January 7th, 2010
03:23 PM ET

12-year-old bank robber?


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Two surveillance images from the bank robbery.

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

Police in Ohio are looking for two young female bank robbers and they believe one of them may be 12-years-old.

The pair held up the 1st National Bank in Symmes Township Tuesday afternoon, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office said in a media release.

“Two unknown suspects entered the bank, walked up to the bank teller, and gave the teller a note demanding money,” the release said. “The teller gave the suspects an undetermined amount of U.S. currency.”

Grainy black-and-white photographs from the bank’s surveillance system show the robbers wearing blue hoodies.

According to officials, the suspects are both African-American. One is approximately 5’4" – 5’5" and of heavy build. The other suspect is thin, 5’ to 5’2" tall, and appears to be approximately 12 years of age.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 513-825-1500.

For more crime coverage go to cnn.com/crime.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
January 7th, 2010
02:34 PM ET

Stop the panic on air security

Bruce Schneier
Special to CNN

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The Underwear Bomber failed. And our reaction to the failed plot is failing as well, by focusing on the specifics of this made-for-a-movie plot rather than the broad threat. While our reaction is predictable, it's not going to make us safer.

We're going to beef up airport security, because Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab allegedly snuck a bomb through a security checkpoint. We're going to intensively screen Nigerians, because he is Nigerian. We're going to field full body scanners, because they might have noticed the PETN that authorities say was hidden in his underwear. And so on.

We're doing these things even though security worked. The security checkpoints, even at their pre-9/11 levels, forced whoever made the bomb to construct a much worse bomb than he would have otherwise. Instead of using a timer or a plunger or another reliable detonation mechanism, as would any commercial user of PETN, he had to resort to an ad hoc homebrew - and a much more inefficient one, involving a syringe, and 20 minutes in the lavatory, and we don't know exactly what else - that didn't explode.

At that point, AbdulMutallab's fellow passengers quickly subdued him. Yes, the screeners didn't notice any PETN in his underwear, but the system was never intended to catch that particular tactic. There probably were intelligence failures - why wasn't his father's tip followed up on, and why wasn't his visa revoked? - but it's always easy to connect the dots in hindsight.

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January 7th, 2010
02:27 PM ET

Obama to lay out 'warts' and say 'I'm responsible'

Ed Henry
CNN White House Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/07/art.obama01062.gi.jpg caption="President Obama will take direct responsibility for administration makes when he releases a new report on the December 25 terror incident."]

President Obama will take direct responsibility for administration mistakes when he releases a new report on the Dec. 25 terror incident, but he is not planning to fire anyone for the foul-up, according to a senior administration official familiar with the president's remarks.

"He will say, 'Here are the warts, I'm responsible," said the senior administration official, who requested anonymity because aides were not authorized to discuss the remarks before they're delivered by the president.

The official said President Obama believes that previous administrations would "play hide the ball" and not come clean with the American people when things wrong so he wants to be direct about what needs to be fixed, but the official said the president does not want this process to devolve into finger-pointing.

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January 7th, 2010
01:35 PM ET
January 7th, 2010
12:22 PM ET

Officer accused of shooting scores of dogs


Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

A Mississippi animal control officer accused of shooting to death scores of dogs was fired Wednesday from his position as a public servant, authorities said today. “As a result of not following policy, I asked for his termination” Canton Police Chief Vicky McNeill told CNN.

Alonzo Esco was required to capture stray, lost, or abandoned dogs and transport them to a city-contracted private kennel. Instead of following procedure, Esco allegedly killed at least 100 dogs and dumped them in a public water way.

McNeill said Esco is the subject of an ongoing investigation, but would not disclose further details about the case. She did, however, have a message to anyone who may have wanted to adopt the animals. “I want to apologize for any wrong doing if any has been done at all,” she said.

An animal protection organization has filed a complaint against Esco. “We will not let go of this,” Doll Stanley, director of In Defense of Animals, said in a media statement. "It is absolutely appalling and disgusting that an animal control officer working for any municipality would take it upon himself to violate city policy by shooting animals entrusted to his care.”


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
January 7th, 2010
11:33 AM ET

Dear President Obama #353: Standing up or standing down in Quitsville

Reporter's Note: President Obama has enjoyed that rare commodity in DC; having his party control both houses of Congress. Now, if his party could control itself that would be something to see. Ha! Here is my latest letter to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

I realize this has nothing to do with being President, but is it just me or does Sandra Bullock play pretty much the same part in every movie? I like her plenty, and enjoy her films, but lately I’ve been thinking they all look like the “continuing adventures of Sandy the Actress.” Just a thought.

Speaking of which, what’s going on with your Democratic Senate pals playing the part of Goodbye Charlie? Dodds, Dorgan, both saying the big adios; “no mas” to re-election bids. Obviously, that raises certain questions for you, since increasingly it looks like you may be enjoying the biggest legislative advantage that you will have in the near term of your presidency. And (ahem) things haven’t exactly been working like a finely made watch as it is.

There are two ways to look at this, of course. One idea would be to hitch up the ponies and drive like wild for the next ten months, snatching up every victory you can while you’ve got the horse power in both the House and Senate. In fairness, I suspect that is what you will do, in part because it is so clear that the old line Dems are sold on that Gospel, and they are going to push you that direction as hard as they can.


January 7th, 2010
11:32 AM ET

What happened to Obama's promise of open government?

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Gloria Borger
CNN Senior Political Analyst

After months of writing a huge health care bill largely behind closed doors in the Senate, now comes the decision to work out the final kinks in the massive bill in a conference committee - behind closed doors.

Maybe it shouldn't stun us. After all, the Democrats didn't expect any help from the Republicans, anyway. And why should they? They haven't gotten any so far, and that won't change.

The GOP has found a pretty good gig in dissing President Obama and the Democrats as big-spending, deficit-producing, high-taxing liberals. They're not about to give up the golden message now - particularly when it appears they're heading into a very lucrative campaign season.

So the Democrats will hold an "informal" conference so they can fast-track the process. After closed door meetings to reconcile the bills, the House would then pass the Senate bill (already amended with new compromise provisions). Then, the package would be sent back to the Senate for a final vote.

Presto, health care reform.

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January 7th, 2010
11:28 AM ET
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10:37 AM ET
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10:28 AM ET
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