Hagel cancels creation of medal for cyber warriors

In the face of withering criticism, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel canceled the creation of a new military medal for drone and cyber warriors, instead ordering military leaders to develop a special pin or device that would be attached to already existing medals or ribbons.

Hagel’s predecessor, Leon Panetta, created the Distinguished Warfare Medal to be awarded to troops such as drone operators and cyber warriors who have a major effect on a military operation but never actually set foot in the combat zone. That decision triggered broad complaints from veterans and lawmakers who said it should not be ranked higher than traditional combat medals such as the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

On Monday Hagel said that while the department should recognize the extraordinary achievements of those troops, the award should not be a standalone medal.


Man sentenced to life in jail for killing wife, 4 children

A judge sentenced a 53-year-old Oregon man to spend the rest of his life in prison on Monday for killing his wife and four young children and setting fire to their house.

After a tearful and rambling statement from Jordan Adam Criado that he had only killed his wife after she killed the children, Jackson County Circuit Judge Lorenzo Mejia told the defendant he was delusional, and the evidence was overwhelming that he had killed his entire family on July 18, 2011, and set fire to the house after learning his wife had spent the night with another man.

“Maybe you can’t admit to yourself that you killed them, but that is clearly what happened,” Mejia said. “You dishonor the memory of how good a father you were and dishonor the memory of your children by your insistence that she killed them.”


New York Times wins four Pulitzer Prizes

The New York Times won four Pulitzer Prizes on Monday, including the award for investigative reporting for stories that detailed how Walmart used bribery to expand in Mexico.

The Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was awarded the public service Pulitzer for its reporting on off-duty police officers’ reckless driving.The prize in breaking news photography went to The Associated Press for its coverage of the civil war in Syria. In the arts, Adam Johnson’s “The Orphan Master’s Son,” a labyrinthine story of a man’s travails in North Korea, has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, restoring a high literary honor a year after no fiction award was given.


Body of 9-year-old boy recovered from crevasse

Soldiers from the Army’s Alaska Northern Warfare Training Center helped recover the body of a 9-year-old boy whose snowmobile fell an estimated 200 feet into a glacier crevasse. A recovery team Sunday night and Monday morning lifted the body of Shjon Brown from the crevasse in the Hoodoo mountains.

The boy was on a snowmobile outing with his father and others Saturday afternoon in the mountains south of Delta Junction.

As his father took a break on the side of a hill, Shjon drove around a small mound and did not reappear.

His father traced the boy’s tracks and discovered that he had fallen through a moulin, a hole formed when water on the glacier’s surface melts ice to a crevasse below.


Authorities say teen shot parents after chores ordered

Investigators say a Columbus teen who shot his parents was angry they told him to do his chores when he wanted to look up a bible verse for a friend who wanted to be “saved.”

A judge Monday ordered the 15-year-old boy to be held without bond in a Youth Detention Center until a formal hearing.

The Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus reports 45-year-old Kristi Lynn was shot in her right wrist and 40-year-old Randal Stanley Askevich was shot in his right hip Friday. Police say the teen took a gun from his parents’ nightstand and was holding them at gunpoint when officers arrived.

The teen is charged with two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of possessing a firearm while under the age of 18.

—From news service reports