lexicon. But in Minnesota, the National Weather Service has issued yet another winter storm warning for most of the state.

The warning, which also applies to parts of Wisconsin and Iowa, is in effect from Thursday afternoon until Friday night and, with heavy winds and icy conditions forecast, could impact travel plans.

Capping off a record-setting winter, a snowfall of more than 10 inches in the Twin Cities would mark the largest April storm in the metropolitan area since 1983, according to CBS Minnesota.

TIME Crime

Fort Hood Shooter Had ‘Clean Record’

Spec. Ivan Lopez, suspected Fort Hood shooter
Spec. Ivan Lopez, suspected Fort Hood shooter Texas Dept. of Motor Vehicles

The Secretary of the Army said a background check on the Fort Hood shooting suspect showed that he had no involvement with extremist organizations

The Secretary of the Army told Congress Thursday that the suspected shooter at Fort Hood “had a clean record” behaviorally and showed no signs that he would commit violence during a psychiatric examination a month earlier.

In testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on the national defense budget, Army Secretary John McHugh provided new details about the man suspected of killing three people before shooting himself in the second deadly shooting at Fort Hood since 2009.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul earlier identified 34-year-old Army Spc. Ivan Lopez as the suspect, though McHugh did not name him in his testimony.

McHugh said Lopez, from Puerto Rico, enlisted in the Army in 2008 and was deployed twice, including once to Iraq where he drove trucks and did not see combat. He said Lopez was married and investigators had questioned his wife.

He also said the suspect was undergoing treatment for depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances, but that he had a “clean record” and “no outstanding bad marks for any kinds of major misbehaviors that we’re yet aware of.” After an examination last month, the Army planned to “continue to monitor and treat him as deemed appropriate.”

But McHugh’s testimony also raised new questions about the suspect’s motives after officials previously said the shooting was not related to terrorism. McHugh said a background check showed that he had “no involvement with extremist organizations of any kind,” but he said investigators have not made any conclusions.

‘We’re going to keep an open mind,” McHugh said. “Possible extremist involvement is still being looked at very, very carefully.”

McHugh said the shooter’s .45 caliber weapon was recently purchased and was not registered with the base. While soldiers living off-post like Lopez are not required to register personal weapons with the base, he was not allowed to bring it to the base.


Watch: Passengers Survive SUV Collision With Train

The car was partially pinned under the front of the train after driving around crossing gates. Fortunately, all the passengers escaped with only minor injuries

Dramatic footage released on Monday shows a SUV being struck by a Houston passenger train after the driver went around crossing gates.

In the video, released by the Metro Transit Authority of Harris County, Tex., the vehicle drives around the security gates before being struck broadside on the passenger side. Two adults and two children were in the car at the moment of the accident. Fortunately, the passengers reported non life-threatening injuries, the AP reported.

Police say the driver will be cited for running a red light and other infractions.

TIME Courts

Court Reporter Officially Hates His Job More Than You Do

Daniel Grill—Getty Images/Tetra images RF

A Manhattan stenographer allegedly typed "I hate my job" over and over again in the transcripts for criminal trials

Plenty of people say that they hate their job, but few put that sentiment into writing, let alone on the official record. According to the New York Post, one Manhattan court reporter did just that, typing “I hate my job, I hate my job” as well as random characters over and over again rather than court dialogue.

The stenographer, named by the Post as Daniel Kochanski, was reportedly fired but not before allegedly compromising the integrity of more than 30 court transcripts. An unnamed source told the Post the botched transcripts could lead to overturned criminal convictions. No fewer than 10 of the stenographer’s cases are reportedly being appealed, including that of one man convicted of hiring a hit man to murder a witness against him in a different trial.

Kochanski told the Post he had not damaged the integrity of his transcripts: “I never typed gibberish. I always did my job 100 percent. I was let go because of substance abuse,” he said.

No word yet on how the reporter was able to flub so many court transcripts without being caught and reprimanded after the first one.

[New York Post]

TIME Archaeology

FBI Raids Home of Real Life Indiana Jones

Investigators say the 91-year-old traveler may have knowingly or unknowingly improperly amassed a collection of "immeasurable" cultural significance.

The FBI raided the home of a 91-year-old artifact collector in Indiana on Wednesday who is suspected of violating treaties and federal laws while amassing his extensive collection over a lifetime, CBS News reports.

After an FBI investigation determined that Donald Miller may have knowingly or unknowingly improperly collected artifacts, archaeologists and other experts joined authorities to begin parsing through the collection—which includes Native American items, and objects from at least nine other countries including China, Russia, Italy and Greece—and identifying which artifacts, if any, must be repatriated.

On Wednesday, an FBI mobile command vehicle and several tents were set up outside Miller’s home southeast of Indianapolis.

Special Agent in Charge Robert Jones told CBS that while the monetary value of the collection is still unclear, the “cultural value of these artifacts is immeasurable.”

Miller, who has not been charged with a crime, says he has rightful ownership of the items and is cooperating with the FBI. “I have been in 200 countries collecting artifacts,” he said according to CBS.

[CBS News]

TIME Foreign Policy

USAID Using Technology to Fight Poverty

The USAID has plans to end extreme poverty by 2030, and it wants to use technology and science to make it happen

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will announce Thursday a new high-tech program to fight poverty across the globe.

The program, called the U.S. Global Development Lab, is a partnership between USAID and 31 universities, corporations and foundations that will support and develop solutions to global problems using science and technology. Its goal is to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.

For USAID administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah, the project has been a long time coming. Since taking the helm at USAID—and before, when he served as undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture—Shah has worked to develop solutions to solve the world’s problems through science, often alongside Clinton.

Shah was at the USDA finding ways to improve agriculture through science while Secretary Clinton was constructing a global food initiative. Shah says he proposed marrying the efforts to take a meaningful jab at ending world hunger.

“I said, look, if we could get and invent new seeds, new mobile technology and open new data centers to help farmers connect their crop prices and understand weather variability we can do something transformational against hunger,” says Shah. “And not just reach a small percentage of the people that are hungry with food.”

By using a strategy based in science and technology to approach the myriad issues faced by poor communities across the globe, Shah says America can lead the effort to end poverty. Any change, however, won’t happen overnight. The USAID has spent the past four years cutting programs and reallocating funds so the Lab would have the resources necessary to launch. In 2008, the USAID spent only $127 million on scientific developments. In 2013, they spent closer to $800 million. They’re expecting as much as $30 billion in individual investment over the course of the project with the help of their partners, including The University of California at Berkeley, Coca-Cola, and the Gates Foundation.

Those partners are developing products that marry cost-effective strategies with science and technology, often creating simple strategies to tackle problems ranging from hunger to disease to literacy in the process. A group of Stanford University graduates are shopping a low-cost, environmentally friendly home lighting product that set out to reach 22 million people in Africa who currently rely on kerosene lamps to light their homes at night. USAID partners at Berkeley created a mobile application that can detect water borne diseases using an iPhone camera and parts built from a 3-D printer. And by working together, USAID hopes the solutions will reach a higher number of people at a faster pace.

“We see this as a transformation in how you do development,” said Lona Stoll of USAID. “By tapping into things that really make America what it is, which is our entrepreneurial spirit, our scientific expertise, and our real commitment to help people, you have a real ability to accelerate our impact.”

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