The Somali community in Minnesota is reacting with a mix of outrage, confusion and relief to sentences handed down last week in the long-running investigations into recruiting and financing for the terrorist group al-Shabab.
At least 22 young men have left Minnesota since 2007 to join the group in Somalia.
Nine people who have been convicted were sentenced last week and received penalties ranging from two to 20 years in prison.
Family members of the men who were recruited say the sentences bring justice. But others say the penalties were harsh, particularly for a woman who raised money. She got 20 years in prison while two men who joined the group got three years.
Experts say the laws are strict to deter fundraising for terrorists.
Commuter trains damaged in a crash in Connecticut were being removed Sunday in the first step to making repairs and restoring service, the agency that runs Metro-North said.
Aaron Donovan, spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash, gave Metro-North the OK to remove the trains. Hundreds of feet of track need to be repaired, he said.
"We have a lot of work ahead of us, to restore signals and overhead wires," Donovan said.
Later Sunday, the Connecticut Department of Transportation will announce jointly with Metro-North a plan for the rush-hour commute beginning Monday.
Investigators are looking at a broken section of rail to see if it is connected to the derailment and collision outside Bridgeport that left dozens injured. Seventy-two people were sent to the hospital Friday evening after an eastbound train from New York City derailed and was hit by a westbound train. Nine remain hospitalized.
Service has been suspended between South Norwalk and New Haven, which includes stops at 12 stations.
Donovan compared the loss of service to a "very significant storm."
Most recently, the Waterbury branch of Metro-North was down immediately after the massive Feb. 9-10 snowstorm that blanketed the Northeast.
Investigators said Saturday that the crash was not the result of foul play, but a fractured section of rail is being studied to determine if it is connected to the accident. National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener said the broken rail is of substantial interest to investigators and a portion of the track will be sent to a lab for analysis.
Weener said it's not clear if the accident caused the fracture or if the rail was broken before the crash. He said he won't speculate on the cause of the derailment and emphasized the investigation was in its early stages. Officials earlier described devastating damage and said it was fortunate no one was killed.
The crash damaged the tracks and threatened to snarl travel in the Northeast Corridor. The crash also caused Amtrak to suspend service between New York and Boston.
NTSB investigators arrived Saturday and are expected to be on site for seven to 10 days. They will look at the brakes and performance of the trains, the condition of the tracks, crew performance and train signal information, among other things.
The MTA operates the Metro-North Railroad, the second-largest commuter railroad in the nation. The Metro-North main lines -- the Hudson, Harlem, and New Haven -- run northward from New York City's Grand Central Terminal into suburban New York and Connecticut.
The last significant train collision involving Metro-North occurred in 1988 when a train engineer was killed in Mount Vernon, N.Y., when one train empty of passengers rear-ended another, railroad officials said.
In the spring of 1963, a prominent civil rights leader led dozens of protesters on a march from a predominantly African-American college campus to the center of Charlotte's downtown.
At the rally, Dr. Reginald Hawkins warned city leaders that if something wasn't done to end segregation, future marches might not be so peaceful
Nearly two weeks later, civil rights and white business leaders ate lunch together in segregated restaurants to help integrate those establishments and hotels.
The city's community relations director says it was a turning point in Charlotte's emergence as a New South city. It helped Charlotte avoid the violence that marred other Southern cities grappling with desegregation.
That lunch is being remembered this month with a series of events, including a panel discussion on race relations.
Three Chicago teenagers are accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl and posting the attack on Facebook.
Prosecutors say 15-year-old Kenneth Brown, Justin Applewhite and Scandale Fritz, both 16, attacked the girl at Fritz' home on Dec. 15.
According to court records, Fritz took the girl to the basement of his home and assaulted her. Fritz allegedly brought Brown and Applewhite to the basement where they assaulted her as Fritz videotaped the rapes. Fritz was identified because he turned the camera toward his face.
Court documents indicate the video was first posted on Brown's Facebook account. It was later posted on Fritz' and Applewhite's Facebook pages.
The three were ordered held Friday in lieu $900,000 bail for aggravated criminal sexual assault. It wasn't immediately known if they have lawyers.
Authorities are searching by land and sea for an 8-year-old Autistic boy who went missing while vacationing in the Florida Panhandle.
Escambia County Sheriff's officials said Owen Elliot Black was on the beaches of Perdido Key with his mother and wandered off on his own and 4 p.m. Friday. He has brown hair and eyes and was last seen wearing a red and blue striped shirt and brown sweatpants.
Deputies and K-9 dogs trampled over sand dunes and searched in bushes, hoping Owen may be hiding because he was separated from his mother and was taught to avoid strangers.
The Pensacola News Journal reports 80 volunteers gathered to knock on doors and look in cars Saturday. Authorities also assembled teams of 10 to search sections of the beach.
It was a hefty surprise -- borne from a much slimmer woman.
Deployed for a year in Afghanistan, Army Spc. Larry Shaffer returned to North Carolina this week to discover his wife, Misty, had dropped more than 100 pounds in that 12-month period as a homecoming gift to her husband.
"Wow," Shaffer reportedly said after first laying eyes on a much svelter Misty and ecstatically throwing his arms around her.
"This is icing on the cake because I've been happy with the way she's looked since day one, but it's something she wanted to do and she reached her goal."
"I just kept pictures off Facebook, off the Internet," Misty told WECT in Wilmington. "When I did send him pictures, they were from the shoulder up."
The homecoming came with another shock for the Army specialist – a new home.
Misty Shaffer not only dropped the weight in the interim since her husband departed overseas, but purchased a new home for her beloved.
"He's been wanting to buy a house now forever and I went and did it while he was gone," Misty reportedly said.
Together, the couple has a 3-year-old daughter named Nevaeh, who, as Shaffer said, is much bigger than he recalled when leaving.
Family and friends tried to keep Misty's new look a secret till the last-possible moment.
As Larry Shaffer approached the baggage-claim area of Wilmington International Airport, the assembled throng reportedly parted with a big cheer of, "Surprise!"
"Everything's new," Shaffer told WECT. "I pretty much have a new wife. My daughter's three times the size she was and we have our own home now."