Washington — Despite growing awareness of hate crimes, the share of those crimes reported to police has fallen in recent years as more victims of violent attacks express doubt that police can or will help.
Nearly 2 of 3 hate crimes go unreported to police, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics reported Thursday. For the years 2003-06, 46 percent of hate crimes were reported to police. But more recently, in 2007-11, just 35 percent were reported.
Congress has defined a hate crime as a criminal offense motivated by bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.
New York — A man who spent more than two decades behind bars was freed by a judge on Thursday after a reinvestigation of his case cast serious doubt on evidence used to convict him in the cold-blooded shooting of a Brooklyn rabbi.
David Ranta, 58, was convicted of murder after Rabbi Chaskel Werzberger was shot on Feb. 8, 1990, by a man fleeing a botched robbery. Thousands attended the funeral for the Hasidic rabbi. A recent review by the Brooklyn DA's office cast doubt on witness testimony and concluded detectives had mishandled aspects of the investigation.
In other headlines
Reid pushes gun background checks: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he will include a requirement for expanded background checks for firearms buyers in a gun control bill the Senate debates next month.
Civil unions signed into law in Colorado: Civil unions for gay couples got the governor's signature in Colorado Thursday.
High salt consumption tied to 2.3M heart deaths worldwide: Eating too much salt contributed to 2.3 million heart-related deaths worldwide in 2010, and 40 percent of those deaths were premature, researchers said.
Pediatrician group backs gay marriage: The influential American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended legalizing gay marriage on the grounds that it fosters the good health and well-being of children.
Study ties energy drinks to blood pressure, heart rhythm woes: Energy drinks, which have been linked to deaths and hospitalizations, may boost blood pressure and lead to an erratic heartbeat, according to findings presented Thursday at the American Heart Association meeting in New Orleans.
Texas shootout might be tied to Colo. slaying: A man who could be linked to the slaying of Colorado's state prison chief is likely to die after being shot by Texas authorities following a harrowing car chase there, authorities said Thursday.
Wise County Sheriff David Walker told an afternoon press conference in Decatur that the man is still unidentified. He said the suspect is "basically legally dead," although he remains hooked to equipment for organ harvesting at a Ft. Worth hospital.
The man was stopped while driving a black Cadillac with Colorado plates that matched the description of a vehicle spotted outside the house of Colorado prisons head Tom Clements shortly before he was fatally shot Tuesday.
Blast kills pro-Assad preacher in Syria
Beirut — A suicide bombing tore through a mosque in the Syrian capital Thursday, killing a top Sunni Muslim preacher and longtime supporter of President Bashar Assad — Sheikh Mohammad Said Ramadan al-Buti — along with at least 41 other people.
Source of S. Korea cyberattack unclear
Seoul, South Korea — Investigators have traced a coordinated cyberattack that paralyzed tens of thousands of computers at six South Korean banks and media companies to a Chinese Internet Protocol address, but it was still unclear who orchestrated the attack, authorities in Seoul said Thursday.
From Detroit News wire services