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August 29th, 2014
09:36 PM ET

Widower's stolen memories of his wife returned

(CNN) - Dave Lacey stood motionless in his living room, his eyes tracing the glass from his shattered porch door to the empty shelf that once held his XBox. In the home invasion, the burglars focused on the high priced items in his house - electronics and jewelry. But Dave barely paused as he cataloged them for the police. The one item he stressed in his police report was his wife's Canon camera.

"It just didn't seem fair," he recalls, "because after all that we went through, to lose those, it was like a punch in the gut."

By "those" he means the pictures on the camera's memory card that he had not yet backed up on a computer. The card held the last pictures of him and his wife, Erica Werdel. They were the pictures from her funeral.

"Even though those are hard pictures to see, they're still something I want captured and want to remember," says Dave.

Love, marriage and death

When Dave met Erica, it wasn't like being struck by lightning or seeing fireworks. That sort of schmaltz didn't have a place in their time together, a pragmatic theme that would weave through their relationship. They knew each other casually at first, through work. Dave couldn't help but notice the dark-eyed brunette who could make anyone laugh. He also noticed the petite woman was, unexpectedly, a great basketball player. And he couldn't help but pause when she spoke, her eyes kind and generous.

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Filed under: Law enforcement • News
August 29th, 2014
09:28 PM ET

Report: "Laptop of Doom" shows plans for ISIS attacks

ISIS has prompted the U.K. to raise its terror threat alert to the second highest level - "severe."

Authorities say an attack by the terror group is "highly likely."

Now, a report from Foreign Policy is shedding new light on what the terror group may be planning.

Reporters at the magazine say they have gained access to a laptop from an ISIS hideout in Syria. They are calling it "The Laptop of Doom."

More than 35,000 files were found on the computer and include  specific instructions on how to develop biological weapons and weaponize the bubonic plague from infected animals. ISIS's advice: "Use small grenades with the virus, and throw them in closed areas like metros, soccer stadiums, or entertainment centers."

OutFront, Foreign Policy Contributor Jenan Moussa.


Filed under: International • Iraq • ISIS • News
August 29th, 2014
09:07 PM ET

Family says Tasers led to son's death: "East Point police violated stun gun policy," attorney says

The family of 24-year-old Gregory Towns Jr. has filed a wrongful death suit against the City of East Point and two of its former police officers after towns died in police custody last April.

According to investigators, police were responding to a domestic dispute and were forced to chase Towns after he fled the scene. After stopping him, Towns was handcuffed and according to the lawsuit, he was Tased up to 13 times when he refused to cooperate.

Sergeant Marcus Eberhart resigned after Towns death, and corporal Howard Weems Jr. was fired. No criminal charges have been filed.

OutFront, Claudia Towns is Gregory's mother and her attorney, Chris Stewart.


Filed under: Justice • News
August 28th, 2014
09:10 PM ET

Mother of American jihadi: He was manipulated

CNN is learning new details about another American who died fighting for the terror group ISIS.

A friend tells CNN that Abdrackman Mohammed is the second U.S. citizen killed in the fighting last weekend, along with Douglas McAuthur McCain.

A U.S. official says they are trying to confirm his identity.

Like McCain, Mohammed had ties to Minnesota.

CNN is also learning about McCain's childhood friend who was also killed fighting for extremists overseas.

Troy Kastigar is seen in a video trying to recruit others from Minnesota to join the terror group al Shabaab.

"If you guys only knew how much fun we have over here, this is the real Disneyland. You need to come here and join us and take pleasure in this fun. We walk amongst the lions. We sleep under the moon and the stars, they're our lamp. And the wind rocks us to sleep. He places so much tranquility and happiness in your heart when you're amongst these people here. And uh, we can't thank Allah enough."

The mother of Troy Kastigar talks to CNN's Jason Carroll about what may have led her son to join a terror group.


Filed under: International • ISIS • News • Terrorism
August 28th, 2014
09:04 PM ET

Ukraine: "Full-scale invasion" by Russia is under way

A top Ukrainian army officer said a "full-scale invasion" of his country was under way Thursday, as a U.S. official said up to 1,000 Russian troops had crossed Ukraine's southern border to fight alongside pro-Russian rebels.

NATO released satellite images which it says show Russian self-propelled artillery units moving inside Ukrainian territory.

And new video shows what the Ukrainian government says is a Russian tank farther south, where a new front is opening up in the conflict.

OutFront, Senator Ben Nelson, who just returned from a fact-finding mission to Ukraine.


Filed under: International • Russia • Ukraine
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