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June 01, 2003

Known terrorists left out of firearms database
World Net Daily | Submitted by: UncleGum
"While nine out of 10 gun purchases are now subject to instant FBI criminal checks to filter out convicted felons, fugitives and a handful of others, the State Department's list of known foreign terrorists -- used by airport security personnel and border patrols -- is not included in the database used by dealers to check a buyer's eligibility, reports CBS News. Even the names of suspected al-Qaida cell members in the U.S. would not show up in a background check by a gun store." And strangely, the NRA is opposed to adding known terrorists to the prohibited persons list.

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Arizona might ignore next orange alert
AZ Central | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"As the nation lurches from orange to yellow on the terror alert scale for the fourth time, Arizona officials are considering not following the federal moves in the future. 'It creates incredible problems: overtime, financial, functional,' said Frank Navarrete, the state's homeland security director. ... Navarrete said the yo-yo nature of the alerts may diminish their effectiveness. 'We have to be mindful of the fact that if we continue to do this and nothing happens, that it loses impact with the citizenry,' he said. 'It becomes a "Here we go again" mentality.'"

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US government just Enron's sock puppet
Common Dreams | Submitted by: Ann Onymous
"Enron ... regularly and aggressively called on staff from Treasury, the State Department, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the World Bank to meet with foreign officials to favorably resolve its problems and disputes with their governments. ... Enron even reportedly pushed administration officials to threaten foreign governments with sanctions if their disputes could not be settled advantageously. ... Enron was also a major donor to the election campaign of Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, while at least 15 high-ranking administration officials owned stock in the energy company in 2001."

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Air Force Academy policy: rape reports not confidential
Denver Post | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"The Air Force Academy's new sexual-assault response strategy erodes confidentiality for victims, a move that experts say could continue to discourage victims from reporting crimes and pursuing prosecution of attackers. A May 27 academy memo, obtained by The Denver Post, states: 'Reports of sexual assaults are not confidential.' This contradicts congressional efforts to extend more privacy to military victims to help them through the trauma." [So much for that.]

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Mussolini's last note found in Milan
Guardian | Submitted by: UncleGum
"The last note written by Italy's fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, just hours before he was shot by partisans, has come to light among the personal possessions of the widow of a resistance fighter, it was revealed yesterday. ... The message, folded four times and kept in a blue envelope, reads: 'The 52nd Garibaldi Brigade captured me today, Friday April 27, in the piazza of Dongo. I was treated correctly during and after my capture. Mussolini.'"

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Elementary school teacher attacks special ed student
New York Post | Submitted by: wingnut
"A Bronx public school teacher allegedly choked a 12-year-old special-education student and flung him to a classroom floor just because the boy went to his desk for a pencil and paper... At that point, the teacher suddenly grabbed the student, who was described as emotionally disturbed, and began to throttle him, flinging him back and forth so violently he struck the floor and began to bleed from a head cut, sources said."

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Thousands of cluster bomblets sprinkled over Iraqi cities
Guardian | Submitted by: wingnut
"The shocking extent of unexploded cluster bombs dropped by American and British planes, which litter Iraq eight weeks after the conflict, is revealed in detail for the first time today. ... The map reveals that hundreds, or possibly thousands, of the bombs -- which produce hundreds of 'bomblets' scattered out over a large area -- failed to detonate. ... 'This shows an appalling level of contamination,' said Richard Lloyd, director of Landmine Action, who is travelling to Iraq this weekend to assess the extent of the danger. 'It also confirms that American and British forces attacked built up areas in cities with cluster bombs. ... It has to be highly questionable whether the use of such weapons in built-up areas is legal under international law.'"

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Klan member beaten by two women during KKK rally
Chicago Sun-Times | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Eight people were arrested Saturday at a 'white power' rally that drew about 200 people to a park in west suburban Berwyn. ... Two women were charged with battery for beating a man. The women were anti-Klan and the man was allied with the racist group." Well, even though he got beaten up by girls, he's still got white pride.

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Florida repeals 2-year-old 'Scarlet Letter' law
South Florida Sun-Sentinel | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Gov. Jeb Bush signed a bill Friday repealing the 'Scarlet Letter' law that required mothers who put a child up for adoption to publish their sexual histories when necessary to locate the father. ... The law required a mother to publish her name, age and physical description, along with descriptions of any men who could have fathered the child in newspapers in every city where the child could have been conceived. Its intent was to prevent biological fathers from challenging adoptions after the fact and disrupting newly formed family bonds by claiming they never knew about the birth and never had a chance to claim custody."

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Woman misses a spot tidying up after killing boyfriend
goedwardsville.com | Submitted by: Tim Howard
After shooting her boyfriend in the back and the head, Suzanne Johnson set out to make her apartment spic and span. So she rented a carpet cleaner, bought some paint and a new garbage can, laundered the decedent's clothes, and so on. Unfortunately, the downstairs neighbor called police after noticing that "blood was seeping down through her bedroom ceiling from Johnson's apartment above." You always miss something.

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S&M perves descend on Denver in July
Denver Post | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"For three days in mid-July, up to 1,000 people from across the country will gather at the Holiday Inn-Denver International Airport to learn, practice and enjoy bondage, dominance and sadomasochistic sex. The national leather event July 11-13, called Thunder in the Mountains, will offer speakers on alternative sex techniques, demonstrations, dungeon play parties, Ouchy the Clown, and a Saturday morning guided meditation service." [Guided by whom? Ouchy?]

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Ben Franklin's kite experiment just bullshit
Chicago Sun-Times | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"It was one of the most famous experiments in science: Benjamin Franklin, the 18th-century American inventor and statesman, risked his life flying a kite directly under a thundercloud to prove that lightning was a form of electricity. ... But according to a new book about the historical evidence, the experiment took place only in Franklin's imagination."

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Fraudulent medal for Rhode Island Vietnam vet
Chicago Sun-Times | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Bruce Cotta is known as this state's most decorated Vietnam veteran, but the military is wondering if he has one medal too many. ... In 2000, Cotta sought to upgrade the Bronze Star to the Distinguished Service Cross, but the Army said no. Soon after, however, Rep. Patrick Kennedy's office received a letter that appeared to be from the Army stating Cotta was indeed eligible for the upgrade. A certificate and a medal were also included in the package. Kennedy presented Cotta with the honor that August. The Army began investigating after questions from a researcher earlier this year and now says the letter and certificate were forgeries."

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War machine in Iraq greased with panty liners, baby powder
Newsday | Submitted by: Dirty Sammy
"What do U.S. soldiers use to cope with the grit and heat of Iraq? Why, cottony women's underthings, diaper ointments, pantyhose, and moist wipes with the aroma of baby powder. ... Women's panty liners -- an absorbent patch with an adhesive back -- are perfect for mopping a sweat-basted brow that bakes under a helmet. ... For those long marches, pantyhose are just the thing to replace the chaffing of socks and boots with the swish of nylon."

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