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June 21, 2003

30 kilos of cesium-137 seized in Bangkok parking lot
Sydney Morning Herald | Submitted by: wingnut
"Just last weekend, terrorists almost got their hands on 30 kilograms of radioactive material, enough to make at least a dozen 'dirty bombs' that would spread radioactive material across the region's cities, striking terror and fear into millions. [Holy fuck!] But the terrorist gambit ended in a sting in a Bangkok hotel car park [phew!] as undercover police pounced on an out-of-work Thai teacher [what?] who was trying to sell 30 kilograms of caesium-137. ... Police at this stage believe his story that he has no links to terrorists and was simply trying to get money." [Waitaminute... what happened to the imminent terrorist plot you just mentioned?]

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California politicians opposed to privacy law touchy about own privacy
Sacramento Bee | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A consumer advocate says he's amazed by the furor he set off when he revealed part of the Social Security numbers of eight lawmakers who failed to support a financial privacy bill. ... The foundation listed the first four digits of the lawmakers' Social Security numbers on its Web site after the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee rejected a bill designed to protect consumers' financial information. ... The foundation's actions sparked furious reactions from several legislators. The committee's chairwoman, Assemblywoman Patricia Wiggins, who voted for the bill, fired off a letter to Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson, asking if there was any action the Assembly could take against Court. 'This is a blatant attempt to coerce members on an issue that reasonable people may disagree upon,' said Wiggins, D-Santa Rosa. 'In fact, I believe this borders on extortion.'" [Except that the partial numbers were posted after the bill was defeated.]

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Another mail-order bride winds up in a shallow grave
KNBC-TV 4 Los Angeles | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A skull found at a campground may be that of an abused mail-order bride who told park workers her husband had been beating her, and authorities on Friday asked the public's help in identifying her. ... Workers believe her husband also asked Visitors Center workers about available campsites. Only two were available at the time, and the body was found near one of them, Dostie said. ... A Police Department flier describes the man as being about 5 feet 9 inches tall, who might have told friends his mail-order wife had returned to Asia." [Now there's a useless description.]

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Newspaper regrets purchasing, reporting fraudulent Iraqi documents
BBC | Submitted by: Reading
In April, The Christian Science Monitor ran stories alleging that a prominent British politician had received $10 million in bribes from Saddam Hussein. They apparently based their story on a set of forged documents for which they paid $800. It was only after outside parties began demanding corroboration for this story that the paper sent the documents out to test their authenticity. Now that they've been proven to be fakes, the Monitor is tapdancing. They claim that their original story mentioned that there were questions whether the documents were genuine. But they omit the fact that their April story also contained this claim: "David Blair, the British reporter who first broke the story, told the BBC: 'I think it would require an enormous amount of imagination to believe that someone went to the trouble of composing a forged document in Arabic and then planting it in a file of patently authentic documents and burying it in a darkened room on the off-chance that a British journalist might happen upon it and might bother to translate it. That strikes me as so wildly improbable as to be virtually inconceivable.'"

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Indian girl marries dog
BBC | Submitted by: MikeVa
"A nine-year-old tribal girl in eastern India has married a stray dog as part of a ritual to ward off an "evil spell" on her, Indian newspapers have reported. ... The girl, Karnamoni Handsa, had to be married quickly because she had a tooth rooted to her upper gum, which is considered a bad omen by her Santhal tribe in the remote village of Khanyhan, about 60 kilometres (37 miles) from Calcutta. 'Members of the village jury asked us to get her married to a dog or to face the bad omen,' the girl's father was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency. The tribe elders said the marriage would not affect the girl's life, and that she would be free to marry again later and did not need to divorce the dog. ... 'I have no regret in marrying the dog Bacchan. I am fond of the dog who moves around our locality,' the girl told the AFP." With photo.

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Rodents nibble on 8 rotting bodies in funeral home
Toledo Blade | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Eight embalmed bodies in various states of decomposition were found yesterday at a central-Toledo funeral home that has a history of problems with record-keeping. Authorities said they found six bodies in a back building at the Sherrill Harden Funeral Home, 639 Indiana Ave., and two in an adjacent garage. The bodies appear to have been there for at least several months. At least one of the bodies was 'badly chewed' by rodents on its face, fingers, hands, and feet, Toledo police Capt. Ron Spann said."

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Crematorium boss sold stiff's heads, knees for 'research'
Sacramento Bee | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A former crematory operator pleaded guilty to mutilating human remains as part of a plea bargain that requires him to testify against his former boss. ... Brown, 43, was indicted last year on charges of illegally selling body parts cut from dozens of corpses. He has pleaded not guilty to 275 charges. Brown allegedly removed heads, knees and other parts from bodies he was supposed to cremate. Prosecutors allege he sold the body parts for research through another one of his businesses."

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Milford, Connecticut unhappy about Penthouse storefront
Connecticut Post | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Under a deal struck Wednesday between Erotic Empire's owners and Guccione, the new store will now be known as The Penthouse Boutique. The agreement marks the first time that Penthouse has licensed its name to a retail store, officials said. The firm has struck similar agreements with strip clubs, including one in New York. ... Word that Milford will be the first town in the country to have its own Penthouse retail store sent shockwaves through the city's conservative community. 'It may say "Penthouse," but it is still in the gutter,' said Jack Fowler, a former city alderman and an associate publisher at the National Review, a conservative publication. Anti-pornography activist Tom Huebner said he is troubled by the new development, but was not planning any protest of next month's opening. 'I would encourage people to pray. There are people who still pray out there.'" [Good idea, pray for a HUSTLER store. Then you could capitalize on their price wars.]

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