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August 09, 2003

Pentagon met with Iran-Contra figure
Aberdeen News | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld confirmed Friday that Pentagon officials met secretly and discussed Iran with a controversial and discredited figure in the Iran-Contra scandal. But Rumsfeld said the talks 'went nowhere.' ... Asked whether he had authorized secret talks with Ghorbanifar in regard to regime change in Iran, Rumsfeld confirmed only that the meeting had taken place and said information had been shared with other agencies of the government."

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Pinochet gives pep talk to retired generals
networks.org | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Chile's ailing ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet called on retired army generals to remain united despite 'difficult times,' remarks some Chileans interpreted on Friday as support for military officers on trial for human rights abuses. ... At least 160 former military officers are on trial in Chile on allegations of crimes under Pinochet's 1973-1990 rule. Over 3,000 people were killed in a brutal crackdown on suspected leftists, according to an official report. Courts ruled last year Pinochet was mentally unfit to stand trial. ... His personal aide told reporters recently his mental health was fragile and that he planned no remarks about the coup's anniversary."

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Ugandans threaten to ditch Christ over America's gay bishop
Sunday Monitor | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Canon Jackson Turyagyenda, the provincial secretary at Namirembe cathedral estimates that Anglicans constitute about 40 percent of the total Christian population in the country. ... And most of these are up in arms against their brothers in New Hampshire diocese, USA over the inclusion of gays in church activities, let alone as church leaders. ... 'When they (Europeans) first brought Christianity here, this is not what they promised us ... we expected them to uphold good morals, but if this is what they are doing then we shall abandon the church and go back to our old ways,' said Mr Daudi Kasali Munawa, a retired public servant." [Good thinking. Like they could give a fuck about Uganda.]

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Yes, Caligula actually believed himself to be a god
BBC | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"The power-hungry Roman emperor Caligula may have believed himself to be a living god, according to new findings by archaeologists. ... [Suetonius] said Caligula 'extended the Palace as far as the Forum; converted the shrine of Castor and Pollux into its vestibule; and would often stand between these Divine Brethren to be worshipped by all visitants.' ... The archaeologists said an analysis of the Forum's drainage systems, walls and pavements showed the two shrines had indeed been incorporated into the palace."

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God tells paranoid schizophrenic to kill girlfriend
kingcountyjournal.com | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"A Seattle man charged with slitting his girlfriend's throat and trying to stab her friend believed God told him to do it because the two women were devils in need of eradication, according to court documents. ... Gamet has given his attorney a rambling, 13-page statement of what he believes were the causes of the incident, according to the request. Gamet claims both victims threatened him with knives and came at him like devils, and said he was afraid to flee the apartment because he would be assassinated the moment he left it, the request said."

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Jakarta hotel bomber's head found on 5th floor
CNN | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Indonesian police say a suspect whose remains were found after Tuesday's deadly Marriott hotel attack in Jakarta worked for terror group Jemaah Islamiyah. Two jailed members of JI, a network linked to al Qaeda, reportedly identified the subject -- 28-year-old Asmar Latin Sani -- as a 'recruit.' Police believe Asmar car-bombed the downtown hotel. They released a photograph of his severed head Thursday, which they say was found on the fifth floor. ... A surveillance tape shows the instant the explosion tore through the upmarket hotel, with security guards approaching the bomber's vehicle seconds before the blast."

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Bush endorses the star of Commando
BBC | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"United States President George W Bush has added to the drama of California's recall election by saying movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger would make a good governor. The White House has so far distanced itself from October's vote, but when asked about the Austrian-born actor, Mr Bush said: 'I think he'd be a good governor.'" [This coming from the man who himself had no experience in elected office before becoming governor of Texas.]

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Boston archdiocese offers to settle for $55 million
Boston Globe | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Boston Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley yesterday made a $55 million settlement offer to 542 people who say they were sexually abused by clergy members. Since being named archbishop, O'Malley has consistently pledged to make settling abuse claims his top priority. ... a church official, who spoke on condition that he not be identified, said that the settlement offer is being financed in part by $15 million raised through the recent sale of church property. .. The official said the archdiocese has no plans to sell the 16-acre property in Brighton that includes the headquarters of the archdiocese and the archbishop's residence to fund the settlement, as many victims and their lawyers have urged."

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Flight 93 report
BBC | Submitted by: Crazy Quagga
"Cockpit tape recordings appear to contradict the popular perception that passengers forced the crash of Flight 93 to avoid the plane being flown into a landmark building in Washington... 'As described by the FBI director, the cockpit tape recorder indicates that a hijacker, minutes before Flight 93 hit the ground, "advised [hijacker Ziad] Jarrah to crash the plane and end the passengers' attempt to retake the plane."' [Splitting hairs, aren't we?]

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Workers inhale plutonium
networks.org | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Two workers at Los Alamos National Laboratory were exposed to plutonium while working in a part of the lab where the radioactive substance is processed, the lab said Friday. According to a news release from Los Alamos, the workers were taking inventory Tuesday of older cans of plutonium when an air monitor alarm sounded. ... In tests, both showed nasal contamination, an indication that they might have inhaled plutonium. Other results indicated skin contamination on the first employee's head, upper torso and arms, and on the second worker's head." [Sounds wonderful. Ever see the movie Silkwood?]

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Kama Sutra helping India's prostitutes
BBC | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"The government in India's West Bengal State is supporting a programme that offers prostitutes an ancient solution to modern concerns about safe sex. 'Kama Sutra has many postures that can give men the highest pleasure without consummation and that is what the prostitutes are being taught.' ... The training lasts for two to three hours. ... 'We teach the girls the art of ensuring a premature but very satisfying discharge by tactfully avoiding intercourse. The Kama Sutra is a treasure house for all that.'"

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5 cops required to shoot killer pit bull
Baltimore Sun | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A 2-week-old Brooklyn infant was killed yesterday by his family's pit bull after the baby's parents stepped outside and left him alone in their house with the dog, police said. Responding to the incident at 3:15 p.m. in the 4200 block of Audrey Ave., police found the dog loose in the street and shot it, firing multiple times to make sure it was dead, witnesses said. ... Some neighbors watching the shooting questioned whether police overreacted by shooting the dog multiple times, saying one shot would have sufficed. 'It took five police and 15 to 20 [shots] to kill this dog,' said John Pegram, who was moving furniture into his nearby business at the time of the shooting. 'They're here to protect and serve, and then they endanger people's lives. It doesn't take five police to kill a dog.'" [Maybe it was high on angeldust?]

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Circus performer faceplants in front of 800
BBC | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"An investigation has begun after a circus performer fell more than 20 feet to her death in front of a crowd of 800 people. ... Ms Garcia was descending from the rigging area in the roof above the circus ring when she appeared to lose her grip on the wire above her head and plunged to the ground, Norfolk police said. The experienced performer, who came from a circus family, was taken to the James Paget Hospital, Gorleston, where she later died."

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Congresswoman Katherine Harris winning hearts, minds
Bradenton Herald | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris had planned a quick town meeting Thursday night at Bradenton Kiwanis Hall. But when hundreds of people showed up with detailed questions, her tight schedule didn't allow detailed answers, and a frustrated crowd turned angry, booing the congresswoman several times. ... Harris told attendees she wanted all questions asked first before she answered. The lines at the microphones were long. The boos were loud. ... At times, people tried to ask follow-up questions, but she wouldn't allow it. 'This is my turn now,' Harris said repeatedly."

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