- - Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CONNECTICUT

Fraternity under fire for misogyny video

HARTFORD | Members of a Yale fraternity that counts both Bush presidents among its famous alumni and whose pledges were ordered to chant obscenities against women are getting a visit from concerned officials of the national organization.

Delta Kappa Epsilon, which was founded at Yale in 1855, has been under fire since amateur video appeared online of pledges marching through the New Haven campus on Oct. 13, chanting about women in the context of necrophilia and a specific sexual act.

Some students and members of the Yale Women’s Center board complained, and Delta Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity ordered the chapter to stop all pledge activities until further notice.

Although chapter leaders have apologized, the national organization said that it is sending its director to New Haven this weekend to “set forth a plan of action” for the chapter.

ILLINOIS

Foreclosure evictions halted by sheriff

CHICAGO | Foreclosure evictions are on hold again in the county that includes the city of Chicago.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart on Tuesday ordered deputies to stop carrying out mortgage foreclosure evictions after admissions by some leading lenders that employees had verified some foreclosures without even reading the documents.

Sheriff Dart, who is preparing a run for Chicago mayor, also halted foreclosure evictions two years ago after determining many people being forced from their homes had paid their rent and didn’t know their landlords were having financial problems.

He allowed the evictions to resume when procedures were put into place to protect renters.

Sheriff Dart’s current evictions moratorium is for foreclosures filed with his office by Bank of America, J.P Morgan Chase and GMAC/Ally Financial.

TENNESSEE

Gunmen on loose after postal attack

HENNING | Investigators searched Tuesday for the men who gunned down two workers at a rural post office that doubles as a community center in this small town, where the local gas station that sells fried chicken also is its most popular eatery.

Yellow crime-scene tape roped off the one-story brick post office, and two large police command posts were set up outside one day after the violence that shocked Henning. Outside, the flag had been lowered to half-staff Tuesday. No arrests have been made, and authorities haven’t determined a motive.

On Monday, Mike Dunavant, the Lauderdale County district attorney, acknowledged the suspect or suspects were armed and dangerous and said the killings were done with “disturbing violence.”

Killed were Judy Spray, 58, a rural carrier associate, and Paula Robinson, 33, a retail clerk. Their bodies were removed from the post office and sent to a medical examiner for autopsies.

TEXAS

Jordanian man sentenced in plot

DALLAS | A Jordanian man caught in an FBI sting trying to blow up a Dallas skyscraper was sentenced Tuesday to 24 years in federal prison.

Hosam Smadi had faced up to life in prison but received a reduced sentence after pleading guilty in May to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Smadi, 20, will likely be deported after serving his sentence.

Smadi acknowledged leaving what he thought was a truck bomb in a garage beneath the Fountain Place building in September 2009. Smadi said he parked the truck, activated a timer connected to the decoy provided by undercover FBI agents, then rode away to watch the explosion.

Smadi dialed a cell-phone number from the roof of a nearby parking garage, where he had planned to watch the explosion. The number was supposed to set off his truck bomb. It instead alerted tactical agents hiding in a stairwell, who swarmed the rooftop and arrested the teenager.

VIRGINIA

Court: Man will admit helping terror group

A Northern Virginia man who warned the creators of the animated TV show “South Park” that they risked death for mocking the Prophet Muhammad is scheduled to plead guilty to supporting an al Qaeda-linked terrorist group, according to court records.

Zachary Chesser of Bristow, Va., a 20-year-old dropout from George Mason University, is scheduled for a plea hearing Wednesday in federal court in Alexandria, Va., court records show. He is charged with providing material support to a terrorist group, communicating threats and soliciting crimes of violence.

According to a court affidavit, Mr. Chesser tried to join the al-Shabab terror group in Somalia earlier this year and posted online propaganda for them. He also allegedly took his infant son with him to the airport to make his travel appear more innocuous.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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