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And the aftermath...
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The site of a planned outdoor Easter service at one of China's largest independent "house" churches was eerily silent Sunday as police blocked more than 500 worshippers from leaving their homes and detained more than 36 for attempting to attend religious services in Beijing, church officials said.
The gathering place for worshippers was empty as church-like bells sounded in northwest Beijing. Hundreds of uniformed and plain-clothed police officers swarmed the site of Shouwang Church and prevented CNN journalists from accessing the area.
Authorities confiscated credentials from CNN crew members and detained them for half an hour.
Worshippers spent several months preparing for the Easter service, according to members who spoke with CNN. Police on the scene told CNN they were stationed there for "security reasons."
Shouwang Church's senior pastor Jin Tianming is currently under house arrest by the authorities.
At Saturday's bash in Lyons, Illinois, about 60 people gathered to celebrate the 122nd anniversary of the murderous German leader's birth - flying swastika banners even organizing a cake decorated with the words, "Happy Birthday Adolf Hitler", The Chicago Tribune said.
They also set out to celebrate the start of the American Civil War, according to party host Art Jones, of the America First Committee. A second cake marking the war's outbreak on April 12, 1861, had the logo: "The South Was Right. White Men Fight," Mr Jones said.
But the early-evening party at PJ Klem's Restaurant And Banquet Hall came to a swift end when a mystery man walked in, ordered a grilled cheese sandwich then set off a smoke bomb in a restroom, forcing an evacuation and the closure of the hall.
The man, who was carrying a backpack, was being sought by police - but officers admitted the description of him was "very vague".
Nobody was injured and there was no serious damage to the restaurant. A spokesman for the premises said staff were unaware of the party's purpose when the booking was made - although the group has rented the hall in previous years.
A woman who withheld potentially life-saving medications from her autistic, cancer-stricken son was sentenced Friday to eight to 10 years in prison by a judge who said her actions "really do chill one's soul."
Kristen LaBrie was convicted of attempted murder Tuesday for withholding at least five months of at-home chemotherapy treatments for her son, Jeremy Fraser. The boy died at age 9 in 2009.
LaBrie, 38, wept and apologized before Judge Richard Welch handed down her punishment in Lawrence Superior Court.
His oncologist testified that she told LaBrie that her son's cancer had a cure rate of about 85 percent to 90 percent under an intensive, two-year treatment plan that included doses of chemotherapy to be given during hospital stays and clinic visits as well as at-home medications LaBrie was supposed to administer at home.
LaBrie testified that she largely followed doctor's orders during the first four phases of his treatment. But she acknowledged that she stopped giving him the at-home medications during the final phase of treatment because she could not bear to see how much pain and suffering the side effects of the medication caused him.
The boy's doctor said she discovered in February 2008 that LaBrie had not filled five months of prescriptions and that Jeremy's cancer had returned as leukemia.
LaBrie testified in her own defense, saying she did not give her son at least five months of chemotherapy medications because the side effects made him so sick she was afraid the treatments would kill him. LaBrie called her son "very, very fragile" and said she didn't think he could withstand any more chemotherapy.
Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall acknowledged that LaBrie had a difficult time caring for Jeremy alone and watching him suffer horrible side effects from chemotherapy. But she said the jury found that whatever her difficult circumstances were, she "made a decision to harm Jeremy. ... She intended to kill him."
"At the end of the day this was just child abuse ... she withheld from this child intentionally his chance for a cure," MacDougall said.
LaBrie's older son, Matthew, 18, wrote a letter to the judge asking for leniency.Here's what I think. I think that judge and every single person on the jury who voted 'guilty' should be sent away to prison for LIFE. Yes, that is real justice here. This is appalling to me. She made a mistake. This is a mother making a decision that SHE believes is in the best interest of her child, NOT the state! Who are they to judge? These fools in their ivory tower of self thought moral superiority are the criminals in this case. We live in a cruel, cruel society to allow this to happen.
"My mother was nothing but unbelievably kind, caring and completely devoted to Jeremy in every aspect of her life," he wrote.
He described his mother sitting by Jeremy's bedside while he was treated for cancer at Massachusetts General Hospital.
"Something like that takes a toll on a person and after all that, could anybody so easily sit by and watch while a cure is making a child feel worse?"