Secretary of State John Kerry says the transfer of advanced missile defense systems from Russia to Syria would be a "destabilizing" factor for Israel's security.
Kerry says the U.S. has expressed concerns about what the S-300 batteries in Syria would mean for Israel's security. He wouldn't address what the missiles might mean for Syria's civil war.
He spoke to reporters in Rome after the Wall Street Journal reported that Russia was preparing to sell the weapons to President Bashar Assad's regime. The report said Israel had warned the U.S. Kerry praised Moscow for helping try to organize Syrian peace talks.
Investigators say a 61-year-old woman has been charged with murder after strangling her elderly husband at their home in North Carolina.
Police said they were called to the home in Cary around 11 p.m. Wednesday by someone who said 77-year-old Sharad Amtey was unconscious. He died a short time later at the hospital.
Authorities weren't releasing any other details about the case.
Dottie Amtey was arrested after officers arrived at her home. She is being held in the Wake County jail, and it wasn't known if she had an attorney.
Officials in Cary say it is the first homicide in the town southwest of Raleigh in nearly two years.
A spate of high-profile shootings has left Americans with the perception that gun crimes are on the rise, but a new study shows the opposite appears to be true, according to a study.
A Pew Research poll released this week found that 56 percent of adults believe that gun crime is more common now than 20 years ago. But a report by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics seems to show that crime involving firearms has fallen dramatically over the last 20 years, with the rate of homicides committed with guns cut in half since 1993. The rate of the violent crimes fell even more, and is now just a quarter of what it was.
In the Pew poll of 924 adults, just 12 percent correctly answered that gun crime fell over the last 20 years. Gun rights advocates say media coverage of gun violence has distorted the public perception.
"This doesn't surprise me in the least," Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation told FoxNews.com. "When people respond in opinion polls, it's shaped from what they're getting through the network news, The New York Times, The Washington Post. And for them, 'if it bleeds it leads' – if there's a tragedy, that becomes the lead story."
But supporters of tighter gun control laws say it is modern medicine, not a more peaceable public, that is behind the numbers.
"More people are being shot in America, but fewer people are dying," Erika Soto Lamb, the communications director for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told FoxNews.com. She cited CDC data which show that, since data has been kept in 2001, the rate of people being assaulted and shot during the assault has risen 25 percent.
In other words, the data since 2001 tell a slightly more complex story: Fewer people are being attacked with guns, but slightly more people are being shot with guns – yet at the same time, fewer people are being killed with guns.
"A number of factors are believed to have contributed to this, but mostly, improved medical care is helping to save more lives," Soto Lamb said. "The latest studies should not be taken as proof that this country does not have a gun violence epidemic. We do."
Still, the biggest trend over the last 20 years is the reduction in gun-related attacks and killings, and Gottlieb blames the media for ignoring that story.
"The Second Amendment Foundation has been tracking the data year-in and year-out, and each year, we put out a news release about how gun crime is down. But the media just doesn't want to hear it if it doesn't further their anti-gun agenda," Gottlieb said.
The idea that public perceptions don't match up with the numbers is hardly surprising, said Bryan Caplan, an economist at George Mason University who researches public opinion.
"The public perceives rising crime in general… [so] I don't think anti-gun bias is a good explanation," Caplan told FoxNews.com.
Gallup polls show that Americans overestimate crime in general. In 15 out of 16 Gallup polls conducted in the past 20 years, Americans incorrectly said that crime had risen compared to the previous year.
While gun crime fell dramatically over the last 20 years, crimes committed without guns fell just as fast.
Gottlieb had an explanation for that.
"All crime has basically been going down. And that's because more people have firearms to protect themselves," he said.
While firearm ownership rates have been relatively flat according to survey data, many more people now have licenses to carry guns on their person. The number of states with laws that give people a right to carry handguns outside of the home – known as "shall-issue concealed-carry laws" -- has increased dramatically over the last 20 years, going from 16 states in 1993 to 43 now.
Estimates show that guns are used in self-defense between 100,000 and 2 million times each year. Overlooking that, Gottlieb said, is the media's biggest error.
"You never hear about defensive gun uses. Every time there's a tragedy, there's a call for gun control. But every time a gun is used in self defense – usually it doesn't make the news, and you never hear a call for relaxing the gun laws so more people can defend themselves."
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Las Vegas prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a self-described pimp charged in a shooting and fiery crash that killed three people on the Strip.
Ammar Asim Faruq Harris was arrested Feb. 28 in Los Angeles and is jailed in Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Sun reports (http://bit.ly/12hcumo ) the district attorney filed the notice of intent to seek the death penalty Wednesday after a special panel reviewed the case and recommended that action.
Harris was arrested a week after the pre-dawn crash in which he's accused of shooting out of a black Range Rover into a Maserati sports car, mortally wounding driver Kenneth Wayne Cherry Jr.
The Maserati crashed into a taxi that exploded into flames, killing cab driver Michael Boldon and passenger Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, of Maple Valley, Wash.
Information from: Las Vegas Sun, http://www.lasvegassun.com
FBI agents did not tell Boston police they had receiving warnings from Russia's government in 2011 about suspected bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and had performed a cursory investigation, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis told Congress Thursday, in the first congressional hearing into last month's terror attack on the Boston Marathon.
Davis said that none of four people he had assigned to the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force was aware that the FBI investigated the vague warning, found nothing and had closed the file. One of his detectives was in the dark despite being assigned to the unit that investigated Tsarnaev, Davis said.
"They tell me they received no word about that individual prior to the bombing," Davis said.
Davis said he would have liked to have known but conceded that it might not have prevented the attack. The commissioner said his detectives would have wanted to interview Tsarnaev.
"The FBI did that and they closed the case out," he said. "I can't say I would've come to a different conclusion based on the information at the time."
The House Homeland Security Committee hearing came less than three weeks after Tsarnaev died in a police shootout. His brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was arrested and faces federal terrorism charges.
The committee chairman, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said the hearing will be the first in a series to review the government's initial response, ask what information authorities received about the brothers before the bombings and whether they handled it correctly.
Thursday's hearing was unlikely to shed much light on those questions. Nobody from the federal government testified.
But in a time of widespread budget cuts, the hearing began laying the groundwork for an expected push for more counterterrorism money. Both Davis and Kurt Schwartz, the Massachusetts homeland security chief, praised federal grants that for years have kept cities flush with money for equipment and manpower.
"People are alive today" because of money for training and equipment, Schwartz said.
McCaul and Rep. Bennie Thompson, the top Democrat on the committee, also spoke of the importance of federal money, as did former Sen. Joe Lieberman, one of the founders of the Department of Homeland Security, who took a new seat as a congressional witness.
"You can't fight this war without resources," Lieberman said.
Lieberman said it would have been possible, albeit difficult, to have prevented the bombing. He said the U.S. should have shared threat information with state and local law enforcement.
"When you're dealing with homegrown radicals, the community around them is going to be your first line of defense," Lieberman said. "State and local law enforcement will always have a better knowledge of the neighborhood, the institutions the people are going to be involved with."
In written testimony, Davis told lawmakers that cities should look at deploying more undercover officers and special police units and installing more surveillance cameras — but not at the expense of civil liberties.
"I do not endorse actions that move Boston and our nation into a police state mentality, with surveillance cameras attached to every light pole in the city," Davis said. "We do not and cannot live in a protective enclosure because of the actions of extremists who seek to disrupt our way of life."
Investigators used surveillance video from a restaurant near one of the explosions to help identify the Tsarnaev brothers.
"Images from cameras do not lie. They do not forget," Davis said. "They can be viewed by a jury as evidence of what occurred. These efforts are not intended to chill or stifle free speech, but rather to protect the integrity and freedom of that speech and to protect the rights of victims and suspects alike."
A New Jersey Army major and his wife have pleaded not guilty to abusing their foster children.
John and Carolyn Jackson of Mount Holly appeared in federal court in Newark on Thursday. Each remains free on $250,000 bail, charged with endangerment, assault and conspiracy.
The couple are accused of abusing their three foster children with disciplinary measures that included assault, withholding food and water, and forcing the children to eat hot sauce. Bones were also broken.
Prosecutors say the couple told their three biological children they were "training" the foster children to behave and instructed the biological children not to tell anyone.
Prosecutors say the alleged crimes took place in 2010 while the family was living at the Picatinny Arsenal in Rockaway Township.
The Statue of Liberty is reopening July 4 after Superstorm Sandy flooded the island where it stands.
The statue has been closed since Sandy struck the region on Oct. 29 and damaged much of Liberty Island's infrastructure. The statue itself is on higher ground and was not damaged.
Ferry tickets to visit the island on July 4 or later may be purchased online or by phone. Tickets to the statue's crown are only available by reservation.
Meanwhile, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum is not expected to re-open to the public this year. The museum sits on Ellis Island, next to the Statue of Liberty in the center of New York Harbor. Sandy bought water levels up to 8 feet to the island, destroying boilers and electrical systems.