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July 01, 2003

Terrorists could revive 1918 flu strain
MSNBC | Submitted by: motrinwoman
"Forget anthrax and smallpox, influenza could easily be turned into the next weapon of mass destruction, scientists said Tuesday. They sounded their warning as researchers come close to completing the blueprint for the virus of the 1918 flu epidemic that killed up to 40 million people globally. 'Taken together with the fact that influenza virus is readily accessible and may be causing more deaths than previously suspected, the possibility for genetic engineering and aerosol transmission suggests an enormous potential for bioterrorism,' the University of Texas scientists said."

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The beginning of the end for Hong Kong
Guardian | Submitted by: Squeak, the Human Chew Toy
"Hong Kong's national security law, expected to be passed in a few days, will outlaw sedition and other crimes against the state, giving police more powers and imposing life sentences for offenses. Opponents say the law will undermine freedoms of speech, press and assembly. ... Critics fear the law will bring mainland-style suppression of dissent in Hong Kong. The government insists that is not a concern and constitutionally protected liberties will not be harmed."

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US peacekeeping troops eager to leave Baghdad
Washington Post | Submitted by: optional
"To Staff Sgt. Charles Pollard, the working-class suburb of Mashtal is a 'very, very, very, very bad neighborhood.' And he sees just one solution. 'U.S. officials need to get our [expletive] out of here,' said the 43-year-old reservist from Pittsburgh, who arrived in Iraq with the 307th Military Police Company on May 24. 'I say that seriously. We have no business being here. We will not change the culture they have in Iraq, in Baghdad. Baghdad is so corrupted. All we are here is potential people to be killed and sitting ducks.'"

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NASA kept Columbia crew in the dark about potential problem
Chicago Sun-Times | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Even as NASA engineers debated possible damage, a flight director e-mailed Columbia's astronauts to say there was 'absolutely no concern' that breakaway foam that struck the space shuttle might endanger its return. ... 'We have seen the same phenomenon on several other flights and there is absolutely no concern for entry.' [D'oh.]

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Woman performs radical self-dentistry to thwart hallucination
BBC | Submitted by: me
"A man has been found not guilty of removing 18 of his girlfriend's teeth while they were both high on the hallucinatory drug GHB. ... She was found in April at their home in Horwich, near Bolton, Greater Manchester, with her body covered in blood and 18 of her teeth either in a bowl or on the bed. But she told Bolton Crown Court she had removed her own teeth in an attempt to stop a 'luminous green and pink fly' from choking her. ... She told the court: 'I turned to face my bedroom wall and a luminous green and pink fly flew out and down my throat. That's when it started choking me.'"

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Cop-cam catches arrow attack on cop
KNSD-TV 7 San Diego | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A man is in custody Monday after allegedly shooting an Orange County sheriff's deputy in the calf with an arrow. ... A patrol car video camera recorded the hunting arrow as it came from a southeast direction and sank deep into the deputy's right calf, Amormino said. The tape shows the deputy removing the arrow, which fractured a bone in his leg, Amormino said." With video.

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More mutilated cats found in Denver area
CNN | Submitted by: Kaiser Wilhelm
"Authorities say at least 40 mutilated cats have been discovered in Denver and its suburbs in the past year, including four killed over the weekend. The toll in Salt Lake City is 10 cats and another unidentified animal. ... In several cases, it appears the attacker kills the cat, then taunts the owner by bringing back the remains. Some of the animals were cut with surgical precision. Some may have been killed by another animal."

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Canadian gun registry incomplete, over budget
Globe and Mail | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"The grace period to register rifles and other long firearms ended yesterday with about 1.6 million shotguns and rifles -- about one of every five such weapons in the country -- still outside of the national database. ... Overall, about 6.3 million firearms are registered with the Canadian Firearms Centre, short of the government's estimate of 7.9 million long firearms in Canada. ... The registry was initially estimated by the Liberal government in 1995 to cost $2-million, after licensing fees were collected, but is now pegged to cost $1-billion by 2005."

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Murder attempt thwarted by GFCI outlet
KNSD-TV 7 San Diego | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A man who tried to electrocute his girlfriend by throwing a radio and a hair dryer into a bubble bath he drew for her was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Ray Vogt, 42, of Albany, was sentenced Monday after he pleaded guilty in May to attempted murder. Prosecutors said Vogt pretended to spend a romantic evening with his girlfriend on July 17, lighting candles, turning on soft music and pouring her a glass of wine. He told her to close her eyes because he had a surprise. The woman opened her eyes and screamed when she heard the hair dryer turned on. The 43-year-old woman was saved by the government-mandated circuit-breaker that cut power to the appliances when they hit the water, prosecutors said."

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Schizo off his meds gets 44 years for shooting cop
KGTV 10 San Diego | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A Vista man who admitted shooting a sheriff's deputy during a struggle in the Palomar Medical Center emergency room was sentenced Monday to 44 years and four months in state prison. ... While jailed on the carjacking charge on Nov. 11, 2001, Rebolloso was taken from the Vista Jail to the hospital for X-rays. He began to fight with deputies, Escondido police Lt. Jim Maher said later. The defendant grabbed one deputy's gun and shot the other in the leg before being subdued, Maher said."

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Columbine cop lies to parents, lies about lying
KMGH-TV 7 Denver | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A former sheriff's deputy says he cannot explain why he lied to the parents of a Columbine High School victim, telling them a Denver SWAT team member shot their son. 'I can't explain it. I don't know,' said Jim Taylor, in his first public statement. ... Taylor told Danny's parents that he saw the 15-year-old get shot and drop to the ground as a nearby police officer rattled off gunshots. He later denied making the statement, but the family had taped him."

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Man convicted of train troika with brother, sister-in-law
Court TV | Submitted by: Jack Rodgers
"A 40-year-old registered nurse was found guilty last week of public lewdness for engaging in a ménage á trois... The jury determined that Dennis Greene copulated with his sister-in-law, Francine Greene, 40, while she was performing oral sex on her husband, Lyle Greene, 41, a plumber. ... The three were busted by LIRR cops in September after engaging in a group sex act during an early morning train ride from Manhattan. Several disgusted passengers complained to the conductor, but the Greenes carried on even after the conductor told them to stop, authorities said."

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Bush facing mock war crimes tribunal in Japan
Japan Times | Submitted by: Bonny Fide
"A group of Japanese lawyers unveiled documents Monday 'indicting' U.S. President George W. Bush for war crimes allegedly committed against the Afghan people since the United States-led coalition began its antiterrorism campaign in Afghanistan in October 2001. ... A civic tribunal will be held in Tokyo, with the first hearing scheduled for July 21. The charges against Bush, according to the indictment, include aggression, attacks against civilians and nonmilitary facilities and the torturing and execution of prisoners."

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Doc fatally injects anti-cancer drug into boy's spine
Sun | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A hushed court heard yesterday of the moment a doctor realised he had condemned a lad to death with an injection. Dr Feda Mulhem looked at patient Wayne Jowett’s chart and said: 'Shit.' Another doctor had twice warned him that it was the wrong injection, it was claimed. But he did not look at the chart until after the jab was given, it was alleged. Leukaemia sufferer Wayne, 18 — who was on the brink of beating the disease — had a powerful anti-cancer drug injected into his spine rather than into a vein. Nothing could be done to save him. He was put in intensive care and his heartbroken parents watched him deteriorate daily before they decided to switch off his life-support machine almost a month later."

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San Diego meter maids instructed not to ticket rich areas
KNSD-TV 7 San Diego | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"The city's Civil Service Commission has opened an investigation into the department that enforces San Diego's parking laws. Among other complaints, parking officers allege that they have been instructed not to enforce parking laws in some affluent neighborhoods of the city. Municipal Employees Association president Judie Italiano thinks the investigation will prove the worker's allegation."

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Tall, muscular 13-year-old girl actually grown man
WDIV-TV 4 Detroit | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Police are searching for a man who has posed as a 13-year-old girl to trick some local families into letting him stay with them. The 27-year-old man is also wanted for the alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old boy. ... The man reportedly told families he was of Polynesian and Russian descent and was a rising tennis star. ... 'LaLani' is described as black, about 6 feet 1 inch tall with wide shoulders and a muscular build."

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Italian court prohibits couple from nighttime copulation
Der Spiegel | Submitted by: prettynwitty
According to La Repubblica, an Italian couple's midnight lovemaking habit was so loud that frazzled neighbors took them to court. Now a judge has permitted them to have sex only between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. "If she doesn't scream," the husband declared, "I can't perform." In German.

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Montana preserves girls' locker room videotapes
Montana Standard | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Videotapes of nude and semi-nude females secretly filmed in a Powell County High School locker room in Deer Lodge are 'critical evidence' in pending civil lawsuits and therefore won't be destroyed, Montana's highest court has ruled. ... Additionally, [plaintiffs] allege the tapes may show Principal Rick Duncan, athletic director Alan McDermid and yearbook adviser Pat Bannon, all defendants named in the federal court class-action suit, and images of coaches and managers investigating the existence of the fixed location cameras, according to court documents."

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Women astronauts snubbed by LBJ, John Glenn, JFK
Houston Chronicle | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"After the 13 had undergone weeks of rigorous testing, government officials said astronaut candidates had to have experience as military test pilots. Since those jobs were closed to women, astronaut jobs were, too. When the Mercury 13 appealed to Vice President Lyndon Johnson, who might have helped their cause, his response was negative. He wrote on a drafted letter, 'Let's stop this now.' When they asked for support from astronaut John Glenn, he said, 'Men go off and fight the wars and fly the planes, and women stay at home. It's a fact of our social order.' Their last hope was President John F. Kennedy. He refused to see them."

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Singapore excited about clean new public bathrooms
Newsday | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Singapore's environment minister awarded the country's first five-star rating to a public restroom on Tuesday, at the start of a nationwide drive to flush out dirty lavatories. Environment Minister Lim Swee Say launched the 'Happy Toilet' campaign, which will rate public restrooms using a five-star system similar to that used for hotels. 'I am looking very forward to experiencing this toilet myself so I can walk out of the toilet feeling happy,' Lim said at a news conference, before placing the award plaque outside a restroom at a suburban shopping mall in the wealthy Southeast Asian city-state." According to the Happy Toilet booklet: "In total we spend almost three years of our lives on the toilet. It's natural and it's normal, so let's learn to say: 'Wow! That's a great toilet!'"

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