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Jordanian soldier gets life term for killing 3 US troops

Published: Monday, July 17, 2017 @ 4:55 AM
Updated: Monday, July 17, 2017 @ 4:55 AM

A Jordanian soldier was sentenced Monday to life in prison after being convicted of killing three U.S. military trainers last year, but some said questions lingered about his motive for the shooting at a Jordanian air base.

Jordan has ruled out terrorism in the November shooting in which the convoy of the U.S. Army Green Berets came under fire at the base entrance.

The defendant has said he felt no animosity toward Americans and opened fire because he believed the base was coming under attack.

However, relatives of the slain U.S. troops have described security camera footage that they say shows him shooting for six minutes, reloading and aiming at the Americans, even as they identify themselves as friendly forces.

After a "not guilty" plea, the Jordanian soldier, 1st Sgt. Marik al-Tuwayha, was tried by a military court in Jordan's capital of Amman for the killings of Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, 27, of Kirksville, Missouri; Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe, 30, of Tucson, Arizona; and Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty, 27, of Kerrville, Texas.

During the monthlong trial, he watched the proceedings silently while standing in a cage in the courtroom.

He did not react Monday when the judge announced the verdict and the maximum possible sentence, life in prison with hard labor. When he was led out of the cage, he said: "I have all the respect for the king, but I was doing my job."

Relatives of two of the U.S. soldiers sat quietly as the judge read the ruling.

Charles Lewellen, 53, whose son was killed, later told The Associated Press that the verdict "won't take the pain away," but that it proved "what we have been saying all along ... that he murdered our sons."

Some of the relatives criticized Jordan's handling of the case and said the defendant should have received the death penalty. Jordan allows the death penalty, but it is usually handed down in terrorism cases or in a murder coupled with another crime.

The Americans were killed Nov. 4, as their convoy waited at the gate to the al-Jafr base in southern Jordan. Jordan initially said the Americans triggered the shooting by disobeying entry rules, a claim that was later withdrawn.

The trial "confirmed that the deceased U.S. service members followed all established procedures when accessing the base the day of the incident, as we have noted before," the U.S. Embassy in Jordan said. "We are reassured to see the perpetrator brought to justice."

Jordan is a member of a U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State group extremists in neighboring Syria and Iraq. Jordan hosts troops, including trainers, from the U.S. and other countries as part of the anti-IS battle.

"We are pleased to see that the perpetrators have been brought to justice," said U.S. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. He said the U.S. respects Jordan's military process and praised Jordan for adhering to its own laws in resolving the case expeditiously.

Davis wouldn't comment on possible motives for the killing.

At the trial, al-Tuwayha and some of the gate guards testified they heard what might have been a pistol shot coming from the direction of the U.S. convoy. Al-Tuwayha said he opened fire because he feared the base was under attack. Other guards said they held their fire because they couldn't determine the source of the sound.

Al-Tuwayha has said he had "no intention of killing anyone" and felt no resentment toward Americans.

According to the surveillance video described by the relatives, Lewellen and McEnroe were the first to be hit by gunfire. Moriarty and another soldier jumped out of their cars to take cover and returned fire from their pistols, according to the descriptions of the video. They yelled that they were friendly forces, the relatives said.

The defendant kept shooting, they said. He was seriously wounded in the exchange.

The video was shown to the family by U.S. law enforcement, but has not been released to the public.

Some of the relatives have questioned why the video was not screened at the trial and why the court did not ask a surviving U.S. soldier to testify, despite what they said was his willingness to do so.

Moriarty's father, Jim, wrote in a letter Monday to the Jordanian Embassy in the U.S. that the "successful prosecution" was a "good first step, but it is only the first step."

In the letter, a copy of which was given to the AP, Moriarty listed several demands to Jordan. These included allowing the defendant to be re-interviewed by the FBI about his motive and releasing the security video to the families. Moriarty, a lawyer, said the video had been entered into evidence at the trial.

Cynthia Lewellen, 53, the mother of Matthew Lewellen, expressed sympathy for all those affected by the shooting, including the family of the defendant.

"In this verdict, nobody comes out happy," she said. "I mean for us as losing our sons and knowing the man that killed him will spend 20 years in prison, but also for his family that because of his actions ... lost a father, a husband, a provider."

In Jordan, life in prison can mean 20 years, with time off for good behavior.

Defense lawyer Subhi al-Mawas said he would appeal Monday's court ruling.

Earlier this year, a Jordanian soldier who killed seven Israeli schoolgirls in a 1997 shooting rampage was released after 20 years.

Black Friday 2017: Get these Macy’s deals on clothes, appliances and more now

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 1:10 PM
Updated: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 1:10 PM

Black Friday Deals!
Black Friday Deals!

Black Friday has arrived early, because a pair of Macy’s ads have leaked. 

»RELATED: All the Black Friday sales you should be jumping on now

The company released the deals Wednesday, revealing that in-store and online sales begin as early as Nov. 22 and run until Nov. 25.

The department store is offering deals on a variety of items including clothes, jewelry, housewares and appliances. Some items, such as glassware, slippers and thermal tops, will even be offered for free once shoppers claim rebates.

Macy’s will open its doors from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m. Thanksgiving Day and reopen at 6 a.m. on Black Friday. Online deals will be available on Thanksgiving.

»RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Costco ad deals on laptops, TVs and more just leaked 

While you wait for the big sale, here’s a snapshot of some of the bargains. 

Kitchen electronics, like toaster ovens, waffle makers, cookware and blenders, will be available for up to $50 less than retail price. 

Select travel luggage and bedding will be up for grabs for up to 60 percent off, and designer apparel, such as Levi’s and Sean John, will be 50 to 60 percent off. 

You can even snag a few electronics like the Apple Watch Series 1 for $70 less and the Amazon Echo Dot for $10 less.

»RELATED: Amazon launches Black Friday deals early

Take a look at a few more deals below. 

 

»RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Target reveals massive Black Friday ad, Monday preview sale

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Professor: Team has performed first successful human head transplant using cadavers

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 7:58 AM

WATCH: Professor Says First Successful Human Head Transplant Using Cadavers Performed

It sounds like something out of a horrible B movie, but a professor in Italy says a team has successfully transplanted a human head in China. It was done on corpses to see if surgeons could reconnect the spine, nerves and blood vessels. 

“The first human transplant on human cadavers has been done,” Sergio Canavero, the director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, said. “A full head swap between brain dead organ donors is the next stage,” the Telegraph reported.

He added that it would be the last step before a full head transplant happens some time before the end of the year, USA Today reported.

A firm date for the living patient surgery has not been released.

Canavero said the procedure happened in China because “the Americans did not understand” and wouldn’t fund the experiments, USA Today reported.

Experts in the medical community said that a procedure like this would not be allowed in either the United States or Europe.

While it’s being called a head transplant, it’s technically a body transplant, where the recipient with a functioning brain will have his head transplanted to a donor’s body who has been declared brain dead, USA Today reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Doctors will fuse the spinal cord and attach blood vessels and muscles then the patient will be kept in a coma for a month as the person heals, Newsweek reported. If it is successful, the patient could walk again, Canavero claims.

Many in the medical community said that not only is it doubtful the procedure will be successful, there also are ethical questions, saying that whoever undergoes the procedure will be in incredible pain, and not able to breathe or control their own heart rate, Newsweek reported.

Canavero cites studies on animals to support his plan, but other doctors say that, ‘You’re not going to jump from rodent to human” and that Canavero’s plan is “criminal,” Newsweek reported.

Black Friday 2017: Get these Walmart deals on laptops, TVs and more now

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 10:59 AM
Updated: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 10:59 AM

Last week, Walmart revealed its Black Friday online discounts would begin as early as Nov. 9, while in-store bargains will start on Nov. 23 on Thanksgiving. 

» RELATED: All the Black Friday sales you should be jumping on now

Most Walmart chains will be open all day on Thanksgiving, but Black Friday sales begin at 6 p.m. 

“There’s only one place to shop this Black Friday – Walmart,” Steve Bratspies, chief merchandising officer of Walmart U.S., said in a press release. “Whether a customer shops with us in our stores or online, we know exactly what they will be shopping for, and we will have it.” 

The store is offering sales on a variety of items, including laptops, televisions and toys. 

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Best Buy ad deals on laptops, TVs and more just leaked

Here’s a snapshot of the deals.

Laptops and tablets such as the HP Stream Laptop, Samsung Chromebook 3 and iPad 5th Gen 32GB will be available for up to $80 off. 

Smart televisions like the LG 49-inch Class 4K Smart TV will be offered for $328, an Element 39-inch Class Smart TV will be up for grabs for $125 and a Samsung 65-inch Class Curved 4K Smart TV for will go up for $998. That’s up to $300 in savings.

Need toys for the little ones? The Frozen Sleigh 12-Volt Ride-On will be on sale for $198, $100 less than the original price. And you can snag the Tickle Me Elmo and popular board games like CLUE and Connect 4 for less than $15 each.

Take a look at more of the discounts below. 

»RELATED: Amazon launches Black Friday deals early

Black Friday 2017: Best Buy ad deals on laptops, TVs and more just leaked

Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 1:11 PM

More Than 55 Stores Will Be Closed On Thanksgiving Day 2017

Black Friday has arrived early, because a pair of Best Buy ads have leaked.

»RELATED: All the Black Friday sales you should be jumping on now

The company announced the news this week, revealing that in-store and online discounts begin as early as Nov. 23 and end Nov. 24. 

Most Best Buy chains will be open on 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day and close 1 a.m. Friday. Doors will open again at 8 a.m. Black Friday and close at 10 p.m.

The store is offering sales on a variety of items including laptops, televisions and gaming systems. 

»RELATED: Amazon launches Black Friday deals early

Here’s a snapshot of the bargains.

Select MacBook models will be available for up to $250 less, and the iPad mini 4 will be available for up to $125 less. Additionally, laptops from HP, Dell and Samsung will be offered for up to $400 less. 

Televisions are up for grabs, too. Customers can save up to $250 on LG, Sharp and Insignia models. Also, tech accessories, like headphones and speakers, will on sale for up to $100 less.

Looking for cameras and gaming systems? There will be bundle deals available for Sony cameras, the Xbox One and Playstation 3 and 4. 

Take a look at more of the discounts below. 

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