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UPI NewsTrack TopNews

March 17, 2013 at 12:00 PM   |   Comments

U.S. copter down in Afghanistan; 1 killed

KABUL, Afghanistan, March 17 (UPI) -- One American died this weekend when a U.S. military helicopter crashed in Afghanistan's Kanduhar province, coalition officials said.

The International Security Assistance Force said the OH-58 Kiowa went down early Saturday for reasons that were still under investigation.

An official at ISAF Joint Command told Stars and Stripes it was not known if the Kiowa suffered a mechanical emergency or if pilot error was involved. Investigators said there was no indication it was shot down.

It was not known if the two-seat aircraft had a second crew member aboard and what the person's fate was.

The newspaper said the crash was the second fatal chopper crash in Kandahar. Five soldiers were killed Monday when a U.S. Army Black Hawk went down.


Pope delivers Angelus prayer

VATICAN CITY, March 17 (UPI) -- Pope Francis spoke about God's power to forgive Sunday before a crowd of thousands assembled at St. Peter's Square for the Angelus prayer, observers said.

The off-the-cuff remarks after the Angelus prayer were in contrast to Pope emeritus Benedict's style of theological sermonizing, the BBC reported.

The prayer came after Pope Francis' first Sunday mass, which was held in the Vatican's small parish church instead of St. Peter's Basilica.

Prior to entering the church, the pope took the time to greet well-wishers gathered outside a nearby gate shouting "Francesco," the BBC said.

Francis sent his first tweet as pontiff minutes after delivering the Angelus prayer.

"Dear friends, I thank you from my heart and I ask you to continue to pray for me. Pope Francis," the tweet read.


Man allegedly stabs woman, rapes child

SYRACUSE, N.Y., March 17 (UPI) -- Police said a Syracuse, N.Y., man allegedly deactivated his ankle monitor, went to a nearby mall and stabbed a woman to death and raped a 10-year-old girl.

David J. Renz had been fitted with the electronic monitoring device in January, two days after he was charged with possessing child pornography on his computer, The (Syracuse) Post-Standard reported Sunday.

Renz, who has a degree in computer science from State University College at Oswego, N.Y., allegedly deactivated the monitoring device Thursday before heading to Great Northern Mall in Clay, N.Y., police said.

There he attacked Lori Bresnahan, 47, and a 10-year-old girl as they were leaving a gymnastics class at CNY Gym Centre. The relationship between Bresnahan and the girl was not reported, although a coach at the gym said the woman often brought her daughter in for classes.

Renz took Bresnahan and the girl to a deserted area of the mall parking lot where he allegedly raped the child. He then drove Bresnahan's vehicle to a road behind the mall where he repeatedly stabbed the woman, police said.

The child ran off and flagged down a passing motorist for help. Police said they found and arrested Renz as he tried to flee into nearby woods.

Bresnahan was pronounced dead at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, the Post-Standard reported.


Two Steubenville teens guilty of rape

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio, March 17 (UPI) -- A judge found two Steubenville, Ohio, teen football players Sunday guilty of raping an allegedly drunk 16-year-old girl at a series of parties.

Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond, 16, were found delinquent -- the juvenile equivalent of guilty -- by Judge Thomas Lipps after four days of testimony The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported.

Witnesses testified two football players digitally penetrated the girl, which constitutes rape in the state of Ohio. The girl, whose name was not reported, testified she was intoxicated at the time of the incident, calling into question her ability to understand what was happening and to consent, CNN reported.

Much of the four-day trial focused on explicit text messages sent between the victim and the defendants, and the defendants and others, as well cellphone pictures and videos and social media posts surrounding the sexual abuse of the girl.

Mays and Richmond will likely undergo evaluation to determine their risk level, which the judge will use to decide if they should be committed to a juvenile detention facility, the Plain Dealer reported. The assessment could also help classify them into a sexual offender registration tier.

The two teens face the possibility of being jailed until they are 21 years old.

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