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May 17, 2003

World's richest man skips out on coffee bill
AZ Central | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates came to Watertown to talk to librarians about computers that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had donated. NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw also was in town and interviewed Gates at the Past Times Cafe, where they both ordered a cappuccino. But when the interview was over, they left and no one paid the bill. 'They just got right out the door, the security people ushered them right out,' said Jackie Harrington, the waitress who prepared and served the coffee." So what's the problem? The Past Times Cafe is probably owned by a huge corporation. One little act of theft isn't going to hurt their profit margin one iota. They should just do what Microsoft does: chalk it up to the cost of doing business and not make a big deal out of it.

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National Security Agency seeking FOIA exemption
Detroit News | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Legislation headed for the Senate floor would let the global eavesdropping agency automatically turn down requests by citizens for files on how the NSA collects intelligence. ... 'The danger is the NSA is reverting to the old Soviet Union here, where everything is per se secret and you don't have any means to get around it,' said James Bamford, who used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain thousands of NSA documents to write two books on the agency. 'Besides the score on the local golf course there, they can say pretty much anything is operational because everything has to do with NSA's operations.'"

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Tortilla frisbees hurtful to minorities
AZ Central | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"University of Arizona President Peter Likins has issued a stern warning to graduating students: the tortilla-tossing tradition must stop. He has threatened to cancel university-wide graduation ceremonies if members of the graduating class don't stop flinging the floury staple. Likins said the tradition is an affront to some ethnic groups. 'This behavior is disrespectful to many of our Hispanic and American Indian community members, who feel that throwing tortillas is offensive to their cultures.'"

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Groom's genitals smashed by stripper antics
Sun | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A groom claims he was unable to bonk his bride after stag-night strippers pinned him on his back and leapt on to his groin from six feet up a pole. Justin Scheidt begged the naked pole-dance trio to stop as they took turns to free-fall on to him, he claimed in court papers yesterday. But the girls refused -- leaving him 'seriously' injured and unable to consummate his marriage on either his wedding night or his honeymoon, he alleges."

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NYPD raids wrong apartment, woman dies
Newsday | Submitted by: UncleGum
"A bungled tip about a drug dealer's cache led police to kick down the door and toss a stun grenade into the apartment of a woman with a heart condition; she died of a heart attack within an hour, police said. 'This is a tragedy. This should not have happened. No doubt about that,' said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly." What happened to surveillance, huh? You know, maybe a stakeout now and then? Corroborate the anonymous tip before you go throwing grenades into people's homes?

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Morals charge against Tatu manager
Sun | Submitted by: Crazy Quagga
Russian police have arrested the manager behind the high-concept pop music curiosity known as "t.A.T.u." Ivan Shapovalov has been charged with corrupting the morals of girls as young as seven, when he paid them to appear in the "lesbian" duo's new music video. Said the cops: "We wanted to stop him exploiting these young children. We didnít know what he was going to do with them." Evidently, the video was for the Eurovision contest. As if you needed more proof that the guy behind this outrageous band's carefully-contrived image is nothing but Russia's answer to Malcolm McLaren.

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Punk rock leads to Mann Act violations
Sacramento Bee | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Tanya Hadden, the former high school teacher accused of having sex with and kidnapping a 15-year-old student and taking him to Las Vegas, pleaded guilty to all counts against her. ... Hadden, 34, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of lewd acts with a child, four felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, two misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and a misdemeanor count of child-stealing. ... The former Cajon High School science teacher said her relationship with the student grew from their mutual love of punk rock." It always begins with the punk rock.

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Toilet training refresher course gone awry
WKMG-TV 6 Orlando | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Rock County prosecutors say a 9-year-old girl had her head dunked in a dirty toilet, her head and mouth duct-taped and her wrists bound. She was then forced to stand in a corner for more than an hour. Her mother's boyfriend is accused of inflicting the abuse because she hadn't flushed the toilet. ... A criminal complaint says he yelled at the girl, pulled her hair, then used the toilet while she was in the bathroom Monday night. It says Welda shoved her head into the toilet bowl. The complaint says the girl's hair was soiled with dirty toilet paper and excrement."

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Neighbor's cat becomes part of gator experiment
WKMG-TV 6 Orlando | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A teenager in Cape Coral said he fed a neighbor's pet cat to an alligator just to see what the gator would do, police said. ... Police said the boy acknowledged he kicked the cat -- named 'Homeboy' -- in the stomach and head Thursday, then threw it into the canal to feed the alligator. The cat's owners said the boy led them to the canal, where they saw the dead cat still in the gator's mouth."

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Los Angeles doing its part to end slavery
Sacramento Bee | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"The City Council voted 10-0 Friday to draft a law requiring every company doing business with the city to report whether it earned profits from slavery. ... The city law would require a company doing business with the city to sign an affidavit stating whether it or its predecessors ever profited from slavery. Companies also would have to disclose any records they found of such profits."

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California drivers: prepare to get fucked over
Orange County Weekly | Submitted by: juanholmes
"Under a little-known loophole of the California Vehicle Code -- one that was designed primarily to get unsafe elderly drivers off the road -- anyone can file a complaint against any driver for whatever perceived infraction they want. Didn't signal before you made that lane change? Not going fast enough? Someone thinks you're ugly? You're the wrong ethnicity? Got an IMPEACH BUSH sticker on your bumper? With a license-plate number, perhaps a bit of colorful elaboration and no proof or witnesses whatsoever, it's shockingly simple for someone to commit what's essentially a sort of bureaucratic road rage -- vengeance via inconvenience."

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Convicted felons still practicing medicine
wreg.com | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"We found plenty of repeat offenders with crimes ranging from negligence to others who traded drugs for sex. Then there's the case of Dr. Visulingham Vilvarajah. ... He shot his wife and mother-in-law in their Germantown home.†When asked if he shot his wife, he replied†'Yes sir. Definitely yeah. I was angry. If†I had a normal brain,†I wouldn't have done it.' ... Vilvarajah says what happened in the past doesn't affect his work as a doctor now.†'Because†I am a talented person... well-qualified person. I didn't do any crime related to patients. I didn't molest a patient. I am very nice to patients.'"

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Man chews off fingertips to hide identity
Wire Services | Submitted by: FaceInTheSea
When Olugbemia Olusajo was apprehended last year for identity theft, he decided not to make things too easy for the cops. So he pulled a move worthy of McGuyver: "Shortly after he was arrested, prosecutors said Olusajo tried to conceal his identity by soaking his fingers in a jail toilet, then chewing away the softened skin. He was unsuccessful, according to prosecutors." Good effort.

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Australian government holding down delete key
Sydney Morning Herald | Submitted by: f00f
"The comments, made in an internet newsgroup in July 2000 and now archived on computers at the Australian National University, suggested the department's computers contained links to child pornography. The South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service, which discovered the comments in October 2002, rejects the allegations as untrue and is fighting to have the comments wiped from the computer archives. [...] The final unwanted outcome for the service is that in trying to remove the archived comments, it may have just reopened the debate and elevated it to an even higher relevance ranking on Google."

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Busted Colombian boat people give rap performance
Reuters | Submitted by: Elizabeth
"Five Colombian stowaways emerged jubilantly from a ship they thought had docked in Miami only to discover they were still in their homeland after five days at sea." After their arrest, the quintet actually broke into song. "Police said the stowaways performed an impromptu rap dramatizing their tragi-comic story." That's what it says.

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Wife chained up in backyard
UPI | Submitted by: kkkreative
"A San Antonio man who allegedly padlocked his wife to a 30-foot dog chain in the backyard was in jail himself Friday. One end of the chain was padlocked to 45-year-old Patricia Thomason's neck, and the other end was attached to a car where her husband Jerry Thomason, 41, was sleeping when police arrested him Thursday at their home. Firefighters used bolt cutters to remove the chain that was wrapped around the woman's neck and padlocked." Well, what are you supposed to do when your wife wants a divorce?

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Implantable GPS unit under development
New Scientist | Submitted by: Tobermory
"The disc-shaped 'personal location device' (designed to be implanted inside a person) measures 6.35 centimetres in diameter and 1.27 centimetres in depth -- roughly the same size as a pacemaker... Eventually the device will need to connect to a cell phone network if it is to relay the satellite-determined position of its host to another person..." Looks like it's a pipe dream at this point, but who knows?

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Why the Chinese will never stop SARS
CNN | Submitted by: optional
"Popular wisdom in China holds that burping, breaking wind and coughing out phlegm is good for your health. But spitting, according to Liu Junzhuo, a professor of public health at Peking University, spreads diseases such as SARS, which has infected 5,000 people in China, and tuberculosis, another killer with about five million sufferers in China."

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