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May 2, 2012 at 10:49 PM   |   Comments

Obama back in the USA

WASHINGTON, May 2 (UPI) -- President Obama, just back from Afghanistan, dove right back into campaign mode Wednesday evening, attending two Washington fundraisers.

Obama showed up for two separate receptions at the W Hotel sporting a dark suit.

About 25 people were expected for each event. Tickets cost them $40,000 each with the proceeds going to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.

Obama got back stateside about Air Force One in mid-morning, reaching Andrews Air Force Base at 10:40 a.m., then hopping on Marine One for the jaunt to the south lawn of the White House.

The president's trip had started at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan about 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday. There was a refueling stop at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.


Romney addresses women in business

CHANTILLY, Va., May 2 (UPI) -- Mitt Romney, speaking Wednesday at a campaign event in Virginia, said President Obama's policies have harmed the U.S. economy.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and the likely Republican presidential nominee, was joined by about a dozen women who own small businesses at Exhibit Edge, an exhibit design firm in Chantilly, Va., outside Washington, The Hill reported. The event appeared to have a triple purpose -- to campaign on the economy and to make a pitch for women's votes, doing both of these in an important swing state.

"Americans are tired of being tired of this economy and this president, and they want a real change," Romney said.

Romney said Obama's is the most "anti-business administration" since President Jimmy Carter's. He said imposing a minimum tax on high-income taxpayers -- the "Buffet rule" -- and passing labor laws more protective of unions would be bad for small business.

"Democrats say they like a strong economy. They just don't like business very much and you see the economy is made up of nothing but business and so we have to encourage entrepreneurs. I will make America a great place for entrepreneurs again, for small business, for women-owned business, for men-owned business," Romney said.

Ann Romney introduced her husband, the Los Angeles Times reported. She said the couple know "what women can do."


Militiaman suspected of killing 4, self

GILBERT, Ariz., May 2 (UPI) -- Border militia leader Jason "J.T." Ready fatally shot four people in a suburban Phoenix home Wednesday before killing himself, The Arizona Republic reported.

Sources told the newspaper Ready, a former Marine who headed a group called U.S. Border Guard and was running for Pinal County sheriff, killed another man, two women and a young girl.

At least one person survived the carnage, and was being treated at Maricopa Medical Center, the Republic said.

While authorities had not named the other victims, Hugo Maderos of Tampa, Fla., told the newspaper they were his ex-wife Lisa; their daughter, Amber; Amber's boyfriend, whose name wasn't reported; and Amber's 18-month-old daughter, Lilly.

Ready lived at the home with Lisa, who was his girlfriend, Maderos said.

It wasn't known what led to the shootings, city police Sgt. Bill Balafas said.

"This is a domestic situation. We do have a witness that our investigators are interviewing," Balafas said.

Two handguns and a shotgun were recovered from the scene. The Republic said initial reports indicated the killer wore body armor.

KPHO-TV in Phoenix said the incident occurred in a residential area near an elementary and junior high school. The schools were both placed on lockdown until mid-afternoon.


13 charged in Florida A&M hazing death

ORLANDO, Fla., May 2 (UPI) -- Criminal charges have been filed against 13 students in the hazing death of Florida A&M drum major Robert Champion, a Florida state attorney said Wednesday.

The lethal hazing of the 26-year-old occurred after the band's performance at a football game in Orlando last November, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Prosecutors said 11 of the 13 students face felony hazing charges.

Orange-Osceola State Attorney Lawson Lamar, who announced the charges at a news conference Wednesday, called the case "an American tragedy."

"No one would have expected that his college experience would have included being pummeled to death," Lamar said.

Christopher Chestnut, the attorney for Champion's family, said the Champions were disappointed the charges weren't more serious.

"Their son is dead. He was beaten to death on a bus -- that constitutes murder," Chestnut said.

Lamar said he pursued only hazing charges because they would be easier to prove, requiring only evidence of participation in hazing and that there was a death.

The Sentinel said state prosecutors have been considering charges since March, when the Orange County Sheriff's Office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement turned over their findings to prosecutors.

In the hazing incident aboard a charter bus, Champion was punched, kicked and suffocated by band members, the Champion family's attorney said. The family also has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the charter bus company and bus driver.

Lamar said up to 20 misdemeanor charges are also being filed involving "different victims who were not seriously injured."


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