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Feb. 19, 2013 at 12:00 PM   |   Comments

Four dead in multiple California shootings

TUSTIN, Calif., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Four people are reported dead and two wounded in multiple shootings in Southern California, authorities said Tuesday.

Police say one of the dead is believed to be the man who shot the others, the Orange County (Calif.) Register reported.

He is believed to have shot himself after police stopped his car on the 55 Freeway in the city of Orange, officials said.

The first shooting was reported about 5:20 a.m. in Ladera Ranch, where one person was killed inside a home, said a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

The shooter fled in an sports utility vehicle and then allegedly carjacked three vehicles in Tustin, police said.

In the first carjacking, a bystander was shot but not seriously injured.

The driver of the second carjacked vehicle was shot and killed, police said.

The gunman then hijacked a third vehicle, police said, shooting two people. One of them died, and the other was taken to a nearby hospital.

Police found the suspect driving on the 55 Freeway. He shot himself before police said they could make contact with him.


Quetta blast results in 170 arrests

QUETTA, Pakistan, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Pakistani police said Tuesday they have arrested 170 people in connection with the weekend bomb attack that killed nearly 90 people in Quetta.

The blast ripped through a busy Shiite market district Saturday injuring at least 169 people, including women and children, the BBC reported.

The Sunni militant group Laskhar-e-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Security sources told the BBC Pakistani police have killed the bomb maker and three others in connection with the attack.

Previously, authorities have been accused of turning a blind eye to the killing of members of the Shiite minority by hard-line Sunni militant groups.

The Quetta bombing sparked strikes and protests across Pakistan and relatives of the victims refuse to bury the dead until officials take action to stop the violence.

Quetta is the capital of Balochistan province that borders Iran and Afghanistan.

The province has been plagued by separatist rebellion as well as sectarian violence.


Hundreds protest arrest of activist

TUCSON, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Hundreds of people turned out at the Tucson Police Department to protest the arrest of a community activist for interfering with Border Patrol agents.

Raul Alcaraz Ochoa was arrested when he allegedly tried to prevent a man determined to be in the United States illegally from being detained, the Arizona Daily Star reported Tuesday.

Border Patrol agents said Alcaraz failed to follow agents' orders and lay down under a patrol vehicle to prevent it from moving.

Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Widmer said officers were called Sunday to investigate a report that a man put three children into the back seat of a car and two others in the trunk.

The driver of the car, Meza Huerta, was cited for civil child restraint violations and having a suspended driver's license.

Border Patrol agents were called after police determined Huerta wasn't a legal resident. Arizona law required officers to check Herta's immigration status.

Alcaraz, who happened on the scene, was arrested when he interfered.


Court upholds use of drug-sniffing dog

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday in a Florida case in favor of the use of a trained drug-sniffing dog, Aldo, during a routine traffic stop.

The ruling preserves the use of drug-sniffing dogs, a key element of law enforcement during traffic stops and in other situations.

Clayton Harris was stopped in Liberty County by a sheriff's deputy canine officer for driving on an expired license. The officer's dog Aldo sniffed and alerted for drugs on the driver's side, causing the deputy to search the interior of the car.

The deputy said he discovered supplies to manufacture methamphetamine, which Harris admitted to making and using, the state said. After his lawyer's motion to suppress the evidence at trial was denied, Harris pleaded no contest and was convicted of possessing the restricted chemical pseudoephedrine with intent to use it to manufacture methamphetamine, in violation of state law.

But the Florida Supreme Court eventually ruled evidence that a dog has been trained and certified to detect narcotics, standing alone, is not sufficient to establish the dog's reliability for determining probable cause.

The Florida Supreme Court thus effectively negated "the narcotics detection dog as an important crime fighting tool for law enforcement and society," state officials said.

Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the state court.

Writing for the full court, Justice Elena Kagan said because training and testing records supported Aldo's reliability in detecting drugs and Harris failed to undermine that evidence, the officer had probable cause to search Harris's truck.


Report: Japanese nuke plant in quake zone

HIGASHIDORI, Japan, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Crush zones on the grounds of a Japanese nuclear plant are due to active earthquake fault lines, nuclear regulatory officials say.

The determination is likely to delay the restart of the plant's reactors, Yomiuri Shimbun reported Tuesday.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority made the assessment in a draft report of an on-site inspection of the Higashidori nuclear power plant in Aomori Prefecture that is operated by Tohoku Electric Power Co.

The report means Tohoku will probably not be able to restart its plans in July 2015 as hoped. Several crush zones run near the plant's reactor building and the plant operator will have to review predictions about possible earthquake intensities and the facility's ability to withstand a tremor.

The agency is expected to ask other experts to evaluate the findings of the draft report.

The NRA previously issued a separate assessment that the Tsuruga nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture confirming that crush zones at the site were active faults.

Both plants may have to permanently shut down if investigations agree with the assessments.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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