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Feb. 13, 2013 at 11:17 PM   |   Comments

Park: N. Korea heading for destruction

SEOUL, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye told her advisers Wednesday North Korea's nuclear ambitions could lead to its destruction, her staff says.

Park, who takes office Feb. 25, appears to be taking a harder position on North Korea following its nuclear test Tuesday, The New York Times reported. The North tested what its leaders described as a miniature atom bomb.

Park's staff released comments she made to her advisers on security and foreign affairs.

"No matter how many nuclear tests North Korea conducts to boost its nuclear capabilities, it will eventually bring itself self-destruction by wasting its resources," Park was quoted as saying by her office during a meeting Wednesday with her national security and foreign affairs advisers. "Nuclear weapons did not prevent the old Soviet Union from collapsing."

Park, the daughter of Park Chung-hee, who ruled South Korea from 1963 to 1979, is the first woman to be elected president. The head of the conservative Saenuri Party, she won 51.6 percent of the vote in the December election.

President Obama in his State of the Union message Tuesday promised the United States will keep South Korea under its "nuclear umbrella." He said North Korea's nuclear tests will only bring it more isolation from other countries.


Josh Powell's brother commits suicide

MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The brother and defender of Josh Powell, who killed himself and his two sons in a house fire after suspicions he killed his wife Susan, has committed suicide.

The Hennepin County, Minn., Medical Examiner's Office confirmed the death of Michael C. Powell, 30, who moved to Minnesota in 2010 to pursue graduate studies.

Four people witnessed his fall Monday from a building in downtown Minneapolis. He landed on a sidewalk and died immediately, a police report said.

Michael Powell ardently defended his brother Josh, who died with his two young sons in an intentionally set house fire in Graham, Wash., in 2011. Josh Powell was the only person of interest in the disappearance of his wife, Susan Powell, last seen in 2009 at the couple's West Valley, Utah, home, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Wednesday.

He also fiercely defended his father Steve Powell, convicted in 2012 of 14 counts of voyeurism for taking photographs of two girls, neighbors of his in Puyallup, Wash. Steve Powell is scheduled to be released from prison in May, the newspaper said.

At the time of his death, Michael Powell was involved in a legal battle with Susan's parents, Chuck and Judy Cox, over $1.5 million in insurance policies issued to Josh Powell and sons Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5.

In posts on a short-lived website, Michael Powell said he did not believe prosecutors had evidence to support the charges then pending against his father, which he said were meant to "inflict maximum damage to the Powell family's reputation and long-term financial situation."


10 cops allegedly worked for drug dealers

ATLANTA, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Ten Atlanta-area police officers have been charged with working for a drug gang, taking payoffs in exchange for protecting the cocaine operation.

The officers were arrested Tuesday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The suspects include officers from Atlanta, Stone Mountain, DeKalb County, the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority and even a contract officer with the Federal Protective Service.

U.S. Attorney Sally Yates, at a news conference announcing the arrests, said the "breadth of corruption is troubling."

"These are people they are supposed to be arresting, not taking money from," she said.

Investigators said some of the officers, caught on wiretap, appeared ready to kill to protect drug dealers. None has been charged with actual acts of violence.

The investigation began in August 2011 when agents with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives learned a street gang was using police officers for protection. The FBI took over the corruption investigation.


Suspect allegedly admitted shooting Hadiya

CHICAGO, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- One of the young men charged with killing 18-year-old Hadiya Pendleton confessed to the crime, Chicago police sources told the Chicago Tribune.

The newspaper, citing the police sources, reported Michael Ward, 18, told investigators Pendleton was shot by mistake. He allegedly said he and Kenneth Williams, 20, believed a group of young people hanging out in Harsh Park were members of a rival street gang.

The shooting attracted national attention because Pendleton was a majorette with her school's marching band, which had performed at President Obama's inauguration a few days earlier. She was also gunned down about a mile from the president's home in Chicago.

Ward and Williams, reputed members of the Gangster Disciples, were arrested late Saturday. Sources told the Tribune investigators got a tip from a jail inmate that a recent parolee might have information and the parolee then led them to the two suspects.

The gun used in the shooting has not been recovered. Jennifer Sexton, an assistant state's attorney, said in court Tuesday that security footage shows a white Nissan Sentra, allegedly one owned by Ward's mother, near the park, and that eyewitnesses have identified Williams as the driver.

Ward allegedly admitted being the shooter, saying he got out of the car and approached Pendleton and her friends quietly, believing they were gang rivals. Pendleton was shot in the back and two of her friends wounded.

Pendleton's parents attended Tuesday night's State of the Union address, where Obama pointed them out as victims of gun violence.

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