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Thread: A Few News Items...

  1. #1
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    A Few News Items...

    Three Yale Students Arrested for Burning American Flag
    Wednesday, April 04, 2007

    NEW HAVEN, Conn.

    Three Yale University students were arrested and charged with arson and other offenses after they allegedly set fire to an American flag hanging from the porch of a New Haven neighborhood home.

    The three were arrested early Tuesday after officers on patrol spotted the burning flag and tore it from the pole where it was mounted to the house on Chapel Street, police said.

    Said Hyder Akbar, 23, Nikolaos Angelopoulos, 19, and Farhad Anklesaria, also 19, were arrested.

    "People could have been hurt," New Haven police spokeswoman Bonnie Posick said, noting the flag was attached to the house. "They even admitted it was a stupid thing to do."

    Freshmen Angelopoulos and Anklesaria are both foreign citizens; Anklesaria is British and Angelopoulos is Greek. Akbar, a senior, was born in Pakistan, according to police, but is a U.S. citizen. Both Anklesaria and Angelopoulos had to turn over their passports.

    Akbar worked as an informal translator for U.S. forces during the invasion of Afghanistan and later published a memoir, "Come Back to Afghanistan," based on his experiences there, the Yale Daily News reported Wednesday.

    "He's an incredibly articulate, mature, sweet, smart guy," said Gillian Blake, Akbar's editor. "It's an amazing book."

    Akbar whose father was a spokesman for the Afghan president and served as governor also testified at the trial of David Passaro, a former CIA contractor charged in the death of an Afghan citizen in U.S. custody.

    Akbar said in 2004 he walked out of the interrogation in disgust after the contractor began threatening the prisoner, but that he said he saw no abuse. He testified that Passaro was "full of rage" during the interrogation.

    Passaro, a former Hartford police officer, was the first American civilian charged with mistreating a detainee during the wars prompted by the Sept. 11 attacks.

    He was sentenced in February to nearly 8 1/2 years in prison for beating a man in Afghanistan who later died.

    At their arraignment in Superior Court a few hours after their arrests Tuesday, bond was kept at $25,000 for Angelopoulos and Akbar, but was reduced to $15,000 for Anklesaria.

    The students appeared dazed at their arraignment Tuesday morning when they entered Superior Court in leg irons and handcuffs, reported The New Haven Register. They remained jailed Tuesday night but were later released on bond.

    None have criminal records, Deputy Assistant Public Defender Sanford Bruce Wednesday.

    "All three of these gentlemen are clearly happy to be in the United States and happy to be attending Yale," Bruce said.

    He declined to discuss a possible motive for the alleged incident, but he challenged the arson charge.

    The three are being charged with two counts of reckless endangerment, breach of peace, criminal mischief in the third-degree, arson in the second-degree, conspiracy for arson, conspiracy for breach of peace, conspiracy for mischief and conspiracy for reckless endangerment. They were not charged with flag burning.

    Some charges were added by Assistant State's Attorney Karen Roberg after the three were arrested and charged by New Haven police. She substituted the arson charges for reckless burning.

    Police said the students had two encounters with officers.

    Officers Stephanija Van Wilgen and Diane Gonzalez were responding to an unrelated call in New Haven at about 3 a.m. and were flagged down by the students, who asked for directions.

    A short time later, the two officers returned to Chapel Street to see if the students had found their way home and spotted the burning flag.

    "There was a glow in front of the house which they identified as a flag mounted on a pole to the house and it was engulfed in flames," police spokeswoman Bonnie Posick said.

    Van Wilgen pulled down the burning flag to prevent the fire from spreading, and Gonzalez tracked down the young men.

    The police report says one of the officers woke up the residents on the first and second floors of the house to tell them about the incident. The people living there are not the homeowners, however, and likely are renters.

    The police report does not indicate whether or not alcohol was involved in the incident, but the students were not given sobriety tests.

    Police said Akbar was wearing a hooded sweatshirt that read in bold letters, "I am Famous in Afghanistan," reported The New Haven Register. The political science major was quoted in a Yale Daily News story last year as saying that he was a native of Afghanistan.

    Marc Suraci, 37, owner of the two-story house on Chapel Street where the flag was burned, said he always puts flags out in front of his rental properties and said several of his relatives fought in American wars to defend the constitutional right to burn the flag as a protest.

    "It makes me sick to my stomach to think that someone would burn the American flag," Suraci, who believes flag burning should be illegal, told the New Haven Register. "But it gets to another level when it is somebody else's flag on their own personal property."
    Students Pelt Karl Rove After Speech at American University
    Wednesday, April 04, 2007

    White House adviser Karl Rove was confronted by more than a dozen protesters who blocked his car and threw things as he tried to leave a speaking engagement at American University, officials said.

    Rove was attending a guests-only discussion of electoral politics Tuesday night sponsored by the American University College Republicans.

    "It was their last meeting of the year, and Mr. Rove spent about an hour with the students," said Maralee Csellar, a university spokeswoman. About 150 people attended the event, which was limited to invited guests.

    When Rove tried to leave a campus building, he was confronted by more than a dozen protesters who surrounded his car to prevent it from leaving, Csellar said.

    "They were throwing unknown objects at the vehicle," said Secret Service spokeswoman Kimberly Bruce. She said members of the Secret Service asked the protesters to move. When they continued to block the vehicle's exit, campus police were contacted.

    Campus police lifted some of the demonstrators from the asphalt and carried them out of the vehicle's path so Rove could leave the campus. There were no arrests or injuries, police said.

    A telephone call seeking comment from the White House was not immediately returned.
    And in my very best JetDawgg impersonation, I will not post any personal opinions. I am MUCH more mysterious that way!

  2. #2
    JetsFan2012
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    setting fire to a flag THAT IS HANGING ON A HOUSE is pretty much retarded

  3. #3
    JetsFan2012
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    as for the second news item, as soon as you prevent someone from escaping and throw objects at them, isn't that assault? Also, quite retarded.

  4. #4
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    these actions are inexcusable

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pauliec
    setting fire to a flag THAT IS HANGING ON A HOUSE is pretty much retarded
    Agreed.
    Flag burning in my opinion is disgraceful and truly hateful. However it certainly should not be illegal.
    Setting a flag on fire that is hanging on a house is all of the above plus very stupid and dangerous.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennyo7
    Agreed.
    Flag burning in my opinion is disgraceful and truly hateful. However it certainly should not be illegal.
    Setting a flag on fire that is hanging on a house is all of the above plus very stupid and dangerous.
    I agree. Flag burning should not be illegal. Unless the flag your burning is not your own, and it's attached to someone elses home, and you turn out to be a non-citizen here to get an American education. Then, I'm all for prosecution.

  7. #7
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    Of course flag burning should not be illegal, provided the burner owns the flag and the burning is done in a manner that does not endanger anyone or their property or disrupt the peace or incite a riot, etc.

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