2 teen boys accused of death of Texas classmate
DALLAS (AP) - Police say two 16-year-old boys targeted and killed their 17-year-old classmate at a North Texas high school.
Authorities say the two teens were spotted Saturday night after trying to bury the body of Ivan Mejia, a student at Wylie East High School near Dallas. Police in Wylie say the boys killed Mejia on a road behind the Wylie school.
Wylie Police Sgt. Donna Valdepena would not say Monday how Mejia died, but said police had evidence the boys planned the attack and specifically targeted Mejia.
A 911 call about a car veering off a highway Saturday led police to a wooded area in Garland, where police say they spotted the teens.
The two are being held on murder charges at a juvenile detention facility in Collin County.
SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST-SNOWDEN
Edward Snowden speaks at SXSW conference
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - NSA leaker Edward Snowden spoke via live video conference Monday to a packed audience at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival.
The former NSA contractor remains in Moscow living in temporary asylum as he faces felony charges in the United States. That's after he revealed the agency's mass surveillance program by leaking thousands of classified documents to media outlets.
Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union, spoke to Snowden from the Austin event - along with Snowden's legal adviser, Ben Wizner of the ACLU.
The hour-long conversation was extensive and Snowden touched on a number of issues. He dispensed advice on how U.S. citizens can keep their web-surfing activities more private by using a free service called Tor, which encrypts web traffic. He also called on the technology industry to create more software and services that help guard individual privacy.
Snowden appeared to have no regrets about exposing the U.S. government's surveillance methods.
3-year-old boy shot dead, perhaps by 8-year-old
CORSICANA, Texas (AP) - Investigators are calling the deadly shooting of 3-year-old Central Texas boy an accident, perhaps involving an 8-year-old child.
Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner tells the Corsicana Daily Sun (http://bit.ly/1ismEJ7) the shooting happened just before noon Monday outside a house in the town of Eureka, about 12 miles southeast of Corsicana and 65 miles south of Dallas.
Tanner says the toddler was shot in the head at close range with a 20-gauge shotgun in a shed next to the house. Tanner says the shooter appears to have been an 8-year-old child, but it's still uncertain who discharged the firearm.
Tanner also said deputies believe the shooting to have been accidental, but the investigation is still open.
PUBLIC TRANSIT TRIPS-HOUSTON
Houston sees public transportation ridership rise
HOUSTON (AP) - Long known for big pickup trucks and even bigger traffic jams, Texas' largest city is seeing its public transportation ridership rise.
Houston's Metro Transit Authority recorded nearly 2.26 million trips on buses, trains and its light-rail system in 2013, up 2.76 percent from the previous year.
That's among the largest increases in the nation, according to data released Monday by the American Public Transportation Association.
Metro spokeswoman Margaret O'Brien-Molina said Houston's booming economy has created more jobs locally - which means more residents using public transportation to get to them.
But she also said ridership is up at suburban park-and-ride centers in the country's fourth-largest city.
In all, Americans took nearly 10.7 billion trips on public transportation in 2013 - the highest total since 1956.
Japanese bitcoin exchange files US bankruptcy case
DALLAS (AP) - The Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange that recently collapsed in Japan has filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection to shield itself from a lawsuit seeking to repay thousands of people whose digital currency is now missing.
The U.S. filing made in Dallas late Sunday supplements a bankruptcy petition that Mt. Gox submitted in Japan at the end of last month.
Mt. Gox was once the world's largest exchange specializing in bitcoins, but now finds itself in a financial mess after losing about 850,000 bitcoins valued at $473 million, according to court documents.
Although it's based in Tokyo, Mt. Gox is opening a bankruptcy case in the U.S. in an attempt to delay a recent federal lawsuit filed in Illinois on behalf of all U.S. residents burned by the exchange's abrupt demise.
Jury convicts woman of arson in husband's death
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A Central Texas jury has acquitted a woman of capital murder but convicted her of arson in the bathtub burning death of her husband.
Shriya Patel (pah-TEHL') faces a sentence of five years to life in prison for the April 2012 incident that killed 29-year-old Bimal Patel. Had the 27-year-old woman been convicted of capital murder, she'd have been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole as prosecutors didn't seek the death penalty.
The Travis County jury deliberated about 11 hours over two days before reaching a verdict.
Prosecutors said the woman was unhappy with her arranged marriage and lured her husband to the bathtub, doused him with gasoline and set him afire. The defense attorney argued Bimal Patel wanted to kill himself and forced his wife to help.
Southwest announces potential flights from Dallas
DALLAS (AP) - Southwest Airlines Co. is raising the ante over Dallas Love Field.
The airline said Monday it'll begin flying next year from Dallas to Boston; Oakland and San Jose, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; and Panama City Beach, Fla. A law banning those flights with large planes like Southwest's Boeing 737s expires in October. Southwest recently announced the first 15 cities it'll serve.
Southwest says that if it gets two more gates that American Airlines must sell, it'll fly to San Francisco and Sacramento, Calif.; Seattle; Minneapolis; Philadelphia; Newark, N.J.; Detroit; Indianapolis; Memphis, Tenn.; Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and Charleston, S.C.
Delta Air Lines Inc. and Virgin America also want the gates. The Justice Department will decide. American agreed to sell them to settle a government lawsuit against its merger with US Airways.
STOLEN IDENTIFICATION-TAX FRAUD
Texas tax fraud case puts focus on identity theft
DALLAS (AP) - The recent case of a Texas man convicted of tax fraud highlights a lucrative black market for stolen personal information the IRS estimates costs U.S. taxpayers more than $6 billion a year.
Luigi Montes was sentenced last year to five years in prison for organizing a scheme to steal the identities of Puerto Ricans to file bogus tax returns and receive refund checks.
The Dallas Morning News reports (http://dallasne.ws/1ndjeQH ) residents of Puerto Rico have Social Security numbers but aren't required to pay federal income taxes unless their employer is based in the U.S. This makes it more difficult for authorities to track fraudulent tax returns.
More than 140 returns and the personal information of others were found at homes tied to Montes in Houston and the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs.
Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com
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