U.S. Capitol Locked Down After Suicide Outside Building

Washongton-The U.S. Capitol Building was temporarily on lockdown after a man killed himself outside Saturday afternoon, NBC News reported.

A senior federal official said the man killed himself with a single shot, and that he did not have any identification. Police are now looking for the suspect’s car.

The incident took place in a public area around1 p.m. The man, who is not being identified, had a backpack and a roller case with him, which bomb technicians handled as suspicious packages, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine said at a press conference.

Dine added that at this time, there seems to be no connection to terrorism. The man did not have any 
other weapons with him aside from a gun but did have a sign with him about "social justice," according to the police chief. At this time, the exact language of that sign is unclear.

Police instructed staffers to shelter in place as a precautionary measure, though the shooter had been "neutralized." The lockdown was lifted just before 4 p.m., but the West Terrace area remains closed until further notice, according to Capitol Police.

A witness at the scene, Ramesh Nandi, said he and his wife were sitting on the steps of the Capitol, facing the Washington Monument when he saw a young man walk up.

"He took out a placard that said something like, 'Why don't you tax the 1/4?' or something like that. " Nandi said. " I was trying to read the placard."

Other witnesses said the sign said something about taxing the 1 percent, a possible reference to the Occupy Wall Street movement's "We are the 99%" slogan used during protests about the distribution of income and wealth.

Nandi said he heard a pop and saw the back of the man's head starting to get red.

"I grabbed my wife and said, 'Run! Run!' I thought it was a sniper, because I didn't see a gun in his hand."

Nandi and his wife hid behind a wall. He said the man did not speak before the incident.

Global temperature update: no warming for 18 years 4 months, the Pause lengthens again

Global temperature update: no warming for 18 years 4 months
By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
Since December 1996 there has been no global warming at all (Fig. 1). This month’s RSS temperature – so far unaffected by the most persistent el Niño conditions of the present rather attenuated cycle – shows a new record length for the ever-Greater Pause: 18 years 4 months – and counting.
This result rather surprises me. I’d expected even a weak el Niño to have more effect that this, but it is always possible that the temperature increase that usually accompanies an el Niño will come through after a lag of four or five months. On the other hand, Roy Spencer, at his always-to-the-point blog (drroyspencer.com), says: “We are probably past the point of reaching a new peak temperature anomaly from the current El Niño, suggesting it was rather weak.” I shall defer to the expert, with pleasure. For if la Niña conditions begin to cool the oceans in time, there could be quite some lengthening of the Pause just in time for the Paris world-government summit in December.
Figure 1. The least-squares linear-regression trend on the RSS satellite monthly global mean surface temperature anomaly dataset shows no global warming for 18 years 4 months since December 1996.
The hiatus period of 18 years 4 months, or 220 months, is the farthest back one can go in the RSS satellite temperature record and still show a sub-zero trend.
Given that the Paris summit is approaching and most “world leaders” are not being told the truth about the Pause, it would be a great help if readers were to do their best to let their national negotiators and politicians know that unexciting reality continues to diverge ever more spectacularly from the bizarre “settled-science” predictions on which Thermageddon was built.
The divergence between the models’ predictions in 1990 (Fig. 2) and 2005 (Fig. 3), on the one hand, and the observed outturn, on the other, also continues to widen, and is now becoming a real embarrassment to the profiteers of doom – or would be, if the mainstream news media were actually to report the data rather than merely repeating the failed predictions of catastrophe.
Figure 2. Near-term projections of warming at a rate equivalent to 2.8 [1.9, 4.2] K/century, made with “substantial confidence” in IPCC (1990), for the 303 months January 1990 to March 2015 (orange region and red trend line), vs. observed anomalies (dark blue) and trend (bright blue) at less than 1.4 K/century equivalent, taken as the mean of the RSS and UAH satellite monthly mean lower-troposphere temperature anomalies.
clip_image006.pngFigure 3. Predicted temperature change, January 2005 to March 2015, at a rate equivalent to 1.7 [1.0, 2.3] Cº/century (orange zone with thick red best-estimate trend line), compared with the near-zero observed anomalies (dark blue) and real-world trend (bright blue), taken as the mean of the RSS and UAH satellite lower-troposphere temperature anomalies.
The Technical Note has now been much expanded to take account of the fact that the oceans, according to the ARGO bathythermograph data, are scarcely warming.
Key facts about global temperature
Ø The RSS satellite dataset shows no global warming at all for 220 months from December 1996 to March 2014 – more than half the 435-month satellite record.
Ø The global warming trend since 1900 is equivalent to 0.8 Cº per century. This is well within natural variability and may not have much to do with us.
Ø Since 1950, when a human influence on global temperature first became theoretically possible, the global warming trend has been equivalent to below 1.2 Cº per century.
Ø The fastest warming rate lasting ten years or more since 1950 occurred over the 33 years from 1974 to 2006. It was equivalent to 2.0 Cº per century.
Ø In 1990, the IPCC’s mid-range prediction of near-term warming was equivalent to 2.8 Cº per century, higher by two-thirds than its current prediction of 1.7 Cº/century.
Ø The global warming trend since 1990, when the IPCC wrote its first report, is equivalent to below 1.4 Cº per century – half of what the IPCC had then predicted.
Ø Though the IPCC has cut its near-term warming prediction, it has not cut its high-end business as usual centennial warming prediction of 4.8 Cº warming to 2100.
Ø The IPCC’s predicted 4.8 Cº warming by 2100 is well over twice the greatest rate of warming lasting more than ten years that has been measured since 1950.
Ø The IPCC’s 4.8 Cº-by-2100 prediction is almost four times the observed real-world warming trend since we might in theory have begun influencing it in 1950.
Ø The oceans, according to the 3600+ ARGO bathythermograph buoys, are warming at a rate equivalent to just 0.02 Cº per decade, or 0.2 Cº per century.
Ø Recent extreme weather cannot be blamed on global warming, because there has not been any global warming to speak of. It is as simple as that.

Technical note
Our latest topical graph shows the least-squares linear-regression trend on the RSS satellite monthly global mean lower-troposphere dataset for as far back as it is possible to go and still find a zero trend. The start-date is not “cherry-picked” so as to coincide with the temperature spike caused by the 1998 el Niño. Instead, it is calculated so as to find the longest period with a zero trend.
The RSS dataset is arguably less unreliable than other datasets in that it shows the 1998 Great El Niño more clearly than all other datasets (though UAH runs it close). The Great el Niño, like its two predecessors in the past 300 years, caused widespread global coral bleaching, providing an independent verification that RSS is better able to capture such fluctuations without artificially filtering them out than other datasets. Besides, there is in practice little statistical difference between the RSS and other datasets over the 18-year period of the Great Pause.
Terrestrial temperatures are measured by thermometers. Thermometers correctly sited in rural areas away from manmade heat sources show warming rates below those that are published. The satellite datasets are based on reference measurements made by the most accurate thermometers available – platinum resistance thermometers, which provide an independent verification of the temperature measurements by checking via spaceward mirrors the known temperature of the cosmic background radiation, which is 1% of the freezing point of water, or just 2.73 degrees above absolute zero. It was by measuring minuscule variations in the cosmic background radiation that the NASA anisotropy probe determined the age of the Universe: 13.82 billion years.
The RSS graph (Fig. 1) is accurate. The data are lifted monthly straight from the RSS website. A computer algorithm reads them down from the text file, takes their mean and plots them automatically using an advanced routine that automatically adjusts the aspect ratio of the data window at both axes so as to show the data at maximum scale, for clarity.
The latest monthly data point is visually inspected to ensure that it has been correctly positioned. The light blue trend line plotted across the dark blue spline-curve that shows the actual data is determined by the method of least-squares linear regression, which calculates the y-intercept and slope of the line.
The IPCC and most other agencies use linear regression to determine global temperature trends. Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia recommends it in one of the Climategate emails. The method is appropriate because global temperature records exhibit little auto-regression.
Dr Stephen Farish, Professor of Epidemiological Statistics at the University of Melbourne, kindly verified the reliability of the algorithm that determines the trend on the graph and the correlation coefficient, which is very low because, though the data are highly variable, the trend is flat.
RSS itself is now taking a serious interest in the length of the Great Pause. Dr Carl Mears, the senior research scientist at RSS, discusses it at remss.com/blog/recent-slowing-rise-global-temperatures.
Dr Mears’ results are summarized in Fig. T1:
Figure T1. Output of 33 IPCC models (turquoise) compared with measured RSS global temperature change (black), 1979-2014. The transient coolings caused by the volcanic eruptions of Chichón (1983) and Pinatubo (1991) are shown, as is the spike in warming caused by the great el Niño of 1998.
Dr Mears writes:
“The denialists like to assume that the cause for the model/observation discrepancy is some kind of problem with the fundamental model physics, and they pooh-pooh any other sort of explanation.  This leads them to conclude, very likely erroneously, that the long-term sensitivity of the climate is much less than is currently thought.”
Dr Mears concedes the growing discrepancy between the RSS data and the models, but he alleges “cherry-picking” of the start-date for the global-temperature graph:
“Recently, a number of articles in the mainstream press have pointed out that there appears to have been little or no change in globally averaged temperature over the last two decades.  Because of this, we are getting a lot of questions along the lines of ‘I saw this plot on a denialist web site.  Is this really your data?’  While some of these reports have ‘cherry-picked’ their end points to make their evidence seem even stronger, there is not much doubt that the rate of warming since the late 1990s is less than that predicted by most of the IPCC AR5 simulations of historical climate.  … The denialists really like to fit trends starting in 1997, so that the huge 1997-98 ENSO event is at the start of their time series, resulting in a linear fit with the smallest possible slope.”
In fact, the spike in temperatures caused by the Great el Niño of 1998 is largely offset in the linear-trend calculation by two factors: the not dissimilar spike of the 2010 el Niño, and the sheer length of the Great Pause itself.
Curiously, Dr Mears prefers the much-altered terrestrial datasets to the satellite datasets. However, over the entire length of the RSS and UAH series since 1979, the trends on the mean of the terrestrial datasets and on the mean of the satellite datasets are near-identical. Indeed, the UK Met Office uses the satellite record to calibrate its own terrestrial record.
The length of the Great Pause in global warming, significant though it now is, is of less importance than the ever-growing discrepancy between the temperature trends predicted by models and the far less exciting real-world temperature change that has been observed. It remains possible that el Nino-like conditions may prevail this year, reducing the length of the Great Pause. However, the discrepancy between prediction and observation continues to widen.
Sources of the IPCC projections in Figs. 2 and 3
IPCC’s First Assessment Report predicted that global temperature would rise by 1.0 [0.7, 1.5] Cº to 2025, equivalent to 2.8 [1.9, 4.2] Cº per century. The executive summary asked, “How much confidence do we have in our predictions?” IPCC pointed out some uncertainties (clouds, oceans, etc.), but concluded:
“Nevertheless, … we have substantial confidence that models can predict at least the broad-scale features of climate change. … There are similarities between results from the coupled models using simple representations of the ocean and those using more sophisticated descriptions, and our understanding of such differences as do occur gives us some confidence in the results.”
That “substantial confidence” was substantial over-confidence. For the rate of global warming since 1990 – the most important of the “broad-scale features of climate change” that the models were supposed to predict – is now below half what the IPCC had then predicted.
In 1990, the IPCC said this:
“Based on current models we predict:
“under the IPCC Business-as-Usual (Scenario A) emissions of greenhouse gases, a rate of increase of global mean temperature during the next century of about 0.3 Cº per decade (with an uncertainty range of 0.2 Cº to 0.5 Cº per decade), this is greater than that seen over the past 10,000 years. This will result in a likely increase in global mean temperature of about 1 Cº above the present value by 2025 and 3 Cº before the end of the next century. The rise will not be steady because of the influence of other factors” (p. xii).
Later, the IPCC said:
“The numbers given below are based on high-resolution models, scaled to be consistent with our best estimate of global mean warming of 1.8 Cº by 2030. For values consistent with other estimates of global temperature rise, the numbers below should be reduced by 30% for the low estimate or increased by 50% for the high estimate” (p. xxiv).
The orange region in Fig. 2 represents the IPCC’s less extreme medium-term Scenario-A estimate of near-term warming, i.e. 1.0 [0.7, 1.5] K by 2025, rather than its more extreme Scenario-A estimate, i.e. 1.8 [1.3, 3.7] K by 2030.
Some try to say the IPCC did not predict the straight-line global warming rate that is shown in Figs. 2-3. In fact, however, the IPCC’s predicted global warming over so short a term as the 25 years from 1990 to the present are little different from a straight line (Fig. T2).
Figure T2. Historical warming from 1850-1990, and predicted warming from 1990-2100 on the IPCC’s “business-as-usual” Scenario A (IPCC, 1990, p. xxii).
Because this difference between a straight line and the slight uptick in the warming rate the IPCC predicted over the period 1990-2025 is so small, one can look at it another way. To reach the 1 K central estimate of warming since 1990 by 2025, there would have to be twice as much warming in the next ten years as there was in the last 25 years. That is not likely.
Likewise, to reach 1.8 K by 2030, there would have to be four or five times as much warming in the next 15 years as there was in the last 25 years. That is still less likely.
But is the Pause perhaps caused by the fact that CO2 emissions have not been rising anything like as fast as the IPCC’s “business-as-usual” Scenario A prediction in 1990? No: CO2 emissions have risen rather above the Scenario-A prediction (Fig. T3).
Figure T3. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, etc., in 2012, from Le Quéré et al. (2014), plotted against the chart of “man-made carbon dioxide emissions”, in billions of tonnes of carbon per year, from IPCC (1990).
Plainly, therefore, CO2 emissions since 1990 have proven to be closer to Scenario A than to any other case, because for all the talk about CO2 emissions reduction the fact is that the rate of expansion of fossil-fuel burning in China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, etc., far outstrips the paltry reductions we have achieved in the West to date.
True, methane concentration has not risen as predicted in 1990 (Fig. T4), for methane emissions, though largely uncontrolled, are simply not rising as the models had predicted, and the predictions were extravagantly baseless.
The overall picture is clear. Scenario A is the emissions scenario from 1990 that is closest to the observed emissions outturn, and yet there has only been a third of a degree of global warming since 1990 – about half of what the IPCC had then predicted with what it called “substantial confidence”.
Figure T4. Methane concentration as predicted in four IPCC Assessment Reports, together with (in black) the observed outturn, which is running along the bottom of the least prediction. This graph appeared in the pre-final draft of IPCC (2013), but had mysteriously been deleted from the final, published version, inferentially because the IPCC did not want to display such a plain comparison between absurdly exaggerated predictions and unexciting reality.
To be precise, a quarter-century after 1990, the global-warming outturn to date – expressed as the least-squares linear-regression trend on the mean of the RSS and UAH monthly global mean surface temperature anomalies – is 0.35 Cº, equivalent to just 1.4 Cº/century, or a little below half of the central estimate of 0.70 Cº, equivalent to 2.8 Cº/century, that was predicted for Scenario A in IPCC (1990). The outturn is visibly well below even the least estimate.
In 1990, the IPCC’s central prediction of the near-term warming rate was higher by two-thirds than its prediction is today. Then it was 2.8 C/century equivalent. Now it is just 1.7 Cº equivalent – and, as Fig. T5 shows, even that is proving to be a substantial exaggeration.
Is the ocean warming?
One frequently-discussed explanation for the Great Pause is that the coupled ocean-atmosphere system has continued to accumulate heat at approximately the rate predicted by the models, but that in recent decades the heat has been removed from the atmosphere by the ocean and, since globally the near-surface strata show far less warming than the models had predicted, it is hypothesized that what is called the “missing heat” has traveled to the little-measured abyssal strata below 2000 m, whence it may emerge at some future date.
Actually, it is not known whether the ocean is warming: each of the 3600 automated ARGO bathythermograph buoys somehow has to cover 200,000 cubic kilometres of ocean – a 100,000-square-mile box more than 316 km square and 2 km deep. Plainly, the results on the basis of a resolution that sparse (which, as Willis Eschenbach puts it, is approximately the equivalent of trying to take a single temperature and salinity profile taken at a single point in Lake Superior less than once a year) are not going to be a lot better than guesswork.
Fortunately, a long-standing bug in the ARGO data delivery system has now been fixed, so I am able to get the monthly global mean ocean temperature data – though ARGO seems not to have updated the dataset since December 2014. However, that gives us 11 full years of data. Results are plotted in Fig. T5. The ocean warming, if ARGO is right, is equivalent to just 0.02 Cº decade–1, or 0.2 Cº century–1 equivalent.
Figure T5. The entire near-global ARGO 2 km ocean temperature dataset from January 2004 to December 2014 (black spline-curve), with the least-squares linear-regression trend calculated from the data by the author (green arrow).
Finally, though the ARGO buoys measure ocean temperature change directly, before publication NOAA craftily converts the temperature change into zettajoules of ocean heat content change, which make the change seem a whole lot larger.
The terrifying-sounding heat content change of 260 ZJ from 1970 to 2014 (Fig. T6) is equivalent to just 0.2 K/century of global warming. All those “Hiroshima bombs of heat” are a barely discernible pinprick. The ocean and its heat capacity are a lot bigger than some may realize.
Figure T6. Ocean heat content change, 1957-2013, in Zettajoules from NOAA’s NODC Ocean Climate Lab: http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT, with the heat content values converted back to the ocean temperature changes in fractions of a Kelvin that were originally measured. NOAA’s conversion of the minuscule temperature change data to Zettajoules, combined with the exaggerated vertical aspect of the graph, has the effect of making a very small change in ocean temperature seem considerably more significant than it is.
Converting the ocean heat content change back to temperature change reveals an interesting discrepancy between NOAA’s data and that of the ARGO system. Over the period of ARGO data, from 2004-2014, the NOAA data imply that the oceans are warming at 0.05 Cº decade–1, equivalent to 0.5 Cº century–1, or rather more than double the rate shown by ARGO.
ARGO has the better-resolved dataset, but since the resolutions of all ocean datasets are very low one should treat all these results with caution. What one can say is that, on such evidence as these datasets are capable of providing, the difference between underlying warming rate of the ocean and that of the atmosphere is not statistically significant, suggesting that if the “missing heat” is hiding in the oceans it has magically found its way into the abyssal strata without managing to warm the upper strata on the way. On these data, too, there is no evidence of rapid or catastrophic ocean warming.
Furthermore, to date no empirical, theoretical or numerical method, complex or simple, has yet successfully specified mechanistically either how the heat generated by anthropogenic greenhouse-gas enrichment of the atmosphere has reached the deep ocean without much altering the heat content of the intervening near-surface strata or how the heat from the bottom of the ocean may eventually re-emerge to perturb the near-surface climate conditions that are relevant to land-based life on Earth.
Most ocean models used in performing coupled general-circulation model sensitivity runs simply cannot resolve most of the physical processes relevant for capturing heat uptake by the deep ocean. Ultimately, the second law of thermodynamics requires that any heat which may have accumulated in the deep ocean will dissipate via various diffusive processes. It is not plausible that any heat taken up by the deep ocean will suddenly warm the upper ocean and, via the upper ocean, the atmosphere.
If the “deep heat” explanation for the hiatus in global warming were correct (and it is merely one among dozens that have been offered), then the complex models have failed to account for it correctly: otherwise, the growing discrepancy between the predicted and observed atmospheric warming rates would not have become as significant as it has.

Tsarnaev guilty in Boston bombing on all 30 counts!

This image of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was released by the FBI in April 2013.
Boston (CNN)[Breaking news update, posted at 2:32 p.m. ET]
Jurors in the Boston Marathon bombing trial have found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty of all 30 counts that carry a possible penalty of death.

The jury determined that he's responsible for the deaths of Krystle Campbell, Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu and Sean Collier.

Tsarnaev stood with his head bowed and his hands clasped as the verdicts were read.

So far, Tsarnaev has been found guilty of, among other things:
• Conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, a charge that carries a possible penalty of death;
• Using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, and aiding and abetting, a charge that carries a possible penalty of death;
• Using or carrying a weapon in relation to a crime of violence;
• Conspiracy to bomb a public place;
• Bombing a public place;
• Conspiracy to maliciously destroy property;
• Malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive;
• Use or possession of a gun in relation to a crime of violence.

[Breaking news update, posted at 2:19 p.m.]
So far, jurors have found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty of 10 of 30 counts. The verdict still is being read.
[Breaking news update, posted at 2:13 p.m.]
Jurors in the Boston Marathon bombing trial have found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty of using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, and aiding and abetting, a charge that carries a possible penalty of death.
[Breaking news update, posted at 2:12 p.m.]
Jurors in the Boston Marathon bombing trial have found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, a charge that carries a possible penalty of death.
[Breaking news update, posted at 2:09 p.m.]
The jury has been brought into the courtroom. The verdict is expected to be read shortly.
[Breaking news update, posted at 1:53 p.m.]
A verdict has been reached in the Boston Marathon bombing trial.
The jury deliberated for 11½ hours before reaching Wednesday's verdict.

[Original story, published at 9:50 a.m.]
Jurors in the trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked the judge two questions Wednesday, looking for guidance on key decisions in the case.

The jury asked whether a conspiracy can pertain to either a sequence of events or a single event.

"Conspiracy is an agreement between two people to commit unlawful acts," U.S. District Judge George O'Toole replied. "The scope of a conspiracy and the duration of a conspiracy are questions of fact for you to determine."

The second question was about the difference between aiding and abetting. The judge said aiding and abetting is a single concept, and that to aid and abet is to help someone intentionally commit a criminal offense.

The jury resumed deliberations Wednesday morning after seven hours of deliberations Tuesday, which followed weeks of dramatic and emotionally wrenching testimony.

Tsarnaev, 21, could face life in prison or the death penalty.

On Monday, the jury saw a video of the moment a bomb exploded and disemboweled an 8-year-old boy and ripped the leg off his sister. The blast killed a 23-year-old graduate student from China. The jurors heard more horror from April 15, 2013. At one point, prosecutors played a video that showed the scene after a bomb exploded -- blood and injured victims everywhere and the sounds of a child howling. His mother lost her leg.

"The defendant brought terrorism into the backyards and main streets," Assistant U.S. Attorney Aloke Chakravarty said. "The defendant thought that his values were more important than the people around him. He wanted to awake the mujahedeen, the holy warriors, so he chose Patriots' Day, 
Marathon Monday," a time for families to gather and watch the marathon.

Tsarnaev's defense attorney Judy Clarke tried to persuade jurors that her client's older brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died in a shootout with police days after the terror attack, was the instigator of the marathon plot. The younger man, Clarke said, was only following his older brother.

"If not for Tamerlan, it would not have happened," Clarke argued.

Bomb survivors and victims' family members wiped away tears and comforted one another in court.
Tsarnaev fidgeted at the defense table as he has done throughout the trial.

Bill Richard, father of bomb victim Martin Richard, 8, craned his neck to watch Tsarnaev as the prosecutor spoke.
Reporter: Jury may think life sentence worse than death

Reporter: Jury may think life sentence worse than death

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev "chose a day when the eyes of the world would be on Boston," Chakravarty said. 

"He chose a day when there would be civilians on the sidewalks, and he targeted those civilians: men, women and children."

The lawyer waited a beat.

"He wanted to terrorize this country. He wanted to punish America for what it was doing to his people."

The prosecutor showed a picture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, in the marathon crowd.

The day of the bombings, Chakravarty said, "they felt they were soldiers. They were the mujahedeen and they were bringing their battle to Boston."

The counts and possible consequences

Tsarnaev is accused of 30 counts, including setting off weapons of mass destruction at a public event as an act of terrorism. Seventeen of those counts carry a sentence of death or life imprisonment.

If Tsarnaev is found guilty of at least one of the 17 capital counts, the trial will proceed to a second phase, the so-called penalty phase.

That part of the trial will include evidence of aggravating and mitigating factors, and the jury will be asked to weigh elements that make this crime especially heinous against details from Tsarnaev's background and mental health history that would weigh in his favor.

Since testimony began March 4, federal prosecutors have called 92 witnesses, and the defense just four. It seemed a mismatch from the start. "He was there," Clarke conceded as the trial opened, but the defense strategy always had been to focus on persuading the jury to spare Tsarnaev's life.

Jurors were shown a photo of Tsarnaev standing by a tree behind the family of Martin Richard.

"These children weren't innocent to him," the prosecutor said. "They were American. He knew what that bag was designed to do."

Chakravarty quoted Martin's father who earlier testified, "I guess we were just unlucky that day."

But luck had nothing to do with the Boston bombings, the prosecutor said.

"This was a cold, intentional, terrorist act," he said. The brothers' acts that day were intended, he said, "to make a point. To tell America, 'We won't be terrorized by you anymore. We will terrorize you.' "

Retelling a terrifying day

The defense has maintained that Tsarnaev, who was 19 and flunking out of college at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, fell under the sway of his older, more radicalized brother.

"In the past few weeks, we have come face to face with tragedy, suffering and grief in dimensions none of us could imagine," Clarke said. "We've heard words, we've heard screams and we've heard cries. For this suffering and pain, there is no excuse."

She acknowledged her client participated in a "senseless act."

During the 15-minute rebuttal period, prosecutor William Weinreb told jurors not to be distracted by the defense's "attempt to point the finger at somebody else."

"There should be no doubt in your mind that the defendant and his brother are equally guilty," he said. They were "partners in crime."

Weinreb pointed out that after the bombing, Tsarnaev went to the grocery store.

"Tamerlan Tsarnaev didn't turn his brother into a murderer. To shred the bodies of women and children with a homemade type of bomb, you have to be different from other people," the prosecutor said. "If you are capable of such hate, such callousness that you can murder and maim 20 people and then drive to Whole Foods and buy some milk, can you really blame it on your brother?"

Final moments of the victims

From the start, prosecutors presented a compelling case in which the horrors of April 15 to 19, 2013, were vividly brought to life once again.

They began with the stories of bombing survivors and first responders, who described acts of courage and compassion amid madness and chaos.

The final moments of the three Boston Marathon spectators who died were recounted by the people who were by their sides.

According to testimony, Tamerlan Tsarnaev set off a bomb made from a 6-quart pressure cooker, explosive powder from fireworks, duct tape, nails and BBs on Boylston Street near the finish line. That bomb, which exploded near Marathon Sports, claimed the life of Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager.

Twelve seconds later, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allegedly detonated a second, similar bomb outside the Forum restaurant, slightly more than a block away. That blast killed the boy, Martin Richard, and Lingzi Lu, 23, a graduate student from China.

Chakravarty's voice grew soft Monday as he recalled the victims:

Martin's 69-pound body "was shattered, broken, eviscerated, burned. There wasn't a part of this boy's body that wasn't destroyed."

Lu "received blast injuries all over her body. Her leg was torn open, and she bled out."

Campbell died in less than a minute from "massive blast injuries to her lower extremities. Parts of her body were shredded."

Sean Collier, the MIT campus police officer killed three days after the bombings, "never had a chance." He was shot between the eyes. "They assassinated him."

The brothers allegedly killed the 26-year-old officer for his service weapon but couldn't pry it loose from a safety holster.

Carjacked by the brothers

Dun Meng told the jury about his frightening 90 minutes with two carjackers, one who admitted being involved in the marathon bombing. He identified that person as Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Police fired 210 rounds at the brothers when they tracked a GPS device in Meng's stolen Mercedes and cornered them in Watertown, Massachusetts. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev struck Tamerlan, who was wounded, when he charged police in the car. Tamerlan died of his injuries.

"Tamerlan wanted suicide by cop," the prosecutor said Monday. "He was ready for heaven. But the defendant had other plans."

Dzhokhar ditched the stolen car and sought shelter in a dry-docked boat parked in a trailer in a backyard in Watertown. As he hid, he used a pencil to scrawl what prosecutors called a "manifesto" in which he said he was jealous of his brother for dying as a martyr and reaching paradise. He also lashed out at the United States for policies he said killed Muslims, writing, "I can't stand to see such evil go unpunished. We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all."

Federal prosecutors also presented evidence gleaned from searches of the brothers' computers, including militant literature written by top al Qaeda leaders. And they traced the purchase of the pressure cookers, ammunition and BBs, which appeared to have been made by Tamerlan.

A Cop Is Killed Every 58 Hours

by Michelle Malkin
If you’ve been watching cable news, reading Hollywood celebrities’ tweets, and listening to race-hustling opportunists, you might think that every police officer in America has a finger on the trigger, hunting for any excuse to gun down defenseless youths.

This hysterical nonsense must be stopped. The Cirque du Cop-Bashing, with Al Sharpton as ringmaster, is working overtime to exploit the deadly incident in Ferguson, Mo. That means stoking anti–law enforcement fires at all costs. 

Are there bad cops? Yes. Does the police state go overboard sometimes? Yes. Do the demagogues decrying systemic racism and braying about “assassinations” know what happened when teenager Mike Brown was tragically shot and killed last week? No.

Here’s a reality check. While narcissistic liberal journalists and college kids are all posting “hands up” selfies in hipster solidarity with Ferguson protesters, it’s law-enforcement officers who risk their lives in “war zones” every day across the country. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) reports that a total of 1,501 law-enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past ten years, an average of one death every 58 hours, or 150 per year. These include local and state police officers, federal officers, correctional officers, and military law-enforcement officers. 

Fact: Last year, 100 law-enforcement officers were killed. On average, over the past decade, there have been 58,261 assaults against law enforcement each year, resulting in 15,658 injuries. 

Fact: New York City has lost more officers in the line of duty than any other department, with 697 deaths. Texas has lost 1,675 officers, more than any other state. Just this week, NLEOMF released preliminary fatality statistics from August 2013 to August 2014. Total fatalities are up 14 percent, from 63 last year to 72 this year. “Five officers were killed in ambushes, which continue to be a major threat to law enforcement safety,” the group notes. Among the men in uniform who gave their lives this summer: Police officer Scott Patrick of the Mendota Heights Police Department in Minnesota. He was shot and killed while conducting a traffic stop on July 30. Patrick leaves behind a wife and two teenage daughters. Police officer Jeffrey Westerfield of the Gary Police Department in Indiana. 

Westerfield was shot in the head and killed in a July 6 ambush while sitting in his police vehicle after responding to a 911 call. The suspect had been previously arrested for domestic violence and for kicking another officer. Westerfield, a 19-year police-department veteran as well as an Army veteran, leaves behind a wife and four daughters. Officer Perry Renn of the Indianapolis Police Department. 

He was shot and killed while responding to reports of gunfire on July 5. After 20 years on the job, Renn chose to serve in one of the city’s most dangerous areas, even though his seniority would have allowed him to take a less dangerous role. “He chose to work in patrol to make a difference in the field,” police chief Rick Hite said at Renn’s funeral. “Every day, Perry got out of his police car.”

Renn is survived by his wife. Deputy sheriff Allen Bares Jr. of the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana. The 15-year law-enforcement veteran was shot and killed on June 23 while investigating two suspicious suspects. Bares had been mowing his lawn while off-duty when he witnessed a suspicious car crash. When he went to investigate, he was gunned down. The assailants stole his truck as he lay dying. 

“He’s the type of person that would give his shirt off his back to anybody,” a cousin said in tribute. 

“Anyone that knows Allen will tell you that he was that kind of person.” Bares leaves behind a wife and two children. Police officer Melvin Santiago of the Jersey City Police Department in New Jersey. 

Santiago, a proud rookie cop who loved his job, was ambushed on July 13 by a homicidal armed robber. Santiago was 23 years old. After Santiago’s killer was shot dead by police, the violent Bloods street gang vowed to “kill a Jersey City cop and not stop until the National Guard is called out.” Al Sharpton, concocter of hate-crime hoaxes and inciter of violent riots against police, had no comment. 

— Michelle Malkin is the author of Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies. Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com.© 2014 Creators.com

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/385458/cop-killed-every-58-hours-michelle-malkin

California Residents Take Drastic Measures To Conserve Water Amid State’s Ongoing Drought

Ex-IRS ethics office lawyer disbarred for … ethics violations

The Washington Time
A lawyer who worked in the IRS ethics office was disbarred Thursday by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, which concluded she misappropriated a client’s funds from a case she handled in private practice, broke a number of ethics rules and showed “reckless disregard for the truth” in misleading a disbarment panel looking into the matter.

The lawyer, Takisha Brown, reportedly had bragged that she would never be punished because her boss would protect her, but an IRS spokesman said Wednesday that she was no longer an employee at the agency.

“Our records indicate that this employee no longer works for the IRS,” spokesman Matthew Leas said, though he wouldn’t comment further on the case, which became another black eye for the embattled tax agency when The Washington Times first reported on it last year.

Ms. Brown had her licenses suspended and then was disbarred after misusing money she won for a client in an automobile accident case. Under terms of the deal, Ms. Brown was to use part of the settlement to pay the victim’s medical bills, but the lawyer withdrew the money herself and ignored repeated requests from the client’s physicians to make good on the bills, the appeals court said.

Ms. Brown also misled a disbarment hearing panel when it began looking into the matter, the court said.

“The record amply supports the conclusions that Ms. Brown intentionally misappropriated funds and made false statements with reckless disregard for the truth,” the appeals court concluded in a 14-page order finalizing her disbarment.

Efforts to reach Ms. Brown were unsuccessful, though she told The Times last year that she was just starting as a lawyer when she goofed and called it a “one-time mistake.”

She pleaded with the court for leniency. She said she paid back the money and explained that she was facing personal problems including a difficult pregnancy and marital troubles at the time she was being investigated for misconduct.

The court rejected those points and said misleading the disbarment hearing committee was an “aggravating circumstance” that hurt her case.

Ms. Brown’s case drew the attention of Congress. Two senior members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said the lawyer, in addition to facing disbarment, was accused of lying to the IRS inspector general over whether she left an investigative file on a party bus headed to Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Ms. Brown, the lawmakers said, denied to investigators that she left the file on the bus but told co-workers she was confident that her boss would support her and she would escape any punishment even if auditors proved she did leave the file on the bus. Her boss was Karen L. Hawkins, the head of the ethics office, formally known as the Office of Professional Responsibility.

Ms. Hawkins, who has run the office overseeing the behavior of tax lawyers since 2009, has insisted in the past that misconduct is inexcusable even if it isn’t related to work.

“I expect nothing but absolute integrity out of both myself and my staff because I just don’t see how you can justify disciplining others for lack of integrity if you aren’t demonstrating integrity-plus on your own behalf,” she said in a hearing during a union grievance last year.

Reached by The Times on Wednesday, Ms. Hawkins declined to comment on the matter.

In a speech this week, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen insisted his agency has turned the corner on problems with employee behavior in recent years.

He said agency officials have taken steps to prevent the re-hiring of former employees who refused to pay their own taxes and that current staffers in arrears will not receive bonuses. But he also said it’s impossible to fully police a workforce as big as the one he oversees.

“I can’t guarantee that we don’t have any problems in the future — no one could — since we still have 87,000 employees who deal with 150 million individual taxpayers and administer the world’s most complicated tax code. But I can assure you that our commitment is to find problems quickly, to fix them promptly and be transparent in the process,” Mr. Koskinen said.

Copyright © 2015 The Washington Times, LLC.