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June 08, 2003

Saddam's "mobile labs" actually balloon stations
Observer | Submitted by: wingnut
"Tony Blair faces a fresh crisis over Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, as evidence emerges that two vehicles that he has repeatedly claimed to be Iraqi mobile biological warfare production units are nothing of the sort. ... The Observer has established that it is increasingly likely that the units were designed to be used for hydrogen production to fill artillery balloons, part of a system originally sold to Saddam by Britain in 1987. ... The claim, however, that the two vehicles are mobile germ labs has been repeated frequently by both Blair and President George Bush in recent days in support of claims that they prove the existence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction."

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Iraq nuclear plant left unguarded, plundered by locals
canoe.com | Submitted by: Hans Krule
"Tuwaitha, Iraq's largest nuclear facility and now defunct, was left unguarded for two weeks after Iraqi troops fled the area on the eve of the war. U.S. troops didn't secure it until April 7. In the meantime, looters from the surrounding villages stripped it of uranium storage barrels they later used to hold drinking water. The U.S. military ordered villagers to sell back the barrels for $3 US each. The Pentagon said they had retrieved 100 barrels so far. Some 3,000 barrels of low-grade uranium were stored at Tuwaitha." A spokesman said that "about 20%" of the plant's uranium stockpile is missing.

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Man regrets not punching Bob Hope in the face
Orange County Weekly | Submitted by: juanholmes
"One of Hope's best golf buddies was the late Prescott Bush -- father of George, grandfather of George W. -- who earned the Bush family fortune by supplying financial aid and raw materials to Hitler's Third Reich. ... [B]ack in 1987, at his home in Toluca Lake, where I was invited to cover an open casting call for a Fawn Hall look-alike for a Bob Hope special making light of the fact that the Reagan administration illegally sold weapons to Iranian terrorists and that Oliver North's secretary shredded documents trying to cover it up, I blew my best shot to rearrange Hope's ski-slope nose into a snowboard halfpipe."

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Yet another mass grave in Iraq
Newsday | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A woman looks for her missing husband amid hundreds of human remains inside the Mussayed Youth Center, which was converted into a temporary morgue for hundreds of human remains found at a mass grave in the desert near Jurf Al-Sakhir." With photo.

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Complaints at Burger King trigger violent smackdown
WCIV-TV 4 | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"First, the couple pointed out that the cook wasn't wearing gloves, prompting the manager to have the order re-cooked. Then, the couple complained they didn't receive their order of fries. The cashier, 19-year-old Chiquita Gennell Oliver, threw the fries on the couple's tray, then threw a punch, police said. Police said when the couple left the restaurant, they were met by a car filled with four people... Police said Oliver, her mother and another woman passenger took turns beating the 23-year-old woman, while a 17-year-old boy armed with a handgun attacked and robbed her 29-year-old companion." Evidently Chiquita has been a Burger King employee for less than two months.

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Another truckload of smuggled gold bars seized in Iraq
Billings Gazette | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Another battered truck hauling what appears to be a dazzling fortune in gold bars was stopped at a routine U.S. Army checkpoint in Iraq on Wednesday, the third such cache of bullion seized in two weeks. An officer with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, the unit that detained the truck near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, said that 1,183 ingots were recovered in the latest bust. ... More than 4,100 gold bars have been confiscated so far from the rusty beds of old trucks trundling down the bomb-cratered roads of Iraq. The combined value of the gold has been calculated at between $718 million and $1 billion -- the worst act of plunder in Iraq since Saddam Hussein's younger son, Qusai, swiped $1 billion in cash from the Central Bank."

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Man beaten to death with girlfriend's shoe
Newsday | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"It wasn't clear what the argument was about, police said, but it got heated enough that Rhinehart struck the man numerous times in the face and head with a woman's shoe, which was about a size 12. Police said she apparently knocked him to the ground, then straddled him and beat him with the shoe. ... He was rushed to Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, where he died at 3:20 a.m."

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Diploma withheld after grad refuses principal's handshake
cf.channelcincinnati.com | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"The principal of Southport High School near Indianapolis says he's withholding a senior's diploma until she explains why she refused to shake his hand at the school's graduation ceremony. ... Thompson said Dunning can have the diploma if she explains to him what she did. 'She doesn't have to apologize to me. It's not about me. I think it's just about a life lesson and developing character,' he said. Dunning told WRTV that she didn't shake Thompson's hand because she didn't want to." [And maybe it had something to do with wanting to show what kind of inflexible control freak she had for a principal.]

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Roller coaster nut's death was her own damn fault
New York Post | Submitted by: wingnut
"A new investigation into the death of a Manhattan woman who fell from a roller coaster at an Indiana fun park last weekend backs witness accounts that she attempted to stand up during the 60 mph ride... Fellner's seat belt was found to be 'opened and physically tucked between the seat cushions' when the ride finished, according to a report by independent safety consultants Leisure Tech Services of New Jersey. ... Fellner's body was found under The Raven's fifth hill, famous among enthusiasts for the 'air time' it gives riders as they go over the crest."

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It's Gay Day again at Disneyworld
Orlando Sentinel | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Saturday was the annual 'Gay Day' at Disney, attracting several thousand gays and lesbians whose choice of hue allowed them to share the experience together. ... Red appeared to be the single most popular color Saturday, but the crowds of visitors at the Magic Kingdom looked little different from any average group on a summer day at the self-proclaimed 'Happiest Place on Earth.' Disney does not sponsor the event, which began in 1991, but company spokesmen say the company welcomes any visitor to the park."

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7,000 naked volunteers can't be wrong
Wire Services | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Naked volunteers kneel on the road during New York artist Spencer Tunick's installation at Montjuich mountain in Barcelona, Spain June 8, 2003. Tunick, famous for his photographs of huge groups of naked people, beat his own record when some 7,000 people posed nude for him in Barcelona."

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Frank Sinatra's manservant writes tell-all
The Desert Sun | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Jacobs calls Sinatra in his book, 'a one-man Spanish Inquisition and, at his worse, just as cruel.' ... Jacobs devotes a whole chapter and parts of others to Sinatra's relationship with Mafia figures such as Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana, but he said Sinatra only worked for them as a singer after no one else would hire him."

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'Prairie dogpox' infects 19 people in 3 states
Chicago Sun-Times | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A distributor in suburban Chicago appears to be the source for a smallpox-related virus spreading from pet prairie dogs to people in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday. The virus is believed to be transmitted to humans by infected prairie dogs and Gambian rats. This is the first time the virus, similar to monkeypox common in Africa, has been found in the Western hemisphere. People infected by the virus, which is in the orthopoxvirus family that also includes smallpox and cowpox, could experience fever, chills, muscle aches and later develop a distinct rash of bumps."

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David Lee Roth not Jewish enough
Orange County Weekly | Submitted by: juanholmes
"[I]f David Lee Roth is the world's most renowned circumcised rock star, something is terribly wrong in the universe... With his homeless-person tan, hideously stringy mop of straw topping his thinning, vein-encrusted pate and countenance so craggy it calls to mind the folds in Louie Anderson's torso, Roth has 'ugly white guy' written all over him. ... Jews simply do not behave as flamboyantly as Roth; we never choose to call attention to ourselves as we go about the business of world domination. We don't flit about onstage smelling of Aqua Net and testicle sweat; we don't prance about like Richard Simmons with vibrating ben-wa balls shoved up our ass. We prefer to work our subjugating power discreetly, behind the scenes, quietly colluding with Satan and controlling every facet of your foolish, goyish existence."

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How your typical 15th century French king took a crap
BBC | Submitted by: DJ Hi-C
"John the Fearless had a toilet that enjoyed all the facilities that the technology of the day had to offer. ... 'It was state of the art. The pit was covered to stop smells filtering upwards. On the street of course the filth was everywhere but in the homes of nobles, cleanliness was paramount,' said Daniele Alexandre-Bidon, a hygiene specialist at the School for Higher Studies in Social Sciences in Paris." [That's right, he's a French hygiene specialist.]

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Texas Democrats may need to stage another getaway
KAMC TV-28 | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"The Houston Chronicle quotes two unnamed Republican sources as saying Governor Perry will call a special session and put redistricting at the top of his list. ... You may recall a month ago, when state house Democrats left Texas in order to shut down the state legislature. They were trying to kill a Republican-led plan to rob West Texas of a congressman and give that position to Central Texas. ... [W]ill house Democrats again leave the state to stop the measure? 'I don't think there's any plan. There wasn't any plan when this came up,' says Laney, D-Hale Center."

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