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June 10, 2003

Homemade "Faces of Death" videos selling in Iraq
BBC | Submitted by: Serge Groven
"Videotapes showing people being tortured and executed by Saddam Hussein's regime are being bought on the streets of Baghdad by Iraqis anxious to trace missing relatives. Most of the tapes date from the Shia Muslim insurgency that erupted after the first President George Bush urged Iraqis to overthrow the former Iraqi leader in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War. ... One vendor said Iraqis buying the tapes of executions wanted to see for themselves what happened during Saddam Hussein's regime."

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Saddam paying bounties for dead U.S. soldiers
AZ Central | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Saddam Hussein has been seen north of Baghdad and is paying a bounty for every American soldier killed, the leader of an Iraqi exile group said Tuesday. Saddam has $1.3 billion in cash taken from the Central Bank on March 18, is bent on revenge, and believes he can 'sit it out and get the Americans going,' said Ahmed Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress. But Saddam also bought suicide vests for himself and his secretary on April 1 from the mukhabarat, the Iraqi secret police, he said."

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Man emulates INXS singer's final sex act
The Sun | Submitted by: Dirty Sammy
"A British teacher has died in a sex game after watching a TV documentary about the 'sex acrobatics' of former INXS singer Michael Hutchence. Jonathan Waldron, 25, was strangled after tying a cord around his neck and fixing it to a window handle in similar circumstances to Hutchence's death. Hutchence was found dead in a Sydney hotel room in 1997 naked and hanging from a cord. Although an inquest ruled Hutchence had committed suicide, friends say he died accidentally in an act of autoerotic asphyxiation."

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Odds for apocalypse put at 50-50
Wire Services | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"This is the way the world might end: A genetically engineered pathogen is released, debris from an erupting 'supervolcano' blocks the sun or scientists in the biggest 'bioerror' of them all accidentally trigger a matter-squeezing 'big bang.' The demise of civilisation has been predicted since it began, but the odds of keeping Planet Earth alive and well are getting worse amid a break-neck pace of scientific advances, according to Martin Rees, Britain's honorary astronomer royal. Rees calculates that the odds of an apocalyptic disaster striking Earth have risen to about 50 percent from 20 percent 100 years ago."

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Pakistan sucks for women
networks.org | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Shaheena moans in pain as the fierce summer heat sears her skin. She can no longer see and her once pretty face is horrifically disfigured. The 15-year-old from Punjab province is one of the hundreds of Pakistani women who fall victim each year to acid attacks perpetrated by jealous husbands or rejected suitors or as plain acts of revenge." And here's your factoid for the day: "Under traditional Islamic law employed in the countryside, four witnesses are needed to convict a person of rape and there are no laws at all against wife-beating." With photo.

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Iraqi museum looting vastly exaggerated
Washington Post | Submitted by: Crazy Quagga
"The museum was indeed heavily looted, but its Iraqi directors confirmed today that the losses at the institute did not number 170,000 artifacts as originally reported in news accounts. Actually, about 33 priceless vases, statues and jewels were missing. ... On Saturday, a team of U.S. investigators from the Customs Service and State Department released a summary of a preliminary report that concluded that 3,000 pieces were missing. And more importantly, of the 8,000 or so exhibit-quality, world-class pieces of jewelry, statues and cuneiform clay tablets, only 47 were unaccounted for."

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WorldCom not a fun place for accountants
Boston Globe | Submitted by: Penfold
"The former top executives at WorldCom Inc. ruled with unquestioned authority, steering the telecommunications company into multibillion-dollar acquisitions on a whim and intimidating underlings who questioned their conduct, according to two reports released yesterday. ... In one incident cited by the investigators, accounting executive Buford Yates told an underling who questioned the company's books: 'Show those numbers to the fucking auditors and I'll throw you out the fucking window.'

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Suicide causes neighborhood evacuation
AZ Central | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Robert Keane, 39, drank hydrogen cyanide and left a note on his front door telling anyone who got near his house to call 911. A gram of the substance in liquid form is lethal, and it also can be absorbed and inhaled. ... The residents of 24 nearby homes were evacuated while authorities entered the house in hazardous material suits and tested the substance. A bomb squad searched the home for explosives."

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Villagers chop up sorceress with axes
Melbourne Herald Sun | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A woman accused of sorcery has been hacked to death and dumped in a river just outside Papua New Guinea's capital, Port Moresby. The National newspaper reported the woman's husband and son were also attacked at the weekend by rival tribesmen, who accused the family of practising sorcery. The father of the family, which lives at 14-Mile, just outside Port Moresby, was admitted to hospital with axe wounds to his head and body."

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Man somewhat remorseful for keeping sex slaves
AZ Central | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A retired handyman pleaded guilty Tuesday to holding five women captive as sex slaves in an underground dungeon, two months after one of the victims escaped and made a frantic phone call that led to his arrest. ... 'He's been very agitated and remorse-stricken. He's been very troubled at times over the past several weeks,' said J. Michael Forsyth, Jamelske's lawyer. When asked if Jamelske knew what he was did was wrong, Forsyth said, 'It took a while for him to come around to that realization.'" [And do you think maybe getting caught served as the catalyst for this emotional growth experience?]

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La Migra convicted of killing Mexican
Boston Globe | Submitted by: dianalily
"Three US immigration agents were convicted yesterday of violating the civil rights of a Mexican immigrant who died after his neck was broken in a raid. ... Olvera, a 48-year-old father of five, was handcuffed and lying face down when Reyna kneed him forcefully in the back and left him paralyzed, witnesses said. The agents thought Olvera was faking the injury, so they kicked him and sprayed pepper spray in his face to try to get him to move."

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'Tortured' boy found in locked closet weighs 36 lbs.
AZ Central | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"As a form of punishment, Melanie and Ricardo Loubriel kept their 7-year-old son locked inside a dark closet for several months, denying him food for up to a week at a time, police said. When officers found the boy Sunday, he weighed 36 pounds. Isaac Loubriel was so malnourished that he was losing his hair, had bruises and had trouble standing. The average weight for a boy his age is about 55 pounds."

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Owner of deadly skydiving school dies skydiving
Houston Chronicle | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"The owner of a skydiving center, whose business had been criticized for a high number of fatalities and who once served time for drug smuggling, has died in a parachuting accident at his own facility. Roger Nelson, 48, was jumping Saturday with another man who bumped into Nelson and caused his parachute to collapse, investigators said. Nelson fell about 50 feet to the ground, and was pronounced dead at a hospital."

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Cops turn up more backyard human remains
networks.org | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"State police continued searching for more human remains at a home where authorities say parts of five bodies were discovered buried in the backyard. The bodies of a missing pharmacist and his girlfriend were discovered last week, and three more sets of human remains have been discovered since, officials said Monday. 'I have ... pieces of three other people,' Luzerne County Coroner George Hudock Jr. said."

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British gays upset about possible toilet sex ban
Sky News | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"A move by the House of Lords to outlaw sex in public toilets has been slammed as 'blatantly homophobic' by gay rights campaigners. ... 'By singling out public toilets it targets sex behaviour between gay men and ignores sex in other public places involving heterosexuals. Sex outside the privacy of a person's own home should only be a crime if it is witnessed by members of the public and causes them offence.'"

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Australia quietly joining the world fetus market
News Corporation | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A Sydney company is involved in a secret plan to collect tissue from aborted babies and export it for medical experiments. The sensitive proposal, to harvest some of the 90,000 foetuses aborted in Australia each year has been condemned by pro-life groups for fostering an international trade in human body parts. ... It is believed to be the first proposed commercial collection of foetuses in Australia, but those behind the project were hoping to carry it out without the public knowing."

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Conductor mistakenly jumps off train, dies
KNBC-TV 4 Los Angeles | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A conductor died Sunday in Buena Park after jumping from a freight train he apparently thought was about to collide with an oncoming train. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe train he was aboard was going about 40 mph. The other train turned out to be on an adjacent track and was at a complete stop. ... It has not been determined if drugs or alcohol were involved."

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Genital mutilation illegal but highly popular
BBC | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Female genital mutilation is still commonplace in Sudan, despite it being illegal, a new study has found. ... In a survey of more than 400 students at the University of Khartoum, 57% of female respondents were themselves circumcised. Most felt their mother had been responsible for the procedure. ... at least 40% of students surveyed were also unaware that the procedure is illegal."

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School bus driver parties down with 8th graders
Philadelphia Inquirer | Submitted by: Penfold
"The overnight party followed an eighth-grade dance May 17 at Keith Valley Middle School in Horsham. The school is part of the Hatboro-Horsham School District, where Allerton works as a bus driver. She and six youths allegedly drank three cases of beer and a case of Bacardi Silver malt beverage. A girl said Allerton also smoked marijuana with them, according to a police affidavit. ... Police could not substantiate allegations that Allerton took condoms and marijuana to the motel."

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Russian defense industry execs murdered
St. Petersburg Times | Submitted by: Glusker
"A Kremlin-connected executive in charge of one of the country's biggest defense concerns was shot dead on Friday and a top official at one of the company's subsidiaries was killed the same way hours later, a double murder that has sent the defense industry reeling."

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Suckers swallowing magic fishes to treat asthma
Australian Broadcasting | Submitted by: James Guerin
"For hundreds of thousands of asthma patients who have been pouring into the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, gulping down a live fish stuffed with a herbal remedy is a sure cure. ... They claim the formula will lose its curative value if it is commercialised and keep its ingredients a closely-guarded family secret. 'We don't allow our medicine to be clinically tested because if other people get to know what it is they will try to make money out it and then the medicine will lose its effect.'"

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FBI getting inside the minds of 14-year-old girls
Washington Post | Submitted by: The Good Doctor
"As undercover assignments go, posing as a teenage girl online to catch pedophiles has its share of challenges for the typical FBI agent. Should he ever capitalize words in instant messages? Is it okay to say you buy your clothes at 5-7-9? And what about Justin Timberlake? Is he still hot or is he so two years ago? For those investigative details, the FBI calls on Karen, Mary and Kristin -- Howard County eighth-graders and best friends. ... 'They're, like, do you like Michael Jackson?' said Karen, 14, rolling her eyes at just how out of it adults can be."

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