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Westlake Legal Group > fnc/us (Page 6)

Florida snake orgy forces officials to close area of park

There’s a snake orgy happening in Florida.

Officials in Lakeland say a number of the reptiles have gathered this week to make love near Lake Hollingsworth.

“They are non-venomous and generally not aggressive as long as people do not disturb them,” the city’s parks and recreation department wrote on Facebook. “Once the mating is over they should go their separate ways.”

Westlake Legal Group lakeland-snake Florida snake orgy forces officials to close area of park Greg Norman fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/science/wild-nature/reptiles fox news fnc/us fnc article 5cad481e-02c1-5b8f-b56f-16f376832cd4

One of the snakes spotted in Lakeland, Fla. (City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation)

The snakes have been identified as Florida water snakes, which “are generally found resting in tree limbs over water or basking on shorelines,” the department added.

VIDEO CAPTURES RARE SIGHTING OF VENOMOUS COPPERHEAD SNAKES MATING

“We have put up caution tape in the area and are in the process of hanging signs to make the public aware of their presence,” the post said. “This is for the protection of the public and the snakes.”

It’s also not the first time humans stumbled upon a snake sex party in Florida.

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In 2018, a slithering sentinel male python equipped with a surgically-implanted tracking device led the state’s wildlife biologists to what they called a “breeding aggregation.”

“It was intense, it was a lot of snake in one spot,” a biologist told the South Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper at the time.

Fox News’ Lucia I. Suarez Sang contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group lakeland-snake Florida snake orgy forces officials to close area of park Greg Norman fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/science/wild-nature/reptiles fox news fnc/us fnc article 5cad481e-02c1-5b8f-b56f-16f376832cd4   Westlake Legal Group lakeland-snake Florida snake orgy forces officials to close area of park Greg Norman fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/science/wild-nature/reptiles fox news fnc/us fnc article 5cad481e-02c1-5b8f-b56f-16f376832cd4

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Family of American held in Lebanon claims he’s a hostage, US senator threatens sanctions

Lebanon could soon find itself punished by sanctions over the detention of an American citizen.

The plight of the New Hampshire resident, Amer Fakhoury, has caught the attention of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who is threatening to sanction individuals involved in his imprisonment.

Shaheen is pressing the Lebanese government to release him, especially since he has been diagnosed with cancer.  The family is also urging President Trump to intervene.

“There has been no evidence to substantiate the charges against Amer Fakhoury and his health condition is dire,” Shaheen said in a statement to Fox News. “Time is of the essence, and the Lebanese government needs to understand there will be consequences for his continued detention.”

Westlake Legal Group Amer-Fakhour-and-family Family of American held in Lebanon claims he's a hostage, US senator threatens sanctions fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/us fnc c733e598-3553-50bb-a076-ba5fa640e26c Ben Evansky article

Amer Fakhoury is pleading the Trump administration to work to get him back from Lebanon. (Fakhoury Family)

LEBANESE-AMERICAN BEING HELD IN BEIRUT NOW RISKS DEATH SENTENCE AFTER MURDER CHARGE, JUDGE SAYS

Shaheen, who is reportedly working on a sanctions bill, stated, “Whenever an American is held unjustly by a foreign government, we as a nation need to do everything we can to bring them home. All options, including sanctions, are on the table to secure Mr. Fakhoury’s freedom, reunite him with his family and provide the care he urgently needs.”

According to the US Aid website, the United States gave around $201 million in assistance to Lebanon in 2019. The Trump administration released economic and military aid in December even though Fakhoury was then being held without any charges.

His family thanked Shaheen for her help and called for his immediate release., noting that he has stage four B cell lymphoma.

“He is gravely ill and the hospital lacks the basic medicine in order to treat him properly,” the family said in a statement. 

In urging Trump’s support, Fakhoury’s family said he supported the president in 2016 and even posed with him for a picture.

“The family calls on President Trump to help bring this innocent American citizen back home,” the statement said. “He is in critical condition and every day his health is deteriorating. We fear that our father will die in Lebanon.”

Fakhoury was arrested in his native Lebanon during a family trip last September after he was accused in a pro-Hezbollah publication of torturing Hezbollah and Palestinian prisoners while he served with the South Lebanon Army (SLA) at Khiam prison.

DAUGHTER OF AMERICAN HOSTAGE IN LEBANON CALLS ON TRUMP TO ACT

The SLA was a predominantly Christian force allied and supported by Israel during its proxy war against Hezbollah and Palestinian militant groups in the 1980s and ’90s.

After being held without charges for nearly six months, The Associated Press reported that Fakhoury was charged earlier this month by a military judge with murder and attempted murder of prisoners at a jail run by the SLA. He was also charged with kidnapping and torture.

His lawyer, Celine Atallah, told Fox News the charges are fabricated, noting that after all the investigations were made into the infamous prison and the names of those accused of torture and murder were made public, Fakhoury was not among them.

Atallah maintains that there is no evidence to support his continued detention.

“Amer’s only crime is that he is a United States citizen, which is making the Lebanese government hold him hostage to gain leverage over the United States,” she said. “This is an egregious act of criminality by them …. to torture and refuse to release a critically ill innocent American citizen just for them to gain leverage over the United States.”

She added: “They should understand that our government does not negotiate with terrorists, and they should be on notice of the sanctions being drafted by Sen. Shaheen, as diplomacy does not work with these people.”

FAMILY OF US CITIZEN IMPRISONED IN LEBANON PLEADS FOR HIS RELEASE: ‘THIS IS A CRY FOR HELP’

Atallah said she hopes that incoming U.S. Ambassador Dorothy Shea will make Fakhoury’s release “one of her first priorities.”

Westlake Legal Group Amer-Fakhoury-on-a-tour-boat Family of American held in Lebanon claims he's a hostage, US senator threatens sanctions fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/us fnc c733e598-3553-50bb-a076-ba5fa640e26c Ben Evansky article

The plight of the New Hampshire resident caught the attention of his U.S Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, who has threatened to sanction individuals involved in his imprisonment. (Fakhoury Family)

Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who focuses on the region, said “the Lebanese government should suffer the consequences of its agencies illegally imprisoning an American citizen.”

“Hezbollah runs the entire political order in Lebanon. Hence, any government which emerges from that order is a Hezbollah government,” Badran said. “This latest government does not have the fig leaf of political figures the West is comfortable with, like former Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Whether or not the government includes such figures is irrelevant. The real power behind it is the same regardless. And that’s Hezbollah.”

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A State Department official told Fox News that the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon is closely monitoring the Fakhoury case.

“We are concerned about his welfare, as doctors report his health is failing and he requires urgent specialized medical treatment. We have raised these concerns at all appropriate levels with the Lebanese government. We will continue to follow his case closely, and to provide him and his family all appropriate consular assistance,” the statement said.

Questions emailed by Fox News to Lebanese authorities were not returned.

Fox News Correspondent Jacqui Heinrich and the Associated Press contributed to this article.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6102373852001_6102370047001-vs Family of American held in Lebanon claims he's a hostage, US senator threatens sanctions fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/us fnc c733e598-3553-50bb-a076-ba5fa640e26c Ben Evansky article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6102373852001_6102370047001-vs Family of American held in Lebanon claims he's a hostage, US senator threatens sanctions fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/us fnc c733e598-3553-50bb-a076-ba5fa640e26c Ben Evansky article

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Shooting at ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ star’s restaurant leaves 3 injured; manhunt for gunman

Police in Georgia were searching Saturday for a man who opened fire inside a restaurant co-owned by a “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star, leaving three people injured.

The shooting happened Friday night at Old Lady Gang 2 in East Point, just outside of Atlanta.  East Point Police Capt. Allyn Glover said the gunman entered the restaurant and targeted one man, but two innocent bystanders were also shot.

“It was real quiet at first, then I just heard the scream and I saw the guy run out and I ran in the opposite direction,” a witness, who was sitting on a bench outside the restaurant, told 11Alive, adding that she “heard two pops.”

Westlake Legal Group old-lady-gang-east-point Shooting at 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star's restaurant leaves 3 injured; manhunt for gunman Greg Norman fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/atlanta fox news fnc/us fnc article 4e4ba7ab-9a50-514f-8c83-dfe2e1d662d6

Police say the shooting at this Old Lady Gang restaurant location in East Point left three people injured. (Google Maps)

CEILING COLLAPSES AT RESTAURANT INSIDE ATLANTA AIRPORT

A description of the suspect was not immediately available. The victims, who also have not been identified, were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

Serving Southern cuisine, Old Lady Gang is owned by Kandi Burruss and her husband Todd Tucker, and named after Burruss’ mother and two aunts.

Westlake Legal Group Kandi-Burruss Shooting at 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star's restaurant leaves 3 injured; manhunt for gunman Greg Norman fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/atlanta fox news fnc/us fnc article 4e4ba7ab-9a50-514f-8c83-dfe2e1d662d6

Kandi Burruss of Xscape performs at the Essence Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans in 2018. (AP/Invision)

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The first restaurant opened in Atlanta in 2016, and the East Point location — situated in a large shopping complex about 5 miles west of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport —  followed in 2018. There’s also an outpost at the Atlanta Hawks’ home, State Farm Arena.

Burruss has been a cast member on “Real Housewives of Atlanta” since its second season in 2009 and met Tucker, a former line producer, on the show. She’s appeared on other shows, including the 2019 iteration of “Big Brother: Celebrity Edition.” She became famous in the 1990s as a member of the R&B group Xscape and co-wrote TLC’s hit “No Scrubs.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group old-lady-gang-east-point Shooting at 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star's restaurant leaves 3 injured; manhunt for gunman Greg Norman fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/atlanta fox news fnc/us fnc article 4e4ba7ab-9a50-514f-8c83-dfe2e1d662d6   Westlake Legal Group old-lady-gang-east-point Shooting at 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star's restaurant leaves 3 injured; manhunt for gunman Greg Norman fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/atlanta fox news fnc/us fnc article 4e4ba7ab-9a50-514f-8c83-dfe2e1d662d6

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Washington woman posed as newborn photographer, drugged victim to steal baby: police

A Washington woman was arrested Friday, along with her 16-year-old, after she was accused of posing as a photographer to steal another woman’s baby.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said the victim called 911 Feb. 5 to request medical aid after suddenly feeling ill. She told authorities she began feeling numbness, drowsiness, instability on her feet and was vomiting.

The victim told firefighters she believed she may have been poisoned.

BABY SEVENTH TO DIE FROM MOLD-RELATED INFECTION AT SEATTLE HOSPITAL: REPORT

After seeking treatment at a hospital, the victim reported that she may have been drugged by a woman who came to her home in Spanaway posing as a photographer.

Westlake Legal Group Juliette-Parker-sheriffs Washington woman posed as newborn photographer, drugged victim to steal baby: police Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/west/washington fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 8fe05d28-80a9-5cf0-82df-4006c9b9679d

A Washington woman, who went by the names of named ‘Juliette Parker’, ‘Juliette Noel’ or ‘Juliette Gains’, posed as a photographer to steal a woman’s baby, police said. (Pierce County Sheriff’s Department)

She met the woman through a newborn-baby group on Facebook, where the woman advertised free photos of newborns so she could build her portfolio, authorities said.

The suspect reportedly visited the victim’s residence three times to photograph her newborn.

According to a news release, the sheriff’s office said the suspect  took cell phone selfies with the baby and was seen wiping her fingerprints off items she touched in the home.

MAN BELIEVED TO BE LIVING IN WASHINGTON GROCERY STORE FOR OVER A MONTH CAUGHT WITH EXPENSIVE WHEEL OF CHEESE

During the third visit, the suspect and her teenage daughter gave the victim a cupcake. The victim, who said she began to feel numb and drowsy after eating it, told the two to leave.

After they left, the victim said she noticed her house keys were missing.

The suspect was posing as a photographer to steal a newborn child and raise it as her own, investigators said. They believe there were other victims.

Westlake Legal Group 84095156_1658755430931214_3404003049436348416_o Washington woman posed as newborn photographer, drugged victim to steal baby: police Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/west/washington fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 8fe05d28-80a9-5cf0-82df-4006c9b9679d

Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies donated money to buy new locks and window guards for the victim. (Pierce County Sheriff’s Department)

“If you have been contacted by a woman named ‘Juliette Parker’, ‘Juliette Noel’ or ‘Juliette Gains’ who posed as a photographer and believe you were a victim, please give our detectives a call as soon as possible at 253-798-7724,” authorities said in a Facebook post.

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The 38-year-old suspect and her 16-year-old daughter are facing multiple felony charges, police said. Neither has been identified.

Deputies donated money to buy new locks and window guards for the victim.

Westlake Legal Group Juliette-Parker-sheriffs Washington woman posed as newborn photographer, drugged victim to steal baby: police Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/west/washington fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 8fe05d28-80a9-5cf0-82df-4006c9b9679d   Westlake Legal Group Juliette-Parker-sheriffs Washington woman posed as newborn photographer, drugged victim to steal baby: police Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/west/washington fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 8fe05d28-80a9-5cf0-82df-4006c9b9679d

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University of California president Janet Napolitano, a former head of DHS, blasts ‘wildcat strike’ at UC Santa Cruz

Westlake Legal Group AP19261640236959 University of California president Janet Napolitano, a former head of DHS, blasts 'wildcat strike' at UC Santa Cruz fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/us/education fox-news/us/economy/labor-unions fox news fnc/us fnc c6717bc7-f0e1-531d-ae94-32ce8ca38b41 Brie Stimson article

University of California President Janet Napolitano on Friday condemned a multi-day graduate student worker strike at UC Santa Cruz this week that resulted in 17 arrests, saying there would be “consequences” including potential job losses.

Hundreds of grad students gathered at the campus this week to demand a cost-of-living increase of $1,412 a month, according to The Washington Post.

Napolitano, in a letter to students and faculty, wrote that the “unauthorized” strike was in direct violation of their existing collective bargaining agreement with the United Automobile Workers, which represents grad students across the UC system.

The university system president — who was governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009 and U.S. homeland security secretary under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013 — said the school wouldn’t reopen the agreement.

RASHIDA TLAIB BRIEFLY DETAINED DURING AIRLINE CATERING WORKERS’ PROTEST

“To accede to the demands of a group of employees engaged in an unauthorized wildcat strike would undercut the very foundation of an agreement negotiated in good faith by the UAW and ratified by thousands of members across the system,” she wrote.

Napolitano said administrators are sympathetic to the high cost of living near campus, but a strike isn’t the way to get what they want.

She said the school chancellor had already proposed two solutions: a $2,500 need-based housing fellowship; and a five-year funding program at the minimum support level of a 50 percent teaching assistantship for doctoral students.

“However, holding undergraduate grades hostage and refusing to carry out contracted teaching responsibilities is the wrong way to go,” she wrote. “Therefore, participation in the wildcat strike will have consequences, up to and including the termination of existing employees at the University.”

On Wednesday, students linked arms and sat in front of the main entrance to campus for several hours, resulting in 17 arrests, the Post reported.

Protesters accused officers of using excessive force during the protests, but officers said they’re just trying to keep everyone safe, according to the Post.

“Officers repeatedly tried to de-escalate the situation and made clear that blocking this major roadway had to stop or it would lead to arrest,” university spokesman Scott Hernandez-Jason said in an email Thursday, according to the Post. “Failing to comply with an order to disperse and obstructing a roadway is extremely dangerous, and it is also against the law.”’

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The University of California’s chief operating officer, Rachael Nava, wrote a letter to UAW Local 2865, asking them to stop the protests, but the union asked the school to consider to the students’ demands, the Post reported.

The new contract expires in 2022, but the university could still address the demands.

Westlake Legal Group AP19261640236959 University of California president Janet Napolitano, a former head of DHS, blasts 'wildcat strike' at UC Santa Cruz fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/us/education fox-news/us/economy/labor-unions fox news fnc/us fnc c6717bc7-f0e1-531d-ae94-32ce8ca38b41 Brie Stimson article   Westlake Legal Group AP19261640236959 University of California president Janet Napolitano, a former head of DHS, blasts 'wildcat strike' at UC Santa Cruz fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/us/education fox-news/us/economy/labor-unions fox news fnc/us fnc c6717bc7-f0e1-531d-ae94-32ce8ca38b41 Brie Stimson article

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Protesters wreck College Republicans’ info table, spit on US flag, at UC Santa Cruz, video shows

Westlake Legal Group BetsyRossflag Protesters wreck College Republicans’ info table, spit on US flag, at UC Santa Cruz, video shows fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc ed54b7d2-f53f-5eba-9985-5b231d2aec6d Dom Calicchio article

In the latest act of violence against conservatives, protesters at the University of California at Santa Cruz recently smashed a College Republicans information table, according to reports.

A video posted on social media shows two protesters tearing up placards and ripping down signage – with one of them appearing to spit on a 13-star “Betsy Ross” American flag that is seen lying on the ground.

“I think this guy’s trying to assault me,” one protester says, laughing, as someone tries to grab an American flag away from him. The man attempting to take back the flag later falls to the ground during the struggle.

DON JR CALLS UP PRO-TRUMP 15-YEAR-OLD WHO WAS ATTACKED IN NH: ‘MY FAMILY HAS YOUR BACK’

“Get a life!” those fighting off the protesters say at one point.

The video starts when the incident is already underway, so it’s not clear exactly how it began. But Dylan Temple, president of the College Republicans chapter at UC Santa Cruz, told The Post Millennial it began when one of the protesters grabbed one of the group’s flags.

Temple said he immediately reported the matter to campus police. Subsequent posts on social media gave a name for one of the protesters, but it was unclear if that person was charged with any crimes.

The Santa Cruz incident appeared to extend a recent wave of violence against Republicans and supporters of President Trump.

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Other recent incidents have included a driver smashing his van into a GOP voter-registration tent in Jacksonville, Fla., and an unidentified woman fleeing after allegedly punching a retired New York City police officer who was wearing MAGA-style attire in a Tennessee bar.

In New Hampshire, a man was arrested for allegedly assaulting a 15-year-old Trump supporter and two adults near a polling site during the state’s primary election.

Westlake Legal Group BetsyRossflag Protesters wreck College Republicans’ info table, spit on US flag, at UC Santa Cruz, video shows fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc ed54b7d2-f53f-5eba-9985-5b231d2aec6d Dom Calicchio article   Westlake Legal Group BetsyRossflag Protesters wreck College Republicans’ info table, spit on US flag, at UC Santa Cruz, video shows fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc ed54b7d2-f53f-5eba-9985-5b231d2aec6d Dom Calicchio article

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Chicago boy, 11, shot in neck by 7-year-old sister: reports

Westlake Legal Group Chicago-Police-Car-GettyImages-1138767097 Chicago boy, 11, shot in neck by 7-year-old sister: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime/chicagos-crime-wave fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/chicago fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio d40d0d64-130e-5cdd-b450-c620ef99bfe1 article

An 11-year-old Chicago boy was in serious condition in a local hospital Friday after being shot in his neck by his 7-year-old sister, according to reports.

The incident happened around 8:20 p.m. in the North Lawndale neighborhood on the city’s West Side, FOX 32 of Chicago reported.

CHICAGO TEENAGERS CHARGED WITH MURDER IN DEATH OF STORE OWNER

Police were calling the shooting an accident, but details on how the child gained access to the weapon were not disclosed.

Whether any adults were in the home at the time also was not clear.

The shooting occurred in an apartment building where patrol cars were seen soon after the gunfire, FOX 32 reported.

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The investigation is continuing, Chicago’s WLS-TV reported.

Westlake Legal Group Chicago-Police-Car-GettyImages-1138767097 Chicago boy, 11, shot in neck by 7-year-old sister: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime/chicagos-crime-wave fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/chicago fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio d40d0d64-130e-5cdd-b450-c620ef99bfe1 article   Westlake Legal Group Chicago-Police-Car-GettyImages-1138767097 Chicago boy, 11, shot in neck by 7-year-old sister: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime/chicagos-crime-wave fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/chicago fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio d40d0d64-130e-5cdd-b450-c620ef99bfe1 article

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The 9 craziest things seized by Customs and Border Protection

Drugs, fake IDs and counterfeit goods are only the beginning of what Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seize on a daily basis. Here are nine crazy things people have tried to sneak across international borders:

1. Live pigeons

Westlake Legal Group 0_21_020309_pigeon The 9 craziest things seized by Customs and Border Protection Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc df851850-5ddb-5698-9758-e82c73574c78 article

Feb. 1: An Australian man was caught with two pigeons hidden in his pants on an international flight from Dubai to Melbourne, Australia. (AP)

Customs officials stopped a 23-year-old Australian man after they discovered two eggs in a vitamin container in his luggage. It was under his pant legs that they discovered pigeons wrapped in padded envelopes and secured to each of the man’s legs with a pair of tights. Officials also seized seeds in his money belt and an undeclared eggplant.

The bird smuggler arrived in Australia on a flight from Dubai in February 2009. Charges of wildlife smuggling carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of about $70,430.

2. Egyptian mummy linen 

Westlake Legal Group b7c8eb08-Mummy-Linens-pic-2 The 9 craziest things seized by Customs and Border Protection Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc df851850-5ddb-5698-9758-e82c73574c78 article

Mummy linen 

CBP officers in Michigan seized five jars of ancient Egyptian mummy linen coming illegally through the northern border in May 2019.

Inspection of a shipment on a Canadian mail truck in Marysville on May 25 revealed the illegal antiquities believed to be from between 305 to 30 BCE, the agency said. The U.S. government focused on repatriating the artifacts back to Egypt.

3. Live tarantulas

Westlake Legal Group Tarantula-REUTERS The 9 craziest things seized by Customs and Border Protection Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc df851850-5ddb-5698-9758-e82c73574c78 article

Tarantula’s confiscated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are shown in this December 3, 2010 handout photo released to Reuters January 18, 2011. REUTERS/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Handout

CUBAN MAN WHO RAN COMPLEX MIGRANT-SMUGGLING OPERATION GETS MORE THAN 4 YEARS IN PRISON

Yuck! A German man in 2011 pled guilty to shipping hundreds of live tarantulas into the U.S. through the mail. Sven Koppler, 37, admitted mailing some 247 live tarantulas to federal agents in Los Angeles, who were posing as buyers as part of an investigation dubbed “Operation Spiderman,” according to Reuters.

The investigation began when a routine inspection revealed about 300 live tarantulas in a package he mailed to Los Angeles. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents placed more orders for spiders from Koppler and were sent a total of five packages containing dozens of live and dead tarantulas. Koppler was arrested when he traveled to Los Angeles months later. He received a total of $300,000 from tarantula sales to spider fanciers in dozens of countries.

4. Man disguised as a car seat 

Westlake Legal Group Car-Seat-Disguise-REUTERS The 9 craziest things seized by Customs and Border Protection Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc df851850-5ddb-5698-9758-e82c73574c78 article

Enrique Aquilar Canchola, a 42-year-old Mexican national, hides in the seat of a vehicle as part of an attempt to illegally emigrate to the United States at the San Ysidro border crossing in San Ysidro, California, June 7, 2001. . HK/SV – RP2DRIDIHJAA

Mexican national Enrique Aguilar Canchola can be seen sewn into a passenger seat of a vehicle in an attempt to illegally enter the U.S.

Canchola was stopped at the San Ysidro border crossing in California in 2001. This was only the beginning of intricate and potentially dangerous compact spaces undocumented immigrants have tried to squeeze into to cross the U.S. border.

5. Black market bologna

Westlake Legal Group BOLOGNA The 9 craziest things seized by Customs and Border Protection Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc df851850-5ddb-5698-9758-e82c73574c78 article

In November 2019, CBP officers seized more than 150 pounds of the curious deli meat at port of entry in El Paso, Texas. The CBP said bologna is prohibited to cross the border due to its pork content. Pork products from overseas could introduce foreign animal diseases to the U.S. pork industry. The smuggler tried to tell officers it was turkey ham when questioned about the red rolls lying in the back of his truck.

6. Live songbirds

Westlake Legal Group Sony-Dong The 9 craziest things seized by Customs and Border Protection Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc df851850-5ddb-5698-9758-e82c73574c78 article

Songbirds 

Sony Dong, 56, was arrested in 2016 for again trying to smuggle endangered “good luck” songbirds into Los Angeles from Vietnam. He was sentenced to a year and a half in prison in 2018 and ordered to pay a $5,500 fine after the judge said the conditions in which the tiny birds were trafficked — taped to the legs and ankles of smugglers — were “deplorable,” according to the East Bay Times.

In 2010, Dong had been sentenced to four months in prison after Customs officers found 14 live Asian songbirds, individually wrapped in cloth and strapped to his legs as he tried to pass through LAX after a 15-hour flight from Ho Chi Minh City.

The tiny birds reportedly cost a few dollars each in Southeast Asia but collect between $500 and $1,000 when sold illegally at Chinese markets in Southern California.

7. A whole pig’s head 

Westlake Legal Group Pig-Head-AP The 9 craziest things seized by Customs and Border Protection Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc df851850-5ddb-5698-9758-e82c73574c78 article

In this Oct. 11, 2018 photo provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, CBP Agriculture Detector K-9 named Hardy looks at a roasted pig’s head at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.(U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)

Hardy the Beagle, who works for CBP as an agriculture detector, discovered this roasted pig’s head and other remnants at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in October 2018. A passenger traveling from Equador was relieved of his leftovers and they were destroyed to avoid introducing foot and mouth disease, classical swine fever and other animal diseases.

8. Dead birds for pet food 

Westlake Legal Group dead-bird The 9 craziest things seized by Customs and Border Protection Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc df851850-5ddb-5698-9758-e82c73574c78 article

Agriculture specialists with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized a package of dead birds from the luggage of a passenger traveling from China. 

Just this week Customs announced that agents in Washington, D.C., seized a package of dead birds from the luggage of a passenger traveling from China. CBP agriculture specialists inspected the passenger’s bag and found the prohibited birds, which the passenger said were food for his cat. Officers seized and incinerated the deceased animals so as to avoid spreading the highly contagious bird flu.

9. Live tropical fish 

Westlake Legal Group Tropical-Fish-Bag-iStock The 9 craziest things seized by Customs and Border Protection Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc df851850-5ddb-5698-9758-e82c73574c78 article

“Goldfish market in Tung Choi Street in Hong Kong, China”

This may have been the most daring attempt of them all. Customs officials stopped a woman in 2005 when she arrived in Melbourne off a flight from Singapore. There they found 51 live tropical fish in plastic bags tucked into a custom-made apron tied around her waist.

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“During the search, customs officers became suspicious after hearing ‘flipping’ noises coming from the vicinity of her waist,” the Australian Customs Service said in a press release. “An examination revealed 15 plastic water-filled bags holding fish allegedly concealed inside a purpose-built apron.” See the photo at NBC.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group Pig-Head-AP The 9 craziest things seized by Customs and Border Protection Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc df851850-5ddb-5698-9758-e82c73574c78 article   Westlake Legal Group Pig-Head-AP The 9 craziest things seized by Customs and Border Protection Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc df851850-5ddb-5698-9758-e82c73574c78 article

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Homelessness in Los Angeles: Here are the statistics

Westlake Legal Group homeless01 Homelessness in Los Angeles: Here are the statistics Nick Givas fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/los-angeles fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox news fnc/us fnc article 0dcebbd4-6585-5c31-bb2a-c8704ae37756

California’s homelessness crisis is prevalent in the city of Los Angeles, as tens of thousands of residents struggle to hold down a permanent residence while grappling with the fallout from substance abuse.

The last survey on the city’s homeless population took place in 2019 and showed a total of 36,165 people without a consistent living situation. That represents a 16 percent increase since the 2018 count, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority.

Of the 36,165 individuals without a place to live, 8,944 were in shelters, while 27,221 were unsheltered. Los Angeles remains the least affordable housing market in the United States, LASHA reported, which can cancel out efforts to house the indigent and mentally ill.

In 2019, the number of homeless citizens living in cars, vans and RVs increased, along with the number of vagrants living in tents or makeshift setups.

There was a slight 3 percent uptick in the homeless population due to substance abuse, after the total jumped to 4,888, since 2018. Mental illness also played a role in the increased homelessness rate with a total of 8,785 people living on the streets or in shelters because of psychological issues — a 12 percent increase from the previous year.

HOMELESSNESS IN SAN FRANCISCO: HERE ARE THE STATISTICS

Developmentally disabled individuals also experienced a dramatic shift in their homelessness rates, with a total of 2,134 of them living on the streets and 945 of them in shelters of some kind. This is a 75 percent jump since 2018.

In October, The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a report, that between 2013 and 2018, the number of deaths of homeless people doubled from 536 to 1,047. The overall death rate, which takes into account increases in the total homeless population in the area, was up by over a third in that same period.

Drug and alcohol overdose was the largest contributor to the overall increase in the homeless death rate, accounting for 27 percent of the deaths between 2016 and 2018. The overdose death rate for homeless individuals was 26 times higher than among the general population.

In January, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat, unveiled part of a housing development built to accommodate homeless residents, but instead of having three facilities open in 2019 as planned, there was only one.

City voters had approved a $1.2 billion housing bond for the project back in 2016, but three years later only 46 housing units have reportedly been built for homeless citizens — each carrying a price tag of $549,000 to build.

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Earlier this month, The Los Angeles Times also weighed in on the homeless debate and supported relocating dozens of homeless residents who’ve been living in cars and RVs parked along Malibu’s coastline for weeks and months at a time.

The beach parking spots along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu are open to the public, but the paper asked if it was logical to allow cars to stay in the same spot for such a long period of time while being left unchecked.

“These parking restrictions seem reasonable,” the board wrote. “Homeless people have as much right to access parking along the coast as anyone else. But they don’t have the right to commandeer sought-after parking spots along the coast for weeks or months — any more than other visitors in cars have the right to hog parking spot [or] to pollute the coast.”

Fox News’ Travis Fedschun, Brie Stimson and Matt London contributed to this report 

Westlake Legal Group homeless01 Homelessness in Los Angeles: Here are the statistics Nick Givas fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/los-angeles fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox news fnc/us fnc article 0dcebbd4-6585-5c31-bb2a-c8704ae37756   Westlake Legal Group homeless01 Homelessness in Los Angeles: Here are the statistics Nick Givas fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/los-angeles fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox news fnc/us fnc article 0dcebbd4-6585-5c31-bb2a-c8704ae37756

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Arrests made in November murders of 2 California boys

Westlake Legal Group Jason-Cornejo-Union-City-PD Arrests made in November murders of 2 California boys Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 01ebb424-7cb1-55d8-be21-4f3a56e1ba89

Union City police in California made an arrest in the previously unsolved murder of two juvenile boys on Friday after they were viciously gunned down, while sitting in a van outside of a school, shortly before Thanksgiving last year.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, made the announcement alongside law enforcement, detailing the arrest of Jason Cornejo, 18, of Castro Valley, Fox 2 reported.

Police also reportedly arrested a 17-year-old boy who was not immediately identified. Both suspects were charged by the Alameda County District Attorney with the murders of Sean Withington, 14, and Kevin Hernandez, 11.

Withington and Hernandez were sitting in a van outside Searles Elementary School, 30 miles southeast of San Fransisco when the murderer opened fire on the car. Residents called 911 after hearing the shots ring out around 1:30 a.m. Police arrived to find Withington had died on the scene, while Hernandez perished in transit to the hospital.

2 CALIFORNIA BOYS, AGES 11 AND 14, KILLED IN SHOOTING OUTSIDE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Both suspects happened to already be in custody on unrelated charges when police made the connection between them and the shooting.

Prosecutors plan to add gang enhancements and special circumstances to the case.

Authorities said the defendants were acting in connection with a street gang — a theory law enforcement was considering shortly after the killing. They did not, however, go into detail on who may have ordered the hit or what the motive was behind the killing.

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Prosecutors also said a rap song was posted to the internet, praising the alleged involvement of the two defendants in the murders, according to Fox 2.

Fox News’ Stephen Sorace contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group Jason-Cornejo-Union-City-PD Arrests made in November murders of 2 California boys Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 01ebb424-7cb1-55d8-be21-4f3a56e1ba89   Westlake Legal Group Jason-Cornejo-Union-City-PD Arrests made in November murders of 2 California boys Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 01ebb424-7cb1-55d8-be21-4f3a56e1ba89

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