Pa. closes loophole in gun-permit law
Pennsylvania officials closed a gun-law loophole Friday that allowed residents to get concealed-carry permits online from Florida — sometimes after their applications were rejected at home.
Both states deny carry permits to convicted felons. However, Pennsylvania also has a morals clause that lets police reject suspects under criminal investigation or people with long arrest records. Rather than appeal, an increasing number in recent years turned to what new Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane called “the Florida loophole.”
Obama honors Panetta at ceremony
Calling it “the honor of my life,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said farewell to the U.S. military Friday, capping a venerated public- service career that spanned four decades and included stints as a lawmaker, a top White House official and the spy chief who oversaw the killing of Osama bin Laden.
President Barack Obama, honoring his first-term Pentagon chief at a ceremony at a military base outside Washington, said Panetta would be remembered for welcoming more Americans into the military by opening combat roles to women and overseeing the repeal of a ban on gays serving openly — “In short, for making our military and our nation that much stronger.”
Panetta has said he will remain on the job until the Senate confirms a successor.
Man arrested in bomb-plot sting
The FBI arrested a San Jose man as he went through the motions of detonating what he believed to be a car bomb in front of a Northern California bank, federal authorities said Friday.
FBI agents arrested Matthew Aaron Llaneza, 28, Thursday night near a Bank of America branch in Oakland as part of a sting operation.
Llaneza minutes earlier had parked an SUV in front of the bank believing the vehicle contained an explosive rigged to detonate from a cellphone command, authorities said. Llaneza was arrested as he stood nearby and tried to detonate the device with a cellphone.
The FBI says Llaneza expressed support for the Taliban.
Protesters clash with police in Egypt
Egyptian security forces backed by water cannons fired tear gas at rock- throwing protesters outside the presidential palace in Cairo on Friday while demonstrators clashed with riot police in cities across the country in marches against Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
The protests are part of a wave of opposition-led demonstrations over the past two weeks that have frequently devolved into street clashes. The violence has left more than 70 people dead and hundreds wounded, and plunged the country into a fresh cycle of bloodshed and political turmoil.
More Marines charged over video
Two more Marines face criminal charges over a 2011 YouTube video showing members of a scout sniper platoon urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
The U.S. Marine Corps announced Friday that Sgt. Robert W. Richards faces charges including dereliction of duty and violating orders. Military prosecutors say he filmed himself and others urinating on the corpses.
Capt. James V. Clement faces charges that include conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman for failing to properly supervise junior Marines and making false statements to investigators. Clement was the executive officer of the Marine battalion in Afghanistan.