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Stolen Secret Service Laptop Could Pose A National Security Risk

A Secret Service agent reported her laptop was stolen out of her car Thursday morning.
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  • An off-duty Fulton County police officer shot a man after a chase in Atlanta Wednesday morning, the GBI says. The officer, whose name has not been released, was in his personal vehicle about 11 a.m., when he responded to a theft at a T-Mobile store on Mount Zion Parkway in Morrow, GBI spokesman Rich Bahan said.  The officer followed the suspect’s car into the city limits of Atlanta while reporting the incident to 911, Bahan said. At some point near Alyson Court, the two cars collided and when the driver got out of his car the off-duty officer shot him with his service weapon, Bahan said.   MORE:  Sheriff: Man out on bond for murder arrested after fighting victim’s family Ex-NFL player jailed after allegedly attacking woman in front of kids Police: Men brought ‘bag of bullets’ to shootout with alleged gang members Witness Jay Mitchell told Channel 2 Action News he thinks the man was shot in the stomach area after the police officer chased him and tried to pull him over. The suspect kept driving even after he was shot, Bahan said, and Atlanta police stopped him in the 1700 block of Lakewood Avenue. Whether the off-duty Fulton County officer stayed on the scene was not released, but his car was found parked at a store on Cleveland Avenue, Channel 2 reported. The man who was shot was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, Bahan said. The shooting is the fourth in less than a week involving a Georgia officer. A Georgia State Patrol trooper fatally shot a man after a chase early Saturday in Polk County. Jason Dennis Watkins, 36, was taken to Polk County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. RELATED: GSP trooper fatally shoots man after chase Willie Ivy III, 29, of Atlanta, died after a Fulton County police officer and an armed security guard shot him early Saturday in College Park, the GBI said.  RELATED: Man dead in police-involved shooting incident in College Park A Pickens County sheriff’s sergeant on Tuesday shot and critically injured Gary Lee Castle after he “moved aggressively” toward the official “with a large metal pipe in his hand,” the sheriff’s office said. RELATED: Sergeant shoots, critically injures man, Pickens County sheriff says In January and February, the GBI conducted 17 officer-involved shooting investigations, agency spokeswoman Nelly Miles said. RELATED: OVER THE LINE: Police shootings in Georgia The GBI investigated 78 police shootings in the state last year. In other news:
  • A middle school bus driver in the Valdosta area is accused of driving under the influence of alcohol while students were on her bus, according to the Lowndes County sheriff. Amanda Mullinax, 41, registered more than twice the legal limit, Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk said. A school resource officer at Hahira Middle School smelled alcohol on Mullinax, and a student said she had been drinking, the Macon Telegraph reported. The night before, deputies were called to a domestic dispute at Mullinax’s home and found she had been drinking heavily, Paulk said. RELATED: School bus driver charged in accident that injured child She could face multiple counts of child endangerment since there were about 44 students on the bus, the newspaper reported. Read more of the story here. In other news:
  • U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch vowed to uphold the law if confirmed to the nation’s highest court, not tipping his hand as he sidestepped controversial political subjects, as Gorsuch directly pushed back against President Donald Trump’s criticism of federal judges. “When anyone criticizes the honesty or integrity, the motives of a federal judge, I find that disheartening; I find that demoralizing,” Gorsuch said in response to questions from Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). “Anyone including the President of the United States?” Blumenthal pressed. “Anyone is anyone,” Gorsuch replied. In a day of testimony that stretched for almost twelve hours, Gorsuch parried most questions from Democrats, who tried in vain to get him to reveal his views on issues like abortion, and items that might come before the Supreme Court, like President Trump’s travel ban. Gorsuch repeatedly refused to take the bait. “I can’t get involved in politics, and I think it would be very imprudent of judges to start commenting on political disputes,” Gorsuch said. Under questioning from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Gorsuch was asked what he had discussed with President Trump on the issue of abortion. “In that interview did he ever ask you to overrule Roe v Wade?” Graham asked. “No, Senator,” Gorsuch replied, adding that if the President had asked that question, “I would have walked out the door.” Gorsuch was pressed about the President in a number of different ways, telling Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) that, “nobody is above the law in this country, and that includes the President of the United States.” With Republicans strongly in support of Gorsuch, there was already maneuvering behind the scenes over the expected floor fight in the Senate, as Democrats have made clear they think the GOP should be forced to get 60 votes for his nomination. That has prompted GOP leaders to criticize the threat of a filibuster. “If there aren’t 60 votes for a nominee like Neil Gorsuch it’s appropriate to ask the question is there any nominee any Republican president could make that Democrats would approve,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Gorsuch’s lengthy day of testimony ended on a light note, as Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) suggested to Gorsuch that he have a cocktail before bed. “Just don’t drink vodka,” Kennedy said to chuckles from the audience. Kennedy then drew even more laughter by adding in one more surprise. “You never been to Russia, have you?” “I’ve never been to Russia,” a smiling Gorsuch said.
  • The United States is deepening its involvement in the war against the Islamic State group after an unprecedented American airlift of Arab and Kurdish fighters to the front lines in northern Syria, supported by the first use of U.S. attack helicopters and artillery in the country. The U.S. forces didn't engage in ground combat, but the offensive suggests the Trump administration is taking an increasingly aggressive approach as it plans an upcoming assault on the extremists' self-declared capital of Raqqa. In addition to using helicopters to ferry rebels into combat near the Tabqa Dam on the Euphrates River, the U.S. also flew two Apache gunships and fired Marine 155mm artillery. 'This is pretty major,' Col. Joseph Scrocca, a spokesman for the U.S.-led military coalition that is fighting the Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, told reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday. He said it was the first time U.S. forces have airlifted local fighters into combat in Syria. An undisclosed number of U.S. military advisers were inserted with the rebels. U.S. officials said the operation inserted Syrian Arab and Kurdish fighters behind Islamic State group lines west of Raqqa, subjecting the American personnel to a degree of risk previously avoided in Syria. The mission was focused on recapturing the dam, the nearby town of Tabqa and a local airfield. By design, the operation is coinciding with a potentially climactic battle for Mosul, the main Islamic State group stronghold in Iraq. Together, the battles reflect a U.S. strategy of presenting IS with multiple challenges simultaneously. Scrocca said the assault in Syria is expected to last for weeks. He said the dam has been used as an IS headquarters, prison for high-profile hostages, training camp and location for planning overseas attacks since 2013. There has been concern IS might destroy the dam, flooding the region and creating new humanitarian challenges. The U.S. airlift, known in military parlance as an air assault, marked a new level of commitment to Syria's Kurds, whose partnership with the U.S. has prompted difficult discussions with Turkey. The U.S.-NATO ally sees the Kurdish fighters as a national security threat because of their links to militants inside Turkey. Scrocca said 75 to 80 percent of the Syrian fighters who were ferried to a landing zone south of the dam were Arabs. Kurds were among the remainder, he said, without offering numbers. Although the U.S. considers the Kurds the most effective partner in Syria, Washington has been careful not to inflame tensions with Turkey by providing them heavy weapons. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces confirmed the U.S. airlift and said their fighters seized four villages south of the Euphrates and cut the main artery between Raqqa and northwestern Syria. Tabqa lies 45 kilometers, or about 28 miles, west of Raqqa. In Washington, the U.S. hosted top officials from 68 nations for a meeting on accelerating the fight against IS in all its dimensions. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the coalition's first ministerial gathering since President Donald Trump took office that the U.S. was still refining its strategy, but was clear about American priorities. 'I recognize there are many pressing challenges in the Middle East, but defeating ISIS is the United States' number one goal in the region,' Tillerson said. While that assessment appeared shared, some participants were hoping to hear more about strategy changes. As a candidate, Trump spoke boldly about overhauling former President Barack Obama's cautious approach to fighting IS. As president, Trump has moved more cautiously. At a Senate hearing Wednesday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told a Senate committee that the Trump strategy was still in 'skeleton' form. 'We're fleshing it out,' he said. 'It's an interagency-developed report, where it embraces economic, diplomatic, military, covert means. And we should have this done in the next couple of months, if that long. It may not even take us another month.' Mattis and other officials have strongly suggested the plan will preserve the central feature of the Obama administration's approach, namely the idea of advising and enabling local forces to fight rather than doing it for them. But as IS appears to lose strength and territory in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. is likely to bolster its support and perhaps send small numbers of additional troops. The U.S. now has about 1,000 troops in Syria. It has at least 7,000 in Iraq. ___ AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee in Washington and Associated Press writer Philip Issa in Beirut contributed to this report.