Gun permit suspended after YouTube video
NASHVILLE, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Tennessee has suspended the handgun carry permit of a firearms trainer who said he'd "be glad to fire the first shot" in a civil war over gun control.
James Yeager, chief executive officer of Tactical Response in Camden, Tenn., said in a video posted Wednesday, "Vice President Biden is asking the president to bypass Congress and use executive privilege -- executive order -- to ban assault rifles ... to impose stricter gun control.
"I'm telling you that if that happens it's going to spark a civil war and I'll be glad to fire the first shot," he said. "I'm not putting up with it. You shouldn't put up with it. And I need all you patriots to start thinking about what you're going to do. Load your dam mags, make sure your rifle is clean, pack a backpack with some food in it and get ready to fight."
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security said Friday it has suspended Yeager's handgun carry permit based on "material likelihood of risk of harm to the public," WTVF-TV, Nashville, reported.
"The number one priority for our department is to ensure the public's safety," Tennessee Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. "Mr. Yeager's comments were irresponsible, dangerous, and deserved our immediate attention."
No prosecution for NBC's David Gregory
WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Officials in Washington said it was "a very close decision" but NBC's David Gregory will not be charged with possessing a large capacity ammunition magazine.
Irvin Nathan, attorney general for the District of Columbia, notified NBC in a letter dated Friday Gregory was in violation of the law Dec. 23 when, during an interview on "Meet the Press," he displayed "a magazine capable of holding up to 30 rounds of ammunition."
During an interview with National Rifle Association Executive Director Wayne LaPierre -- one week after the massacre of 20 children and six staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. -- Gregory also held up an ammunition magazine capable of holding five to 10 rounds of ammunition.
Nathan said the larger of the two magazines meets the definition of a Washington law against possession of "any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm" or loaded.
"There is no doubt of the gravity of the illegal conduct in this matter, especially in a city and a nation that have been plagued by carnage from gun violence," he said.
Nathan said the Office of Attorney General would not bring charges against Gregory or any other NBC employee "despite the clarity of the violation of this important law, because under all of the circumstances here a prosecution would not promote public safety in the District of Columbia nor serve the best interests of the people of the district to whom this office owes its trust."
Colosseum restorers find art, decoration
ROME, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Restorers Colosseum in Rome say they have uncovered colorful decorations and artwork on the walls of the 2,000-year-old structure.
Long regarded as a building clad only in white marble punctuated with red plaster tiles, niches and galleries have been found in a mid-level tier of the arena, which is undergoing a $26.6 million cleaning and restoration, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Friday.
"They've uncovered complex decorations, floral patterns in polychromatic glory, including azure, ochre, pink and green. We never expected to find such multi-hued decorations, a veritable riot of color," said Colosseum superintendent Rossella Rea.
Under centuries of graffiti and visitor's signatures in the stonework, restorers also found "symbols of ancient machismo and blood lust, as well as erotica," she added.
Construction of the Colosseum, or more properly the Flavian Amphitheater, ancient site of sport and gladiator combat, began in A.D. 72 by Emperor Vespasian and completed eight years later.
Israel to have 20-year low in draftees
JERUSALEM, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Dropping birth rates and slowing immigration may cause the Israeli army to draft fewer new soldiers this year, a report says.
The decline, the biggest in 20 years, is also reflected in the increasing number of exemptions from army service, Ynetnews reported Friday.
Data compiled by Yedioth Ahronoth indicated about 26 percent of Israelis eligible for army service won't be drafted. Another 13.5 percent are exempted for religious reasons and 4 percent for mental reasons. Health conditions have absolved 2 percent from service and 3 percent are ineligible due to criminal backgrounds, while 3 percent reside abroad.
The Manpower Directorate of the Israeli army expects those numbers to rise, reducing the number of people who can be drafted, unless legislators approve the drafting of members of ultra-Orthodox groups who are customarily exempt from military service.
The army also plans to draft more women and place them in technological roles.
Because of a shortage of women who can meet the criteria for such roles, the Israeli army has begun a campaign encouraging high school girls to take technology, physics or computer science classes.