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May 19, 2003

Iraqis tortured with Metallica, Barney
Newsweek | Submitted by: Monty C
"Some U.S. military units have taken to exposing uncooperative Iraqis to long doses of heavy-metal music or even popular children’s songs in an effort to convince them not to resist Coalition forces. 'Trust me, it works,' says one U.S. operative on the ground. ... 'These people haven't heard heavy metal before,' he explained. 'They can't take it. If you play it for 24 hours, your brain and body functions start to slide, your train of thought slows down and your will is broken. That's when we come in and talk to them.'"

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Ministry of Suspicious Walks
Guardian | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"The Pentagon is developing a radar-based device that can identify people by the way they walk, for use in a new antiterrorist surveillance system. ... If the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, orders a prototype, the individual 'gait signatures' of people could become part of the data to be linked together in a vast surveillance system the Pentagon agency calls Total Information Awareness. That system already has raised privacy alarms on both ends of the political spectrum, and Congress in February barred its use against American citizens without further congressional review." No doubt the system will be capable of distinguishing between American walking styles and that of foreigners.

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Automated shit sniffer helps diagnose disease
Wire Services | Submitted by: someantha
"UK scientists say a hi-tech test focused on flatus -- the pungent gas emanating from stool -- is highly effective in quickly identifying tough-to-spot viral or bacterial infections of the gut. ... To perform the new test, the UK team collects a stool sample from an infected patient and places it in a vial with a rubber cap, allowing gases from the stool to rise and fill the vial."

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Woman attacks preschooler over ice cream stain
WKMG-TV 6 Orlando | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Police in Germantown arrested an 18-year-old woman for allegedly attacking a 5-year-old boy in a McDonald's restaurant. ... Police said the boy accidentally spilled ice cream on the shirt of Milika Hayes, 18, of Gaithersburg. Hayes allegedly started cursing at the child and his grandmother and then began chasing him around the restaurant. She put him in a headlock and rubbed hot fries in his eyes. Police said she continued to yell obscenities before walking out of the Wal-Mart."

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Son strangler attempts suicide by firecracker
iAfrica | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A Rustenburg father who tried to commit suicide by exploding a firecracker in his mouth after strangling his two children is expected to appear in the Pretoria High Court on Monday. Jan Hendrik Beukes earlier told the court he had been 'affected by several types of pills' and had decided to kill his children and himself because his wife Helga had left him. He earlier told the court: 'I realised that I was committing a crime by strangling my children and I also put a cracker in my mouth, which exploded and caused serious injuries. I have a permanent hole in roof of my mouth. It had been my intention to commit suicide.'"

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Anthrax suspect injured by FBI surveillance team
Washington Post | Submitted by: Jonah
"A scientist identified as 'a person of interest' in the investigation of the deadly anthrax attacks was slightly injured in a traffic incident involving a federal agent who was following him. Dr. Steven J. Hatfill suffered a bruised foot and abrasions after the incident Saturday... Shortly before 4:30 p.m., Hatfill's car pulled into a parking spot on the street and Hatfill got out with a camera to take photos of those trailing him. Hatfill told officers the driver of the green SUV 'had been recording his movements all day when he decided to take a picture back,' according to the police report. The driver of the green SUV then drove off, striking Hatfill, the reports said."

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LAPD kinda slow on narqing out own officers
Court TV | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Internal records from the Los Angeles Police Department show that in the last two years prosecutors dismissed 65 cases in which officers were accused of roughing up civilians, driving drunk, or lying to investigators. The cases were all dismissed because the department waited until the statute of limitations had passed before filing them, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. In many instances, the officers were repeat offenders."

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Democrats accuse Bush of ignoring al Qaeda
Guardian | Submitted by: Ann Onymous
"The attacks in Riyadh and Casablanca emboldened the Democrats contending for next year's presidential nomination to launch the most vigorous attack yet on President George Bush's war on terrorism. ... Congressman Richard Gephardt said: 'We are vulnerable to future attacks because this administration has not done its job.'" That's right, America: elect a Democrat for President and the war on terror will be solved in no time at all.

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Matrix provides grist for insanity pleas
Guardian | Submitted by: Jonah
For instance: "Josh Cooke, a 19-year-old in Oakton, Virginia, owned a trenchcoat like the one worn by Neo, the character played by Keanu Reeves in the movie, and kept a poster of his hero on his bedroom wall. Then he bought a gun similar to the one used by Neo to fight evil. In February, he shot his father and mother in the basement of their home and then called the police. His lawyers say he believed that he was living inside the Matrix."

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Diary of a child porn mogul
BBC | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A Texan man serving 1,335 years in prison for selling child porn recorded a secret diary, a diary that remains online even though its author will see out his days behind bars at a US state penitentiary. Thomas Reedy was the architect of the child pornography empire that attracted a quarter of a million customers worldwide -- among them the rock guitarist Pete Townshend, who earlier this month was cautioned by police after he admitted to accessing the site. That Reedy had $1m in unbanked credit card receipts lying around in his office is testimony to the amounts of cash sweeping into his business."

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Museum director acquitted in 'goldfish blender' trial
Wire Services | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"The director of a Danish art museum was acquitted on charges of animal cruelty Monday after a court said a display with goldfish in 10 blenders that visitors could turn on, wasn't cruel. Peter Meyer, director of the Trapholt Art Museum in Kolding, drew international notoriety in February 2000 after the art exhibit, featuring the goldfish, was dubbed cruelty to animals. Judge Preben Bagger said Monday that Meyer didn't have to pay the fine because the fish were killed 'instantly' and 'humanely'." Now about those goldfish smoothies?

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Canadian gay wedding avalanche begins in 14 months
canada.com | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Peter Cook is planning a dream wedding almost 33 years after meeting the love of his life. He envisions a classy affair at a posh hotel in St. John's, Nfld., overlooking the harbour. There will be fine linen, candlelight and a sit-down meal. He's much like any other smitten groom -- but with a twist that has exposed stark, sometimes ugly divisions among equally passionate Canadians on both sides. Cook wants to marry another man. He and his groom, Murray Warren, hope to tie the knot at the stroke of midnight July 12, 2004. That's the deadline by which Ottawa has been court-ordered to change a law that bars same-sex couples from the altar."

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Road rage suckerpunch proves fatal
WKMG-TV 6 Orlando | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Lavance Donald Palmer, 23, punched Leonzo Martin Gonzalez after their cars collided around 4 a.m. in northwest Miami, police said. Palmer fled the scene and remained at large Saturday evening. Gonzalez fell to the ground, lost consciousness and was declared dead at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Witnesses said Gonzalez was trying to calm down Palmer when he was punched. Palmer has an extensive arrest record, including kidnapping, battery and assault."

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Another gruesome suicide bomber photo
Wire Services | Submitted by: Mike
This time, avec bicyclette.

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Defendant bills judge $151 million
Chicago Sun-Times | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Frederick R. James had a plan to make some money while he was on trial in a Downstate federal court for selling a large amount of marijuana. James, who argued, according to his religious beliefs, that his name was copyrighted, decided to charge everyone in court each time his name was used. The judge's bill alone, sent to his home, came to $151 million -- or $500,000 per use by the judge of James' name. ... At trial, James argued that his ancestors came from Africa, that he is a Moorish national and only has to follow the laws mentioned in an old treaty between the United States and Morocco. James isn't alone in his beliefs; they are shared by other adherents to an Islamic sect called the Moorish Science Temple."

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2-year-old runs over sister in family SUV
WKMG-TV 6 Orlando | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A 4-year-old Broadmoor Bluffs girl died after her 2-year-old brother put the family vehicle in gear and backed over her as she played in their driveway. Police said Adreanna Cook was standing behind the 2001 GMC Yukon as her mother washed the vehicle around 5:15 p.m Saturday. The vehicle was parked on a steep incline, and the ignition was on so the girl's mother could listen to the radio as she cleaned the truck."

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Redneck garb not (Fox)worthy of Supreme Court review
AZ Central | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Justices rejected an appeal from a school district that wanted the court to allow it to bar redneck attire. It was a victory for a New Jersey teenager suspended for wearing a T-shirt he bought at a Wal-Mart store. ... Officials in the district in rural Warren County, N.J., claimed Sypniewki's shirt, featuring jokes of comedian Jeff Foxworthy, violated an anti-harassment and intimidation policy enacted because of racial tension at the high school. Sypniewski was suspended for three days for wearing the shirt that bore comedian Foxworthy's 'Top 10 Reasons You Might Be a Redneck Sports Fan.' Among them: 'you wear a baseball cap to bed,' and 'you know the Hooter's menu by heart'."

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Smiling 10-year-old leaps 10 stories to her death
Mainichi Daily News | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A 10-year-old girl apparently killed herself Monday morning by jumping from the top of a multistory Tokyo apartment building, police said. The unnamed girl left her home in the apartment just minutes before a passerby saw a person falling from the 10-story building in Koto-ku and raised the alarm. Her mother was devastated. 'She left home slightly later than usual but she was smiling at the time. I can't think of any reason why she had to take her own life,' the mother said."

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School wants no witnesses for loser children
BBC | Submitted by: William FM Crichton-Stuart
Because the mere presence of spectators at a competitive event is likely to cause embarrassment, "[p]arents have been banned from attending a school sports day." Said one disappointed parent: "Children don't become scarred for life because they lose the egg and spoon race." Bear in mind we're talking about England here.

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Elephant tosses drunk tourist
Kansas City Star | Submitted by: optional
"A drunk Vietnamese tourist who ran into an elephant he didn't see standing in the street was injured when the animal picked him up and tossed him aside... He suffered three broken ribs and bruises on his face and body."

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Parents sue hospital, think up clever slogans
milforddailynews.com | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
After 18-month-old David Macrelli died of a severe vaccine reaction, the hospital got into trouble for harvesting the toddler's organs without parental approval. So now they're suing the hospital. Fair enough. The mother gave a couple of soundbites to the news crews: "Our son David was all heart, and he was buried without that heart. ... He isn't resting in peace. He's resting in pieces." Not to be left out, the father had one of his own: "Our son was buried twice. He's buried in two caskets." Nicely done.

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