SC: Murder trial puts focus on land rights

Yahoo! News

“Bullet holes still pepper a small house on the outskirts of town where two law officers died in a gunbattle over a patch of land the state wanted to take for a highway project. Property rights advocates will be watching closely Monday as jury selection begins for the murder trial of Steven Bixby, a 39-year-old New Hampshire transplant who officials say threatened violence against any officer who set foot on his land. … Some of the property rights advocates who have made Bixby’s case a minor cause celebre, saying he had the right to defend the 20-foot parcel, were expected to attend the trial.” (02/04/07)


Iraq: Resistance may have new anti-aircraft weapon

Guardian [UK]

“American military commanders in Iraq have been forced to adopt new security tactics in the wake of a fresh threat from insurgents after it was confirmed that all four US helicopters that have crashed there in the past two weeks were brought down by ground fire. The crashes raise concerns that insurgents, who have proved highly innovative in warfare, have acquired new weaponry. Twenty Americans, including 16 soldiers and four civilians working for a security company, died in the crashes. … The confirmation that Iraqi insurgents have found a way of increasing their hit rate against helicopters poses US military strategists with a new headache just when they are under pressure to notch up successes under President Bush’s so-called surge policy.” (02/05/07),,2005877,00.html

Afghanistan: Britain hands occupation over to US

Independent [UK]

” Britain has handed over the Nato command in Afghanistan to the United States as the country enters what is expected to be a decisive round of fighting in the war with the Taliban. General Dan McNeill took over from General David Richards on the day that a senior Taliban commander Mullah Ghaffar, who had overrun the Helmand town of Musa Qala, was killed in a Nato air strike.The capture of Musa Qala was seen as a serious blow to British strategy in Afghanistan. An agreement under which troops withdrew in return for local elders guaranteeing security was lauded by UK officials as a model for future deals.” (02/05/07)

OK: Speed trap town files bankruptcy

Sequoyah County Times

“The town of Moffett recently filed Chapter 9 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Oklahoma in Okmulgee, according to a legal notice that appeared in the Eastern-Times Register Wednesday. … In December, the Moffett Police Department was ordered to stop traffic enforcement on a four-mile strip of U.S. Highway 64. The ban is indefinite.The OHP’s investigative division audited the town’s revenue from speed enforcement after the department received a number of complaints about the town being a speed trap.” (02/04/07)

Canada: Towed car held helpless woman

Vancouver Sun [Canada]

“As a Vancouver tow truck driver hauled a frosted-over white Toyota from a no-stopping zone early Wednesday morning, he apparently had no idea the distress going on inside. Beyond the iced windows of that four-door car, an 85-year-old woman lay helpless in the front seat, unable to alert anyone to the severity of her condition. For the next 21 hours, the woman would lie through temperatures as cold as -2 C, waiting in the car until early Thursday morning when someone finally discovered she was there. A Vancouver police spokesman said the woman, whom police have not identified, had been taken to hospital as soon as she was discovered. … Busters operations manager Ron Wood told Global News that it is not company policy to look inside vehicles’ windows. ‘I don’t believe we’re at fault,’ Wood said.” (02/04/07)

MN: Vigilante farmer, 74, charged after chasing thief


“A farmer who chased down a thief and held him at gunpoint until authorities arrived now faces a more serious charge than the thief himself. Kenneth Englund, 74, was charged with second-degree assault, a felony. The thief, who the sheriff said admitted stealing about $5 worth of gasoline from Englund’s neighbor, was charged with misdemeanor theft. Sheriff Mike Ammend said people can’t take the law into their own hands, and that Englund’s actions were ‘an invitation to a shootout. There’s so many things that could have gone wrong here.’ … More than 350 people attended a fundraising dinner for Englund last month and a petition has circulated supporting him.” (02/02/07)

Training survival: Building shooting muscle

Police One
by Ralph Mroz

“Since you carry a gun for self-defense or to save the life of another, then you are concerned with combative firearms skills rather than shooting merely for the experience of shooting. To reach this goal, you engage in training, mostly in the form of practice on a range. How close you get to your goal will depend on the effectiveness of your training. … Let’s use weight lifting and body building as an analogy. If you want to get bigger and stronger, we know that you have to concentrate on working the large muscle groups … Now, go to any range and watch people there. You’ll see a great deal of shooting for tiny groups … You’ll see people shooting at ten to thirty yards, rather than at zero to seven yards.” (02/02/07)