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Jul 31, 2013

Miami gunman called 911 hours before shooting rampage

MIAMI (Reuters) – A man who shot and killed six people in a Miami-area apartment building called 911 hours beforehand and said he believed he was being followed and that someone was performing witchcraft on him, according to a copy of the call released on Wednesday.

A SWAT team stormed the apartment building in a raid early Saturday, killing the gunman, Pedro Alberto Vargas, after he set his apartment on fire, went on a shooting rampage and took two people hostage.

Jul 30, 2013

Miami gunman downloaded computer files on explosives, sex

MIAMI (Reuters) – A gunman who went on a shooting rampage in an apartment building had been forced to resign from his job at a Miami college after authorities found he downloaded files with links to bomb making, counterfeiting and killing with bare hands, according to documents released by the school on Tuesday.

Pedro Alberto Vargas, 42, set his apartment on fire, shot and killed six neighbors, and took 2 others hostage in the worst Miami area shootings in three decades.

Jul 29, 2013

Black lawyer group urges Florida governor to repeal ‘Stand Your Ground’

MIAMI BEACH, Florida (Reuters) – A leading group of black lawyers on Monday urged Florida’s governor to call a special legislative session to repeal the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

“Stand Your Ground must fall,” said John Page, the president of the National Bar Association, one of the oldest organizations of African-American lawyers, during the group’s annual meeting in Miami Beach, Florida.

Jun 6, 2013

Venezuela deports U.S. filmmaker accused of being spy

MIAMI/CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela on Wednesday deported an American filmmaker who was arrested in April on accusations of spying for Washington and plotting with opposition student groups to destabilize the South American OPEC nation.

“The gringo Timothy Hallet Tracy, who was captured while spying in our country, has been expelled,” Interior and Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres said on Twitter.

May 12, 2013

‘Best Mother’s Day’ ever for mother of freed Cleveland captive

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – The mother of Gina DeJesus is celebrating the “best Mother’s Day” ever on Sunday after her daughter was freed with three other captives last week from a long imprisonment in a Cleveland home.

DeJesus, 23, Amanda Berry, 27, and Berry’s 6-year-old daughter were welcomed into their family homes last week after an escape and rescue on Monday from the dungeon-like house.

May 11, 2013

Offers pour in to help Cleveland women freed from captivity

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – Offers of help are pouring in from around the world for three Cleveland women who were kidnapped and held in captivity for a decade, with people offering cash, furniture and even use of a vacation home to help them rebuild their lives.

Three members of the Cleveland City Council have set up a fund to provide financial assistance to Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32.

May 10, 2013

Kidnap suspect is father of child born in captivity: Ohio official

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – DNA tests show Ariel Castro, a former school bus driver charged with kidnapping and raping three women during a decade of captivity in his Cleveland house, is the father of a 6-year-old girl born to one of the victims, the Ohio attorney general said on Friday.

The tests did not link Castro to any other state cases, Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a statement.

May 10, 2013

Kidnap saga puts spotlight on Cleveland’s Puerto Rican community

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – Puerto Ricans came to Cleveland in the 1950s, drawn to a booming post-war America. Word quickly spread back home about the well-paying jobs at the steel and auto plants that were once the backbone of this Midwestern industrial city.

The family of Ariel Castro, the man charged with kidnapping three women and raping them in captivity for nearly 10 years, was among the first wave of immigrants to settle Cleveland’s Puerto Rican community.

May 9, 2013

Three kidnapped women in Ohio endured decade of isolation, rape, beatings

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – An ex-school bus driver accused in the abduction ordeal of three young Ohio women was due in court on Thursday to face charges he kidnapped and raped the victims, who authorities said were held captive in the dungeon-like confines of his house for 10 years.

As two of the women received jubilant homecomings from loved ones on Wednesday and the third remained in hospital, authorities in Cleveland disclosed details of the isolation and brutal treatment the captives endured before they were freed earlier this week.

May 9, 2013

Cleveland captive tells police she took first chance to escape

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – Amanda Berry and two other women were isolated, held captive and raped in a house stocked with ropes and chains for nearly a decade, and she told police her escape two days ago was her first chance to break free.

Ohio authorities on Wednesday revealed some of the grisly details of the years Berry, now 27, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, and a six-year old girl allegedly spent as prisoners of suspect Ariel Castro, who was charged with kidnapping and rape.