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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that compared to roughly 140,000 people hospitalized in the state for mental illness in a year, 34,500 added to a state database barring them from gun use for five years seemed conservative.


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Earlier this month TMZ obtained an audio recording of “7th Heaven” star Stephen Collins reportedly confessing to previous child molestation. However, it now appears that the actor will most likely not be prosecuted.

While the Los Angeles Police Department had previously opened an investigation around molestation allegations involving Collins in November, 2012, they soon after closed it having found “no verified victim.” Upon the recent news of Collins’ recorded confession to his wife Faye Grant, the LAPD has reopened the case and is working in tandem with the New York Police Department, along with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. Now, however, sources from all three law enforcement departments have told TMZ that the statute of limitations mean, in the site’s words, “the cases will go nowhere.”

The statute has run out on the Los Angeles case, in which Collins allegedly exposed himself to a 13-year-old girl in 1983. However, the NYPD is still investigating the New York incident from 1972 that involved a 14-year-old girl. “There is a formal complaint on file and the incident is being investigated by the Manhattan Special Victims Squad,” the NYPD said in a statement earlier this month.

According to Grant, who is in the middle of a divorce with Collins, there was another incident that occurred while the actor was shooting “7th Heaven” sometime between 1996 and 2007. That victim has yet to come forward. All three law enforcement departments have said they are “re-listening” to the recorded confession to see if they “missed anything” in the L.A.P.D.’s 2012 investigation.

Since the recording surfaced via TMZ, Collins has been dropped from the film “Ted 2,” pulled from an upcoming “Scandal” episode, and resigned from the National Board of the Screen Actors Guild.

H/T TMZ


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(Reuters) – Violence has increased in New York City’s jail system over the past seven years even as the city has spent more money to deal with a steadily declining inmate population, the city’s comptroller said in an analysis released on Friday.

The annual cost per inmate has increased by more than 42 percent to $96,232 since 2007, the analysis said, while the average daily population has decreased to about 11,400 inmates this year, from nearly 14,000.

In that same time, violent fights and assaults involving inmates or guards have increased. Inmate assaults on staff more than doubled to about 70 assaults per 1,000 inmates this year. Guards using force on inmates has nearly tripled to 370 instances per 1,000 inmates.

The analysis joins a growing list of indictments against the city’s jail system, particularly the Rikers Island jail complex, issued by almost every official who has looked into it, including the city’s mayor and U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors.

“In an era of declining crime and detention, violence and costs at city jails should be decreasing,” Comptroller Scott Stringer, said in a statement on the analysis conducted by his office. “Instead, past leadership at the Department of Correction allowed jail conditions for correction officers and inmates to degenerate.”

The amount New York City spends per inmate was more than twice that spent by Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles last year, the analysis said. Much of the rising budget was due to increasing staff overtime costs.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who took office in January, has promised to reform a jail system he has described as broken.

His administration is currently meeting with federal prosecutors after they produced a report concluding that the city has breached the constitutional rights of teenage inmates by allowing them to be brutalized while at Rikers Island.

Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for New York’s southern district, said his office will file a civil rights lawsuit against the city if the system does not improve.

The city is also the subject of other lawsuits over various inmate deaths and beatings on the island.

A spokesman for the Department of Correction said he did not have an immediate comment on the analysis.

(Editing by Frank McGurty and Jim Loney)


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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Troops from the rival Koreas exchanged gunfire Sunday along their heavily fortified border in the second such shooting in less than 10 days, South Korean officials said. There were no reports of injuries or property damage, but the 10 minutes of shooting highlighted rising tensions between the divided countries.

The Koreas’ first exchange of gunfire came after North Korea opened fire at balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets that were floating across the border from the South. Sunday’s shootout began after North Korea sent soldiers close to the border line. The move was an attempt by the North to increase worries in the South about what might happen if leafleting continues, analysts say. South Korean activist groups, mostly made up of North Korean defectors, have been staunch in their vows to continue sending the leaflets, which Pyongyang considers propaganda warfare; one group says it will float about 50,000 on Saturday. North Korea has warned it will take unspecified stronger measures if leafleting continues.

Generals from the sides met at a border village last week in their first military talks in more than three years to discuss how to ease the recent spike in tensions, but the meeting ended with no agreement and no prospects to meet again.

On Sunday, South Korean soldiers broadcast warnings and fired warning shots at about 10 North Korean soldiers who were approaching the military demarcation line inside the 4-kilometer-wide (2.5-mile-wide) Demilitarized Zone that bisects the Korean Peninsula, according to a statement from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Two shots believed to have been fired by North Korean soldiers were found at a South Korean guard post. South Korean soldiers fired toward the North, the statement said.

South Korean defense officials said the North Korean soldiers turned back after the shooting.

North Korea opened fire on Oct. 10 after activists floated propaganda balloons across the border, following through on a previous threat to attack. There were no reports of casualties from that incident either.

North Korea has repeatedly demanded South Korea ban activists from sending leaflets, which often urge North Korean citizens to rise up against leader Kim Jong Un. South Korea has refused, saying activists are exercising freedom of speech.

Analyst Cheong Seong-chang at the private Sejong Institute think tank said Sunday’s gunfire exchange showed North Korea is intentionally escalating military tension to spread fear about possible casualties should leafleting continue. He said North Korea is expected to launch more provocations as long as South Korea doesn’t change its position on leafleting.

The latest exchanges of gunfire serve as a reminder of long-running tensions between the Koreas despite earlier hopes of easing animosities after a group of top North Korean officials made a rare visit to South Korea early this month and agreed to resume senior-level talks.

Only days after the North Koreans’ visit, navy ships of the two Koreas also traded gunfire near their disputed western sea border, the scene of several bloody maritime skirmishes in recent years.

The Korean Peninsula remains in a technical state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea.


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South Korea said troops from the North had approached the demarcation line and there was a brief exchange of gunfire between guard posts on both sides.