- Associated Press - Monday, February 9, 2015
Protesters occupy U of Minnesota president’s office

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Several students demanding greater on-campus racial and ethnic diversity have taken over University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler’s office.

University spokesman Steve Henneberry says 10 to 15 students were in Kaler’s second-floor office in Morrill Hall on Monday “having a conversation with the president and other senior leaders.”

Henneberry tells the Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1M7pDXOhttps://strib.mn/1M7pDXO ) that Morrill Hall was locked and anyone needing to enter the building had to show identification.

The action began around noon and continued into the evening. No arrests have been reported.

The university released a statement expressing support for free speech rights and saying how the school has so far addressed areas of concern.


Police looking for vehicle spotted near scene of homicide

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) - Moorhead police released surveillance video Monday of a vehicle spotted near where the body of a slain North Dakota State University student was found, asking for the public’s help in a case with no known suspect or motive nearly five months later.

Authorities have received the final medical examiner’s report on Thomas Bearson’s death, but they spent little time discussing it during a news conference Monday. Instead, they focused on the dark-colored, four-door vehicle that spent a couple minutes in a parking lot next to recreational vehicle store in Moorhead the evening of Sept. 20. Bearson’s body was found in the RV lot on Sept. 23.

“We’re interested to know if this vehicle can be identified, even if it’s by the person that owns or was driving that vehicle,” said Moorhead Police Lt. Tory Jacobson. “We’re investigating leads. We’re trying to find all the answers that we can.”

Police say that Bearson, 18, died “as a result of homicidal violence,” but would not say Monday how he was killed.

Moorhead Police Lt. Brad Penas said investigators are reviewing the report of the Ramsey County medical examiner, but Penas would not elaborate on the findings. Asked about the toxicology results, Penas said only that Bearson did not die from a drug overdose or alcohol poisoning.


McCollum to skip Netanyahu speech to Congress

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum says she’ll skip Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress next month.

The Minnesota Democrat calls Netanyahu’s speech “nothing more than a campaign event.” It comes two weeks before Israel’s elections.

Netanyahu plans to address Congress over his concerns about U.S. nuclear negotiations with Iran. House Speaker John Boehner extended the invitation without discussing it beforehand with the White House.

McCollum says she finds it “very disturbing” that the Israeli leader will be allowed to address Congress “for the sole purpose of undermining a foreign policy priority shared by the Obama administration and our European allies to score political points at home.”

Democratic Reps. John Lewis of Georgia and Jim Clyburn of South Carolina also say they will skip Netanyahu’s speech.


Man accused of lying to FBI in terror probe ordered detained

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Minneapolis man charged with lying to the FBI during a terrorism investigation was ordered detained while his case is presented to a federal grand jury, after a magistrate judge said Monday that comments the 19-year-old posted on Twitter amounted to threats.

Hamza Ahmed was arrested last week as authorities are investigating people who have gone to Syria to fight with the Islamic State group. Court documents say Ahmed and three other men from Minnesota took a bus to New York City in November and tried to board flights overseas. All four were stopped.

Prosecutors argued that Ahmed should remain in custody. His attorney, JaneAnne Murray, sought his release and noted that prominent community members were in court to support Ahmed. Murray said comments her client made on Twitter were simply hubris.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven Rau disagreed.

“The tweets that you issued were beyond hubris, they were beyond youth,” Rau said. “They were threats.”

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