5 Things to Know About ‘Jihad Jane’ Colleen LaRose

Jan 6, 2014, 3:09 pm EDT

Colleen LaRose called herself ‘Jihad Jane’ when she joined a terrorist group and became part of an assassination plot. Source: Flickr

After four years in jail, LaRose faced a potential life term today in which she claimed that she’s not entirely to blame for her actions. Here are 5 things to know about Jihad Jane.

    LaRose was ready to kill a man – Jihad Jane was targeting Swedish artist Lars Vilks after the terrorist group she joined asked her to kill him. She was incarcerated as part of a 2009 conspiracy to murder the artist who has a series of drawings depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad as a dog. “I was in a trance. – The Pennsylvania woman got into the terrorist group after meeting a Muslim man in Amsterdam who introduced her to his group’s activities. She pursued it online after feeling included and said all she would think about was “jihad, jihad, jihad.” LaRose claimed that she was in some sort of trance after meeting the man and she believes she’s no longer a threat to society. Jihad Jane was raped and abused as a child – LaRose was brought up in a broken home that included alcoholism, abuse, incest and rape. After being raped and abused as a child, LaRose turned to prostitution, crystal meth and other drugs. She was also in abusive marriages as an adult. Reduced sentence for cooperating with feds – LaRose could have been locked up for the rest of her life but the court commended her for cooperating with federal authorities. Thanks to her guilty plea and her help in the indictment of two other members of the same terrorist group, Jihad Jane’s sentence was reduced. She could be out of jail in four years for good behavior followed by five years of supervised release.

Read more about Jihad Jane here. Read 

Steven Seagal Considers Running for Arizona Governor

Jan 6, 2014, 9:01 am EDT

Martial arts maven and 1980s movie star Steven Seagal is mulling a run for Arizona governor, an announcement that is either real or just a way to promote his new Arizona-based reality TV show.

The Hard to Kill actor discussed his political aspirations while promoting his new reality show, Steven Seagal — Lawman: Maricopa County on a local ABC affiliate.

Seagal, 61, was sworn in as a local deputy last year — an irony not lost on those who remember his first film titled “Above the Law.” Read 

New IRS Rule May Change Restaurant Tipping in 2014

Jan 3, 2014, 10:59 am EDT

With the dawn of the new year, the IRS will begin to enforce a rule change that promises to roil the restaurant industry. Source: Flickr

Under the ruling, automatic tips added to restaurant bills for large groups of diners will be classed as service charges. That means that restaurant operators will be forced to report automatic tipping as part of server pay, the Christian Science Monitor notes.

At least one expert says that most restaurants are more likely to drop automatic tipping rather than deal with the additional paperwork involved in reporting the tips. The rule was adopted by the IRS in June 2012, but didn’t take effect until this year. Read 

NJ State of Emergency Declared Thanks to Massive Winter Storm

Jan 3, 2014, 10:43 am EDT

With a powerful storm bearing down on the Northeast, one state’s governor declared a state of emergency before snow flakes began to fall. Source: Flickr

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie issued the declaration on Thursday as forecasters said the northern part of NJ could expect significant snow accumulations from a storm moving up the East Coast. The declaration authorized the closing of NJ state offices and mobilized snow response efforts by state and local NJ agencies, CBS News notes.

The N.J. governor noted that the snowstorm and accompanying blizzard conditions were expected to make road travel across NJ dangerous. He advised NJ residents to remain at home during the storm to keep NJ roads clear for emergency services and plows. Read 

USDA to Allow More Meat, Grains in School Lunches

Jan 3, 2014, 10:33 am EDT

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced on Thursday, that it’s allowing more meat and grains in school lunches. Source: mailto:letters@investorplace.com

Limitation on the amount of meat and grains that can be served in school lunches have been removed. These limitations were originally set up to combat child obesity, but parents felt that their kids weren’t getting enough to eat. The USDA temporarily removed these limitation over a year ago, and now it’s making that change permanent, reports the Associated Press.

The change also comes after schools started dropping out of the National School Lunch Program. Schools were leaving the program because children weren’t eating the meals being served in school cafeterias. Read 

New NYC Mayor to Ban Central Park Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

Jan 3, 2014, 10:26 am EDT

A popular attraction at New York City’s Central Park could become a thing of the past if the Big Apple’s new mayor has his way.

Bill de Blasio, who was sworn in as mayor on Wednesday, told reporters earlier in the week that he wants to outlaw horse-drawn carriages in the park. Tourists do not visit Manhattan just to take horse-drawn carriage rides, de Blasio said, noting that “horses do no belong in a congested, urban setting,” CNN reports.

Horse-drawn carriages have long drawn complaints from animal rights activists. Noting that horse-drawn carriage rides expose horses to noxious automobile exhaust and deprive them of “green pastures,” de Blasio said that his administration would end horse-drawn carriage rides. Read 

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