Law

Microsoft
9:31 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Microsoft, FBI Say They've Disrupted $500 Million Botnet

Buttons with the Microsoft logo are seen at a Comp USA store in 2007.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 9:11 am

Working jointly with the FBI, Microsoft says it has disrupted a botnet responsible for stealing more than $500 million from bank accounts worldwide.

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law
5:00 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Police urge caution—not panic—after rash of kidnapping attempts

zeraien Flickr

It’s the stuff of bad movies: a masked man snatches a toddler, tucks him under his arm and runs off. And yet the King County Sheriff’s office says that’s exactly what happened Sunday in White Center.

It was one of four attempted kidnappings reported in the area over just a few days. All the kids were returned safely, and the incidents appear to be unconnected. But the rash of seeming abduction attempts have Seattle-area police and parents on edge. But just how much should people worry? 

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FBI crime stats
5:49 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

FBI report: Seattle, Tacoma saw spike in murder, robbery in 2012

Alan Cleaver Flickr

Violent crime has gone up in our region, according to the latest statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the FBI's Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report for 2012, Seattle and Tacoma saw more murders, robberies and aggravated assaults in 2012 than in 2011. Some other Washington cities, including Bellevue, also saw more crime.

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life behind bars
9:12 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Inmates’ families: Video-only visits have financial, emotional costs

Jennifer Lopez, 30, of Pocatello, Idaho, says a video system that has replaced in-person visits at the Bannock County jail is hard to navigate and often has technical problems.
Jessica Robinson

Even if you've never visited a jail, you probably have a pretty clear image of what inmate visitation is like: a shatterproof glass barrier, two people sitting on either side, speaking into telephones. But that's changing in some parts of the Northwest.

More and more county jails are switching to privately-operated video conferencing systems that are not unlike Skype for inmates. But these systems have technical difficulties, and come with costs for the inmates’ families.

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Liquor privatization
5:02 am
Fri May 31, 2013

For one liquor retailer, 'an expensive learning curve'

Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of private retail liquor sales in Washington. According to the Liquor Control Board, 1,680 retailers now stock vodka, whiskey, and other spirits.

Dean Hasegawa, manager of the Red Apple supermarkets on Seattle’s Beacon Hill and in the Central Area, says the biggest problem for him and other retailers has been theft. 

"That was an expensive learning curve, I’m going to tell you," said Hasegawa, reflecting on the past year.

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Cafe Racer Anniversary
5:01 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Cafe Racer gunman's father : I 'should’ve kept coming back at it'

Walter Stawicki, center, talks with gun owners Brian Barnes, left, Rob Stratton, middle, and Eric Diesch, right, before the "StandUP Washington" rally and march Sunday Jan. 13, 2013, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson Associated Press

For Walt Stawicki, the past year has been one of grieving and what-ifs. Exactly one year ago, his 40-year-old son Ian Stawicki, killed himself in West Seattle after fatally shooting five people, including four at Café Racer.

Stawicki is pleased the Legislature passed a law making it easier to commit someone involuntarily for psychiatric care. He says he and his wife struggled to find the right care for their son, especially after they took a trip and noticed their son had deteriorated.  

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Criminal Justice
5:48 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

U.S. attorney: A 'buggy whip moment' in fighting cyber crime

FILE - U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan speaks at a news conference about the arrest of a Dutch national for a computer hacking conspiracy Monday, June 11, 2012, in Seattle
Associated Press

United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington Jenny Durkan faced tough questions from senators in Washington D.C. on Wednesday when she testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism.

Durkan, who was speaking as chair of the U.S. Justice Department Task Force on Cyber Crime, was asked why more isn't being done to stop thieves who use the Internet to steal everything from credit card numbers to trade secrets.

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automatic background checks
12:42 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

State audit calls for automatic background checks

A new state audit is calling for automatic notifications when someone like a foster parent or childcare worker is suspected of committing a crime any time after they've already passed an initial background check.

The automatic checks are being recommended to improve public safety. State Auditor Troy Kelley says this kind of check-back service is being developed or is already in use in 37 other states.

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May Day 2013
10:15 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Five May Day protesters charged with felonies

Police block off a stretch of Olive Way, the scene of May Day's first arrests.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Prosecutors have charged five May Day protestors with felonies following last week’s confrontation with police in downtown Seattle.

The standoff between anti-capitalist marchers and Seattle police escalated quickly around dusk on May 1, and before long, bottles and rocks were flying toward police, pepper spray and blast balls toward protesters.

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May Day history
12:10 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

How May Day began in 1886 with workers, immigrants, anarchists

The Haymarket Affair in Chicago solidified May Day as an international day of action for labor, anti-capitalism and immigrants' rights.
Wikimedia Commons

Last week’s tumultuous May Day protests got many of us wondering: What is May 1 all about, anyway?

It’s been a workers’ holiday in Europe for years, but when did it become a big deal in the U.S.?

SUNY Empire State College history professor Jacob Remes says last week’s hubbub—from the union involvement to the spotlight on immigration, to the anarchist presence and police response—all fit right in to May Day’s radical history.

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May Day 2013
5:15 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Seattle police working to identify law-breakers in May Day riot

Protesters react as a firework is set off during May Day protests, Wednesday, May 1, 2013, in downtown Seattle.
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

Seattle police said they’re continuing to investigate crimes committed in the course of an unruly May Day demonstration, but that they’re proud of how officers handled themselves.

Capt. Chris Fowler said Seattle police incorporated some important lessons from last year’s May Day protests. They had much longer to plan this year, even treating a small March 15 protest as a “rehearsal.” 

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Drunk-driving laws
12:35 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Crash victims' son, husband, father: 'Things need to change'

Schulte family

A Seattle man who lost his parents and whose wife and infant son were critically injured by a drunk driver says these tragedies must be stopped. 

"This is preventable and it should be prevented," said Dan Schulte at a news conference Tuesday. "I don't know what that means yet. I don't know if I'm going to dedicate my life to this cause, which I might, but I do know that things need to change."

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May Day Protests
8:04 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Seattle police say this time they're ready for May Day

A sign at May Day protests in 2012 in Seattle
Justin Steyer

Seattle police insist they’re ready for whatever happens on May Day, that they are better staffed, better organized and better trained than last year.

“We’re as prepared as we can be, given our resources,” said Captain Chris Fowler, the designated commander for police May Day response.

Last year on May Day, there was widespread confusion among officers on duty about how to respond to black-clad vandals smashing windows downtown.

What’s different this time?

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May Day Protests
4:22 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Remnant of last year's May Day riots: Grand jury resisters

Protesters are seen clashing with police on May Day, 2012.

Reverberations from last year's May Day melee in downtown Seattle are still being felt among some activists in the Pacific Northwest.

You could say what happened after the window-smashing by black bloc anarchists on May 1, 2012 has spawned a whole new protest movement, the grand jury resistance movement.

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Gun Control
11:29 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Wash. gun control advocates turn to initiative

Gun control advocates in Washington are launching an initiative campaign after state lawmakers declined to expand background checks on gun sales.

The group Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility announced its plans Monday. Supporters will need to collect nearly 250,000 valid signatures, with state officials recommending the submission of more than 300,000 to account for duplicates and invalid signatures.

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