Advice from VP Biden sends Wash. man to jail for illegal weapon discharge

Washington state resident Jeffrey Barton plead not guilty Wednesday to illegally charging a firearm. The man claimed that Monday morning, he spotted suspicious individuals that he suspected were trying to break into his cars. Sensing a threat, Barton grabbed his shotgun, went outside and fired a blast into the air in an attempt to scare off the intruders. The plan worked, but Washington police were still plenty irritated with Barton’s tactics.

Normally this kind of thing would get virtually no coverage whatsoever, except Barton has a pretty unique defense. “I did what Joe Biden told me to do,” Barton said outside court. “I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air.”

The “advice” Barton is referring to came from some comments Biden made earlier in the year when he was on a cross country tour advocating for gun control. “Buy a shotgun,” Biden said at the time. “You don’t need an AR-15. It’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use and in fact, you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself.”

While it’s shocking to think that the Vice President isn’t in the know on the widely varying gun laws in each of the 50 states he oversees, that seems to be the case as Clark County sheriff’s deputies have stated that residents are only allowed to fire their weapons into the air in matters of self-defense or life threatening danger.

Daniel Craig anti-rape PSA sends strong message, but will it make a difference?

The newly released Daniel Craig anti-rape PSA which also featured A-list actors Benicio Del Toro, Steve Carell, Dulé Hill, Seth Meyers, and Steve Carell, seeks to raise awareness across America regarding sexual abuse. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden announced that the video, which can already be seen on YouTube, is part of a campaign to encourage people to say something and act if they see someone at risk of sexual assault.

As pointed out by Hollywood Life yesterday, the Daniel Craig anti-rape PSA sends a powerful message that primarily focuses on rape on college campuses. The video, which was posted by the White House’s YouTube account, comes shortly after President Barack Obama urged universities to take more action to reduce sexual assaults on their campuses, Slate explained.

President Obama and Vice President Biden also speak in the video and the U.S. leaders suggested that the video’s message is directed to everyone, not just men. Obama says: “It’s up to all of us to put an end to sexual assault.” He continued…”and that starts with you.”

“If she doesn’t consent, or if she can’t consent, it’s rape. It’s assault,” says Benicio Del Toro, who gained worldwide fame for his roles in hit-films such as The Usual Suspects (1995) and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998).

“It’s a crime…It’s wrong.” adds Carell, known for starring in the TV series, “The Office.” In turn, Daniel Craig, famous for his role as James Bond in the 007 films, says…”If I saw it happening, I’d never blame her. I’d help her.”

The White House in January created a task force to protect students from sexual assault, and they recently presented a set of recommendations to address the problem in universities and a website notalone gov was established to provide support to sex abuse victims and information to students.

Although the Daniel Craig anti-rape PSA aims to reduce sexual assault everywhere, Biden says the issue is a big problem on school campuses and he recently stated that universities can not keep pretending that rape or sexual abuse does not exist on their campuses. He gave the following statement: “Colleges and universities need to face the facts about sexual assault. No more turning a blind eye or pretending it doesn’t exist. We need to give victims the support they need, like a confidential place to go, and we need to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Oklahoma botches execution of Clayton Lockett following drug controversy

Clayton Lockett was officially administered a cocktail of three drugs at 6:23 p.m. which were expected to execute him within moments. After 16 minutes into the execution, officials closed the viewing window and stated the execution would be halted. Lockett could still be seen struggling, breathing heavy, and attempting to raise his head.

Robert Patton, director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, spoke to the media afterwards, stating that the execution was botched and that Lockett was declared dead from a heart attack at 7:06 p.m. Patton told media that the drugs were all administered but did not have the desired effect.

The execution of Charles Warner, which was to follow the execution of Lockett at 8 p.m., has been postponed for 14 days.

The dual execution had recently been put back on track after a series of court challenges by the inmates. The inmates had challenged the state to disclose information on the execution drugs, as well as where the state obtained them.

Oklahoma’s Supreme Court declared that the inmates had no right to the information, and the executions were quickly rescheduled.

The combination of drugs administered Tuesday was the first time for Oklahoma. The lawsuit by the inmates stated that the drugs could possibly cause severe pain and would violate the Eighth Amendment.

Lockett, 38, was convicted in 2000 for the 1999 rape and murder of Stephanie Nieman, as well as multiple other convictions. Warner, 46, was convicted in 2003 for the 1997 rape and murder of 11-month-old Adrianna Waller.

Israel suspends peace talks with Palestinians

The announcement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, on Thursday, arrived as an unexpected: The diplomatic-security cabinet had a five-hour meeting that votes suspends its negotiations as the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was behind this peace talk.

Netanyahu was inflamed that Mahmoud Abbas, the moderate who heads both the Palestinian authority and the secular Fatah party, had agreed to patch over a seven-year gap with Hamas, the militant Islamist group whose charter denies Israel’s existence.

However, this does not mean the talks is over which expires on April 29? “No, of course not,” says Efraim Inbar, the conservative head of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, a think tank at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan outside Tel Aviv. “We’ll see what happens with Hamas.”

Kerry had to persuade both sides into participating in the talks that began in July, and there was no progress made. Ever since, the U.S. efforts to extend them through the end of the year failed three weeks ago. Kerry said the Obama administration would re-asses its investment in the effort.

At this time, Netanyahu and Abbas have indicated interest to continue talking, and to improve the prospects of a deal. The EU welcomed the pact ending the factional rift, which divided the Palestinian public both politically and territorially, as Hamas governing the Gaza Strip, where 1.7 million Palestinians reside while Fatah held sway on the West Bank, home to another 2.5 million.

A senior Fatah official on Thursday said the unity pact with Hamas was made with the understanding that the group would support the peace talks, regardless of what its charter says. “We wouldn’t have been prepared or able to sign a reconciliation agreement without it being clear to all the Palestinian factions that we are leading our nation to a two-states-for-two-nations solution,” former PA security chief Jabril Rajoub told Israel’s Army Radio. Rajoub tried to turn the tables on Netanyahu, pointing out that parties in his own governing coalition rejected the idea of a Palestinian state, yet talks proceeded anyway.

Inbar says, one of Natayahu’s supporters, he understood the Israeli cabinet’s decision as a tactical move, calculated to push back at Abbas after the Palestinian leader took the initiative.

“It’s good for domestic politics,” Inbar says, of the Israeli cabinet vote. He adds that it could also stir the Obama administration to intercede on Israel’s behalf. “Maybe the Americans will wake up. I don’t know.”

At this time, the Israelis have controlled on the extremist reputation of Hamas as an opportunity to throw Abbas as the reckless party. After the reconciliation, deal was announced, a post on Netayahu’s Facebook page showed a photo of Osama bin Laden alongside a picture of Abbas shaking hands with a senior Hamas official who had publicly lamented the terror mastermind’s death. “This is President Abbas’ new partner.” What analysts call “the blame game” has played out in the background of the negotiations since their start, with each side quietly angling to avoid being seen as responsible for their assumed eventual collapse.

Israel appeared most vulnerable to the blame, largely because, as the talks proceeded nominally toward establishing a Palestinian state. Netanyahu steadily expanded the approximately 200 Jewish settlements on the West Bank territory where that state was expected to stand. Kerry appeared to seal that assumption earlier this month when he told a Senate committee that Israel’s approval of 700 more units in a settlement undermined U.S. efforts to extend the talks.

As the fate of the talks remains unclear, so does the answer to the question of who might bear the blame for their end. For all the drama of Thursday’s cabinet vote, its announcement felt more increasing than final to many observers.

Prina Sharvit-Baruch (a former Israeli peace negotiator, now at the Institute for National- Security Studies, a think tank at Tel Aviv University) said: It could be tactical leverage, or maybe something more substantial. It could be a way to make sure that Hamas doesn’t gain too much influence inside whatever government emerges.”

Miracle needed for dog on death row in San Antonio, Texas and you can help!

Volunteers, animal rescue groups and some San Antonio residents are hoping for a miracle tonight. This dog, who lost all his hair from what vets say is a treatable skin condition, needs a foster home, an adopter, or a rescue group to take him ASAP!

The dog, believed to be a lab, was originally scheduled to be euthanized at 6 p.m. Wednesday night by the City of San Antonio Animal Services according to a Facebook post. But volunteers say the nonprofit rescue group, San Antonio Pets Alive!, or SAPA, got him a reprieve and is making a frantic attempt to find him a temporary or forever home by 9 a.m. Thursday, or else the city will euthanize him. If you’re interested in fostering or adopting him please email: [email protected]

Volunteers say the dog has amazing potential, he just needs some love and care. If someone offers to foster or adopt the dog, the post says SAPA will pay for his medical treatment. Kathy Martin, president of Lucky Lab Rescue, says foster parents or adopters should be very optimistic, “I’ve seen many dogs suffering from skin conditions rebound into beautiful labs that make wonderful, loving pets. Someone just needs to give them a chance.”

Look what happened when someone gave this dog with a hair loss skin condition a chance, she blossomed into this happy, playful dog and all her hair grew back.

There are also dozens of other dogs on death row in this facility that need foster and adoptive homes ASAP, even puppies and another dog with a lot of potential that also has a skin condition. You can check out this album to see pictures and information about the pooches. The shelter DOES adopt to people and rescue groups that are out of state. Many dogs have been safely transported across the country to their new homes, so you don’t have to live in the area if you fall in love with a pet online.

Last year more than 4800 dogs were euthanized by the City of San Antonio. Volunteers, rescue groups and even the City has mounted a huge effort to raise awareness about the importance of spaying and neutering pets. If more people who live close to San Antonio become “fosters” for dogs, it would save countless lives. Fostering means taking care of a dog for a temporary amount of time until someone adopts the pet. It’s also tax deductible. To apply to be a foster go to SAPA’s website and click on “Foster”.

Lucky Lab Rescue has saved many dogs who ended up in the San Antonio pound from being euthanized, if you’re interested in adopting from Lucky Lab, please check out their website.

If you want to help save this dog, with the skin condition, please share this article on your Facebook, Twitter or social media accounts. Posting and awareness has saved many pets lives. Your post could just help this dog, who has no name, to one day be called, “Miracle”.

V. Stiviano, president? Donald Sterling’s squeeze has her eyes on the presidency

V. Stiviano, President of the United States? Hardly. But a girl can dream I suppose, no? V. Stiviano, the 31-year-old mistress of sanctioned Clippers owner Donald Sterling, made the bizarre comment to reporters today as she was awkwardly roller skating around in her driveway, shares the Hollywood Reporter. Stiviano secretly recorded Sterling’s shockingly racist rants that earned the Los Angeles Clippers owner a lifetime ban from the NBA.

“One day, I will become President of the United States of America, and I will change the legislation and laws,” Stiviano said, wearing a very strange looking visor that resembled a welder’s mask. “Modern day history. Civil rights movement,” she said. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver fined Sterling $2.5 million and laid a permanent ban on the owner after his rank attack-comments on African-Americans was aired. As far as what “legislation” our female POTUS would change… who knows?

Media has been encamped outside of Stiviano’s home yesterday and today. With the paparazzi tracking her every move, Stiviano’s lawyer, Mac Nehoray, told the Los Angeles Times that Stiviano did indeed record Sterling’s anti-black rant, but also said that his client had nothing to do with turning the taped conversation over to gossip website TMZ.

Nehoray also said Stiviano was not in a sexual or othwerise romantic relationship with Sterling, despite the fact that it seems obvious to everyone that she was. Sterling has been married to his wife Rochelle for over 50 years. “It’s nothing like it’s been portrayed,” Nehoray said. “She’s not the type of person everyone says…. My client is devastated that this got out.” Rochelle Sterling filed a lawsuit against Stiviano in March in order to reclaim “gifts” given to her by Sterling – a $2 million dollar apartment, luxury vehicles, jewelry and cash.

Reports the LA Times:

Stiviano’s lawyer said his client was a hardworking young woman who supported herself as a waitress and who volunteered to help crime victims before signing on to work as an archivist for Sterling. He did not elaborate on what the archivist job entailed. Stiviano also helped Sterling manage his charities, a job her attorney said she greatly enjoyed and now misses.

Formerly known as Maria Vanessa Perez, Stiviano petitioned to change her name to “V. Stiviano” in 2010. She was relatively unknown until the racist rant aired. In the taped recording obtained by TMZ, Sterling was heard telling Stiviano that he did not want her associating with “black people” or bringing them to games with her and him.

“You can sleep with (black people). You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want,” Sterling says. “The little I ask of you is… not to bring them to my games… I’m just saying, in your lousy [expletive] Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with [them], walking with black people… Don’t put him [Magic Johnson] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don’t bring him to my games.”

According to TMZ, Sterling has a documented history of allegedly racist behavior. Sterling has twice been sued by the federal government for allegedly refusing to rent apartments to Blacks and Latinos.