Slatest PM: The Case of the Missing AR-15s

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 23 2013 4:17 PM

Slatest PM: The Case of the Missing AR-15s

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The Manager of Dave's Guns holds two Colt AR-15's.

File photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images

This Can't Be Good: CBS News: "Sixty-three high-powered semi-automatic guns disappeared from a truck two weekends ago, according to an internal law enforcement memo obtained exclusively by CBS News. A shipment of AR-15 Colt Law Enforcement Carbines left Hartford, Conn., home of Colt Manufacturing, on a truck headed south, but some of the guns on board the truck were missing when the truck was inspected in its final destination of Shreveport, La."

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What Went Wrong: "The memo from the Caddo Parish Sherriff's Office says the weapons were among a shipment of five pallets traveling between Connecticut and Louisiana, one of which disappeared along the way. According to the memo, the shipment left Connecticut on Wednesday, October 9th, and checked in at terminals along the way in New York, Maryland, Virginia and Tennessee before arriving at its final destination in Shreveport, Louisiana on October 12th. Officials from Conway, the shipping company that misplaced the weapons, told law enforcement that the pallets were scanned as a group, not individually, at each checkpoint. Two days later, employees noticed there were only four pallets, not five."

It's Wednesday, October 23th, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @Dan_Gartland, and the whole team at @Slatest.

Emphasis on Exchange: Washington Post: "The FBI is investigating whether the U.S.-based director of a Russian government-run cultural exchange program was clandestinely recruiting Americans as possible intelligence assets, according to law enforcement officials. FBI agents have been interviewing Americans who participated in the exchange program run by Yury Zaytsev, who heads 'Rossotrudnichestvo,' the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Washington. For the past 12 years, the Russian program has paid for about 130 Americans to visit Russia."

Teacher Found Dead: Boston Globe: "A 24-year-old Danvers High School teacher has been found dead, and a 14-year-old boy is being held without bail on a charge of murdering her. Math teacher Colleen Ritzer’s body was found in the woods behind the school, said Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett. Philip D. Chism was ordered held without bail at his arraignment this afternoon in Salem District Court. Judge Matthew Nestor approved funds for a mental competency evaluation. Chism is to be tried as an adult; a probable cause hearing was slated for Nov. 22. ... Ritzer was reported missing at about 11:20 p.m. Tuesday when she did not return home and did not answer her cellphone. Police searched the school and found blood in a second-floor bathroom. Ritzer’s body was found later behind the school, Blodgett said in a news conference this morning at the high school."

Dzokhar's Defense: Associated Press: "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyers may try to save him from the death penalty in the Boston Marathon bombing by arguing he fell under the murderous influence of his older brother, legal experts say. The outlines of a possible defense came into focus this week when it was learned that Tsarnaev's attorneys are trying to get access to investigative records implicating the now-dead brother in a grisly triple slaying committed in 2011. ... The younger Tsarnaev's lawyers argued in court papers that any evidence of Tamerlan's involvement is "mitigating information" that is critical as they prepare Dzhokhar's defense. They asked a judge to force prosecutors to turn over the records."

Merkel's Not Happy: Reuters: "The German government has obtained information that the United States may have monitored the mobile phone of Chancellor Angela Merkel and she called President Barack Obama on Wednesday to demand an immediate clarification, her spokesman said.  White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama had assured Merkel that the United States was not monitoring the communications of the chancellor.  But the strongly worded statement by Merkel's spokesman suggested that Germany was not fully satisfied. It demanded an 'immediate and comprehensive' clarification of U.S. surveillance practices."

Sounds Simple: Politico: "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi just wants the Obamacare website fixed. Shortly after top Department of Health and Human Services aides briefed House Democrats about the website’s troubles, the California Democrat said she believes someone should 'just fix it.' 'I think somebody should fix it. Coming from where I do in California, I have great confidence in technology and its ability to bring fresh eye to the subject and fix it so that we can go forward,' Pelosi told reporters. 'Just fix it, just fix it.'"

Conservative Group Launches Ad Highlighting Glitches: Washington Post: "The conservative group Americans for Prosperity is going up with ads in several House districts highlighting the glitches on the Obama adminstration's new health-care exchanges Web site. The ads thank Reps. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) for opposing the health-care law, known as the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare, and attack Reps. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.) and Scott Peters (D-Calif.) for declining to oppose it. The ad features a computer screen with the message 'Your healthcare is offline.'"

Conde Nast Ends Internship Program: WWD: "Condé Nast has decided to discontinue its internship program starting in 2014, WWD has learned. The end of the program comes after the publisher was sued this summer by two former interns who claimed they were paid below the minimum wage during internships at W and The New Yorker."

See you back here tomorrow. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe, or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.

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