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May 21, 2003

Feds use terrorism law for other crime probes
Boston Globe | Submitted by: dianalily
"The Justice Department has used many of the antiterrorism powers granted after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to pursue defendants for crimes unrelated to terrorism, including drug violations, credit card fraud, and bank theft, according to a government report. ... Although the Patriot Act was passed in response to Sept. 11, the report shows that prosecutors have used many of the law's powers to pursue cases not related to terrorism. The report cites a case in which prosecutors were able to use the Patriot Act to seize stolen funds that a fugitive lawyer had stashed in bank accounts in Belize."

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African slave trave alive and well in UK
Observer | Submitted by: marc bain
"Children are being trafficked into domestic service in Britain to clean houses and do chores without pay. The victims are mostly west African girls, lured on the promise of a Western education, only to find themselves forced to do heavy chores for wealthy families. ... It is thought that a significant percentage of up to 10,000 largely west African children thought to enter the UK for private fostering are in fact destined for an underground world of domestic service. 'They don't speak the language, and probably wouldn't go to school,' said a spokesman for Unicef."

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Monk mixes it up with wannabe cop killer
WKMG-TV 6 Orlando | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A Texas monk is being hailed as a hero Wednesday after saving a female police officer's life during a struggle for control of her gun, according to a Local 6 News report. ... Police said Patrick Coughlan, who is a monk, noticed the scuffle between the suspect and officer and raced to the woman's rescue. He grabbed the weapon and ordered the man to the ground at gunpoint. ... Couglin said that he's not looking for praise just doing what the boss (God) told him to do." That's right -- even the monks in Texas are badasses.

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Jeb Bush trying to overthrow Fidel Castro
newszap.com | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"A spokeswoman for Gov. Jeb Bush discounted charges aired Sunday by the president of the Cuban National Assembly that the Florida governor is conspiring to overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro. ... 'Well, you have, first of all, those in Miami that are calling for even a military action against Cuba, including the governor,' Alarcon said. Later, he said: 'I am convinced that not very far from President Bush and his entourage are people that are not just willing, but actively working toward that ... The brother (Jeb Bush) was very open, calling publicly in Florida to do in the neighborhood, in the nation of Cuba, what you just did to Iraq.'"

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Michael Jackson quiere Taco Bell
KNBC-TV 4 Los Angeles | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Jackson stopped by Santa Barbara, Calif., Congressman Elton Gallegly's field office about two weeks ago to ask why the city of Solvang has no fast-food restaurants. But instead of wearing the surgical mask he usually wears in public, the pop star was wearing a Spider-Man mask. Jackson was told Solvang only has a Subway, and he said, 'I love Taco Bell.' After that, Jackson pulled off his Spider-Man mask and apologized to the deputy director for disturbing the office."

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Grandma kills 4-year-old for not doing homework
AZ Central | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Army Spc. Tammy Moore had left Destiny and her three other children ... with her mother in their Fort Hood home when she was deployed in March. ... At the detention hearing, FBI Special Agent Daniel W. Chadwick testified that Cherry acknowledged hitting Destiny with a belt and extension cord as well as her open hand, claiming she did so because the girl was slacking in doing her homework. ... Asked by the prosecutor why a 4-year-old would be doing homework, Chadwick said Cherry told him Destiny had seen her siblings doing homework and wanted to do some. He said Cherry made up some for her. 'I never got a sufficient explanation for why this homework was being done at 1 o'clock in the morning,' said Chadwick."

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Armed bank robber wrongly convicted of armed robbery
Wire Services | Submitted by: Tim Howard
A man who inadvertently exposed the gun he was carrying to a bank teller during a robbery should not have been convicted of armed robbery, according to a federal appeals court. "Deshon Rene Odom carried a loaded revolver in the waistband of his pants while he and an accomplice robbed a Los Angeles-area bank in 1996, but he did not brandish the weapon or even mention it to employees. A manager noticed the gun only when Odom raised his jacket to stuff away a pillowcase full of stolen cash. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday in a written ruling that that Odom should have been convicted of unarmed bank robbery -- which carries a lesser prison term -- instead of armed robbery." That seems rather counterintuitive.

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Jayson Blair adopts air of superiority
AZ Central | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Former New York Times reporter Jayson Blair said he 'couldn't stop laughing' when the newspaper corrected his fraudulent description of an American POW's home in West Virginia... In one of his few interviews since resigning from the Times on May 1, Blair told the Observer that he 'fooled some of the most brilliant people in journalism' with his reporting. The Times found fraud, plagiarism and inaccuracies in 36 of 73 articles examined between October and April."

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Jayson Blair not very tidy
MSNBC | Submitted by: Ann Onymous
In a bio of the New York Times journalist, we learn a lot about the guy who made a living making shit up. Among other things, his cleanliness habits. "His apartment in Brooklyn was littered with broken furniture and rotting food, his landlord said; there was fungus, and mold. When he moved out in the fall of 2002, the place was in such sordid condition his landlord considered taking him to small-claims court to recoup damages. 'It was real filth,' the landlord told NEWSWEEK. 'Imagine using a bathroom for two-and-a-half years and never cleaning it.'"

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Man superglues self to desk in unemployment office
Times | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A factory worker frustrated at the delays in receiving payments under the new tax credit system glued himself to the inquiries desk in his local tax office. ... After being told that staff could do nothing to help him, he stuck his left hand to the desk with Superglue and declared that he would not move until he had been paid. Half an hour later, in the company of police officers and paramedics, Mr Maddison walked from the office clutching a cheque for 400: six weeks of credits."

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Pentagon selects crooks for Iraq contract
redding.com | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"The Pentagon made an interesting choice when it hired a U.S. company to build a small wireless phone network in Iraq: MCI, aka WorldCom Inc., perpetrator of the biggest accounting fraud in American business and not exactly a big name in cellular service. ... 'We don't understand why MCI would be awarded this business given its status as having committed the largest corporate fraud in history,' said AT&T Corp. spokesman Jim McGann. ... 'I was curious about it, because the last time I looked, MCI's never built out a wireless network,' said Len Lauer, head of Sprint Corp.'s wireless division. ... The contract with WorldCom -- which plans to adopt the name of its MCI long distance unit when it emerges from bankruptcy -- has prompted grumbling in the telecommunications industry from people who say it was not put up for bids. 'We were not aware of it until it showed up in some news reports,' Motorola spokesman Norm Sandler said." Somebody up there likes WorldCom, despite defrauding investors of $11 billion.

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'Roger More' condom ads banned
Wire Services | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Advertising posters for a brand of condoms urging the public to 'roger more' were banned on Wednesday after they were deemed offensive. 'Rogering' is British slang for copulating and the phrase in the advert plays on the name of actor Roger Moore, best known for playing ladykiller secret agent James Bond. Britain's advertising watchdog judged the phrase to be unacceptable for such public display."

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Spouses arrested separately for DUI
AZ Central | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"The mayor was charged with drunken driving, and his wife was arrested, too, when she drove up to the scene smelling of alcohol, police said. ... According to the Highway Patrol, a caller reported a car had slammed into a fence and tree and left the scene. The mayor's vehicle was stopped a short time later and identified as the car involved in the crash. The mayor's wife was charged with drunken driving when she drove up, became irate with officers and smelled of alcohol, police said."

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Children's party clown not a pedophile, but dad was
Village Voice | Submitted by: Bozo the Crotch
"David Friedman, a/k/a Silly Billy, is the city's -- and possibly the country's -- most famous children's birthday party clown. Silly Billy has often been featured in fluffy articles, but there are things about his family's past that are not fluffy at all. In the mid 1980s, the Friedmans of Great Neck, Long Island, were caught up in a sex scandal of epic proportions. The case was widely publicized at the time, but a new documentary offers a more intimate portrait of this tragic clan -- a Franny and Zooey-esque collection of neurotic but gentle eccentrics, at once brilliant and doomed."

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Hospital equipped with abandoned infant alarm
News Corporation | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"An Indian city where an abandoned baby was mauled by dogs last year has installed an electronic buzzer system at a hospital to let parents dump unwanted infants safely, a newspaper reported. The 'baby-abandonment machine' at the hospital in the southern city of Trivandrum features doors that open automatically when a person enters from the roadside. After the child is placed in the cradle and the baby carrier goes down the steps, a beeper goes off to alert attendants."

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