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CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico — An official says nine police officers were kidnapped by a criminal gang in northern Mexico and later rescued, though one was killed in the confrontation.

The officers from Nuevo Leon state were abducted when they pursued suspects into neighboring Tamaulipas, on the Texas border, Sunday night. They were following a vehicle carrying armed men. On a highway they encountered two other vehicles full of gunmen. One officer was killed, and the others kidnapped.

Both Texas Gunmen Identified, One Known To FBI; And Also To ISIS?

May 4, 2015

WASHINGTON  — Since at least 2007, the FBI has been able to recognize the voice of Elton Simpson — one of the men suspected in the Texas shootings outside a contest featuring cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.

Agents heard the young man from Phoenix talk about fighting nonbelievers for Allah. About plans to travel to South Africa and link up with “brothers” in Somalia. About using school as a cover story for traveling overseas.

Simpson was arrested in 2010, one day before authorities say he planned to leave for South Africa. But despite more than 1,500 hours of recorded conversations, the government prosecuted him on only one minor charge — lying to a federal agent. Years spent investigating Simpson for terrorism ties resulted in three years of probation. He also was ordered to pay $600 in fines and court fees. Then, on Sunday, two men whom authorities identified as Simpson and Nadir Soofi opened fire in a Dallas suburb on a security officer stationed outside the contest.

Environmental Protection Agency

AUSTIN — Cities and counties statewide could no longer prohibit hydraulic fracturing under a sweeping, oil and gas industry-backed bill that has cleared the Texas Legislature.

The proposal was easily approved by the Senate on Monday after passing the House last month. It now heads to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk for signature into law.

Legislators moved quickly after Denton, a university town near Dallas, voted in November to impose a local fracking ban amid environmental and safety concerns. That ordinance is now being challenged in court. Conservatives say the new restrictions are needed to prevent a patchwork of drilling laws across Texas.

But the issue has been among the most contentious in Abbott’s first legislative session.

Gillibrand2010 / Wikimedia Commons

WASHINGTON — In a scathing critique of the Defense Department’s efforts to curb sexual assaults, a U.S. senator warned Monday that the true scope of sex-related violence in the military communities is “vastly underreported” and that victims continue to struggle for justice.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said in a report that the Pentagon refused to provide her with all the information she requested about sexual assaults at several major bases. The material she did receive revealed that the spouses of service members and civilian women who live or work near military facilities are especially vulnerable to being sexually assaulted.

Yet they “remain in the shadows” because neither is counted in Defense Department surveys to determine the prevalence of sexual assaults, the report said. “I don’t think the military is being honest about the problem,” Gillibrand said in an interview.

The senator said her analysis of 107 sexual assault cases found punishments that were too lenient and the word of the alleged assailant was more likely to be believed than the victim. Less than a quarter of the cases went to trial and just 11 resulted in conviction for a sex crime. Female civilians were the victims in more than half the cases, said Gillibrand, an outspoken advocate for an overhaul of the military justice system.

Source: http://www.theambitstory.com/

ALBANY, N.Y.— State officials are investigating a Texas-based energy company after a spike in complaints from customers over higher-than-expected bills.

Ambit Energy is an energy services company that supplies electricity and natural gas. Consumers can choose to get their energy from their own utility or companies like Ambit. The probe of Ambit Energy was prompted by a spike in complaints in recent months to the state’s utility regulation agency.

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