Man arrested after caught on video riding on outside of train

An Australian man was arrested after he was caught clinging to the outside of a moving train over the weekend.

The CBC reports the unnamed 23-year-old man climbed onto the back of a Public Transport Authority (PTA) train and held on as it traveled through Perth, Australia on Saturday.

The train reached speeds up to 62 mph.

Several people driving on a highway next to the train tracks witnessed the man holding on to the train’s windshield wiper.

When the train arrived at a station, the man climbed down and entered one of the cars. Police were waiting at the next stop and arrested the man.

A PTA official says the man will undergo a mental health assessment before charges are filed.

 

 

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Fort Lauderdale police horse retires after 9 years of service

An equine member of the Fort Lauderdale Police Mounted Unit, Commander, is retiring after nine years of service with the police department.

Commander has lived at the police department’s barn at 700 NE Ninth St. since 2008, after it was donated to the city.

Commander has served the city by patrolling neighborhoods, beaches and the downtown areas.

Commander will enjoy his retirement at Retirement Home for Horses.

The retirement home is located at Mill Creek Farm in Alachua County.

 

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US homicide rate spiked nearly 8% in 2016, FBI report finds

The US homicide rate increased by nearly 8% last year, driving an increase of violent crime in the country for the second year in a row, according to new data released by the FBI on Monday.

Between 2014 and 2016, the nationwide homicide rate has increased more than 20%, and the 3.4% increase in the US violent crime rate from 2015 to 2016 was the largest single-year increase in 25 years, the Justice Department said.

The FBI report, “Crime in the US,” is released annually and compiles the latest tally of crimes reported to local police. Crimes are measured in two categories, violent crime and property crime, encompassing the seven crimes considered major. According to the report, the property crime rate continued a years-long downward trend, decreasing 2% from 2015 to 2016. Put together, violent crime and property crime statistics reveal that overall crime has also continued to decrease into 2016.

Although violent crime rates remain dramatically lower than past peaks — most recently in the early 1990s — the new figures were quickly cited by the Trump administration as proof that its call to implement tougher criminal justice policies was necessary.

“For the sake of all Americans, we must confront and turn back the rising tide of violent crime. And we must do it together,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a Justice Department release. “The Department of Justice is committed to working with our state, local, and tribal partners across the country to deter violent crime, dismantle criminal organizations and gangs, stop the scourge of drug trafficking, and send a strong message to criminals that we will not surrender our communities to lawlessness and violence.”

Communities of different sizes, from rural regions to suburbs to large urban centers, reported an increase in the number of violent crimes. Cities with a population of more than 1 million, the largest population subset measured in the FBI’s report, saw the greatest uptick in violent crime at 7.2%. The number of murders in those large cities also soared, by the largest degree between population centers, increasing 20.3% from 2015 to 2016.

Beyond a narrative told by national statistics, violent crime continues to be concentrated in a handful of large cities and experts caution that local nuance is critical to understanding the overall increase.

Chicago alone accounted for about one-fifth of the national increase in murders, according to Adam Gelb, director of the Public Safety Performance Project at The Pew Charitable Trusts. And within Chicago, it’s a small number of streets fueling that surge.

“About half of the homicide rise in Chicago took place in five neighborhoods,” said John Pfaff, a professor of Law at Fordham University Law School. “Five neighborhoods in Chicago explain 10% of the national increase in homicide rates.”

Sessions and President Donald Trump have been outspoken about their goal to cut crime in the United States. Specifically, Trump has talked and tweeted about crime in Chicago, sending some federal assistance to the city in June. His pledge to lower crime — and criticism of the Obama administration’s policies — was a centerpiece of his campaign.

In a notable moment during his campaign, Trump tweeted that tragedies like the death of NBA star Dwyane Wade’s cousin were one of the reasons African-Americans should vote for him, later adding that he would be able to fix inner-city problems.

“Dwayne Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” he tweeted at the time.

In May, Sessions implemented new directive for federal prosecutors across the country to charge suspects with the most serious offense they can prove.

“Prosecutors should charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense … those that carry the most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory minimum sentences,” Sessions said at the time.

He also discussed the FBI statistics before they were released on Friday in Boston, saying the data shows increases in violent crime, including murder, aggravated assault, rape and robberies.

Sessions has also focused his DOJ on combating the opioid epidemic, outlining in recent speeches a three-pillared plan to include treatment, enforcement and prevention. And while he has called prevention “the best-long term solution,” the FBI has maintained hefty enforcement numbers as well. In 2016, an estimated 1.6 million arrests were made for drug abuse violations, the most for any measured type of crime. Drug offenses comprised the largest numbers of arrests in 2015 as well.

Sessions has regularly used dark rhetoric and grisly description to sound the alarm of a violent crime uptick in speeches this year. In Memphis in May, Sessions described families in a local apartment complex that “live every day as hostages in their own homes, facing potentially deadly violence just to walk to the bus.”

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US homicide rate spiked nearly 8% in 2016, FBI report finds

The US homicide rate increased by nearly 8% last year, driving an increase of violent crime in the country for the second year in a row, according to new data released by the FBI on Monday.

Between 2014 and 2016, the nationwide homicide rate has increased more than 20%, and the 3.4% increase in the US violent crime rate from 2015 to 2016 was the largest single-year increase in 25 years, the Justice Department said.

The FBI report, “Crime in the US,” is released annually and compiles the latest tally of crimes reported to local police. Crimes are measured in two categories, violent crime and property crime, encompassing the seven crimes considered major. According to the report, the property crime rate continued a years-long downward trend, decreasing 2% from 2015 to 2016. Put together, violent crime and property crime statistics reveal that overall crime has also continued to decrease into 2016.

Although violent crime rates remain dramatically lower than past peaks — most recently in the early 1990s — the new figures were quickly cited by the Trump administration as proof that its call to implement tougher criminal justice policies was necessary.

“For the sake of all Americans, we must confront and turn back the rising tide of violent crime. And we must do it together,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a Justice Department release. “The Department of Justice is committed to working with our state, local, and tribal partners across the country to deter violent crime, dismantle criminal organizations and gangs, stop the scourge of drug trafficking, and send a strong message to criminals that we will not surrender our communities to lawlessness and violence.”

Communities of different sizes, from rural regions to suburbs to large urban centers, reported an increase in the number of violent crimes. Cities with a population of more than 1 million, the largest population subset measured in the FBI’s report, saw the greatest uptick in violent crime at 7.2%. The number of murders in those large cities also soared, by the largest degree between population centers, increasing 20.3% from 2015 to 2016.

Beyond a narrative told by national statistics, violent crime continues to be concentrated in a handful of large cities and experts caution that local nuance is critical to understanding the overall increase.

Chicago alone accounted for about one-fifth of the national increase in murders, according to Adam Gelb, director of the Public Safety Performance Project at The Pew Charitable Trusts. And within Chicago, it’s a small number of streets fueling that surge.

“About half of the homicide rise in Chicago took place in five neighborhoods,” said John Pfaff, a professor of Law at Fordham University Law School. “Five neighborhoods in Chicago explain 10% of the national increase in homicide rates.”

Sessions and President Donald Trump have been outspoken about their goal to cut crime in the United States. Specifically, Trump has talked and tweeted about crime in Chicago, sending some federal assistance to the city in June. His pledge to lower crime — and criticism of the Obama administration’s policies — was a centerpiece of his campaign.

In a notable moment during his campaign, Trump tweeted that tragedies like the death of NBA star Dwyane Wade’s cousin were one of the reasons African-Americans should vote for him, later adding that he would be able to fix inner-city problems.

“Dwayne Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” he tweeted at the time.

In May, Sessions implemented new directive for federal prosecutors across the country to charge suspects with the most serious offense they can prove.

“Prosecutors should charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense … those that carry the most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory minimum sentences,” Sessions said at the time.

He also discussed the FBI statistics before they were released on Friday in Boston, saying the data shows increases in violent crime, including murder, aggravated assault, rape and robberies.

Sessions has also focused his DOJ on combating the opioid epidemic, outlining in recent speeches a three-pillared plan to include treatment, enforcement and prevention. And while he has called prevention “the best-long term solution,” the FBI has maintained hefty enforcement numbers as well. In 2016, an estimated 1.6 million arrests were made for drug abuse violations, the most for any measured type of crime. Drug offenses comprised the largest numbers of arrests in 2015 as well.

Sessions has regularly used dark rhetoric and grisly description to sound the alarm of a violent crime uptick in speeches this year. In Memphis in May, Sessions described families in a local apartment complex that “live every day as hostages in their own homes, facing potentially deadly violence just to walk to the bus.”

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Florida Keys will open to visitors Oct. 1

The Florida Keys will reopen to tourists Oct. 1.

Monroe County officials made the announcement Monday, more than two weeks after Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Keys.

The Category 4 storm destroyed an estimated 25 percent of the homes on the island chain.

“We know we have a long way to go before the Keys fully recover,” Monroe County Mayor George Neugent said. “But because tourism is our top economic engine and many of our residents’ livelihoods depend on it, we also know that we need to begin asking visitors to return.”

The timeline is in keeping with Gov. Rick Scott’s October outlook for when he hoped tourists could return to the Keys.

Airports in Key West and Marathon have reopened, and the first cruise ship since Irma returned to Key West on Sunday. However, debris removal continues, and some hotels and tourist destinations are still recovering.

Key West’s Fantasy Fest, slated for Oct. 20-29, is scheduled to go on as planned.

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Early ratings for NFL are down, but maybe not for reason you think

Did national anthem protests and President Trump’s harsh criticism of them hurt the NFL’s ratings on Sunday? Maybe. Then again, maybe not.

The early ratings numbers, which are incomplete and subject to a great deal of change, showed CBS’ numbers up compared to the same week last year, while NBC and Fox’s numbers were down.

But even if ratings are down year-over-year, the early numbers also indicate that ratings for this week’s slate of games could end up being better than they were for the season’s first two weeks, even despite the controversy.

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game, the Washington Redskins’ lopsided 27-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders, nabbed an 11.6 overnight rating compared to a 12.9 rating for a match-up between the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys one year ago. That’s a drop of roughly 10%.

To come up with overnight ratings, Nielsen takes the percentage of households watching in 56 U.S. markets and comes up with an overnight average — so an 11.6, for instance, means that 11.6% of households in those 54 markets tuned into the game on NBC on Sunday night. (In this case it was actually 54 markets rather than the standard 56 because numbers for two major Florida markets, West Palm Beach and Fort Myers, are still delayed due to the effects of Hurricane Irma.)

Fox took a bigger hit. Overnight ratings for its singleheader slate of games were down 16% compared to last year’s week 3 numbers.

But CBS’ overnight ratings were up 4% compared to last year’s week 3 coverage. The network’s two afternoon national games, one between the Green Bay Packers and the Cincinnati Bengals and the other between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, were basically even with last year.

The networks saw huge boosts for their pregame shows, though.

CBS’ pregame show, “The NFL Today,” was up 33% compared to last year, and scored its best overnight rating since 2010. Fox’s first pregame show, “Fox NFL Kickoff,” was up 30% compared to last year while its second pregame show, “Fox NFL Sunday,” was up 9%. Both networks tackled the political news of the weekend.

So what does all of this all mean? Hard to say.

Overnight ratings can give a glimpse of which way viewership is going, but don’t always tell the whole story. The overnight numbers for this week, combined with the generally sluggish ratings for the first two weeks of this season, are concerning to the NFL and its TV partners, but it’s still early and the NFL is still bringing in the biggest numbers on TV. Nielsen will release viewership data on Tuesday.

Trump began a firestorm around the NFL on Friday night when he went after the league and attacked players who have been kneeling or sitting during the national anthem to draw attention to social justice issues.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b*tch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired,'” Trump told a crowd in Alabama on Friday night.

The protests began last season when quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the anthem in protest of racial injustice.

Trump’s comments on Friday night shined a spotlight on the league and the protests, leading the networks to change up their planned broadcasts of games and the anthems preceding them.

Fox, CBS, and NBC all broadcast the national anthem live during football games Sunday — a notable shift away from their usual practice. ESPN, which also abandoned some of its usual pregame chatter to talk politics, plans to air the anthem live on “Monday Night Football.”

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