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POSTED December 13, 2012 9:41 p.m.


NYC POLICE: 'BAD BARBIES' GANG TERRORIZED STREETS: NEW YORK (AP) — New York City authorities say they have taken down a violent street gang whose female factions went by names including "Bad Barbies."

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday that at its height, the Trinitarios gang had up to 100 female members. He said one was a 24-year-old involved in the fatal retaliatory shooting and in the shooting of a robbery victim outside a Mexican restaurant.

An investigation of the gang has resulted in arrests of 119 people in the Bronx and Manhattan since 2009.

Kelly and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced the latest arrests on Wednesday at a news conference.

Bharara said the gang would turn the streets in a "shooting gallery" if anyone infringed on its drug dealing or gun running.

VA STUDENT EXPELLED FOR ELECTION RACIAL UPROAR: RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — One student has been expelled and three others are being punished for their roles in a racially charged uproar on a Virginia college campus the night of President Barack Obama's re-election, the school said Thursday.

They were among approximately 40 students who gathered outside the Minority Student Union at Hampden-Sydney College on the night of Nov. 6 within minutes after Obama won a second term. Some shouted racial slurs, tossed bottles, set off fireworks and threatened physical violence. No one was injured inside the house, and some left the building to peacefully confront the crowd, as did other students.

The four were found guilty by a student court of violating the college's student code of conduct, the school said in a statement released to The Associated Press.

DURBIN: WHITE HOUSE WON'T INCREASE MEDICARE AGE: WASHINGTON (AP) — One of President Barack Obama's Senate allies said Thursday that an increase in the Medicare eligibility age is "no longer one of the items being considered by the White House" in negotiations with top Republicans on avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff.

But Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin said he didn't get it directly from the president or the White House. However, he is regularly updated on the negotiations.

Increasing the eligibility age is a key demand by Republicans seeking cost curbs in popular benefit programs in exchange for higher tax revenues.

Obama and House Speaker John Boehner remain far apart on a potential agreement to avoid a looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and across-the-board spending cuts.

CALIF. JUDGE SAYS VICTIMS' BODY CAN PREVENT RAPE: SANTA ANA  (AP) — A Southern California judge is being publicly admonished for saying a rape victim didn't put up a fight during her assault and that if someone doesn't want sexual intercourse, the body "will not permit that to happen."

The California Commission on Judicial Performance issued a report Thursday saying Superior Court Judge Derek Johnson's comments were inappropriate and a breach of judicial ethics.

Johnson is a former prosecutor in the Orange County district attorney's sex crimes unit. He issued an apology saying he was frustrated with a prosecutor during an argument in 2008 over the sentencing in the case before him compared to other more aggravated cases.

The case involved a man who threatened to mutilate the face and genitals of his ex-girlfriend with a heated screwdriver before committing rape, forced oral copulation, and other crimes.


SMARTPHONES CAN SOON BE USED TO 'E-HAIL' NYC TAXIS: NEW YORK (AP) — Raising your arm and yelling "taxi!" is the old-fashioned way to nab a New York City cab. Soon, all you'll need is a smartphone app.

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission on Thursday approved a pilot program allowing riders to "e-hail" yellow cabs, starting Feb. 15 on a test basis. Until now, the city has banned yellow taxis from prearranging rides.

The commission issued a news release after the vote celebrating what it called "appy days ahead."

The system will be tried out for one year. After the free apps start linking customers with drivers in mid-February, the commission will produce quarterly reports on the program's success, leading to a decision on whether to extend it.

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS HOPE TO OK GAY MARRIAGE IN JAN. : SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Two Illinois lawmakers said Thursday that they will seek to legalize gay marriage when the General Assembly reconvenes early next year — a push that comes just 18 months after the state started allowing civil unions for same-sex couples.

Rep. Greg Harris and Sen. Heather Steans, both Chicago Democrats, declined to detail the status of roll-call votes in each chamber during a conference call with reporters. But Harris has previously said he wouldn't bring a bill to the floor without assurances that there are enough votes to pass it.

 

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