Pakistan opens fire in multiple positions along LoC

(STL.News) Pakistan troops opened fire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Gurez sector on Friday, including in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir(J&K).  Indian Army retaliated destroying Pakistan Armies bunkers along the LoC.

YouTube video provided courtesy of WION News

STL.News References:
  1. YouTube
  2. WION News

Pakistan opens fire in multiple positions along LoC

(STL.News) Pakistan troops opened fire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Gurez sector on Friday, including in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir(J&K).  Indian Army retaliated destroying Pakistan Armies bunkers along the LoC.

YouTube video provided courtesy of WION News

STL.News References:
  1. YouTube
  2. WION News

Fauci hopeful about the prospects for a successful COVID-19 vaccine

(STL.News) U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Thursday vaccine developers should push to make billions of their COVID-19 vaccines to ensure access to all parts of the world, instead of focusing on the rich countries.

YouTube video provided courtesy of WION News

STL.News References:
  1. YouTube
  2. WION News

Countries queue for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine

(STL.News) The US and Europe are in line to get the first doses of an experimental coronavirus vaccine after a partnership between Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE delivered dazzling preliminary results in a large patient trial.

YouTube video provided courtesy of WION News

STL.News References:
  1. YouTube
  2. WION News

Wisconsin: Missouri Woman Heather Bishop, Fourth Person Sentenced

Wisconsin: Missouri Woman Heather Bishop, Fourth Person Sentenced for Nationwide Fraud Scheme

(STL.News) – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Heather Bishop, 31, Lee’s Summit, Missouri was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 30 months in federal prison for conspiring with Crystal Austin, Shelly Scott, Jason Edge, and others to commit wire fraud throughout the country.  Bishop was ordered to pay restitution to Walmart, Inc., in an amount to be determined after a hearing on January 11, 2021.

Between February 2017 and March 2018, Bishop, Austin, Scott, Edge and others conspired to defraud Walmart, Inc. through use of stolen personal checks, identity fraud, and methods to bypass electronic check authorization measures, resulting in a loss of over $860,000 to Walmart.  The group used stolen identification cards of real people to perpetuate this fraud in 18 states, using more than 14 different stolen checking accounts.  Bishop and other co-conspirators would present a stolen check and false identification at the time of payment, and when the check was declined, the person presenting the check would pretend to call the check authorization company, when in fact, they would call a co-conspirator.  The co-conspirator would tell the clerk to accept the check, and the transaction would be complete.

Scott and Edge were arrested by Monona Police on February 25, 2018, after Walmart employees became suspicious of their behavior. They were sentenced to 48 months in federal prison in November 2018 after pleading guilty for their roles in this fraud scheme.

Heather Bishop and conspirators Crystal Austin and Jennifer Austin were charged in this conspiracy and arrested in December 2019. Crystal Austin pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and was sentenced to 65 months in prison in September 2020.  Jennifer Austin has also agreed to plead guilty to the conspiracy and is scheduled for a guilty plea and sentencing hearing on December 15, 2020.

In sentencing Bishop, Judge Conley noted that this conspiracy involved not only Walmart as a victim, but also those whose identities and bank accounts were used in the fraud.  He noted that in Bishop’s case, her involvement seemed to be based on opportunity, family dysfunction, and anti-social personality and decision making.  In choosing a sentence of 30 months, Judge Conley also recognized that Bishop was less culpable than the co-conspirators previously sentenced in this case.

The charges against Heather Bishop and her co-conspirators were the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Monona and Sun Prairie Police Departments, and police departments throughout the country, with the assistance of Walmart fraud investigators.  The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura A. Przybylinski Finn.

STL.News References:

  1.  Scott C. Blader Wikipedia Page
  2. Wisconsin Resource Page
  3. Can also be viewed on USA News Today

West Virginia: Kaleah Scott admits to role in drug conspiracy

(STL.News) – Kaleah Scott, of Winchester, Virginia, has admitted to her role in a drug conspiracy that spanned several states, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Scott, 40, pled guilty today to one count of “Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Heroin and Fentanyl.” Scott admitted to working with others to distribute heroin, fentanyl from June to November 2019 in Berkeley and Jefferson Counties and elsewhere.

Scott faces up to 20 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000,000.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

This case is the result of investigations supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) under the Attorney General-led Synthetic Opioid Surge (SOS)/Special Operations Division (SOD) Project Clean Sweep.  This initiative seeks to reduce the supply of synthetic opioids in “hot spot” areas previously identified by the Attorney General of the United States, thereby reducing drug overdoses and drug overdose deaths, and identify wholesale distribution networks and sources of supply operating nationally and internationally.

OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and is the keystone of the Department of Justice’s drug reduction strategy.  Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement.  The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Omps-Botteicher and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Lydia Lehman, also with the Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, are prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.  The FBI; Homeland Security Investigations; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; and the Eastern Panhandle Drug Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, investigated.

STL.News References:

  1. Bill Powell Wikipedia Page
  2. West Virginia Resource Page
  3. Can also be viewed on USA News Today

Assistant Secretary of State Cooper Travels to UAE & Israel

Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs R. Clarke Cooper Travels to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Israel

Washington, DC (STL.News) The US Department of State released the following statement:

Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs R. Clarke Cooper travels to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Israel November 14-23 to meet with key U.S. regional partners on expanding security cooperation and defense trade that enhances our shared security.

In the United Arab Emirates November 15-16, Assistant Secretary Cooper will hold consultations with senior civilian and military officials in Abu Dhabi on deepening our security partnership and proposed sales of advanced defensive capabilities to deter Iran and its regional proxies.  Assistant Secretary Cooper will discuss the changing regional security landscape and increased opportunities for cooperation in the wake of the United Arab Emirate’s historic decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords.  The United Arab Emirates is a vital U.S. security partner who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us in Afghanistan and Iraq;  is an active and capable partner in the worldwide fight against Al-Qaida and its regional affiliates;  and hosts nearly 4,000 U.S. forces.

In Saudi Arabia November 17-18, Assistant Secretary Cooper will meet with senior government officials in Riyadh to discuss security cooperation and defense trade.  Saudi Arabia is a strong U.S. partner in security and counterterrorism, as well as a leading purchaser of U.S. defense equipment, including more than $126.6 billion in active government-to-government sales cases under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system and an additional $8.2 billion in defense articles to Saudi Arabia via the Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) process, both managed by the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

In Bahrain November 19-20, Assistant Secretary Cooper will congratulate its senior civilian and military officials for normalizing diplomatic relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords, and discuss expanding partnerships in maritime security and defense trade.  Bahrain hosts the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet and its security cooperation with the United States strengthens interoperability for regional security and counterterrorism cooperation, boosts its maritime defenses, and improves its counter-terrorism capabilities in a manner that respects the human rights of its citizens.

In Israel November 20-22, Assistant Secretary Cooper will meet with senior civilian and military officials to discuss ongoing, robust U.S.-Israel security cooperation and Israel’s expanded network of regional partnerships following the historic Abraham Accords.  America’s commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad.  Under our 10-year Memorandum of Understanding, Israel is the world’s single-largest recipient of U.S. security assistance, and our governments cooperate closely in joint military exercises, military research, and weapons development.

STL.News References:

  1. US Department of State
  2. Washington, DC
  3. Can also be viewed on

US Department of State: Annual Greening Diplomacy Initiative Winners

Annual Greening Diplomacy Initiative Award Winners

Washington, DC (STL.News) The US Department of State released the following statement:

The U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce the winners of the second annual Resilience Innovation Grant program, a part of the Greening Diplomacy Initiative (GDI) Awards.  Sponsored by the Department’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), these grants provide nearly $1 million to help U.S. embassies and consulates address emerging environmental risks to their operations with innovative solutions.  Selected projects will positively impact the communities where our diplomatic posts operate and will provide tangible examples of sustainability and resilience technology and interventions.

Incorporating a variety of technologies and spanning every region in the world, the winning projects range in size from $10,000 to $312,750. Water security emerged as a theme, with winning projects focusing on water recycling, rainwater harvesting, borewells with a solar pump, and a native landscaping and wildlife habitat project.  The winning posts will receive guidance from OBO and the Office of Management Strategy and Solutions (M/SS) regarding implementation.

Winning diplomatic posts for this year’s grants include U.S. Embassy Amman, U.S. Embassy Lilongwe, U.S. Embassy Harare, U.S. Embassy Dili, U.S. Embassy Panama City, and U.S. Embassy Skopje, which received grants for projects to improve water management and reduce water waste.  U.S. Embassy Kathmandu and U.S. Embassy Bamako received grants to improve their waste management.  U.S. Embassy Brasilia, U.S. Embassy Rangoon, and U.S. Embassy Valetta received grants aimed at improving energy efficiency.  U.S. Embassy Nur-Sultan received a grant to develop a native wildlife habitat that will reduce grounds maintenance.

STL.News References:

  1. US Department of State
  2. Washington, DC
  3. Can also be viewed on

US Department of State: Disqualification of Lawmakers in Hong Kong

Disqualification of Pan-Democratic Lawmakers in Hong Kong

Washington, DC (STL.News) Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary Of State released the following statement:

Beijing’s onslaught against Hong Kong’s freedoms and liberties continues.  The United States strongly condemns the “patriotism” resolution passed by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee on November 11, which disqualified four members of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council for exercising their mandates as lawmakers.  This resolution tramples on the rights of the people of Hong Kong to choose their elected representatives as guaranteed by the Basic Law and further exposes Beijing’s blatant disregard for its international commitments under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a U.N.-registered treaty.  Beijing has eliminated nearly all of Hong Kong’s promised autonomy, as it neuters democratic processes and legal traditions that have been the bedrock of Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity.  Once again, the CCP’s twisted vision of patriotism is a pretext to stifle freedom and the call for democracy.

The United States will continue to work with our allies and partners around the world to champion the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and call out Beijing’s abject failure to honor its commitments.  We will hold accountable the people responsible for these actions and policies that erode Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms.  We stand with the disqualified pan-Democratic lawmakers, the pro-democracy lawmakers who resigned in protest, and the people of Hong Kong.

STL.News References:

  1. US Department of State
  2. Washington, DC
  3. Can also be viewed on
  4. Hong Kong

Iowa: Robert Joe Hennings Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

Iowa: Robert Joe Hennings Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Child Pornography Offense

(STL.News) – On Tuesday, November 10, 2020, Robert Joe Hennings, age 33, of Des Moines, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger to 240 months in federal prison, to be followed by 20 years of federal court supervision, for receipt of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum.  Hennings was ordered to forfeit the electronic media used in the offense, pay $15,000 in restitution to victims, and pay $100 to the Crime Victims’ Fund.  Hennings was also ordered to register as a sex offender after his release.

According to the record made at sentencing, Hennings collected in excess of 550,000 images of child pornography over a three-year period, including material involving sexual assaults on prepubescent minors, including an infant.  The sentence was, in part, a reflection of the danger Hennings posed to children, based on the Court’s finding that he engaged in chats with others where he expressed his desire to have sex with boys younger than five years old and said he wanted to purchase a young prostitute under five years of age.

The case was a joint federal-state effort involving both the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation Task Force and the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

STL.News References:

  1. Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger Wikipedia Page
  2. Iowa Resource Page
  3. Can also be viewed on USA News Today

US Department of State:On The Passing of Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa

On the Passing of His Royal Highness, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa

Washington, DC (STL.News) Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary Of State released the following statement:

We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of His Royal Highness, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa of Bahrain.  We extend our sincere condolences to his family and to the people of the Kingdom of Bahrain.  As the Prime Minister of Bahrain since its independence, Prince Khalifa was a statesman of the highest order and will always be known as a close friend and partner of the United States.  Deeply committed to fostering peace in the region and throughout the world, we honor Prince Khalifa’s legacy and remain committed to deepening our strong partnership and friendship with the Kingdom of Bahrain.

STL.News References:

  1. US Department of State
  2. Washington, DC
  3. Can also be viewed on
  4. Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa
  5. Bahrain