WASHINGTON: Video embarrasses NPR
A National Public Radio executive was captured on hidden camera calling the tea party movement racist and xenophobic and said NPR would be better off without federal funding, in an embarrassment likely to fuel conservative attacks on public broadcasting. The video was posted Tuesday by James O'Keefe, whose undercover videos have targeted other groups opposed by conservatives, like the organizing group ACORN and Planned Parenthood. NPR said in a statement that it was "appalled" by the comments from Ron Schiller, the president of NPR's fundraising arm. Schiller informed NPR that he was resigning from his position before the video was shot, NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm said. He had been expected to depart in May, but has now been placed on administrative leave.
PENNSYLVANIA: Woman admits role in terrorist cell
A woman admitted Tuesday she helped a terrorist cell that hoped to incite Islamic holy war, and her lawyer said she was "part of something that was much larger, much more complex than she ever knew." Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, 32, of Leadville, Colo., conspired with others to get military training in South Asia and moved to Ireland in 2009 to join the group, federal prosecutors said in Philadelphia. Court papers said the Algerian man she married in Ireland sought to recruit "brothers & sisters" to train with the group known as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, an al-Qaida offshoot that has focused its efforts inside Algeria. Paulin-Ramirez married a man she had never met before in an Islamic ceremony, knowing the marriage, along with her Western looks and passport, would prove useful to the group, prosecutors said. Her lawyer called her a sincere religious convert. Paulin-Ramirez, her husband and five others were detained in Ireland in March 2010. She was charged in the same case as Colleen LaRose, a Pennsylvania woman who dubbed herself "Jihad Jane" in a YouTube video. LaRose, 47, of Pennsburg, pleaded guilty to more serious charges, admitting she had agreed to try to kill a Swedish cartoonist who had offended Muslims. She faces a life sentence. Paulin-Ramirez is charged with a single conspiracy count and faces up to 15 years in prison.
CALIFORNIA: A million dead fish clog marina
An estimated one million fish turned up dead Tuesday in a marina near Redondo Beach, creating a floating feast for pelicans, gulls and other sea life and a stinky mess for harbor authorities. The sardines apparently depleted the water of oxygen and suffocated after getting lost in the marina, officials said. "All indications are it's a naturally occurring event," said Andrew Hughan, a California Fish and Game spokesman. Boaters awakened to find a carpet of small silvery fish around their vessels, said Staci Gabrielli, marine coordinator for King Harbor Marina on the Los Angeles County coast. There was also a 12- to 18-inch layer of dead fish on the marina bottom, authorities said.