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FBI Announces Initial Operating Capability for Next Generation Identification System

FBI Announces Initial Operating Capability for Next Generation Identification System

Clarksburg, WV March 08, 2011

CLARKSBURG, WV—New technology designed to revolutionize law enforcement’s ability to process fingerprints has reached its initial operating capability, the FBI announced today.

The Next Generation Identification System (NGI), built by Lockheed Martin, delivers an incremental replacement of the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). NGI provides automated fingerprint and latent search capabilities, electronic image storage, and electronic exchange of fingerprints to more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies and other authorized criminal justice partners 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Upon completion, NGI will have the ability to process fingerprint transactions more effectively and accurately.

“The implementation announced today represents a tremendous achievement in enhancing our identification services. Already, we’re seeing how the NGI system is revolutionizing fingerprint identification in support of the FBI’s mission,” said Louis E. Grever, executive assistant director, FBI Science and Technology Branch.

“Lockheed Martin was there supporting the FBI when IAFIS went live in 1999, and we’re thrilled to be here for NGI today,” added Linda Gooden, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions. “Technology like this is a powerful tool when it comes to protecting America’s citizens, and we’re proud to serve as a partner in that mission.”

“While IAFIS has been effective, criminal and terrorist threats have evolved over the past decade. Today’s environment demands faster and more advanced identification capabilities,” said Assistant Director Daniel D. Roberts, FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division. “NGI represents a quantum leap in fingerprint identification that will help us in solving investigations, preventing crime, and apprehending criminals and terrorists.”

In addition to the new fingerprint identification technology, the NGI program has also delivered Advanced Technology Workstations to the FBI’s fingerprint examiner staff. The workstations include significantly larger display screens with higher resolution and true color support, allowing staff to see more detailed attributes of biometric data for more efficient decision-making.

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Sex in the Public – Is It Legal?

Sex in the Public – Is It Legal?

Did you know that sex in the public is legal? Yes it appears that it is. Why do I say that you ask?

If you can go into a store that is open to the public whether it is an adult book store or an adult cinema, each of these types of stores can be found along “The Corridor of Crime” in Philadelphia and in almost every city and many smaller communities throughout the USA. As long as you are 18 years of age or older you can go into these bookstores and put a few dollars in the slot and have sex right there in the peep show booth with strangers. No one will bother you except to watch or want to join in.  In the cinemas you can pay $10.00 at the door and go into a large room where they are showing a movie. Most of the guys in there are partially to fully naked. Business men out for lunch or on their way home from work. Perhaps they are just in town for a meeting and staying at one of the hotels by the airport; they drive down the street and find what they want. Then they go home to their wife and kids who has no idea what they were doing. Most of the guys that come to these stores live a family life you would never know that they enjoyed having sex with other men but they do. You say it can’t be anyone I know. Why not drive by and see if you’re family, friends or perhaps your ministers’ cars are in the parking lot. I bet sooner or later you will find someone you know there. There are websites that promote where to find these stores in your area. They post blogs to talk about what they did and who they did it with.  Should store owners be allowed to make money off of sex in their stores? Should these stores be legal? If government wants these types of stores perhaps they should let us the taxpayers vote on if or where we want them to be located. If we decide they are legal perhaps bars and nightclubs should have sex rooms at least there you are over 21 in the state of PA. Contact your state officials and let them know what you think. If it is legal lets VOTE for it.   

PS…IT IS ALL ABOUT MONEY

Story By John S De Santo I

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Springfield Man Pleads Guilty in Sex Trafficking Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
February 24, 2011




Springfield Man Pleads Guilty in Sex Trafficking Conspiracy, Admits Torturing Woman Coerced as Sex Slave
Human Trafficking Rescue Project

KANSAS CITY, MO—Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Missouri man pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in a sex trafficking conspiracy in which a young, mentally deficient woman was coerced into being a sex slave for several years while she was tortured in a trailer home located in a wooded area in Lebanon, Missouri.

James Noel, 45, of Springfield, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to the charge contained in a Sept. 7, 2010, federal indictment.

Noel admitted that he was one of the customers who sexually abused and tortured the female victim, who is identified as “FV.” Noel watched the victim being tortured and sometimes operated torture devices himself beginning in 2006, when she was approximately 20 years old. Noel knew that FV hated being electrocuted with a crank phone, which was one of the torture devices used to electrocute her, but he used it on her anyway.

Noel described the crank phone and another electrical device that was used to torture FV as “extremely painful.” Noel electrocuted FV with the crank phone himself and sometimes two men tortured FV with crank phones at the same time. These devices were wired inside FV’s vaginal and anal openings and to her toes. Noel admitted that he paid $300 for a special “show” that lasted two or three hours and included these sex acts.

According to today’s plea agreement, Noel described FV as mentally delayed for her age. He believed she lacked the ability to communicate normally and had a limited vocabulary. Noel admitted that FV did not have any ability to offer an opinion or refuse to follow orders.

Under federal statutes, Noel is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cynthia L. Cordes and John Cowles. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in conjunction with the Human Trafficking Rescue Project

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Texas Resident Arrested on Charge of Attempted Use of Weapon of Mass Destruction

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Texas Resident Arrested on Charge of Attempted Use of Weapon of Mass Destruction
Suspect Allegedly Purchased Bomb Materials and Researched U.S. Targets

WASHINGTON – Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, a citizen of Saudi Arabia and resident of Lubbock, Texas, was arrested late yesterday by FBI agents in Texas on a federal charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction in connection with his alleged purchase of chemicals and equipment necessary to make an improvised explosive device (IED) and his research of potential U.S. targets.

 

The arrest and the criminal complaint, which was unsealed in the Northern District of Texas, were announced by David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; James T. Jacks, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas; and Robert E. Casey Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Dallas Field Division.

 

Aldawsari is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court in Lubbock at 9:00 a.m. on Friday morning.  Aldawsari, who was lawfully admitted into the United States in 2008 on a student visa and is enrolled at South Plains College near Lubbock, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

 

According to the affidavit filed in support of the complaint, Aldawsari has been researching online how to construct an IED using several chemicals as ingredients.   He has also acquired or taken a substantial step toward acquiring most of the ingredients and equipment necessary to construct an IED and he has conducted online research of several potential U.S. targets, the affidavit alleges.   In addition, he has allegedly described his desire for violent jihad and martyrdom in blog postings and a personal journal.

 

 “As alleged in the complaint, Aldawsari purchased ingredients to construct an explosive device and was actively researching potential targets in the United States.   Thanks to the efforts of many agents, analysts and prosecutors, this plot was thwarted before it could advance further,” said Assistant Attorney General Kris. “This case serves as another reminder of the need for continued vigilance both at home and abroad.”

 

“Yesterday’s arrest demonstrates the need for and the importance of vigilance and the willingness of private individuals and companies to ask questions and contact the authorities when confronted with suspicious activities.   Based upon reports from the public, Aldawsari’s plot was uncovered and thwarted.   We’re confident we have neutralized the alleged threat posed by this defendant.   Those reports resulted in the initiation of a complex and far-reaching investigation requiring almost around the clock work by hundreds of dedicated FBI agents, analysts, prosecutors and others.  Their effort is another example of the work being done to protect our country and its citizens.  These individuals are deserving of our respect and gratitude,” said U.S. Attorney Jacks.

 

“This arrest and criminal charge is a result of the success of the FBI's counterterrorism strategy, which is to detect, penetrate, and disrupt terrorist plots in the United States and against U.S. interests abroad.   In this case, FBI Agents and other FBI experts worked tirelessly to neutralize the imminent terrorist threat described in the criminal complaint.   The public can be justifiably proud of the national security expertise shown by the FBI in this investigation,” said Special Agent in Charge Casey.

 

Purchases of Chemical Ingredients and Other Equipment

 

The affidavit alleges that on Feb. 1, 2011, a chemical supplier reported to the FBI a suspicious attempted purchase of concentrated phenol by a man identifying himself as Khalid Aldawsari.   According to the affidavit, phenol is a toxic chemical with legitimate uses, but can also be used to make the explosive trinitrophenol, also known as T.N.P., or picric acid.   The affidavit alleges that other ingredients typically used with phenol to make picric acid, or T.N.P., are concentrated sulfuric and nitric acids.  

 

Aldawsari allegedly attempted to have the phenol order shipped to a freight company so it could be held for him there, but the freight company returned the order to the supplier and called the police.   Later, Aldawsari falsely told the supplier he was associated with a university and wanted the phenol for “off-campus, personal research.”   Frustrated by questions being asked over his phenol order, Aldawsari cancelled his order and later e-mailed himself instructions for producing phenol.  The affidavit alleges that in December 2010, he successfully purchased concentrated nitric and sulfuric acids.

 

According to the affidavit, legally authorized electronic surveillance revealed that Aldawsari used various e-mail accounts in researching explosives and targets, and often sent emails to himself as part of this process.   On Feb. 11, 2011, for instance, he allegedly e-mailed himself a recipe for picric acid, which the e-mail describes as a “military explosive.”   He also allegedly sent himself an e-mail on Oct. 19, 2010 that contained information on the material required for Nitro Urea, how to prepare it, and the advantages of using it.  

 

The affidavit alleges that Aldawsari also e-mailed himself instructions on how to convert a cellular phone into a remote detonator and how to prepare a booby-trapped vehicle using items available in every home.   One e-mail allegedly contained a message stating that “one operation in the land of the infidels is equal to ten operations against occupying forces in the land of the Muslims.” During December 2010 and January 2011, Aldawsari allegedly purchased many other items, including a gas mask, a Hazmat suit, a soldering iron kit, glass beakers and flasks, wiring, a stun gun, clocks and a battery tester.

 

Searches of Aldawsari’s Residence

 

Two legally authorized searches of Aldawsari’s apartment conducted by the FBI in February 2011 indicated that the concentrated sulfuric and nitric acids; the beakers and flasks; wiring; Hazmat suit; and clocks were present in Aldawsari’s residence.  

 

FBI agents also found a notebook at Aldawsari’s residence that appeared to be a diary or journal.   According to the affidavit, excerpts from the journal indicate that Aldawsari had been planning to commit a terrorist attack in the United States for years.  One entry describes how Aldawsari sought and obtained a particular scholarship because it allowed him to come directly to the United State and helped him financially, which he said “will help tremendously in providing me with the support I need for Jihad.”   The entry continues: “And now, after mastering the English language, learning how to build explosives and continuous planning to target the infidel Americans, it is time for Jihad.”  

 

In another entry, Aldawsari allegedly wrote that he was near to reaching his goal and near to getting weapons to use against infidels and their helpers.   He also listed a “synopsis of important steps” that included obtaining a forged U.S. birth certificate; renting a car; using different driver’s licenses for each car rented; putting bombs in cars and taking them to different places during rush hour; and leaving the city for a safe place.

 

Research on Potential Targets

 

According to the affidavit, Aldawsari conducted research on various targets and e-mailed himself information on these locations and people.    One of the documents he sent himself, with the subject line listed as “Targets,” allegedly contained the names and home addresses of three American citizens who had previously served in the U.S. military and had been stationed for a time at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

 

In another e-mail titled “NICE TARGETS 01,” Aldawsari allegedly sent himself the names of 12 reservoir dams in Colorado and California.   In another e-mail to himself, titled “NICE TARGETS,” he listed two categories of targets: hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants.   On Feb. 6, 2011, the affidavit alleges, Aldawsari sent himself an e-mail titled “Tyrant’s House,” in which he listed the Dallas address for former President George W. Bush.   The affidavit also alleges that Aldawsari conducted research that could indicate his consideration of the use of infant dolls to conceal explosives and possible targeting of a nightclub with an explosive concealed in a backpack.

 

The affidavit also alleges that Aldawsari created a blog in which he posted extremist messages.   In one posting, he expressed dissatisfaction with current conditions of Muslims and vowed jihad and martyrdom. “You who created mankind….grant me martyrdom for Your sake and make jihad easy for me only in Your path,” he wrote.  

 

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Dallas Joint Terrorism Task Force, with assistance from the Lubbock Police Department.   The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard Baker and Denise Williams from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, and Trial Attorney David Cora from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

 

The charges contained in the criminal complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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The “Corridor of Crime” - Philadelphia

As I see the headlines about the corruption and look back at the years I spent working in a adult book store located on the “Corridor of Crime” in south west Philadelphia. I wonder many things, what happened to these people that frequent the back room, were they molested as children? Did they learn from a parent or other relative could they really be born this way? Something must happen to these people that makes them just want to have sex with anything that shows up either face to face or through the hole in the wall. Many of the guys that go to these stores all the time are what most of us would consider normal everyday Fathers Brothers, Co-workers and Friends. You would look at them and never think they have this secret life. A life that not only puts them at health risk jeopardy but also everyone that comes in contact with them. There is no discretion with these guys. They feel a little hot under the collar they run to the book store to satisfy their sexual hungers. They don’t care who sees what they do when they are there or do they care who they do it with. Many of the store owners have cameras and microphones that record what is going on in the store. As they tell their employees it is to make it safer for you. Part of the reason I left where I worked is because my side of the conversation I had on my personal phone calls that were being made on my cell phone were being recorded. Every conversation in the building is held on a hard drive in the store and many of them were listened to by the owner of the company. I guess he feels it is ok to have sex in a store open to the public but my rights were infringed on for doing my job as a sales clerk. It makes me wonder what they are really trying to hide in these stores well perhaps if the FBI does the investigation fully and not just focus on the 2 stores on the strip known as the “Corridor of Crime” they will look into the adult book stores that are right there with the strip clubs they have already reported in the news.    

story By John S De Santo I

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Yes, oral is sex, and it can boost cancer risk

Here's a crucial message for teens: Oral sex carries many of the same risks as vaginal sex, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of oral cancers in America in people under age 50.

"Adolescents don’t think oral sex is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 'sex.'"

Halpern-Felsher and other researchers presented the latest information about the risks of contracting an HPV infection Sunday at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting.

The latest data suggest that 64% of oropharynx cancers - growing in the middle part of the throat - in the United States are caused by HPV, which is more than tobacco causes, said Maura Gillison of Ohio State University. And as the number of partners on whom you have performed oral sex goes up, the risk of oropharnyx cancer goes up.

About 37,000 people per year receive a diagnosis of  oral cancer, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.

Just about everyone has had at least one of the 130 strains of HPV; not all of them are cancer-causing. Certain types cause warts on the hands and feet that are benign.

About 5 percent of cancers worldwide are caused by HPV, and some turn up in some surprising places. A University of Washington study found that some men carry HPV 26 under their fingernails, which can lead to a form of cancer called digital squamous cell carcinoma. Proper hand-washing can help prevent this from happening, said Dr. Diane Harper, leading HPV researcher at the University of Missouri in Kansas City.

But this isn't nearly as common as HPV causing cancer in other areas of the body, such as the oral cavity and the cervix.

In the countries that have cervical cancer screening, the prevalence of cervical cancer is five times lower than in other countries, indicating that the testing is effective, Harper said.

Why HPV causes cancer in some people and not others is still mysterious. Studies of the cervix have found that 70% of infections resolve by themselves within one year, and 90% within two years. It's that remaining 10% that actually turn into more serious infections, and 5% lead to treatable precancerous lesions, Harper said.

Two well-established mechanisms of prevention in terms of sexually transmitted HPV are condom usage and circumcision, although neither completely eliminates the risk, Harper said.

A large ongoing study called HITCH is examining questions of HPV transmission and infection in greater detail. So far, it's found that couples can "ping-pong" HPV back and forth to each other, which is one reason  that the virus may take so long to clear naturally.

As for getting HPV from kissing, that's not clear, and there isn't enough data to say anything about it yet, Harper said.

It's very hard to get teens to listen to abstinence messages about oral sex, or to get them to use any kind of barrier method for these behaviors, Halpern-Felsher said. And since any risk factor under 50% sounds low to a very young person, throwing these precise statistics at them most likely won't make a difference.

But parents should have honest conversations with their teenagers about oral sex, Halpern-Felsher said. Tell them that the consequences of HPV may not happen right away, and while the risks may not be huge, they are significant. Potential long-term outcomes of cancer are quite concerning.

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Consenting Adults: Does that make it right ?

 I have worked in the adult pornography business for 10 years. I have seen things that no one would ever believe go on in businesses that are open to the public. Yes you need to be over 18 years of age but does that mean you should be able to go into a store and have sex in a booth with anything that walks in? Or maybe you just like to be watched while you are naked and doing what you may be doing to yourself. Ok so now you think it is only gay men that are here doing these things. I guess that depends on what you consider gay. Is gay the openly gay man that is looking for a boyfriend…well after working in the business as long as I have that is not who frequents these stores the most. It is Married men of all ages with wives and kids at home. So you have these older men sneaking out for lunch or after a game in the stadium area, they ride up what is now being referred to as the “Corridor of Crime” Passyunk Ave and Essington Ave area of southwest Philadelphia. Here they lurk in the shadows waiting for an unknowing guy to come in age race and creed does not matter. Perhaps this young guy had a fight with his wife or girlfriend or perhaps he has had a few too many drinks. He comes in and sees the bookstore that sells along with the books videos and other adult novelties. He sees a room off to the side dimly lit he is curious and goes back. Perhaps he does not notice the sign “Put a dollar in and no one will bother you”.  Here he finds a few rows of video booths something exciting to try. He puts in a few bucks and gets a little worked up his pants drop and within seconds the old man is in front of him taking care of his every need or is it rape?

You may think this does not happen or that it wouldn’t happen to anyone I know. My husband my boyfriend my son, father or brother never. Yeah right it happens to all of these types of people and from people in all walks of life white color professionals, blue color laborers, loving grandparents and people from the church.

In the coming weeks I will post many stories of what has happened in these stores that I have seen. I will also let you know what has been told to me by people of authority. I don’t think any of them ever told me what the real law is one even advised Consenting Adults can do that in the store it is like having sex in a motel.     

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Drug traffickers will do almost anything to smuggle drugs around and into this country

Drug traffickers will do almost anything to smuggle drugs around and into this country.  You may have heard stories of gangs and dealers using baby carriages, wheelchairs, traps and compartments in vehicles and loads of legitimate cargo to keep their drugs concealed from authorities. Recently there have been cases of smugglers using body cavities to hide drugs and incidents where people and animals have been forced to swallow drugs in order to hide them.  One of the most famous of these cases took place five years ago this week when it was revealed that a Colombian drug trafficking organization was surgically implanting heroin and cocaine in purebred puppies.  In total 22 Colombian traffickers were arrested and 24 kilograms of heroin and six kilograms of cocaine were seized.

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There were 400 children raped in Philadelphia in 2009

Wonder what it was in 2010

The brutal rape of an 11-year-old girl in Kensington last week was a shock even in a crime-plagued city like Philadelphia, but, unfortunately, the victim was one of only hundreds of children to be raped in the city each year.

There were 400 children raped in Philadelphia last year and 1,032 children were the victim of other sexual offenses.

Even worse, police warn the statistics do not tell the whole story, considering that sexual offenses are nationally one of the most underreported crimes.

 

“Unlike homicides or shootings, there are many more variables behind sex assault,” said Capt. John Darby, head of the police Special Victims Unit. “It may be that more cases are reported because there’s more awareness. Generally speaking, since I’ve been here in the unit … the numbers don’t change.”

 

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5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE

ADVANCE FOR RELEASE AT 4:30 P.M. EST Bureau of Justice Statistics
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2003 Contact: Stu Smith 202-307-0784
After hours: 301-983-9354

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. If all crimes are included, 43 percent of sex offenders were rearrested for various offenses.

Sex offenders were less likely than non-sex offenders to be rearrested for any offense—43 percent of sex offenders versus 68 percent of non-sex offenders. But sex offenders were about four times more likely than non-sex offenders to be arrested for another sex crime after their discharge from prison—5.3 percent of sex offenders versus 1.3 percent of non-sex offenders.

Sex offenders with the highest rate of rearrest for another sex offense were those who had a history of prior arrests for various crimes. While 3.3 percent of sex offenders with one prior arrest were arrested for another sex crime after their release, that percentage more than doubled (7.4 percent) for those with 16 or more prior arrests for different types of crimes. Of the released sex offenders who allegedly committed another sex crime, 40 percent perpetrated the new offense within a year or less from their prison discharge.

Of the almost 9,700 sex offenders released in 1994, nearly 4,300 were identified as child molesters. An estimated 3.3 percent of the 4,300 released child molesters were rearrested for another sex crime against a child within 3 years. Most of the children they were alleged to have molested after leaving prison were age 13 or younger.

Other BJS surveys have shown that 70 percent of all men in prison for a sex crime were men whose victim was a child. In almost half of the child-victim cases, the child was the prisoner's own son or daughter or other relative.

The average sentence imposed on the 9,700 sex offenders was 8 years and, on average, 3 1/2 years of those 8 years were actually served prior to release. The average sentence imposed on the 4,300 child molesters was approximately 7 years and, on average, child molesters were released after serving 3 of the 7 years.

Of the released sex offenders, 3.5 percent were reconvicted for a sex crime within the 3-year follow-up period, 24 percent were reconvicted for any new offense and 38.6 percent were returned to prison, either because they received another prison sentence or because of a parole violation.

Of the 9,700 sex offenders, 67 percent were white males and 32 percent were black males. The percentage rearrested for another sex crime after their release was 5.3 percent of white males and 5.6 percent of black males.

Half of the 9,700 sex offenders were over the age of 35 when released. Recidivism studies typically find that the older the prisoner when released, the lower the rate of recidivism. However, although this study did find the lowest rearrest for a sex crime (3.3 percent) did belong to the oldest sex offenders -- 45 years old and older -- other age group comparisons were inconsistent. The percentage rearrested for another sex crime after their release was 6.1 percent of those ages 18-24, 5.5 percent of those ages 25-29, 5.8 percent of those ages 30-34, 6.1 percent of those ages 35-39, 5.6 percent of those ages 40-44 and 3.3 percent of those ages 45 or older.

For 85 percent of those sex offenders who were arrested for another sex crime, the arrest occurred in the same state that released them. For the remaining 15 percent, the arrest was in a different state.

The data are from a study that documented levels of recidivism among all 272,111 men and women released from state prisons in 15 states in 1994. The 272,111 included 9,691 male sex offenders. The 9,691 are two-thirds of all the male sex offenders released from state prisons in the United States in 1994. The study represents the largest followup ever conducted of convicted sex offenders following discharge from prison and provides the most comprehensive assessment of their behavior after release. The report, "Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from Prison in 1994" (NCJ-198281), was written by BJS statisticians Patrick A. Langan, Erica L. Schmitt and Matthew R. Durose. Single copies may be obtained by calling the BJS Clearinghouse at 1-800-851-3420. Following publication this document can be accessed at:

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=1136

For additional information about Bureau of Justice Statistics reports and programs, please visit the BJS Web site at:

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist crime victims. OJP is headed by an Assistant Attorney General and comprises 5 component bureaus and 2 offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the Executive Office for Weed and Seed and the Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education. Information about OJP programs, publications, and conferences is available on the OJP Web site, www.ojp.usdoj.gov.

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Freezing temperatures kill 65 zoo animals in Mexico

 

An icy cold front that swept through northern Mexico over the weekend left 65 zoo animals dead,  Monday.

Parrots, crocodiles and peacocks were among the victims of temperatures that dropped as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 15 degrees Celsius) early Saturday morning at the Chihuahua Zoo in the city of Aldama, about an hour north of Chihuahua.

The alarming number of deaths, which represents about 10% of all of the zoo's animals, was the result of several compounding factors, owner Alberto Hernandez said.

First, the temperature dropped unexpectedly, and the area's civil protection agency did not send out an advisory for the extremely cold weather, Hernandez said. So zookeepers did not take extra precautions before leaving work Friday night.

Second, the inclement weather knocked out electricity to the zoo, causing the heaters and heating lamps throughout the location to cease working, he said. Without electricity, the night watchmen turned on the gas lines.

"They turned on the gas heaters and left it at that, but they didn't know that the gas lines had frozen," Hernandez said.

It wasn't until 6 o'clock the next morning, when an emergency generator was turned on, that zoo officials became aware of the devastation.

What they found was a menagerie of dead animals: one Capuchin monkey, 14 parrots and parakeets, 12 snakes, three crocodiles, five iguanas, 10 peacocks, and 20 hens.

"There were lots of factors that led to this accident happening," Hernandez said. "We are accustomed to extreme weather, but nothing like this."

The Capuchin monkey, named Botitas, or Little Boots, was just 6 months old and had been born at the zoo. His parents, including his father, Boots, had been brought from Central America.

The zoo was left with no more crocodiles following the losses. The three crocodiles that died were originally from the Mexican state of Sinaloa.

The zoo faced other challenges. Frozen water pipes meant that hoses couldn't be used to fill animals' food bowls. Warm water had to be brought in from outside, Hernandez said. Additional workers were brought in to care for the caged animals that required the most help.

They were also able to save other animals from dying of hypothermia. Two other monkeys were freezing, but were saved, Hernandez said. A stallion was also recovering from the cold.

Electricity was not restored until Sunday, he said. Nonetheless, the zoo opened for business as usual Monday, though Hernandez said he expected an economic hit from the loss of the animals.

"It's impossible to be prepared for something so unpredictable," he said.

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