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South Carolina megachurch camera caught man performing sex act on 3-year-old: cops

Surveillance video caught a South Carolina church volunteer performing a sex act on a 3-year-old child on Sunday, authorities said.

Jacop Robert Lee Hazlett, 28, a volunteer at NewSpring Church in North Charleston, was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, South Carolina’s WCSC-TV reported. A judge denied bond.

Hazlett was supervising a group of children, ages 3 to 5, in “the Tree House” room, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported.

The volunteer escorted the boy to a restroom in the church and performed oral sex on him before pulling up the 3-year-old’s pants, the station reported, citing the affidavit. The act was caught on a camera positioned outside the bathroom, an investigator said.

Suzanne Swift, a church spokeswoman, told the station that there were no cameras inside the bathrooms at the church. The door reportedly could have been open.

A statement from the church said it was made aware of the concern and possibility of Hazlett’s “inappropriate interaction with children,” according to the station.

A letter was sent to parents of preschool children who attend the North Charleston campus, The Post and Courier reported.

“NewSpring is steadfastly committed to safety and security, and because of this commitment, we have an extensive screening process for all adults before they are allowed to volunteer with children, birth through 12th grade,” the letter said.

Hazlett faces a minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum of a life sentence if convicted, the paper reported. No probation or parole may be granted for the offense, the report said.

North Korea’s ‘peace gift’ puppies to South Korea pictured for first time

It doesn’t seem like there’s a “ruff” relationship between the two Koreas at the moment.

South Korean president Moon Jae-in unveiled puppies that were born from one of the dogs given to the South by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “peace gifts” in September. The Pungsan dog, Gomi, gave birth to six puppies — three females and three males — earlier this month.

The official Twitter account for South Korea’s presidential Blue House tweeted on Sunday photos of Moon and his wife Kim Jong-sook playing with the furry pups at their home’s courtyard. The office added the puppies are “all very healthy.”

“As the pregnancy period of dogs is about two months, Gomi must have come to us pregnant,” Moon reportedly said, according to the Sky News. “As six were added to the two given as a gift, this is a great fortune. I hope inter-Korean affairs will be like this.”

South Korea reportedly flew military planes filled with tangerines to North Korea days after the puppies were born.

The North Korean despot gave Moon two dogs, Gomi and Songgang, in September as a peace gesture following their third inter-Korean summit of the year.

Pungsan dogs are rare and native to the northern region of North Korea. The hunting dogs are known for their loyalty and cleverness.

South Dakotans may soon be able to carry concealed handguns without a permit

After years of unsuccessful attempts, supporters of legislation that would allow people to carry concealed handguns without a permit in South Dakota anticipate revived prospects once GOP Gov.-elect Kristi Noem takes office in January.

The legislation languished under retiring Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard, but Noem in her campaign offered support for a so-called constitutional carry law. GOP state Sen.-elect Lynne DiSanto, who as a member of the state House of Representatives sponsored a permitless concealed carry bill that Daugaard vetoed, said such legislation is likely in the upcoming session and she’s optimistic about its prospects.

“There are a lot of Republicans that are very excited to have a conservative governor,” said DiSanto. “I think under a new governor it’s very likely to pass.”

“There are a lot of Republicans that are very excited to have a conservative governor. I think under a new governor [concealed carry legislation is] very likely to pass.”

— South Dakota state Sen.-elect Lynne DiSanto

Daugaard has said the state’s current gun laws are reasonable. Right now, it’s a misdemeanor for someone to carry a concealed pistol or to have one concealed in a vehicle without a permit. At the end of October, there were nearly 108,000 pistol permits in South Dakota, according to the secretary of state’s office.

Daugaard vetoed DiSanto’s proposal in 2017 and also rejected a similar measure in 2012; constitutional carry legislation failed during the 2018 session after he issued a veto threat. Bill supporters have argued that getting a concealed pistol permit can be burdensome.

Backers are likely to get a boost from Noem, who triumphed over Democratic state Sen. Billie Sutton in the Nov. 6 election. Noem in January urged passage of a permitless carry bill.

At the time Noem didn’t endorse a specific plan, though her campaign said she supported the policy “in principle.” Transition team spokeswoman Kristin Wileman said in a statement this week that Noem won’t commit to legislation until she can review its text, but said she’s a strong 2nd Amendment supporter and thinks provisions like constitutional carry can “protect and even strengthen this right for South Dakotans.”

“The governor-elect will work to find a way that law enforcement and gun-right proponents can come together around a solution,” Wileman said.

Staci Ackerman, executive director of the South Dakota Sheriffs’ Assn., said the group hasn’t discussed 2019 legislation yet. But she said the organization supported a bill in the 2018 session that allowed permitless carry for state residents with a South Dakota driver’s license or identification card; the measure didn’t advance out of the Senate.

The 2019 session is scheduled to run Jan. 8 to March 29. Republicans will control both houses of the Legislature as well as the governorship.

China builds new platform on reef in South China Sea, satellite photos show

China appears to have constructed a new platform at a remote part of the disputed South China Sea that could be used for military purposes, according to satellite images reviewed by a U.S. think tank on Tuesday.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative of Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies said the “modest new structure” appears to be anchored on Bombay Reef, and is topped by solar panels and a radome. A radome is an enclosure that protects radar equipment.

“The development drew attention given Bombay Reef’s strategic location, and the possibility that the structure’s rapid deployment could be repeated in other parts of the South China Sea,” the group said in its report.

The new structure on Bombay Reef has been spotted in satellite photos.

The new structure on Bombay Reef has been spotted in satellite photos. (CSIS/AMTI)

Bombay Reef, a remote, undeveloped outcropping, is located on the southeastern edge of the Chinese-controlled Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. Vietnam and Taiwan also claim the reef, which already has a lighthouse to serve as an aid to navigation. The new platform first appeared at the reef in satellite imagery dated July 7, 2018, and was not present in earlier shots from April.

Unlike China’s large man-made islands created by piling sand on top of coral reefs, installing the modestly-sized Bombay Reef platform did not mean inflicting major environmental damage, CSIS said. The installation, however, shows how easily China could expand its footprint to other features such as Scarborough Shoal, which it seized from the Philippines in 2012, it added.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative of Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies said it's likely the purpose of the platform is "military in nature."

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative of Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies said it’s likely the purpose of the platform is “military in nature.” (CSIS/AMTI)

“The more likely possibilities, given Bombay Reef’s strategic location, are military in nature,” the group said in its report. “The reef is directly adjacent to the major shipping lanes that run between the Paracels and the Spratly Islands to the south, making it an attractive location for a sensor array to extend Chinese radar or signals intelligence collection over that important sea lane.”

CHINA, US SPARRING CONTINUES OVER SOUTH CHINA SEA

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday at a daily news briefing in Beijing that he had no information about the details of the report, while reasserting China’s claims to the island group it calls Xisha, according to the Associated Press.

“The Paracel Islands are China’s territory. This is indisputable. China’s construction on its own territory is beyond reproach,” Geng said.

On Wednesday, the USS Ronald Reagan docked in Hong Kong days after a pair of American B-52 bombers flew over the disputed South China Sea. The recent tensions come ahead of a planned meeting later this month between President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

In late September, a Chinese destroyer came close to the USS Decatur in the South China Sea in what the U.S. Navy called an “unsafe and unprofessional maneuver.”

US BOMBERS FLY OVER S. CHINA SEA AHEAD OF CARRIER’S ARRIVAL

Rear Adm. Karl O. Thomas, commander of Carrier Strike Group 5, said Wednesday that the “vast majority of our interactions out there at sea are very professional.”

“That was a rare, unusual occurrence,” Thomas told reporters at a ship-board news conference. “In that particular case, the ship made some aggressive, continuing aggressive maneuvers and our ship warned them and had to maneuver to prevent a collision. It was unfortunate and I’d like to see that not happen again.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.