Politicians had links to pedophile gang?
British police have launched an official probe into claims that senior politicians had links to a pedophile gang during the 1980s.
Scotland Yard says the investigation is looking into historic child-abuse allegations at a London guest house.
Thursday’s announcement came after opposition Labour Party lawmaker Tom Watson claimed last year that there was evidence that a member of a pedophile ring boasted about his connections with a “senior aide to a former prime minister.”
Watson suggested that at the time there was a “pedophile network linked to Parliament” and Downing Street. He urged police to reopen evidence files to reexamine and follow up the leads.
Police said that initial findings have turned up enough to begin a criminal investigation.
Winter storm hits Southeast states
A winter storm made its way across the Southeast on Thursday, dumping snow in states recovering from days of rain, playing a role in at least one fatality, and leaving thousands without power.
Early Thursday, parts of Mississippi saw 2 to 4 inches of snow on the ground. In Lowndes County, Highway Patrol spokesman Cpl. Criss Turnipseed said Johnnie A. Matthews, 64, of West Point died when his car collided with a downed tree about 5 a.m. on Mississippi Highway 50.
In Roanoke, Va., heavy snow was falling as residents prepared for the first significant storm of the season. Thousands of customers in the southwestern part of the state were without power. Appalachian Power said the heavy, wet snow contributed to outages to at least 45,000 customers.
The National Weather Service said a foot of snow was possible in the highest elevations of southeastern Virginia. At the other end of the spectrum, parts of Hampton Roads could see just a dusting.
School shooting suspect had warrant
A student accused of shooting an administrator at his St. Louis business school had a history of violence and a parole violation that should have landed him in jail, but didn’t.
People in law enforcement said Thursday that it’s not surprising that Sean Johnson remained at large nearly eight months after a warrant was issued for his arrest. They say the system is flooded with so many arrest warrants that police can’t keep up.
“You walk up and down the street in downtown St. Louis, and you’re going to pass a bunch of people who have an active warrant,” said David Klinger, a criminologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. “I’m not at all surprised that someone who had an active warrant was out there in the community.”
Syrian gunmen kill more than 100
Gunmen loyal to President Bashar Assad swept through a mainly Sunni farming village in central Syria this week, torching houses and killing more than 100 people, including women and children, opposition activists said Thursday.
The reported slayings fueled accusations that pro-government militiamen are trying to drive majority Sunnis out of areas near main routes to the coast to ensure control of an Alawite enclave as the country’s civil war increasingly takes on sectarian overtones.
Activists said the attackers were from nearby areas dominated by Shiite Muslims and allied Alawites.