Man’s Divorce Blog Starts Free Speech Dispute

DOYLESTOWN, Pa., Aug. 1 (UPI) — A bitter, divorced Pennsylvania man’s blog has triggered a free-speech debate, officials say.

Doylestown resident Anthony Morelli created his blog,, in 2007 as a way to blow off steam about his ex-wife, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday.

But then his ex-wife, Allison Morelli, found out about the Web site and became very upset, calling it “heartbreaking” and potentially harmful to their 9- and 12-year-old sons.

At a June 6 custody hearing, Bucks County Court Judge Diane Gibbons ordered Anthony Morelli to take down the Web site and banned him from mentioning his ex-wife “on any public media” or saying anything about his children online “other than ‘happy birthday’ or other significant school events.”

Over the following two days, Morelli posted two more entries, one saying he would comply with the judge’s ruling and then another calling Allison Morelli “a f- psycho” and a “black-out drunk,” and asked “what kind of f- judge gives the kids back to her?” He also wrote he would keep the blog going, saying, “The judge has no say over what I write here.”

On June 14, Gibbons called the Morellis back to court, saying “It is not just venting that I have read in these pages. It amounts to outright cruelty,” and had the Web site shut down.

In early July, Anthony Morelli hired a new lawyer to appeal the case to Superior Court, claiming Gibbons violated his right to free speech.

Some experts agree Gibbons’ ruling abridged Morelli’s free speech.

“I think the judge did overstep her bounds a little bit in ordering the Web site taken down,” said Robert D. Richards, founding director of the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment at Pennsylvania State University.

Allison Morelli said she just wants the legal battle to end.

“What the judge said in court made perfect sense to me,” she said. “Stop doing what you’re doing, and do the right thing for your children.

3 Dead In Canada Helicopter Crash

STEWART, British Columbia, Aug. 1 (UPI) — A helicopter crashed in Canada Sunday, killing the pilot and two passengers, police said.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the aircraft, owned by Vancouver Island Helicopter Ltd., went down about 4 p.m. on Nelson Glacier near Stewart in northern British Columbia, the Vancouver Sun reported.

The helicopter was reported to have been on a geological mission when it crashed.

The names of the victims had not been released and the cause of the accident had not been determined, the newspaper said.

Violence Erupts Again In Xinjiang-Uighur

BEIJING, Aug. 1 (UPI) — The ethnically tense Xinjiang-Uighur region in China’s northwest erupted in violence again during the weekend, leaving several people dead, state media report.

Noting the region, which has a large Muslim population, has been under a “terrorist threat,” the official Xinhua news agency reported the latest violence broke out Saturday in the border town of Kashgar.

The report said violence began after the attackers killed at least seven people in Kashgar Saturday night.

On Sunday, two suspects hijacked a truck after stabbing the driver to death. It said the two then rammed the truck into pedestrians before jumping out of the vehicle.

The two also hacked pedestrians and killed three of them, Xinhua said, quoting witnesses. Local sources were quoted as saying there were also blasts at the scene.

It was not clear how many people were allegedly involved in the violence but Xinhua said four suspects were later shot dead by police Sunday, four more caught and another four being sought.

“Xinjiang, home to China’s Uighur minority and other ethnic groups, has been under terrorist threat,” Xinhua said.

On July 18, police shot 14 rioters who attacked a police station and killed four people in Xinjiang’s Hotan city, another border town near Pakistan, Xinhua said.

Police concluded the Hotan incident was “a severely violent terrorism case” that was organized by terrorism groups, Xinhua said, but gave no other details.

Commenting on the Hotan incident to Washington Post, the World Uighur Congress an exile group in Germany had said the protesters were trying to rally at the police station in support of detained people when the police opened fire on them.

The region was the scene of rioting in July 2009 in the capital Urumqi, in which 197 people died and about 1,700 were injured in the worst such ethnic violence.

The Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking minority which considers Xinjiang their homeland but resent being ruled by Han Chinese.

Amnesty International has accused Chinese police of torture and secret mass arrests to repress the Uighurs.

Man Sues Hilton Over 75-cent Newspaper

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 1 (UPI) — A guest at the Hilton Garden Inn in Santa Rosa, Calif., filed a class-action lawsuit against the hotel over a 75-cent charge for a newspaper, officials say.

Rodney Harmon, 55, filed the suit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco Wednesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, claiming the hotel chain deceived him and is also hurting the environment.

“He did not request a newspaper and assumed it had been placed there by hotel staff,” his suit states. Harmon accused the Hilton of intentionally hiding the cost of the newspaper by “extremely small font, which is difficult to notice or read” on the sleeve of room cards.

The suit also claims that as newspaper readership and circulation has been declining, hotel guest are probably not even reading the papers place at their doors. The unread papers are an “offensive waste of precious resources and energy,” the suit states, adding “deforestation caused by paper production is a matter of concern and worry in this state, country and worldwide.”

“The alleged consumer injury is substantial, causing millions of guests at defendant’s hotels to unwittingly part with money for a newspaper they did not request and reasonably believed was provided to them without charge,” the suit says.

Hilton representatives have not commented on the pending litigation.

FBI Has New Lead In D.B. Cooper Case

SEATTLE, Aug. 1 (UPI) — The FBI says it received a promising lead in the unsolved 1971 D.B. Cooper jetliner hijacking case.

The FBI was given what it say is the “most promising” lead to date in the nation’s only unsolved hijacking case — a name of a previously not investigated man and an item of his with fingerprints to be tested, reported.

The lead was handed over by a law enforcement official who questioned someone who may have been close to Cooper.

“With any lead our first step is to assess how credible it is,” said Ayn Sandalo Dietrich, spokeswoman for the FBI’s Seattle office, where the Cooper evidence is kept. “Having this come through another law enforcement [agency], having looked it over when we got it — it seems pretty interesting.”

“It’s back at our lab and we hope to compare it to partial fingerprints we got in the hijacking,” Sandalo Dietrich told the online newspaper. “It would be a real break if it came back.”

Currently, the Seattle FBI file on Cooper contains a partial DNA sample from a black clip-on tie Cooper left on the plane, the parachute he discarded after he jumped from the plane, his boarding pass with “DAN COOPER” written in red ink and a few bills from the $200,000 ransom Cooper received.

The FBI has investigated more than 1,000 people since the hijacking 40 years ago, and have not released the name, age, hometown or possible criminal record of the current person of interest, or any specifics on the item received.

Train Collision In India Injures Dozens

NEW DELHI, Aug. 1 (UPI) — An express train and another local train collided in eastern India, causing several cars to derail and injuring dozens of people, authorities said.

The express train was traveling from Guwahati in eastern Assam state to Bangalore in southern India when it collided Sunday evening with a local passenger train at Jamirghata in West Bengal state.

The Press Trust of India news agency reported 11 passenger cars derailed, and one person died and 50 more were injured. The report, however, quoted Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi as saying the body found near the site may not be related to the collision.

“We are getting details about it,” the minister said, adding the priority was to complete the rescue operations.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

Early last month, a passenger train carrying more than 1,200 passengers derailed in northern Uttar Pradesh state, killing more than 50 people.

Bundy’s DNA To Be Added To FBI Database

TACOMA, Wash., Aug. 1 (UPI) — Officials in Florida are working to get executed serial killer Ted Bundy’s DNA added to the FBI’s national database in hopes of solving cold cases.

The effort has spanned several years. David Coffman, regional crime lab director for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and other officials are working to have it added by mid-August, The Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune reported.

Lindsay Wade sparked the latest effort after she became the most recent Tacoma homicide detective to look into the Ann Marie Burr case. Bundy has long been a suspect in the 5-decade-old case as he had ties to the missing girl’s neighborhood.

Wade contacted Coffman in January after discovering Bundy’s profile was not in the FBI database to make a comparison. Coffman had a partial DNA sample, which is not enough to link Bundy in any unsolved murders, or upload to the database, the newspaper said.

The two contacted various institutions for blood samples or other evidence to test to no avail until Coffman reached the clerk’s office in the Florida county where Bundy killed a 12-year-old girl. Investigators still had a vial of Bundy’s blood from that 1978 case.

“We were shocked how we got a complete profile,” Coffman said. “It was a beautiful profile.”

To get the blood uploaded to the database was another set of hurdles, because the sample was taken before Bundy’s convictions.

Coffman worked with a legal team to get Bundy’s profile into a special “legal” category.

“This is sort of an unusual situation,” Coffman said. “He’s a suspect but a dead suspect.”

Last week in Tacoma, Wade went through evidence from the Burr case to have it ready to send to the state crime lab, with Bundy’s DNA profile on its way to the FBI database for comparison.

Bundy, executed in 1989 at age 42, admitted to killing 30 young women and girls, however investigators have not been able to identify all of his victims, and suspect he killed many more.

9 Die When Boat Hits Barge On Moscow River

MOSCOW, Aug. 1 (UPI) — A pleasure boat collided with a barge on the Moscow River Sunday, killing nine people aboard the recreational vessel, authorities said.

Russia’s Investigative Committee issued a statement saying seven other passengers were rescued following the 1:30 a.m. accident, RIA Novosti reported.

The investigative committee said the boat had permission to carry no more than 12 passengers.

An investigation was under way to determine whether water transport safety and operation rules had been violated.

India Tiger Population Up 20 Percent

NEW DELHI, July 31 (UPI) — The tiger population in India, home to half the world’s big cats, rose to 1,706 in 2010, up 20 percent from 1,411 in a 2006 survey, the government said.

“The increase in tiger numbers is due to the fact that tiger populations in [the states of] Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka have shown an increase in tiger density,” the Ministry of Environment and Forests said on its Web site.

“The inclusion of Sunderbans, some portions of North East and parts of Maharashtra have also contributed to the increase.”

The ministry said the survey methodology used various sampling approaches and indicators.

The ministry, however, warned that despite their greater numbers, the tigers still face danger as they have lost 12.6 percent of their habitat, resulting in more of them being cramped into a smaller area.

The World Wildlife Fund had noted in March that tiger population recovery requires strong protection of core tiger areas and areas that link them, as well as effective management in the surrounding areas.

“With these two vital conservation ingredients, we can not only halt their decline, but ensure tigers make a strong and lasting comeback,” Mike Baltzer, the wildlife organization’s Tigers Alive Initiative head, said.

4 Kids Rescued From Hot SUV In Dallas

DALLAS, July 31 (UPI) — A Dallas couple were arrested for allegedly leaving their four young children in a steaming-hot vehicle Sunday while they donated plasma, authorities said.

The children, ages 2 months, 15 months, 3 years and 5 years, were taken to a Dallas hospital and later placed with Child Protective Services, Dallas’ WFAA-TV reported.

Arrested were Natasha Hamalian, 22, and Nicholas Madison, 24, both of Dallas, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Dallas police reports said the pair were arrested on suspicion of abandoning/endangering a child, the newspaper said.

Temperatures were hovering around 100 degrees when authorities were summoned about 12:30 p.m.

WFAA-TV reported Good Samaritans first spotted the children in the vehicle and called for help.

“The witnesses that actually opened up the door and got the kiddos out of the car, they knew that they had called the police, so I think they felt safe,” Dallas police Sgt. Charles Young said.

Authorities estimated the children had been inside the sport utility vehicle for at least 2 hours, the TV station said.

“They were just giving them IV because they were severely dehydrated,” witness Brandon Finley said. “The way they was looking, they was pretty bad.”

As it turned out, Young said, it was “a positive outcome.”

“This could have been much, much, much worse,” he said.