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August 23, 2003

EPA forced to lie to New Yorkers about 9-11 air quality
MSNBC | Submitted by: Crazy Quagga
"At the White House's direction, the Environmental Protection Agency gave New Yorkers misleading assurances that there was no health risk from the debris-laden air after the World Trade Center collapse, according to an internal inquiry. President Bush's senior environmental adviser on Friday defended the White House involvement, saying it was justified by national security. The White House 'convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones' ... 'When EPA made a Sept. 18 announcement that the air was "safe" to breathe, the agency did not have sufficient data and analyses to make the statement,' the report says, adding that the EPA had yet to adequately monitor air quality for contaminants such as PCBs, soot and dioxin. ... it wasn't until June 2002 that the EPA determined that air quality had returned to pre-Sept. 11 levels -- well after respiratory ailments and other problems began to surface in hundreds of workers cleaning dusty offices and apartments."

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US forces not above a little torture, now and then
MSNBC | Submitted by: Kaiser Wilhelm
"So Chemical Ali is back from the dead. You may remember that this infamous cousin of Saddam Hussein was reported killed early in the war, during those heady days when 'smart bombs' supposedly solved big problems in Iraq. Well, it has since become obvious that the smart bombs weren't so smart and neither was the intelligence that guided them -- and that Chemical Ali (real name Ali Hassan al-Majid) was alive and well and on the run, just like Saddam himself. How he was caught this week, precisely, nobody in the Coalition is saying. ... But how do you make a man like this talk? ... Suspected bad guys are isolated and dependent for every bit of information they receive, even the time of day. The interrogators have the power to grant or withhold permission for every bodily function, including sleep. It's amazing how fast most people break down under such circumstances. If that doesn't work, the treatment can get rough."

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Mother pleads guilty to broiling own baby
WKMG-TV 6 Orlando | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A 27-year-old woman pleaded guilty to attempted murder and received a 25-year prison term for placing her infant daughter in a hot oven. ... Wright placed her 18-month-old daughter in the oven in June 2002, with the setting on broil. The child received third-degree burns over 70 percent of her body. ... Wright first told investigators the child fell into the oven by accident. She claimed she was holding the baby when she opened the oven to check on liver that was cooking. She told authorities the child slipped from her arms, fell on the door, rolled into the oven and the door closed. ... 'We were going to argue, and we feel the evidence would show, Wright was jealous of the attention the father was placing on the child. She didn't suffer from any mental illness. She is just mean as hell.'"

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Catholic pederast killed in prison
Fox News | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Former priest John Geoghan, a convicted child molester who was accused of sex abuse by more than 130 people, was killed in prison Saturday, according to safety officials. Geoghan was attacked by another inmate about noon and died shortly after being sent to Leominster Hospital, said said Department of Correction spokeswoman Kelly Nantel. ... Geoghan was a central figure in the church abuse scandal, which broke in early 2002 with revelations that the church had moved him from parish to parish even though authorities had been warned about his behavior. The scandal exploded after a judge ordered the release of archdiocese files involving dozens of priests, showing repeated examples of the archdiocese shuttling priests to different parishes after claims of sex abuse."

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Pentagon needs HR director
KNSD-TV 7 San Diego | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A congressional report says the Pentagon computer systems are having trouble keeping track of all members of the military. And, the report says, that flaw has hampered the activation of about 300,000 reservists since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The report by the General Accounting Office says the military services have separate computer systems and not all of them are compatible. That meant some officials had to use desktop-computer spreadsheets to call up reservists. The investigators found that having inconsistent orders on how to activate units caused problems. For example, the Pentagon lost track of some reservists who had been called to active duty, kept some on active duty longer than authorized and kept units on alert to be activated for a year or more."

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Woman gets stabbed by bum for being snide
WLWT-TV 5 Cincinnati | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A woman who refused to give a panhandler money was chased from her car by him and stabbed six times before another motorist intervened, police said. ... Tyler reportedly approached Rollins and asked her for $5 while she sat in her car outside the supermarket, Springfield police Detective Dan DeWine said. 'She said, "No, I work for my money,"' DeWine said. Tyler first turned away but spun back and began to stab Rollins through the car window, DeWine said. Rollins opened her car door, tried to push Tyler away and attempted to run. Tyler allegedly followed Rollins and continued stabbing at her with a 6- or 7-inch kitchen knife."

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WW2 mustard gas claims another life in China
BBC | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"China has summoned the Japanese ambassador to express its anger at the death of a man poisoned by mustard gas left over from World War II. In a strongly-worded statement, China's Vice Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, demanded that Japan clean up its abandoned chemical weapons. He said Japan could not shirk its responsibility and China would not tolerate another such death. The Japanese Government has sent its condolences to the bereaved family and promised to continue its efforts to dispose of the dangerous chemicals. ... up to 2,000 people have died since the war after coming into contact with the weapons."

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Infamous hotel rooms and the people who love them
Sacramento Bee | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera has an unofficial addition: the Kobe Bryant suite, where professional basketball's most bankable superstar is accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old hotel concierge. The case has produced unusually heavy weekday bookings, streams of reporters and camera crews to the guarded gatehouse, and guests who want to book -- or at least sneak a look at -- Room 35. ... The case could boost business for years, said Todd Scholl, marketing director at the Canterbury Hotel in Indianapolis, where boxer Mike Tyson was convicted of raping a teenage beauty queen in 1991. People still call the Canterbury asking to reserve the room where Tyson stayed, Scholl said, adding that the hotel refuses to do it."

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O.J. commiserates with Scott Peterson
CNN | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Former football star O.J. Simpson, who was found liable for the murder of his wife in a civil trial, expressed sympathy in an interview released Friday for Scott Peterson, who is accused of killing his pregnant wife. 'Look at Scott Peterson,' Simpson told Playboy magazine. 'Ask anyone in America about him. They'll say the guy is guilty. But we haven't heard one shred of evidence.' ... Peterson's playing golf on the day his wife's remains were identified -- after which he was arrested -- was a normal activity, said Simpson. 'Scott Peterson was out playing golf, and people were saying, "What kind of guy is this? These may be his wife's remains and he's going to play golf,"' he said. 'Well, when I got home from Chicago the week Nicole was murdered, I wanted to get on a golf course. I wanted to get away from ... all the hurt, all the pain.'"

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Widow of heat stroke victim launches Operation Put Up With It
The Omaha Channel | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"The widow of an Iowa guardsman who died after suffering heat stroke in Iraq is asking Iowans to honor and empathize with U.S. soldiers by taking the hot and humid summer. Brooke Kirchhoff wants Iowans to turn off their air conditioners and fans on Aug. 31. Her husband, Pfc. David Kirchhoff, 31, of Anamosa, died of heat stroke on Aug. 14. Brooke Kirchhoff is calling her request 'Operation Put Up With It.'"

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Police urge broadcasters to ditch TV report on DIY car bombs
Sydney Morning Herald | Submitted by: wingnut
"Police Minister John Watkins has called on the ABC to abandon plans to show a current affairs report exposing how easy it is to make a Bali-style car bomb. ... An independent TV company made the film in Tasmania, buying ingredients for the bomb from hardware stores and other shops in Hobart. ... The handmade bomb device was taken to a disused quarry outside Hobart where it was planted in the hulk of a clapped-out motor vehicle. As the bomb was detonated, cameras recorded the destruction of the car. ... Explaining the need for a crackdown, Mr Scipione said: 'Our major concern is that some of these materials could fall into the wrong hands and they could be used in a fashion that would potentially be catastrophic.'"

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PETA blocks San Diego Zoo with manure pile
KNSD-TV 7 San Diego | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals blocked the main entrance to the San Diego Zoo Friday with a dump truck and load of horse manure that had been emptied on the roadway. PETA was at the zoo to protest the delivery of seven African elephants to the San Diego Wild Animal Park. The load was dumped around noon at the intersection of Zoo Drive and Park Avenue. Police arrested the driver, who was wearing an elephant costume and refused to exit the vehicle."

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Suspects charged with castration by gunfire
WKMG-TV 6 Orlando | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Two Durham men face charges of malicious castration after being accused of shooting a third man in the groin. ... Authorities say the men intentionally shot a male victim in the groin on April 20, permanently injuring him. 'They took another individual out and shot him, and the bullet struck the victim's penis,' said Assistant District Attorney John Phillips, who is handling the case. 'I think they intentionally shot him in the crotch area. Whether they meant to hit what they hit, I can't tell you. It's a pretty outrageous place to shoot somebody.'"

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Brazilian space program unsure how to recover from rocket explosion
Fox News | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Brazil's president said Saturday his country's space program remains a priority despite a rocket explosion that killed 21 people, injured 20 and put a fiery end to Brazil's third attempt to enter space. The 66-foot-high VLS-1 VO3 rocket was three days from its scheduled liftoff when an explosion Friday destroyed it and its box-like launch pad. The blast at the Alcantara Launch Center in northeastern Brazil killed mostly civilian technicians and destroyed two research satellites, dealing a serious blow to Brazil's nascent space program. ... It is hard to assess just how serious a blow the explosion is to Brazil's space program because many of those killed were likely top scientists involved in the space program."

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