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August 01, 2003

Mysterious toxin kills 2 US soldiers, sickens 19
lakesunleader.com | Submitted by: Mr. B
"Seven more soldiers in Iraq have contracted the same puzzling illness that has killed two... The latest cases bring the number of affected troops to 19. All have been evacuated to the same Landstuhl, Germany, hospital where Spec. Josh Neusche, 20, of Montreal was treated before he died July 12. It is believed Neusche contracted the illness, first thought to be pneumonia, while conducting cleanup operations with the 203rd Engineer Battalion in Baghdad. ... 'For some reason doctors have been able to eliminate SARS as a possible explanation for the soldier's deaths and sickness.'" According to a previous story: "Doctors told Neusche's family an unknown toxin was to blame. It quickly attacked Neusche's muscles, kidney and liver."

[A few outlets report that Neusche's unit was working near Baghdad Int'l Airport when the illness struck. This has prompted some to question whether it might have been a hypothetical cargo shipment from the United States which killed these soldiers. So perhaps we're back on schedule to "discover" WMDs any day now.]

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Rwanda batch-processing its genocide trials
BBC | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"The biggest mass trial of genocide suspects so far in Rwanda has delivered its verdicts. A total of 105 people were convicted by the court in Gikongo in southern Rwanda. Eleven people were handed a death sentence, 73 were sentenced to life in prison and 37 were acquitted. Some 100,000 genocide suspects are currently in jails... 6,500 people have so far been convicted of genocide crimes. More than 600 have received death sentences, and according to public prosecutor Gerald Gahima, 23 death sentences have been carried out. More than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by armed militias in 100 days of violence in 1994."

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Next governor of California: Larry Flynt?
Washington Post | Submitted by: Adam Wilks
"Porn king Larry Flynt wants to rule California. The HUSTLER magazine publisher has filed initial paperwork to run in the gubernatorial recall election and says he may spend a large amount of his own money if people take his candidacy seriously. The registered Democrat, civil libertarian and free speech advocate said he'd solve California's budget woes by expanding slot machine gambling. His holdings include several casinos. 'California is the most progressive state in the union,' said Flynt, 61. 'I don't think anyone here will have a problem with a smut peddler as governor.'"

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Next POTUS: James Traficant?
CNN | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"James A. Traficant, a former Ohio congressman in prison for bribery and racketeering charges, has given his approval to supporters to form a presidential exploratory committee. 'The battle to free James Traficant and to evict the Socialists and "free traders" from the Democratic Party is now under way,' campaign spokesman Marcus Belk said. 'Someone buy the Washington establishment a bottle of Maalox.' ... Traficant, a Democrat who represented northeast Ohio in the House for nine terms, was expelled from Congress in July 2002 after being convicted in a federal court of racketeering, bribery and tax evasion."

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Swedish bakery still selling 'Negro balls'
thestar.co.za | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A baker's shop in Sweden has been reported for racial discrimination for selling a popular sweet by its traditional Swedish name -- Negro ball. The controversial sweet is a chocolate-coated marshmallow ball rolled in crushed sugar. Most Swedish bakeries have changed the 'negerboll' name to chocolate ball over the past 15 years. But bakery owner Agneta Andersson did not see a problem. 'I can't understand it. If a pastry is named after you, you ought to be glad. We've had pitch-black negroes in here who didn't complain,' Andersson said."

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Man dissolved by chemicals
Fresno Bee | Submitted by: Mo
"Timothy Schuster may have been alive when corrosive chemicals were poured over him in the moments before he was sealed into a blue plastic barrel used to store chemical waste. ... while Clovis police initially told reporters that Timothy Schuster was killed before being put in the chemical drum, they are now unsure. 'There is a possibility he may still have been alive when he was placed in the barrel, but again, we're waiting for determination from the Coroner's Office.'"

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Neighbors want house of gaiety shut down
WKMG-TV 6 Orlando | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A lawyer for an upscale subdivision in Seminole County, Fla., asked a judge Thursday to force the operators of a 24-hour gay porn Web site to shut down. The Brantley Harbor Homeowners Association said the pornographic Web site should not be allowed to operate inside the house. Since the Web site began operation, neighbors have complained about loud parties and nude men in the back yard at the home, according to a report. The association said running a business from a home is not allowed. However, the homeowner's attorney said that it is not a business -- just six men living in a house."

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Former whites-only retreat replaced by Christian nudist camp
St. Petersburg Times | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Florida Naturist Park, a dilapidated former nudist park in Hudson, has found a buyer in a Christian nudist group that vows to cleanse the place of its past. Sarasota County nudist Bill Martin, incorporated under the name Continuing Care Inc., plans to convert 200 acres north of State Road 52 into a tidy but affordable family nudist resort reflecting his Christian beliefs."

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Cashiers diapered in lieu of work breaks
Reuters | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Supermarket cashiers in Argentina are being forced to wear diapers to keep them from taking toilet breaks at work, a union says. Female cashiers in western Mendoza province must wear adult diapers in case 'cold, nerves, pressure or stress' provoke incontinence, union official Jorge Cordova told local news agency Diarios y Noticias on Thursday."

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Black church paying token white congregants
Reuters | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A black Baptist minister looking to diversify his church wants to pay white people to attend his sermons. For the month of August, whites who go to Greenwood Acres Full Gospel Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana, will get $5 an hour on Sundays and $10 an hour on Thursdays, Bishop Fred Caldwell told Reuters on Thursday. Caldwell said his 5,000-member church has been almost exclusively black since it was founded in 1958, which he thinks was not the way Jesus wanted it. 'The most segregated hour in America, depending on the time zone, is 11 o'clock Sunday morning,' he said."

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Dog bites man's penis
Wire Services | Submitted by: Tucxie
"A drunken Croat flasher got more excitement than he bargained for when he pushed his penis through a woman's fence and her dog bit it, local newspapers said on Friday. The visibly drunk man was walking down the street and started swearing and shouting at the woman for no reason. He then shoved his penis through her fence, unaware her dog was on the other side, police said. ... The 36-year-old was taken to hospital with light injuries but later sent home."

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Japanese currency to include tracking chips
The Register | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"As Europe mulls the idea of implanting radio chips into euro notes, Japan has gone a step further with plans to incorporoate the controversial technology in currency that will enter circulation next year. New 10,000 Yen bills (worth about 51) currently entering production are to be implanted with IC chips from Hitachi in a bid to combat counterfeiters and money launderers... Notes will come with Hitachi's 0.3mm 'mew-chip' which responds to radio signals by sending out a 128-bit number. This information could include a serial number with the date and place of origin of a note. ... privacy activists and some technologists are already voicing their concern over the privacy implications of RFID tags attached supermarket goods."

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Jim Bakker returns 0.65% of swindled money
cgi.citizen-times.com | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Nearly 165,000 people who sued former PTL televangelist Jim Bakker 16 years ago will each get $6.54 for the effort. ... The settlement came in a class-action lawsuit brought by people who said they gave $1,000 each for four-day vacation stays at a resort that was never built. ... Along with his first wife, Tammy Faye, Bakker became a national fixture with his Charlotte-based PTL Show. ... He was convicted in 1989 of bilking $158 million from PTL Lifetime Partners, who donated the $1,000 each on a promise they would have lifetime vacation slots at a PTL resort planned for Charlotte."

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Republican disavows sex party held in his honor
Times Herald-Record | Submitted by: Rockpile
"An aide to Orange County Executive Edward Diana is under fire after he and his friends invited some of the nation's brightest Young Republicans to what was advertised as a booze-soaked sex bash in Boston. The controversy surrounding Diana's 24-year-old staff assistant, Karl Brabenec, started at the Young Republicans national convention July 11, when his friends distributed fliers 'for lots of beer, liquor and sex' at a party dubbed, 'Karlpalooza '03.' ... While Brabenec called the planned bash to mark his 24th birthday a 'surprise,' the event has been listed on the Young Republicans Web site for weeks with instructions to 'call Karl' at his home number in Slate Hill."

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Cameron Diaz sequestering nipples
AZ Central | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"The lovely but modest Cameron Diaz is suing to stop publication of some topless photos taken before she became so well-known. A hearing is slated for Aug. 18. The star of Charlie's Angels and There's Something About Mary filed suit in L.A. to block photographer John Rutter from selling the pix, taken when she was 21. Diaz, now 30, said a signature on a release that Rutter has is forged."

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