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July 10, 2003

81-year-old retired teacher attempts suicide by cop
WKMG-TV 6 Orlando | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"An argument over a parking space at a Tampa bank ended with police shooting an 81-year-old retired schoolteacher, authorities said. ... A bank security guard asked him to move the vehicle into one space, and Urso complied without arguing, Castor said. But when he exited the car he was holding a semiautomatic weapon, she said. Castor said Urso refused the guard's repeated requests to drop the gun and said, 'You're going to have to kill me.'"

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Army admits Jessica Lynch story just a fairy tale
Washington Times | Submitted by: Gekko
"The Army will release a report tomorrow on the ambush of the 507th Maintenance Company in Iraq that will show Pfc. Jessica Lynch and another female soldier suffered extensive injuries in a vehicle accident, but not from Iraqi fighters. ... The utility vehicle smashed into a disabled tractor-trailer at more than 45 mph... 'Lynch survived principally because of the medical attention she received from the Iraqis,' one source said. ... The nation's fascination with the Palestine, W.Va., resident grew even more intense after The Washington Post reported in a front-page story that she had waged a fierce gunbattle with Iraqi attackers. The Post subsequently retracted that account."

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Pat Robertson supports Liberian dictator
Americans United | Submitted by: Ralf Mouth
"TV preacher Pat Robertson has repeatedly criticized the Bush administration over its handling of the crisis in Liberia -- without once mentioning his own personal business interests in the country. In recent days, Robertson has used his nationally broadcast television show to charge that the U.S. government has sought to destabilize Liberia and oust President Charles Taylor. Although Taylor is a brutal dictator under indictment for war crimes by the United Nations, he is a business partner of Robertson. ... In 1999, a Robertson-owned company, Freedom Gold, entered into an arrangement with Taylor's regime to look for gold in southern Liberia."

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Jamaica's four-star concentration camp
observer.guardian.co.uk | Submitted by: optional
"Opened in 1997, Tranquility Bay is not a boot camp or a boarding school but a 'behaviour modification centre' for 11- to 18-year-olds. ... Before sending their teen to Tranquility, parents are advised that it might be prudent to keep their plan a secret, and employ an approved escort service to break the news. The first most teenagers hear of Tranquility is therefore when they are woken from their beds at home at 4am by guards, who place them in a van, handcuffed if necessary, drive them to an airport and fly them to Jamaica. The child will not be allowed to speak to his or her parents for up to six months, or see them for up to a year."

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Louisiana license plates unconstitutional
channels.netscape.com | Submitted by: Crazy Quagga
"U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval ruled Tuesday that Louisiana's system for specialty plates violates the First Amendment because it allows the anti-abortion 'Choose Life' plates but does not offer one for the opposing view. ... The state had argued unsuccessfully that the law for issuing specialty plates was a protected state right and not covered by free-speech protections."

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Feds finally discover foolproof marketing angle
Wire Services | Submitted by: brat prince
"The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday launched an operation to help protect children from pornographers, child prostitution rings, Internet predators and human traffickers. ... Vowing to use all means possible to keep American children safe, Ridge said the goal of the operation is to identify child predators, prosecute them and force them out of the country if they are foreigners subject to deportation." [Just watch. Now they're going to rename Patriot Act II the Emergency Child Rescue Act of 2003.]

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Troops in Iraq receive lawnmowers, snow plow
News Corporation | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Danish troops in Iraq who have groaned about the sweltering heat and defective materiel sent by their military were astonished to find a snowplough and lawnmowers in a recent supply shipment, a red-faced military spokesman admitted. Given their gripes about being given armoured vehicles with no air conditioning in the Iraqi desert, the 380-strong contingent stationed in Qurna, 75km from Basra, could not believe their eyes when they discovered the lawnmowers, a snowplough and even salt for icy roads."

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Nuremberg prosecutor dies at 101
Sun | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Lord Shawcross -- a chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg war trials which brought Nazi criminals to justice -- died today. ... He prosecuted at many infamous trials including that of traitor Lord Haw Haw -- who was hanged for broadcasting Nazi propaganda during the war. ... At Nuremberg in December 1945 he opened the British case against the Nazi leaders with a speech that lasted nearly five hours. When coming to the end of a 50,000 word indictment, Nazi Governor-General of Poland Hans Frank screamed from the dock: 'Schwein! Schwein!' Lord Shawcross shrugged his shoulders and continued."

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Federal park a "First-Amendment-free zone"
Philadelphia Inquirer | Submitted by: allism
"All Browne wanted on July 5th was to exercise his First Amendment right to free speech. That afternoon, the 20-year-old history major sat on a bench in the open-access park behind Independence Hall -- where he eats lunch every day on break from his summer job -- and propped a hand-lettered sign next to him. It read: 'Free Independence Hall.' ... Within 10 minutes, a park ranger approached. ... The ranger, said Browne, said that protesters could exercise free speech only in a designated First Amendment Zone -- in this case, outside the Visitor's Center, two blocks away."

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New book on Kim Jong Il
Mirror | Submitted by: sleepcamel
"Reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-il ordered female dancers to strip at a lavish banquet, threw wild temper tantrums and ate only the finest food despite his people dying of famine. ... While he lived it up his people were gripped in the midst of a killer famine that aid agencies say has starved around four-and-a-half million North Koreans to death. Ordinary people in the cut-off republic were witnessed eating tree bark, grass and insects to stay alive."

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Judge forces Canada into the marijuana business
canada.com | Submitted by: Mean Gene
"Health Canada is getting into the business of selling marijuana to the sick, even while police continue to bust people for growing or dealing the drug illegally. ... the government will sell bags of marijuana seeds and dried marijuana to sick patients who qualify under Ottawa's medical pot program. The announcement came on the day an Ontario court judge set as the deadline for the federal government to come up with regulations for distributing medical marijuana. The judge ruled Ottawa couldn't logically give sick people permission to use pot without also providing a legal source of supply."

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Partisans squabble over anti-spam legislation
c|Net | Submitted by: kade
"The debate in Washington over how to reduce the flow of bulk e-mail is now pitting Democrats against Republicans -- a development that threatens to complicate enactment of laws regulating spam. ... the spam dispute highlights a deep and long-existing ideological rift between the two major parties over how to regulate businesses, how much power to grant federal bureaucrats, and whether to rely more on class action lawsuits or criminal prosecutions as a check against corporate malfeasance."

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Spider venom might be nature's Viagra
CNN | Submitted by: AnimalMother
"Chilean researchers said they aim to develop a new pill to combat impotence that would have the added bonus of being a male contraceptive, based on experiments with the venom of black-widow spiders. ... Last November, they discovered by accident that one ingredient in spider venom could not only facilitate male erection in a way similar to the popular Viagra pill, but also render sperm infertile."

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Man sued for siring lesbian couple's baby
News Corporation | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A Victorian man who donated his sperm in the 'usual and customary manner' -- by having sex with a lesbian -- has been found liable to pay child support. Despite the man and the lesbian couple agreeing the sperm donor would have no legal rights or financial responsibilities to the child, the Family Court found the man was responsible because the baby was conceived through sex. Had the father, known only as ND, supplied his sperm through artificial means, or had his child been adopted, he would not be liable for the financial rearing of the child."

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In Soviet Russia, mobile phone listens to YOU
Moscow Times | Submitted by: z0rak187
"Mobile phone providers switched off their encryption systems for 24 hours on a government order, allowing the Federal Security Service and the police to eavesdrop on all calls. ... 'The action taken to shut down the encryption system was conducted in accordance to the existing law and in order to prevent crimes,' Mobile TeleSystems said in a statement Wednesday."

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Former official: "Iraq posed no imminent threat"
Guardian | Submitted by: Otis Criblecross
"A former US intelligence official who served under the Bush administration in the build-up to the Iraq war accused the White House yesterday of lying about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. ... At a press conference yesterday, Mr Thielmann said that, as of March 2003, when the US began military operations, 'Iraq posed no imminent threat to either its neighbours or to the United States.' ... Mr Thielmann also said there was no significant pattern of cooperation between Iraq and al-Qaida. He added: 'This administration has had a faith-based intelligence attitude ... "We know the answers - give us the intelligence to support those answers."'"

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Woman swallows cockroach, fork
KFOR-TV 4 Oklahoma City | Submitted by: rammstein_girl
"The woman was apparently cleaning her home when a winged cockroach jumped into her mouth. When she tried to scoop it out with a fork, she swallowed the fork as well. An X-ray showed the fork, lodged sideways in her stomach." [You're supposed to swallow a spider.]

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Creationists attacking Texas schoolbooks
San Antonio Express-News | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"After Discovery Institute -- a Seattle-based public policy group -- submitted the 55-page report, teachers, scientists and activists went on the offensive. They said they feared that the elected board, dominated by conservative members, would use the report to influence publishers to include references to creationism or 'intelligent design' as a scientific theory. ... The elected board does not alter textbook content, but can reject books because of mistakes or because they don't match the state curriculum."

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Cell phones to provide mosquito countermeasure
WKMG-TV 6 Orlando | Submitted by: Not Reid Fleming
"South Korea's largest mobile phone operator said Thursday that it will offer cell phone users a new noise service that it says will repel mosquitoes, according to a report. ... The service, which begins Monday, has one drawback: it consumes as much battery power as normal cell phone rings."

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Singapore lifts chewing gum ban
Reuters | Submitted by: Mean Gene
"Wrigley's, the world's largest chewing gum maker, has been given approval to sell its big sugar-free brands Orbit and Orbit White over the counter through pharmacists in Singapore, the government said on Wednesday. ... Singapore famously banned gum in 1992 after leftover wads were blamed for disrupting subway operations by gumming up doors. The sanction became a source of jokes but the government long refused to back down."

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