Introducing George Zimmerman’s ALL WHITE JURY

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Read Time:4 Minute, 51 Second

By: David Ovalle and Audra D.S. Burch

Zimmerman has gotten his wish! Sixteen months after George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin during an incident that drew worldwide attention and sparked racial tension, an all female jury — all but one of whom are White — will decide if the neighborhood vigilante is guilty of murder.

Lawyers will present their opening statements Monday morning. The six jurors plus four alternates were sworn in Thursday afternoon.

Each of the jurors, during the nine-day selection process, promised to be fair and impartial. The panel was chosen despite prosecutors’ unsuccessful attempts to remove two of the women. Legal experts, who believe ethnic minorities might side with prosecutors in this case, were surprised at the lack of racial diversity and split on the effects of the all female jury. The jurors were chosen from a pool of 40 potential jurors — 24 were women, at least five were African American and at least two were Hispanic.

Coral Gables criminal defense attorney Jose Baez said he believes the jury “clearly favors the defense,” adding that women may side with Zimmerman over issues of self-defense. Even though jurors are not supposed to be dismissed for reasons of race, Baez said the defense won by limiting ethnic minorities on the panel.

“Race was the elephant in the room and they slayed it,” said Baez, who earned an acquittal in the Casey Anthony Orlando murder case.

Miami criminal defense lawyer Larry Handfield said he thought prosecutors could benefit from the jury’s gender.

“When you have a panel that is dominated by females, they bring in the parental, maternal instincts of being sympathetic toward the victim, who was a young kid in high school,” Handfield said.

Trayvon was a 17-year-old student at Dr. Michael M. Krop High in North Miami-Dade. He had been suspended from school and was visiting his father in Sanford.

The night of the shooting, Trayvon walked to a nearby store to buy candy and a drink. On the way back, Zimmerman — a neighborhood watch vigilante with a penchant for calling 911 — called police to report a suspicious person.

Prosecutors say Zimmerman “profiled” the teen, then shot him during the scuffle inside the gated community. Zimmerman claims self-defense, saying Trayvon attacked him and that he shot after the teen bashed his head into the concrete. Trayvon was African American. Zimmerman is White Hispanic.

Police in Sanford, which has a history of racial tension, did not initially arrest Zimmerman. National civil rights leaders demanded an arrest, staging rallies in Sanford and other U.S. cities.

Finally, Gov. Rick Scott appointed prosecutors from Duval County; they charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder more than six weeks after the shooting.

Although the jurors who will decide the case are known only by numbers to protect their identities, some information about them came out during two rounds of questioning in court:

• B29: A Hispanic, who lived in Chicago at the time of Trayvon’s death. The woman, who works at a nursing home, told lawyers that she prefers reality shows to news and worried about her eight children.

• B76: A middle-aged White woman, a married mother of two grown children, who remembered wondering why Trayvon was out late at night. For that reason, prosecutors sought unsuccessfully to strike her from the panel.

• B37: A White mother of two who volunteers rescuing animals and made a point to note that she used newspapers only to line the bottom of her parrot’s cage. The woman, who once had a concealed weapons permit but let it expire, remembered that there had been “rioting” in Sanford during the uproar over Trayvon’s death.

• B51: An older White woman, who once ran a call center, didn’t keep up with the case in the news because she has been handling the estate of a deceased uncle. She recalled thinking the case was “very sad.” When asked by lawyers during questioning how she handled disputes, she offered: “You have to listen to both sides and sometimes you have to make tough calls.”

• E6: A church-going, unemployed, White woman in her 40s with two kids. She likes babysitting, gardening and volunteers at her children’s school. She worked in financial services. Prosecutors tried removing her from consideration because the case will require time away from her children and because she had commented about “innocent people” being put behind bars.

• E40: A White woman in her 60s from Iowa who recently moved to Seminole County. She has a 28-year-old son, enjoys sports and served on a jury about 20 years ago.

Zimmerman was satisfied with the jury, defense attorney Mark O’Mara told reporters Thursday evening.

“He’s encouraged. He’s been waiting 15 to 16 months to clear his name,” O’Mara said. “He’s happy we got the jury in place.”

Benjamin Crump, the Martin family lawyer, said the case is about “equal justice. It’s not a Black value. It’s not a White value. It’s an American value. With the makeup of this jury, we will find out if every American can get equal justice regardless of who is on the panel.”

Lawyers in the Zimmerman case will return to court Friday for more pretrial hearings. Judge Debra S. Nelson is expected to rule on the extent of testimony of state audio experts who listened to 911 calls in the case and suggest that Trayvon Martin was the one depicted on the recordings screaming for help.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Suspect charged with holding men in Houston ‘dungeon’

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Read Time:2 Minute, 30 Second
Police discovered four men being held in a "dungeon" garage for as long as 10 years while residents allegedly confiscated their Social Security checks.
 
 
A suspect has been charged after four malnourished, homeless men were found being held against their will in a Houston "dungeon."
 
Walter Renard Jones, 31, is charged with two counts of injury to the elderly. Police say Jones was arrested at the scene Friday and jailed without bond Saturday pending a court appearance next week.
 
Records showed Jones had previous charges beginning in 2002 for theft, marijuana possession and failing to register as a sex offender.
 
The four homeless men were found Friday in "deplorable conditions" and may have been being held so a captor could cash checks the men were receiving, according to police.
 
KTRK-TV quoted police as saying at least one of the four — ages 79, 74, about 65 and 54 — had been held against his will for 10 years.
 
The men told police they had been lured to the home with promise of cigarettes and food, said Jodi Silva, a Houston Police Department spokeswoman.
 
They were kept in a garage and were fed scraps. They had no access to a bathroom, and there was only one chair in the room, the Beaumont Enterprise reported. They were taken to Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital.
 
A neighbor called authorities expressing concern about men in the house in north Houston, said Sgt. Steven Murdock, who described the living conditions as like a "dungeon."
 
Murdock said at least one of the men is a military veteran. He said all four were homeless and may have been held so a captor could collect their checks, though it wasn't clear whether the men were targeted for their Social Security payments or some other kind of assistance.
 
The men were malnourished and "almost invalids," Murdock said. Three were taken to a hospital for treatment.
 
Neighbors said they occasionally saw the men sitting outside. Virginia Rogers, who lives five houses away, said she greeted them with a wave when she drove by.
 
"I'm shocked," Rogers said. "I'm baffled. I didn't have a clue."
 
The men were found in a working-class, residential neighborhood of one-story, brick homes. Harris County property records show the home was built in 1969 and is about 1,400 square feet.
 
Authorities were investigating whether four women found in the house were also being held against their will. Three had mental disabilities, and police described them as "witnesses," Houston's KPRC-TV reported.
 
Larry Davis, 52, told the Beaumont Enterprise that he lives in the neighborhood a few streets away.
 
"It's sad," Davis said. "You never know what's going on around you."
 

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Zimmerman’s cousin claims he sexually molested her over 10-year period Read more: The Sanford Herald – Zimmerman s cousin claims he sexually molested her over 10 year period

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Read Time:4 Minute, 18 Second
George Zimmerman, 28, was released from the Seminole County jail July 6 on a $1 million bond.
 
 

In a newly released interview with the Sanford Police Department, a female cousin of George Zimmerman claimed he sexual molested her over a period of 10 years.

In the almost 30-minute interview taken in March with the woman, who was dubbed “witness 9” throughout court proceedings, she detailed five specific instances where she claimed Zimmerman touched her inappropriately throughout the years.

The instances would occur when their families were together, she said, and began when she was 6-years-old and he was 8. The woman told police she and her sister were sent to stay with the Zimmermans while her parents moved from Louisiana to Florida.

“He would reach under the blankets and try to do things,” she said. “I don’t know how I didn’t say anything but I didn’t know any better.”

The cousin told police there was also another victim, but through their conversations the second victim has refused to come forward and also said she would deny any allegations.

Over the years she said Zimmerman would continue to touch her inappropriately at family gatherings.

“Every time that we that we would go up there I could just look at him and he would give me a certain look and I would know if it was going to happen when we got together for family gatherings,” she said. “Cause he just got this look in his eye like he was going to.”

The final instance, said the woman, was when she was 16 and Zimmerman was living in his parent’s home in Lake Mary alone. She had come over to see the house, she said. After Zimmerman began massaging and groping her, she ran out of the home. Zimmerman was 17 at the time.

“I just wanted it to stop,” she said. “I didn’t want to have to tell anyone.”

The cousin did eventually tell her parents, who met with Zimmerman at a restaurant in Lake Mary to confront him. At the meeting, she said, he simply sat down said “I’m sorry,” and left.

Since then, she said, she has not seen him at family functions because the family now caters to her.

The reason it took her so long to speak out about his actions, she told investigators, was because she was afraid no one would believe her.

“He was a different person to me. He was very intimidating,” she said. “And the fact that he made everyone love him and he made everyone laugh and be so happy around him – I knew that if I said anything he would just deny it.”

She came forward to investigators in March because she said she no longer had to fear him.

On June 18 Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara filed a motion to block the public release of the cousin’s statement contending, “The content of this statement is not relevant to the issues of this case, and it would not be admissible in the State’s case in chief.”

O’Mara also stated releasing the statement would lead to widespread hostile publicity which would impair Zimmerman’s right to fair trial.

Zimmerman is currently out of jail on a $1 million bond after being charged with the second-degree murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman shot and killed Martin Feb. 26 at The Retreat at Twin Lakes and claims the shooting was in self-defense after Martin attacked him.

O’Mara also filed a motion Monday stating Judge Kenneth Lester should not have ruled to released the statements, since a motion to disqualify him as judge had been filed. Lester’s order to release the statement and O’Mara’s motion to disqualify him were both issued Friday.

However now that the statement has been publicly disseminated, O’Mara said Zimmerman’s defense team will defend him against the allegations.

“Now that this statement is part of the public record, the defense will vigorously defend Mr. Zimmerman against the allegations,” said O’Mara. “In the next several weeks, there will be reciprocal discovery filed regarding Witness #9’s statement.”

In addition to the accusations that Zimmerman sexual molested the cousin, the woman also told investigators in a separate interview that she was afraid Zimmerman may have shot Martin because he was black. It’s widely known in their family, she said, that the Zimmermans are racists.

“Growing up he and his family said that they don’t like black people if they don’t act like white people,” she said. “They like black people if they act white.”

She also told investigators that during a conversation about then presidential candidate Barack Obama Zimmerman’s mother proudly said she was a racist.

 

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Israel agrees to release some Palestinian prisoners

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Read Time:4 Minute, 53 Second
AP In this April 17, 2012 photo, Palestinians hold photographs of prisoners jailed in Israel, during a rally marking the annual prisoners' day in the West Bank city of Jenin. Israel is to release some Palestinian prisoners as part of efforts to restart peace talks, an Israeli Minister has said.
 

Israel is to release some Palestinian prisoners as part of efforts to restart peace talks, an Israeli Minister said on Saturday.

Yuval Steinitz, the Minister for Intelligence, International Relations and Strategic Affairs, told Israel Radio that the prisoners were “serious cases” but had already spent many years behind bars.

He did not, however, say how many of them would be freed, the Israel Times reported.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced in Amman on Friday that the Israelis and Palestinians had agreed to enter peace talks starting next week in Washington.

In early comments on the talks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeted the plans and said they were “an essential strategic interest for Israel,” the newspaper Haaretz quoted him as saying on Saturday.

He said the negotiations are important not only to end the conflict with the Palestinians but also in light of the nuclear threat from Iran and the civil war in neighbouring Syria, the Israeli leader said.

“I have in mind a number of objectives, preventing the creation of a bi-national state between the Jordan River and the sea, which will endanger the future of the Jewish State, and preventing the creation of another Iranian-backed terrorist state within Israel’s borders, which could no less endanger us,” Mr. Netanyahu said.

Mr. Steinitz emphasised that Israel was not bound to a freeze on settlement activities. “There is no chance that we will agree to enter into negotiations that begin by defining our territorial borders and possible concessions, or a construction freeze,” he was quoted as saying.

In Cairo, Egypt’s new Foreign Minister, Nabil Fahmy, called on Israel to take “confidence-building measures” ahead of next week’s negotiations.

“Egypt will continue to give a top priority to the Palestinian cause and support the Palestinian people’s right to have an independent state,” said Mr. Fahmy, a former ambassador to Washington.

Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. Jordan followed in 1984.

Meanwhile, several Palestinian groups on Saturday said they opposed the resumption of direct peace talks with Israel after more than two years.

The Islamist movement Hamas that rules the Gaza Strip said the resumption of direct peace talks with Israel “is very dangerous.” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to resume the talks with Israel “contradicts the national consensus that the Palestinians agreed upon.” He added: “Resuming the talks only serves the occupation and gives it a cover for its settlement expansion.” Mr. Kerry said Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni are set to open the discussions in the U.S., but he refused to divulge details on the negotiation framework.

He praised Mr. Abbas and Mr. Netanyahu for making “courageous choices” to return to the negotiation table.

The breakthrough came on Mr. Kerry’s sixth official visit this year to West Asia, and the second in less than a month.

Jamil Mezher, spokesman of the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said the move “causes severe harm to the Palestinian cause.” He added that “twenty years of absurd negotiations with Israel achieved a big zero, and only helped Israel to execute its plans of expansion.” Mustafa Barghouti, chairman of the Palestinian Initiative Party, said the talks will fail “because the current Israeli government is a government of settlers and it would never recognise the legal Palestinian right of independence, of ending the occupation and of self-determination.”

AP reports from Jerusalem:

1967 borders basis for talks, say Palestinians

Meanwhile, two senior Palestinian officials said on Saturday that Mr. Abbas had agreed to resume peace talks with Israel only after Mr. Kerry gave him a letter guaranteeing that the basis of the negotiations will be Israel’s pre-1967 borders,.

A Western official, however, later denied that the 1967 lines would be the basis of negotiations.

The Palestinian officials, both of whom are close to the Palestinian leader and privy to internal discussions, said the U.S. letter also stipulated that both sides are to refrain from taking any steps that would jeopardize the outcome of the talks. Israel is not to issue new tenders for Jewish settlements in the West Bank, while the Palestinians are not to pursue diplomatic action against Israel at any international organisations, the officials said on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to brief the media.

“The talks with Kerry were about to collapse, and the letter came as a lifeline in the last-minute bargaining,” one of the Palestinian officials said.

U.S. officials have said in the past that Kerry would reiterate standing American positions on the goals for renewed talks, including that a Palestinian state should be negotiated on the basis of Israel’s borders before the 1967 Mideast war, when Israel captured the Gaza Strip, West Bank and east Jerusalem.

There was no immediate comment from the State Department, though a Western official denied the Palestinian officials’ claim about the ‘67 borders.

“There are no terms of reference or any other agreements that the ‘67 lines will be the basis for negotiations,” the official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as the official had no authorization to speak to the media.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Woman dies after fall from Texas roller coaster

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Read Time:2 Minute, 55 Second

(CNN) — A woman died while riding a roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, though the circumstances behind it remain unknown.

Six Flags confirmed that a woman died while riding the Texas Giant roller coaster Friday, but did not provide details further details.

"Since the safety of our guests and employees in our number one priority, the ride has been closed pending further investigation," the theme park said in a statement.

Park medical staff and local paramedics responded immediately to the scene, the park said.

Witness: Son was screaming 'Mom fell off'

Gabe Flores said he was next in line at the amusement park.

"Me and my girlfriend were at the gates and the next ones to get on the ride … the cars came in and there was a man and a woman in the front," he said. "The man was saying, 'let me out, let me out, my mom fell off.' "

The man and woman were distraught and speaking in raised tones, said Flores, who lives in Benton, Texas.

"There's a turn that's pretty steep, and the person behind her empty seat said she fell out there—just flew out," he said.

Flores did not see her fall, but park visitors told CNN affiliate WFAA they did.

"She goes up like this," Carmen Brown told the affiliate, raising her hand up in the air. "Then when it drops to come down, that's when it released and she just tumbled."

Brown told the Dallas Morning News that the woman had expressed concern to a park employee that she was not properly secured in her seat.

"He was basically nonchalant," Brown said. "He was, like, 'As long as you heard it click, you're fine.' Hers was the only one that went down once, and she didn't feel safe. But they let her still get on the ride."

Six Flags Over Texas spokeswoman Sharon Parker said the park is committed to determining exactly what happened.

"It would be a disservice to the family to speculate regarding what transpired," she said. "When we have new information to provide, we will do so."

The Arlington Police Department did not immediately respond to a CNN request. The affiliate said police are investigating whether the woman suffered a medical emergency before the fall.

The Texas Giant was originally designed in 1990 as an all wooden roller coaster. It was redesigned with a steel track and reopened in April 2011 to mark the theme park's 50th anniversary.

At its highest point, the roller coaster is 153 feet and has a drop of 147 feet, according to the theme park.

Thousands of kids hurt yearly on amusement rides

Elsewhere, seven people suffered minor injuries in a boat-ride mishap at the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, park officials said.

The incident occurred Friday evening when a boat rolled backward down a lift hill on the Shoot the Rapids ride, park spokesman Bryan Edwards said in an e-mailed statement.

The seven people in the boat were evaluated and treated by Cedar Point emergency medical staff, Edwards said. One of the seven was taken to an area hospital for additional evaluation and was subsequently released, he said.

The ride will remain closed until Ohio park officials and inspectors review it.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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US White House press dean dies

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Read Time:1 Minute, 41 Second

HELEN Thomas, the longtime dean of the White House press corps who covered US presidents from John F Kennedy to Barack Obama, has died aged 92.

Thomas "died Saturday morning at her Washington apartment after a long illness. She would have been 93 next month," the Gridiron Club said.

Thomas was a former president and first female member of the club, a Washington journalistic institution.

From her front row seat in the White House press room, Thomas was a formidable, sharp-tongued inquisitor of every US president she covered.

She was such a fixture, she had the unique privilege of a front row seat with her own name on it.

Thomas' passing triggered a torrent of tributes, including one from Obama.

"Helen was a true pioneer, opening doors and breaking down barriers for generations of women in journalism," he said in a statement.

"What made Helen the 'Dean of the White House Press Corps' was not just the length of her tenure, but her fierce belief that our democracy works best when we ask tough questions and hold our leaders to account."

Thomas began covering the White House for United Press International in the early 1960s, one of only a few women in a male-dominated Washington press corps.

The daughter of Lebanese immigrants, she had a strong interest in the Middle East and was a fierce defender of Palestinian rights.

Her blunt, fearless style made her famous but tripped her up in 2010 when controversial remarks about Israel led to her resignation from a post that she dominated for decades.

Thomas ran into trouble when an interviewer from the website rabbilive.com asked her what she thought about Israel.

"Get the hell out of Palestine," she responded. Jews, she said, should "go home, to Poland and Germany, America and everywhere else." She later apologised.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Italy: Court convicts 5 employees in deadly shipwreck

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Read Time:40 Second

GROSSETO, Italy  — An Italian court has accepted plea bargains for five Costa Crociere employees in the shipwreck that killed 32 crew and passengers, convicting all of multiple manslaughter and negligence.

The court in Grosseto on Saturday handed down the highest sentence to the crisis coordinator for Costa Crociere, Roberto Ferranini, who was sentenced to two years and 10 months. The ship's hotel director was sentenced to two years and six months while two bridge officers and a helmsman got sentences ranging from one year and eight months to one year and 11 months.

The plea bargains were handled separately from the trial of Costa Concordia captain, who is charged with manslaughter for causing the January 2012 shipwreck of the Tuscan island of Giglio and abandoning the vessel with thousands aboard.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Witness: Six Flags coaster victim concerned about seat

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Read Time:2 Minute, 49 Second

Investigators were trying to determine Saturday how a woman fell to her death from the tallest steel-hybrid coaster in the world Friday night at Six Flags Over Texas.

The accident happened just after 6:30 p.m. CT on Friday at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington. Park spokeswoman Sharon Parker confirmed that a woman died while riding the Texas Giant roller coaster but did not specify how she was killed. However, witnesses told local media outlets that the woman fell.

John Putman told the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth that he was in line awaiting his turn on the ride when the car from which the woman fell returned to the ground. Putman said a man and woman got out.

"They were screaming, 'My mom! My mom! Let us out, we need to go get her!' " Putman said.

Carmen Brown of Arlington was waiting in line as the victim was being secured in for the ride. She told The Dallas Morning News the woman had expressed concern to a park employee that she was not secured correctly in her seat.

"He was basically nonchalant," Brown said. "He was, like, 'As long as you heard it click, you're fine.' Hers was the only one that went down once, and she didn't feel safe. But they let her still get on the ride."

She said the victim fell out of the ride as it made a sudden maneuver.

"The lady basically tumbled over," she said. "We heard her screaming. We were, like, 'Did she just fall?'"

Hysterical passengers had to wait to disembark as the train stopped short of the platform, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Although the ride was closed, the park remained open through the evening.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends during this difficult time," a Six Flags statement said.

The Texas Giant reaches 14 stories high and has a drop of 79 degrees and a bank of 95 degrees. It can carry up to 24 riders. The ride first opened in 1990 as an all-wooden coaster but underwent a $10 million renovation in 2010 to install steel-hybrid rails before reopening in 2011.

The New Texas Giant won The Golden Ticket Award for best new ride of 2011 by Amusement Today magazine.

Friday's accident was the second ride fatality for a guest at the park since it opened in 1961.

In 1999, a 28-year-old Arkansas woman drowned and 10 other passengers were injured when a raft-like boat on the Roaring Rapids ride at Six Flags overturned in 2 to 3 feet of water about 200 feet from the end of the ride.

In another amusement park accident Friday, a boat on an Ohio thrill ride accidentally rolled backward down a hill and flipped over in water when the ride malfunctioned, injuring all seven people on it. Operators stopped the Shoot the Rapids water ride after the accident, which occurred on the ride's first hill, the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, said.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Kanye West Is Under Police Investigation After Altercation with Videographer

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Kanye West and Daniel Ramos

New dad Kanye West may be in trouble with the law.

The Los Angeles Police Department has launched an investigation after West allegedly attacked videographer Daniel Ramos outside Los Angeles International Airport on Friday.

The altercation, caught on camera and posted on TMZ, took place after Ramos filmed the rapper and asked him questions as he walked out of the airport to a waiting car.

At one point in the video, an irritated West, 36, breaks his silence and accuses the paparazzo of trying to provoke him. "You're trying to get me in trouble so I have to pay you, like, $250,000," West says in the footage. He then appears to lunge at Ramos.

"Kanye hates when the paparazzi speaks to him," a photographer source tells PEOPLE. "He got very annoyed with the videographer and lost it."

According to police Sergeant Belinda L. Nettles, paramedics responded and transported Ramos to a local hospital for medical attention. The extent of his injuries is unknown.

"A police report was taken by the Los Angeles Police Department and the investigation is ongoing," Nettles said in a statement to PEOPLE.

Although TMZ reports that police will refer the case to the D.A. as a felony attempted robbery (a more serious charge) rather than a battery case, Officer Sara Faden tells PEOPLE, "We can confirm that our detectives are handling the case, however, we're not sure if a misdemeanor or felony charge will be filed. The charge will determine if it goes to the City Attorney or D.A.'s office."

West's rep could not be reached for comment.

Ramos is no stranger to quarreling with celebrities. In 2007 Britney Spears bashed his SUV with an umbrella after he pursued and photographed her.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Justice for Trayvon’ rallies draw thousands across USA

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Read Time:5 Minute, 4 Second

Thousands gathered Saturday at rallies in more than 100 cities nationwide to remember Trayvon Martin, to press for federal civil rights charges against the man who shot him, and to attack stand-your-ground self-defense laws.

George Zimmerman's acquittal a week ago on all charges in the shooting death of the unarmed black teen touched off protests across the nation. The Justice Department is investigating whether Zimmerman violated Martin's civil rights when he shot the 17-year-old during a February 2012 confrontation in Sanford, Fla.

In New York, the Rev. Al Sharpton took aim at stand-your-ground laws in more than a dozen states that generally give people wide latitude to use deadly force if they fear serious bodily harm. "We are trying to change laws so that this never, ever happens again," Sharpton, who organized the rallies through his National Action Network, told the crowd in New York.

Zimmerman's lawyers had considered the controversial stand-you-ground defense, but opted instead for a more traditional self-defense argument.

Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon's mother, spoke at the New York rally. "Today it was my son. Tomorrow it might be yours," she warned the crowd. Trayvon's father, Tracy Martin echoed those sentiments at a rally in Miami: "This could be any one of our children," he said. "Our mission now is to make sure that this doesn't happen to your child."

Thousands rallied outside the federal courthouse in downtown Miami Saturday, part of nationwide protests organized after a jury acquitted neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. (July 20)

In Indianapolis, where a rally at the Birch Bayh Federal Building was cut short by a downpour, Pastor Michael K. Jones said the Zimmerman verdict "should be a wake up call to us just like 9-11 was for all us in America."

"Do you know what America did after 9-11? We made some changes," Jones said. "I came by today to tell someone 7-13 will never happen again."

The rallies drew the rich and famous, including Beyonce and Jay Z in New York. But mostly the crowds consisted of regular folks who felt justice was not served at Zimmerman's trial.

In Washington, D.C., hundreds of people braved searing heat, many carrying "Justice for Trayvon Martin" signs, almost all chanting "No justice, no peace." Hellen Smith, 45, brought her 14 year old daughter. The Maryland state human resources manager said she had mixed emotions about the verdict. She said jurors may not have had enough evidence to convict, but added that "We have to stand up for any person of any race who has been unjustly murdered."

Terri White, 60, a Baltimore psychotherapist said she was "disappointed in the system" after Zimmerman was acquitted. "I have two African Americans sons and grandsons and I want to see things change for them."

Washington resident Ralph Reynaud, 69, said the verdict shows that many people connect more easily with Zimmerman than with a black teen. "There was no justice," Reynaud said. "The letter if the law was executed, but the spirit of it was invalidated."

In Wilmington, Del., about 100 people — almost all of them African American — gathered outside the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building as passersby honked their horns in support. Local resident Mary Gilbert said the verdict in the case will eventually have a positive effect on society. "God is never wrong, so the verdict isn't wrong," Gilbert said. "It's making people of all races realize that something is wrong."

In Asheville, N.C., where about 50 people gathered at Vance Monument to tolerance, 16-year-old Liana Murray collected signatures on a petition urging the U.S. Justice Department to file charges against Zimmerman. "He racially profiled and stalked a child and shot him because he was wearing a hoodie," Murray said. "Wearing a hoodie and being a black young man in the U.S. is something seen as suspicious."

Most of the rallies and vigils were taking place outside federal court buildings. Sharpton said the vigils will be followed by a conference next week in Miami to develop a plan to address Florida's "stand your ground" law.

The rallies came a day after President Obama, speaking to reporters at an impromptu gathering in the White House briefing room, said that all Americans should respect the jury's acquittal of Zimmerman, but that white Americans should also understand that African Americans are pained by Trayvon's death and continue to face racial discrimination.

Obama told reporters that, like other African Americans, he has been followed by security guards while shopping, and has seen motorists lock their doors or women hold tighter to their purses as he walked near them. "Those sets of experiences inform how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida."

"I think it's important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away," Obama said, and "it's going to be important for all of us to do some soul-searching."

The president also questioned the wisdom of Florida's "stand your ground" law and suggested people consider whether Trayvon also had the right to stand his ground, adding: "Do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman, who had followed him in a car, because he felt threatened?"

Contributing: David Jackson, Jordan Friedman, Molly Vorwerck and Steph Solis, USA TODAY; Eric Weddle, The Indianapolis Star; Clarke Morrison, Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times; Mike Chalmers, The (Delaware) News Journal; Associated Press

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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