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March 16, 2003

Pentagon to kill independent reporters in Iraq
gulufuture.com | Submitted by: Bob_McBob, Brainwrong
The Pentagon has threatened to fire on the satellite uplink positions of independent journalists in Iraq, according to veteran BBC war correspondent, Kate Adie. In an interview with Irish radio, Ms. Adie said that questioned about the consequences of such potentially fatal actions, a senior Pentagon officer had said: "Who cares.. ..They've been warned."

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Shiite Muslim men cut their heads with swords
Wire Services | Submitted by: ZsaZsa
"Hundreds of Shiites in south Lebanon marked the 7th century killing of their most revered saint Imam Hussein, by slashing their heads with blades on the occasion known as Ashoura." Two great photos.

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Bill Targets US troops buried in France
Kansas City Star | Submitted by: KungFooKittie
The chair recognizes Representative Stupid from Florida: "In another swipe at the French, a Florida congresswoman has proposed that the government pay for families who might want to bring home from France the remains of Americans who fought and died in the world wars... "I, along with many other Americans, do not feel that the French government appreciates the sacrifices men and women in uniform have made to defend the freedom that the French enjoy today," Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite said in introducing legislation providing financial help for the reburial of veterans from the two world wars."

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Boy in oral sex incident sues school district
Zwire | Submitted by: UncleGum
"Mount Clemens attorney Robbie D. Lang has filed a lawsuit against the Lake Shore school district in hopes of getting his client, a 14-year-old eighth-grader at Kennedy Middle School, back in classes. Lang said the boy was "victimized" Feb. 6 when a female student performed oral sex on him during a science class. He argues his client was statutorily raped, as minors cannot give consent under the law. In this instance, he believes the female may have performed oral sex on the boy as a dare, and although the boy didn't fight her off, he had no legal duty to do so."

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One million seals to be nixed in Canada
Animal News Center | Submitted by: Boat6float
"The Canadian Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans recently announced that it has authorized the killing of 975,000 harp seals during the next three years... The killing, which will be subsidized by taxpayer money even though several polls have shown that most Canadians oppose seal hunts, is an attempt to preserve populations of cod." The cod, of course, is overfished by humans more than seals.

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Dry spell may have killed off Maya
Wire Services | Submitted by: Mayhem303
"A study of southern Caribbean sediments suggests that a centurylong dry trend may have been the killing blow in the demise of the Mayan civilization that once built pyramids and elaborate cities in Mexico... Konrad A. Hughen, a geochemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said sediments from the Cariaco Basin in northern Venezuela clearly record a long dry siege that struck the entire Caribbean starting in about the seventh century and lasting more than 100 years."

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David Duke reports to prison on April 15
New Orleans Times-Picayune | Submitted by: Razor
"While the rest of the nation scrambles to meet the traditional April 15 federal tax deadline, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and Metairie legislator David Duke will start fulfilling an obligation of another sort that day: a 15-month federal sentence and $10,000 fine for mail fraud and lying on his tax return."

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Three die rescuing cellphone from latrine
East African Standard | Submitted by: Crash
"Three men died at Kisumu Ndogo slum village in Kisauni, Mombasa, on Wednesday night when they tried to retrieve a mobile phone from a 40-feet pit latrine... The three died at different intervals as they tried to recover the mobile phone worth [US$50] belonging to a woman who had dropped it accidentally into the latrine."

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Missouri students give good test, get cash money
Newsday | Submitted by: Razor
"The superintendent of Kansas City schools wants to pay students to boost their scores on Missouri's standardized tests. Under a $239,250 proposal presented to the school board Wednesday, Kansas City students would receive a reward valued between $20 and $80, depending on their results on state tests given in spring in six grades. Schools could receive $2,000 each."

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Flight attendant: Xanax fixes everything
Detroit Free Press | Submitted by: daphne
"Daniel Reed Cunningham of Ann Arbor is charged with drugging the toddler with a prescription depressant during a flight last August from Amsterdam. The girl drank some of the juice but suffered no serious injury, officials said. The incident came to light after Turner sipped the apple juice that Cunningham had given her daughter during the Aug. 25 flight. After noticing the taste and appearance, she decided to have the liquid tested."

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Parents behead children
Austin American-Statesman | Submitted by: Chris
"Camacho and Rubio were arraigned Wednesday and each charged with three counts of capital murder in the deaths of their children: a 1-year-old who was found decapitated on a bed and two siblings who also had been beheaded and stuffed into garbage bags. The couple's third child was born earlier this year."

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Catholic Church keeps coverup alive
Sacramento Bee | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"They believe that admissions of criminal acts with minors are included in the documents and medical records the church is trying to keep secret... Archdiocese officials said they have been providing investigators with information but some documents cannot be given to civil authorities without infringing on the church's free exercise of religion."

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Someone having REALLY bad day at Guardian
Guardian | Submitted by: anonymous
"Look I'm sorry this isn't exactly the sort of quality editorial copy you expect from the Guardian but look at the facts I'm adrift in the middle of one of the worst cities in the world sitting in front of the same computer screen I face day after interminable day." Except in uppercase.

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Moose tries for bigtime
Washington Post | Submitted by: Monkeynavigated
"Moose signed a deal with a New York publishing house in January to write the book, tentatively titled "Three Weeks in October: The Manhunt for the D.C. Sniper," scheduled for release this fall. Almost immediately, ethics officials began questioning whether it was appropriate for the nationally known lawman to profit off the investigation he helped lead. The panel also considered whether it was proper for Moose to sell his story to a Hollywood television production company and to launch a consulting firm with his wife to market the chief's skills as a motivational speaker and" his expertise in team-building, crisis management and conflict resolution."

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Fuque the French
Times | Submitted by: Mr. Ramon
"The message scrawled on the side of an American bunker-busting bomb being wheeled out into the desert was blunt: "Fuque the French" had been scrawled on the side by a member of the US Air Force...."I donít think that is necessary. France is still an ally" ... "The names have changed but the terms of abuse have remained as primitive as ever. Itís not a sophisticated art form."

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Bush hiding WTC towers in trousers
The Gazette | Submitted by: Mr. Ramon
"A provocative art installation depicting U.S. President George W. Bush was defaced Wednesday night at Concordia University - which is exactly what the artist intended and everyone expected. The larger-than-life, black-and- white caricature portrays Bush as a cowboy with the zipper of his blue jeans enlarged so it protrudes from his fly as the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York." Includes photo.

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Chinese try mobile death vans
The Age | Submitted by: Hans Krule
"China is equipping its courts with mobile execution vans as it shifts away from the communist system's traditional bullet in the head, towards a more "civilised" use of lethal injection. Intermediate Courts of the southern province of Yunnan were issued with 18 new execution vans on February 28 and a court official said some have already been used."

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Blix: Global warming bigger danger than war
MTV | Submitted by: Mr. Ramon
Blix, in an interview with MTV's John Norris: "To me the question of the environment is more ominous than that of peace and war. We will have regional conflicts and use of force, but world conflicts I do not believe will happen any longer. But the environment, that is a creeping danger. I'm more worried about global warming than I am of any major military conflict." Is it sillier that Norris is interviewing one of the key players in the Iraq situation, or that the MTV website has "Iraq" stored in their "Bands" directory?

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Oscars blacklist stars
The Scotsman | Submitted by: Mayhem303
"The backlash against prominent stars opposing any attack on Iraq has impacted on this year's Oscars, with organisers drawing up a blacklist of people who will not be allowed a platform to air anti-war views... Meryl Streep, Sean Penn, Vanessa Redgrave, George Clooney, Dustin Hoffman and Spike Lee are among those who will not be speaking, amid fears they could turn the ceremony into an anti-war rally."

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Ontario girl disappears playing hide-and-seek
Globe and Mail | Submitted by: Retrogrouch
A story from the "blindingly obvious headlines" department: "Police scoured a residential neighbourhood Friday for signs of a 12-year-old girl who disappeared while playing hide and seek in this Lake Erie community."

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Police issue smack tips
Wire Services | Submitted by: Captain Prozac
"Smoking heroin off aluminum is suspected in three recent deaths and at least seven cases of serious brain damage in the metropolitan area, Royal Canadian Mounted Police say... "Don't smoke heroin, period, but if you do, don't smoke it off aluminum," said Wayne Jeffrey, a police toxicologist. "There seems to be an interaction between some of the things heroin is cut with and the aluminum foil that causes a toxic reaction."

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Why fat guys get hot chicks
AZ Central | Submitted by: Captain Prozac
"Biologists at the University of Pennsylvania said they found male perspiration had a surprisingly beneficial effect on women's moods. It helps reduce stress, induces relaxation and even affects the menstrual cycle... ''This suggests there may be much more going on in social settings like singles' bars than meets the eye,'' said Charles Wysocki, an adjunct professor of animal biology at Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine."

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Man sentenced for pogo stick death
AZ Central | Submitted by: Captain Prozac
"A man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for attacking two men with an aluminum bat and a pogo stick, killing one and severely injuring the other... Richard Bilauski, 30, was sentenced Thursday to 20 years for voluntary manslaughter in the 2001 death of Robert Vessell, 41. He also received 10 years for assaulting Danny Rose."

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Fake documents embarass Powell
CNN | Submitted by: Omniphage
"Intelligence documents that U.S. and British governments said were strong evidence that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons have been dismissed as forgeries by U.N. weapons inspectors... Sources said that one of the documents was a letter discussing the uranium deal supposedly signed by Niger President Tandja Mamadou. The sources described the signature as "childlike" and said that it clearly was not Mamadou's."

Read article... and This article...

Pigeon reinforcements for dead chickens
CNN | Submitted by: D.Rango
Update on a previous story: First, chickens were deployed to the Gulf as avian nerve-gas detectors. But the brave "KFC" (Kuwaiti Fighting Chickens)unit suffered mass casulties, 42 of 43 dead, from apparent non-hostile illness. Now the Marines have mustered a replacement detection bird: the lowly pigeon. Hoorah!

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Sub-Urban renewal
Wired | Submitted by: SeMeN SPeRmS
"The world's cities may be overcrowded, and the suburbs that surround them may be choked by unchecked sprawl, but there's plenty of undeveloped space. It's right at your feet: underground. There are 100 quadrillion cubic feet of undeveloped metropolitan real estate in this country alone, and that's counting just the first mile down. Think of it this way: If everyone in the entire country moved to Los Angeles, each of us could have 2 million cubic feet to house our stuff. How does that compare with where you live now?"

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Cyberterrorism: the menace that ain't
BBC | Submitted by: Ann Onymous
"Respected security expert Bruce Schneier said the threat posed by so-called cyber-terrorism had been over-estimated. "The hype is coming from the US Government and I don't know why," he said. Fellow panel member Art Coviello, head of security firm RSA, said some of the warnings about cyber-terrorism had come about in reaction to the attacks on 11 September."

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Talking gefilte fish stymies International Jewry
New York Times | Submitted by: Pestilence
The story goes that a 20-pound carp about to be slaughtered and made into gefilte fish for Sabbath dinner began speaking in Hebrew, shouting apocalyptic warnings and claiming to be the troubled soul of a revered community elder who recently died. (What's even funnier is that the guy immediately suspected the cat. Perhaps a sloooow news day at the New York Times.)

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Squash appears filled with letters, symbols
Salt Lake Tribune | Submitted by: AnnePage
"Cutting into a 15-pound banana squash Thursday, Kasim Barakzia thought perhaps he had lost his gourd. The owner of Salt Lake City's Baba Afghan Restaurant, 55 E. 400 South, noticed strange white etchings on the normally smooth seeds, which resemble those from a pumpkin, inside the thick-skinned winter squash." Maybe a sign from the Jolly Green Giant?

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Woman declared dead several times
Florida Times-Union | Submitted by: Munkustrap
"Jacksonville fire and rescue officials are investigating the actions of a rescue crew who pronounced a woman dead of an apparent suicide attempt Tuesday, though she was discovered alive about two hours later... At one point, the evidence technician told the forensic investigator he thought he saw the victim's head move, but the investigator noticed nothing, according to the medical examiner's report."

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Paralysed swimmer ordered to pay $1M
Sydney Morning Herald | Submitted by: wingnut
"An Irish backpacker who was left a quadriplegic after diving into a creek at Coffs Harbour lost his $9M negligence claim yesterday against the State Government and the local council. In the shock judgement, Gary Mulligan, 34, was ordered to pay at least $1 million in legal costs, with the Supreme Court finding the danger should have been obvious to him and there was no need for authorities to erect warning signs." We have mixed feelings on this. It is very clear that this guy doesn't deserve $9M for the fruits of his own stupidity.

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Armored car caper goes awry
Shreveport Times | Submitted by: anonymous
"This guy is definitely no stranger to the Shreveport Police Department," said department spokeswoman Kacee Hargrave. "Some of the officers knew immediately who this individual was when he was in custody"... Thompson also appeared in the news in the '70s and '80s for alleged involvement in, or being at the scenes of, deaths investigators considered suspicious."

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Coming soon: Alcohol fueled laptop
BBC | Submitted by: Bored_Technician
"The fuel cell breaks down methanol to generate power and, Toshiba claims, will provide enough juice to run a laptop for about five hours... To get the cell working, the alcohol fuel is provided in small 50cc cartridges... Toshiba hopes to put the fuel cell on sale in early 2004."

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Lithuanian prez linked to TP-wrapping faith healer
BBC | Submitted by: Phatlor
"Lithuanian President Rolandas Paksas has rejected criticism of his links with a faith healer who allegedly employs bizarre methods such as wrapping people in toilet paper... Mr Paksas said in a statement his relations with mystic Lena Lolisvili were personal and that she had no influence on state affairs."

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Modern day Ewoks
Sacramento Bee | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"The deadline for 18 tree sitters to come down from their perches in a group of old-growth redwoods came and went without any of the activists descending. Pacific Lumber Co., which owns the trees, was considering using contractors to climb up and take the activists down by force: a dangerous situation, given that the activists are sitting on small platforms more than 100 feet up in the redwoods. In some cases, their platforms are connected with horizontal ropes between the trees to provide high-altitude escape routes."

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Columbine parents to be grilled
Court TV | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Relatives of five students killed in the attack on Columbine High School can question the parents of the teenage gunmen, a judge ruled. Federal Judge Lewis Babcock's decision Wednesday is related to a lawsuit that alleges the parents of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold knew or should have known about the teens' plans to attack the school. Harris and Klebold killed 12 students, a teacher and then themselves in a rampage through Columbine on April 20, 1999. More than 20 others were wounded." Isn't stockpiling weapons and bombs nothing more than slight teen angst?

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Oops! New pneumonia got out
Edmonton Journal | Submitted by: Richard Fry
In a follow-up to a story reported several weeks ago: "Two members of one Toronto family have died from atypical pneumonia and four other relatives were stricken with the unusual form of a disease that is spreading through Asia, health officials said Friday... Among the survivors, "no one has gotten well yet," Heymann said. "It is not clear what is going on, and it is not clear what the extent of spread will be."

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