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March 18, 2003

Restaurant castrated
Hartford Courant | Submitted by: Goga
"To them, it's a matter of decorum. The name may sound innocuous, but run the letters together and you come up with cojones, the Spanish word for testicles... The town couldn't prevent Potter from slapping the salty soubriquet [does the reporter have an upcoming vocabulary test?] on his eatery, which is slated to open this week on Park Road, near Beverly Road. But Rowlson and others "strongly encouraged" him to scrap it, especially after the sign went up and someone complained."

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West coast boobies fireproof
San Francisco Chronicle | Submitted by: Crazy Quagga
"Bay Area women have three to 10 times greater amounts of a chemical flame retardant in their breasts than either European or Japanese women, says a study by California scientists published Tuesday. PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, are persistent organic pollutants that have been increasing worldwide in humans and wildlife over the last 10 years."

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Search engines ban pro-bulimia sites
Roundup News | Submitted by: crosschain
"Web sites that have been accused of encouraging starvation, mental illness and death have been banned from several Internet search engines in recent months to protect minors in the United States... Internet Web sites that promote eating disorders and associated lifestyles have been removed from Yahoo!, ivillage, AOL, MSN and Homestead Technology to honor their terms of service, according to Associate Director of Public Relations of the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders Caryn Gehrke."

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Secret city buried beneath Tokyo
Japan Times | Submitted by: xdfgf
What changed his life was finding an old map in a secondhand bookstore. Comparing it to a contemporary map, he found significant variations. "Close to the Diet in Nagata-cho, current maps show two subways crossing. In the old map, they are parallel"... The journalist in him taking over, he sought out construction records. When responses proved defensive and noncooperative, "lips zipped tight", he set out to prove that the two subway tunnels could not cross: "Engineering cannot lie."

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FBI lab problems affected 3,000 cases
Concord Monitor | Submitted by: Razor
"The Justice Department has identified about 3,000 criminal cases that could have been affected by flawed science and skewed testimony at the FBI laboratory before 1997, and is letting prosecutors who handled those cases decide whether defendants should be notified."

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NAACP lawsuit targets gun makers
Baltimore Sun | Submitted by: Razor
"Lawsuits that seek to hold gun makers responsible for firearm violence haven't had much success in court so far. Gun-control advocates say that is about to change... In a novel suit headed for trial on March 24 in federal court in New York's Brooklyn borough, the Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is arguing that handgun violence disproportionately harms poor, urban blacks, and that gun companies have failed to take steps to lessen the harm." Isn't gun violence proportional to the amount of violent crimes committed by a group? Would not the answer to this problem be to commit fewer crimes?

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Japanese dropping like flies
Mainichi Daily News | Submitted by: LucrezaBorgia
"She was so happy, she wrote a letter to her longtime boyfriend thanking him for all the wonderful sex they'd had. The following day, she'd taken her own life alongside another woman and a guy she'd met only hours before with the intent of committing suicide together."

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Israeli police get priceless biblical tablet, break it
San Francisco Chronicle | Submitted by: anonymous
"An ancient stone tablet some experts believe may date to the 9th century B.C., providing rare confirmation of biblical narrative, broke in half while being moved to an Israeli police station, officials said Monday... Officials didn't say how the break occurred, but a spokeswoman for the Antiquities Authority, Osnat Guez, said it could actually help scientists studying the tablet, since they will be able to check the inner layers to determine how old the stone is." Nice save.

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Chemical-attack readiness kills 3 in Israel
Newsday | Submitted by: Dirty Sammy
Before you break out the duct tape from your Tom Ridge Emergency Kit, think a little bit: "A mother and two teenage sons suffocated in a sealed room they had prepared in case of a possible Iraqi chemical missile attack, Israeli police said Monday... Police said the three died because a coal-fueled heater in an adjacent room sucked oxygen from the room they were sleeping in, which was designed to stop air entering, but allowed air to escape."

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Yo Quiero Slave Labor!
Guardian | Submitted by: Dirty Sammy
"The American fast food giant Taco Bell has been buying tomatoes produced by slave and sweatshop labour, according to a group of Florida tomato pickers who held a 10-day hunger strike outside the company's headquarters... Some of the tomato pickers earn barely one cent, less than a penny, for each pound of tomatoes picked and others have been forced to work under threat of violence in what has been classified as slavery by law enforcement agencies."

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The Dangers of Dissent
Heather Wokusch | Submitted by: Mira
"In one especially vicious event, Italian police raided a school being used as a temporary dormitory by international demonstrators and independent media. Claiming two petrol bombs had been found in the school and that an occupant had tried to stab an officer, police charged into the school and proceeded to smash windows, computers and heads in a gruesome attack that injured 72 occupants... What happened later is significant. Of the 93 inside the school arrested by the police that night, all were later released without charge. Then just last January, a full year and a half after the brutality, it emerged that the Italian police had in fact planted the petrol bombs at the school, and the officer who claimed to have been stabbed had in fact lied."

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MIA: A User's Manual
Miami New Times | Submitted by: LucrezaBorgia
"For years MIA, which generates an estimated $13 billion annually and provides 196,000 direct and indirect jobs for Miami-Dade County, has been notorious as a destination where lawlessness, disorder, public corruption, and customer unfriendliness reign supreme. (We've got to be good at something, right?) So it's not surprising that your sojourn through our airport is likely to be miserable, whether you are casually dropping off or picking up passengers, or, God help you, actually trying to fly out."

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What do you call a Cuban Jew?
Wire Services | Submitted by: Dirty Sammy
"A man can keep his personalized license plate that reads "JEWBAN", a term commonly used among Cuban Jews in South Florida to identify themselves, state officials said Friday... "It became apparent that the prevailing interpretation of "JEWBAN" is not derogatory to a group," Sanchez said." [We thought it was Kosher coffee.]

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Execution rate drops ---- Texas, take note
Washington Times | Submitted by: Razor
"The machinery of death that is designed to execute the worst of murderers is grinding ever slower, and in some states is in disuse while the death penalty is reconsidered in courts, legislatures and governors' mansions."

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Nokia denies animal abuse campaign
Melbourne Herald Sun | Submitted by: metason
"Mobile phone company Nokia is red-faced over an unauthorised advertisement containing images of animal cruelty circulating via email... Nokia Australia's head of marketing, Antony Wilson, said the video clip was not an official advertisement but might be an unauthorised version produced by one of Nokia's 52 advertising agencies worldwide." Of course, some people think this is an example of astroturf backfiring.

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