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February 27, 2019

METH CHEMICALS SEIZED IN AUSTRALIA

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australian authorities say they’ve seized chemicals which could have been used to make 1 ton of methamphetamine and arrested four men in a joint operation with China.

Australian Federal Police say they seized 1.4 tons of ephedrine, which could have been used to make meth with a street value of nearly $500 million.

Investigators say they were tipped off by Chinese authorities about a syndicate suspected of importing commercial quantities of drugs into Melbourne.

Border authorities intercepted a container arriving from China labeled as ceramic tiles and glue but which police say contained 260 bags of ephedrine.

Police say they switched the ephedrine with an inert substance and delivered the consignment.

Two of those arrested are from Melbourne and two are Chinese nationals.

TERROR SUPPORT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge sentenced a 23-year-old Northern California man to more than 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to trying to support an Islamic terrorist group.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer yesterday rejected Amer Alhaggagi’s plea for a much shorter sentence. After Alhaggagi pleaded guilty in July, his attorneys tried to portray the Berkeley High School graduate as an out-of-work, pot-smoking Internet “troll” seeking only to provoke and annoy with violent, anti-American claims.

Alhaggagi plotted for two years with undercover agents to blow up courthouses, landmarks and tourists attractions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. His attorneys argued that Alhaggagi was a “blowhard” who never came close to following through with the boasts.

But the judge disagreed, saying “words matter” and that Alhaggagi lacked empathy.

DEAD BABY FOUND AFTER MOTHER, CHILD PLUNGE FROM SO. CAL BALCONY

UPLAND, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say they’ve found a baby girl dead inside a Southern California apartment after the mother threw her son and herself from a balcony.

The woman and the young boy are hospitalized in stable condition.

The Southern California News Group says neighbors called Upland police after they saw the woman throw the boy from the second-story balcony late Tuesday morning. When officers arrived, she jumped to the concrete below.

Officers who entered the apartment found a girl who wasn’t breathing. Police Capt. Marcelo Blanco says the infant had a fractured skull and other injuries.

Blanco says the mother is speaking to investigators but other details haven’t been released.

Upland is about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

NO PROSECUTION FOR WOMAN WHO POSTED SCHOOL FIGHT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana woman arrested after posting a video of a school fight online will not be prosecuted.

The Lafayette Parish district attorney’s office told news outlets it will not pursue a case against 32-year-old Maegan Adkins-Barras of Broussard. She was arrested last week under a little known 2008 law. The law forbids people involved in crimes from posting video of those crimes to gain publicity.

Adkins-Barras posted the video of the fight at Acadiana High School after receiving it from her son. The Scott Police Department later arrested her.

But an American Civil Liberties Union who was asked to comment on the arrest raised doubts about the case. Bruce Hamilton noted that there was no indication Adkins-Barras was a principal or accessory to the fight, or that she sought publicity.

FORMER N.J. SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT SEEKS PROBE

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s attorney general’s office is reviewing claims by a former school superintendent that police acted unlawfully when they distributed his mug shot after he was charged with public defecation.

An attorney for Thomas Tramaglini sent the letter to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal asking for an investigation.

A spokesman for the AG says the matter is being reviewed but declined to elaborate.

Tramaglini was issued summonses in May after police alleged he repeatedly defecated on the Holmdel High School track.

He eventually pleaded guilty to relieving himself in public and resigned as superintendent of the Kenilworth school district.

KANSAS CITY INSTALLS PUBLIC MEMORIAL TO MARTIN LUTHER KING

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City has shed its reputation as one of the largest cities in the U.S. without a public memorial to Martin Luther King Jr.

The city on Monday installed the first signs along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

After an often contentious debate, the City Council voted last month to rename a 10-mile stretch of a local roadway after the civil rights leader.

The Kansas City Star reports the change came after a push by religious leaders and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization King helped found.

The delay was caused by some council members who didn’t believe residents and businesses along Paseo Boulevard had been properly consulted about changing the name of the section of the roadway, known locally as The Paseo.

The city will replace the remaining signs over the next few months.