TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A grand jury has indicted an Oklahoma sheriff on a charge of refusing to perform his official duties in an investigation related to a volunteer deputy and longtime friend who said he mistook his handgun for a stun gun when he fatally shot an unarmed man.
Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz decided quickly to resign after he was indicted during a court hearing Wednesday on two misdemeanor counts, one accusing him of not promptly releasing documents in the internal investigation involving deputy Robert Bates. Bates’ training and the reserve deputy program came into question after Bates, a former insurance executive, shot 44-year-old Eric Harris during an April sting operation.
The second charge accuses Glanz of willful violation of the law in an unrelated incident involving a stipend he received for a vehicle.
Glanz, who plans to step down before a Nov. 10 hearing in the case, said in a statement that he had always tried to be transparent and make good decisions during his 27 years as sheriff. He said he told grand jurors he would resign if they concluded that was best, which they did in a report released during the hearing.
“I know that my decisions have caused some to criticize me both publicly and privately,” he said in a two-page statement released late Wednesday. “As sheriff, I take responsibility for all decisions made by me or in my name, but I assure you they were all made in good faith.”
Glanz, who didn’t attend the hearing, plans to plead not guilty, his attorney Scott Wood said.
The grand jury was called after thousands of people signed a petition calling for an investigation into Glanz’s office following the death of Harris. Bates is accused of shooting Harris while Harris was restrained by a sheriff’s deputy. Video from the scene captured Bates apologizing for shooting Harris, who was being detained on suspicion that he tried to sell guns to an undercover officer.
Bates — who has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the case — has since left the agency.
Bates had donated thousands of dollars in cash, cars and equipment to the sheriff’s office. His close ties to Glanz and the agency raised questions about the reserve deputy program and whether Bates and others received special treatment in return for the gifts.
Harris’ brother, Andre Harris, declined to comment after the court hearing Wednesday.
Local civil rights organizer Marq Lewis said the indictment marked a win for residents.
“We got justice today,” said Lewis, who leads We the People Oklahoma, the group that organized the grand jury petition drive. “This is a statement to never bet against the citizens, the people of Tulsa County.”
Wednesday’s court hearing was called just hours after grand jurors said they had completed their investigation. Grand jurors met behind closed doors for nine weeks and interviewed more than 30 witnesses, including Glanz.
The documents were given to District Judge Rebecca Nightingale earlier in the day in five sealed envelopes. Some documents remain sealed.
The grand jury also made eight recommendations, including that the sheriff’s office improve its training and documentation, including better accountability of field training hours. It also suggested that the office’s internal affairs department be more autonomous.
The recommendations appeared to address a leaked 2009 memo that alleged top sheriff’s office officials knew Bates was inadequately trained but pressured other officers to look away.
Among the witnesses who testified before the grand jury was a corporal in the internal affairs division, Warren Crittenden, who said he was pressured to sign off on memos saying Bates was qualified for duty.
Crittenden told investigators in the 2009 memo that he feared he’d be transferred if he didn’t OK paperwork stating that Bates had completed his training at 328 hours, which violated policy requiring 480 hours of training, according to the report.
The grand jury also heard from sheriff’s corporal Bill Adams, who called the memo “very accurate,” and said that Glanz could have done more to address its findings.
Both Crittenden and Adams also have left the agency.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Thousands of evangelical Christians from more than 80 countries descended upon Jerusalem this week to show their support for the Jewish state, including pilgrims and politicians from countries with a history of hostility toward Israel.
The celebratory summit reflects evangelical Christianity’s dramatic growth worldwide and gives a boost to Israel at a time when the country is increasingly isolated internationally.
Attitudes in Israel toward evangelicals are evolving, from skepticism about Christian Zionist motives, to the realization that Israel cannot survive on the support of diaspora Jewish communities alone and is in no position to turn down the potential political and tourism boost the Christians can provide.
“Israel has no better friends throughout the world,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a videotaped address that was beamed to a Jerusalem basketball stadium packed with cheering pilgrims Tuesday. The gatherers waved flags from home countries such as Angola, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy and the U.S. There was even a small delegation from Egypt, a country that shares a cold peace with Israel.
Evangelical Christianity is one of the world’s fastest growing religious movements. Of the world’s estimated 2 billion Christians, some 700 million are evangelicals, according to the pro-Israel International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, which organized the Jerusalem summit.
Evangelical movements are expanding most prominently in Latin America, Africa and Asia — regions that “hold great potential for the nation of Israel in political, diplomatic and economic terms,” according to a position paper the group presented last year to Israel’s Foreign Ministry.
The annual weeklong summit is billed as the Feast of Tabernacles, the Christian term for the weeklong Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which in biblical times was marked by a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. This year’s gathering included rock concert prayer rallies in which believers sang Hebrew songs and an annual flag-waving parade through the streets of Jerusalem.
Evangelicals say their affinity for Israel stems from Christianity’s Jewish roots and an anticipated Messianic age when all nations of the earth will flock to Jerusalem. Jews and Christians both believe in a future Messianic age, though Jews do not accept the Christian belief that Jesus is the Messiah.
“Jesus is Jewish. He’s coming again,” said Marilyn Henretty, 77, of Annandale, Virginia, from the bleachers of one of the week’s prayer rallies, clasping a tambourine and wearing a 12-gemstone ring representing the 12 tribes of Israel. “We believe it’s going to be soon. All signs point to that.”
There has long been suspicion in Israel that the evangelical bear hug is connected to a belief that the modern Jewish state is a precursor to the apocalypse — when Jesus will return and Jews will either accept Christianity or die. Israel’s Chief Rabbinate called on Jews to boycott an evangelical rally open to local Israelis this week, calling it “spiritually dangerous” and warning that evangelicals were trying to convert Jews to Christianity.
Israeli liberals are also uncomfortable with evangelicals because of their ties to America’s political right and their support for Israel’s settlement enterprise in the West Bank, a major sticking point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some evangelicals, particularly from the U.S., work as volunteers on Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
But suspicions are diminishing in Israel, especially as evangelical groups funnel hefty donations to Israel and evangelical representatives in Israel downplay the apocalypse, saying it is not a central tenant of faith for most of the world’s evangelicals — or what makes them love Israel.
“We feel that their support is genuine and not deriving from any ulterior motive,” said Akiva Tor of Israel’s Foreign Ministry.
Israel has long depended on diaspora Jewish communities to send donations and lobby their local governments on its behalf, but evangelical communities are becoming increasingly important bases of support.
“The number of Jewish communities is limited,” Tor said. “When there are large numbers of Christians who are interested in visiting Israel and understanding Israel — that of course is very, very helpful toward improving our international standing.”
Evangelicals at the summit boasted of their success at lobbying on Israel’s behalf in the halls of parliaments around the world.
There are currently 32 pro-Israeli caucuses in parliaments worldwide, according to the Israel Allies Foundation, a Jewish-Christian pro-Israel political group that brought two dozen lawmakers from 18 countries to Jerusalem this week to meet with Israeli lawmakers and officials.
The Israeli parliament’s Christian Allies Caucus, formed in 2004 to forge ties between Israeli lawmakers and Christian leaders, officially relaunched this summer after a period of dormancy. International Christian Embassy Jerusalem director Jurgen Buhler called it a “miracle.”
At a prayer rally, Buhler introduced a group of 20 lawmakers from the Ivory Coast, which like most African nations broke ties with Israel in the 1970s but later restored them. The lawmakers flew to the Jerusalem summit on the Ivory Coast parliament’s expense, Buhler said. The smiling lawmakers received a 12-ram’s horn salute from a group of Taiwanese evangelicals blasting shofars, an ancient Jewish instrument.
Also in attendance was Rev. Mosy Madugba of Nigeria, head of a network of Christian ministers, who said his close ties to Nigerian leaders helped change the country’s traditional pro-Palestinian stance at the U.N. In recent years, Nigeria has abstained from supporting U.N. resolutions supporting Palestinian statehood.
Kenneth Meshoe, an evangelical South African lawmaker who heads the African Christian Democratic Party, said he has helped block anti-Israel motions in South Africa’s parliament, including a recent effort to label Israeli products made in the West Bank as settlement products. His wife, Lydia, wore a bright yellow headdress and a Jewish Star of David necklace. Both said they hoped Jews would accept Jesus when the apocalypse comes.
“God will bless those who bless Israel,” he added.
Follow Daniel Estrin at www.twitter.com/danielestrin
Developing ideas into realities is Microsoft’s business. Now, the technology giant is inviting NFL fans to come up with those ideas.
The prizes in what Microsoft is calling the “Imagine Bowl,” are enticing.
The contest invites fans to share their ideas on how technology can make the NFL game more efficient, more competitive, more entertaining, immersive and dynamic. Concepts can be submitted through Dec. 1 at www.ImagineBowl.com with an essay of 3,000 words or less and/or a one-two-minute video. Each of three finalists chosen by a panel of technology and football experts will receive a trip to San Francisco for Super Bowl 50, and tickets to the game. The grand prize winner will receive the trip and $50,000.
“We’re looking for ideas that will have a positive impact on the game either on the field, in the stadium or in the home,” said Jeff Tran, director of sports marketing and alliances at Microsoft. “We’re always looking for new ways to improve the game through technology, and that is the true spirit of the Imagine Bowl, to go further than where we could have imagined.”
As part of Microsoft’s agreement with the league, NFL teams use Surface Pro 3 tablets on the sidelines to review plays. The tablets have been used as a test by officials to help with instant replay, as well. Next Gen Stats integration also is a key component on the company’s fan enhancement menu.
Unquestionably, there are other technological elements that could be incorporated by the NFL or its broadcast partners. Improvements within the stadium or for the home experience for fans will occur.
The Imagine Bowl just might help spur such advancements.
“As a football fan, I get to come to work every day and do a dream job,” Tran said. “I get to play a part in bringing together Microsoft’s emerging technologies with the game I love, and I get to see firsthand how that makes coaches and players smarter, decision making faster, and the fan experience richer. That’s what the Imagine Bowl is all about. We want to empower football fans to dream with us and be part of revolutionizing the game.”
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP—NFL
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean smartphone maker LG Electronics Inc. unveiled a new smartphone Thursday with an additional screen and a camera that can capture a wider scene when taking a selfie, hoping to arrest a slide in its market share.
The V10 comes with another screen above the main 5.7-inch display. The small second screen can stay on to display weather, time and date when the main display is turned off. It has room for frequently-used apps and can receive notifications while using the main screen to watch a video.
The V10 smartphone is LG’s latest attempt to make headway in the premium mobile phone market. Its flagship G series phones were edged out by new phones from Samsung and Apple.
The company has lost its market share in the smartphone market in recent months, falling to the seventh place globally as Chinese vendors surpassed its shipments. Is second-quarter market share was 3.8 percent, down from 4.7 percent a year earlier, according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research.
The new phone’s front camera is equipped with a standard 80-degree lens and a 120-degree wide-angle lens option. That means a larger group can fit into a selfie shot taken with the V10.
“The ability to take group selfies without a selfie-stick has never been easier,” LG said in a statement.
The V10 phone will go on sale in South Korea later this month for 800,000 won ($678) without a contract from a carrier, followed by the U.S. launch next month.
PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona sheriff took to the witness stand at contempt-of-court hearings over his acknowledged disobedience of a judge’s orders in a racial profiling case.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was questioned for 30 minutes late Wednesday afternoon about the violations that could expose him to civil fines and possibly a criminal contempt case.
The hearings are examining how Arpaio’s office let its officers conduct immigration patrols for 18 months after the judge ordered them stopped.
Arpaio was shown news videos in which he proclaimed he would continue enforcing immigration laws. He made the comments after the judge had banned the patrols.
The sheriff was asked about whether his immigration efforts were politically driven.
He denied the charge and explained he was trying to enforce laws.
His testimony resumes Thursday.
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday:
1. RUSSIA LAUNCHES AIRSTRIKES IN SYRIA
But just who is targeted — Islamic State extremists or more moderate rebels battling Moscow’s longtime ally, Bashar Assad — is in dispute.
2. RUSSIA-LINKED HACKERS PROBED HILLARY CLINTON’S PRIVATE EMAIL SERVER
Newly released emails show the hackers tried at least five times to pry into Clinton’s account while she was secretary of state.
3. BEN CARSON RAKES IN RECORD $20 MILLION IN THREE MONTHS
That’s more money than was raised by the GOP’s entire White House field combined during the same period four years ago.
4. WHO’S RAMPING UP UNCERTAINTY IN MIDDLE EAST
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Palestinian President Abbas declares that he is no longer bound by any pacts signed with Israel.
5. POPE MET WITH DEFIANT KENTUCKY CLERK
The private visit with Kim Davis that occurred during Francis’ trip to the U.S represents a strong papal endorsement of religious resistance to gay marriage, experts say.
6. EAST COAST GETS A DRENCHING
The rainstorms may soon be joined by Hurricane Joaquin, which could dump as much as 10 inches through early next week in some places.
7. CONGRESS OK’S STOPGAP SPENDING BILL
The vote keeps the government up and running — but with no assurance there won’t be another shutdown showdown in December.
8. WHICH TITANIC RELIC HAS BEEN AUCTIONED FOR $88,000
The menu from the last lunch on the doomed vessel was saved for posterity by a first-class passenger who climbed aboard a lifeboat.
9. PROSECUTORS DECLINE TO CHARGE CAITLYN JENNER IN FATAL CRASH, CITING INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE
The California accident that killed another driver occurred before Jenner announced she is transgender and transitioned into her new identity as Caitlyn.
10. WHAT’S GIVING NCAA CAUSE TO CELEBRATE
A federal appeals court strikes down possible cash payments to college athletes for the use of their names, images and likenesses in video games and TV broadcasts.