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August 29, 2003

Genital abuse leads to homicide
News Corporation | Submitted by: zoiez
"Saut Chin and her husband Ouch Yan, 52, were arguing when the husband then kicked his wife's sexual organ, the reports said. 'Hurt badly and fed up, she grabbed her husband's testicles and squeezed them with full strength until he fell unconscious on the spot,' Rasmei Kampuchea said, citing police reports of the woman's confession. After discovering that her husband was dead, Saut Chin reported herself to local authorities and asked to be jailed. She said she had not intended to kill her husband 'but only to teach him a lesson,' according to the newspaper."

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Megan's Law judge himself charged with child porn
Philadelphia Inquirer | Submitted by: optional
"[Stephen W.] Thompson's hardly an average alleged dirty old man. He was a Superior Court judge, a respected legal mind and decorated Vietnam War veteran who taught disabled kids how to ski. And, if you believe federal investigators, a criminal mastermind who used the government-issued laptop he kept on the bench to order kiddie porn -- and high-tech software called 'Evidence Eliminator' to cover up his law-breaking tracks."

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Man falls into volcano, becomes crispy
Melbourne Herald Sun | Submitted by: Buzz Beer
"The charred body of a 22-year-old man who died while trying to get a photo of an erupting volcano on France's Indian Ocean island of Reunion was recovered today after a difficult high-altitude operation, police said. Alexandre Thiault, a student from the island's capital of Saint-Denis, was killed late yesterday after the cooled lava he was standing on crumbled away and he fell into a crack on the side of the Piton de la Fournaise volcano. ... His body was burnt beyond recognition within minutes by the 260-degree-Celsius temperature in the fissure."

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Halliburton's Iraq contracts continue to sweeten
Washington Post | Submitted by: myeki
"Halliburton, the company formerly headed by Vice President Cheney, has won contracts worth more than $1.7 billion under Operation Iraqi Freedom and stands to make hundreds of millions more dollars under a no-bid contract awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to newly available documents. The size and scope of the government contracts awarded to Halliburton in connection with the war in Iraq are significantly greater than was previously disclosed and demonstrate the U.S. military's increasing reliance on for-profit corporations to run its logistical operations. Independent experts estimate that as much as one-third of the monthly $3.9 billion cost of keeping U.S. troops in Iraq is going to independent contractors. ... 'The amount of money [earned by Halliburton] is quite staggering, far more than we were originally led to believe,' [Rep. Henry] Waxman said. 'This is clearly a trend under this administration, and it concerns me because often the privatization of government services ends up costing the taxpayers more money rather than less.'"

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Bush slashes federal employee wage benefits
FindLaw | Submitted by: Leisure Butcher
"President Bush said Wednesday he will cut the pay raises that most civilian federal employees were to receive in January. ... Bush's decision to limit raises -- his second -- is another blow to the civilian federal work force, which is the target of sweeping changes the administration is making to the government bureaucracy. The administration is moving forward with plans to let private companies compete for nearly half the 1.8 million federal jobs. ... While limiting raises for federal workers, the White House two years ago restored cash bonuses for some 2,100 political appointees at federal agencies. The Clinton administration had stopped the practice after concluding the first Bush administration used the system to reward political cronies with nearly $400,000 before leaving office."

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Fart involved in $100,000 court judgment
pub.tv2.no | Submitted by: zoiez
"A fart was the start of a staff conflict that ended up costing the Swedish national bank $100,000 in compensation. According to computer technician Göran Andervass, 44, a colleague visited his office and let out a big, stinky fart, Aftonbladet reports. ... 'The boss wanted to know why I had been shouting at my colleague. I explained what it was all about, but my colleague would neither admit nor confirm that he had farted,' Andervass told Aftonbladet." Then he got fired and sued for improper dismissal.

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Woman sues for $100 million over polygamy, abuse
Salt Lake Tribune | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"The 22-year-old former member of the Kingston polygamous family has filed a civil lawsuit seeking more than $110 million from the entire clan, including her parents and other immediate family members. The suit, filed Aug. 1 in 3rd District Court, names more than 240 people and nearly 100 businesses run by family members who make up the Latter-Day Church of Christ as defendants. ... Her illegal 1997 marriage, in which she became the 15th wife to her then-33-year-old uncle, David Ortell Kingston, became known to police after her father, John Daniel Kingston, beat her unconscious for trying to leave the union the following year."

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RSA working on RFID jamming
CNET News.com | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"The labs at RSA Security on Wednesday outlined plans for a technology they call blocker tags, which are similar in size and cost to radio frequency identification (RFID) tags but disrupt the transmission of information to scanning devices and thwart the collection of data. ... The idea isn't to disable RFID tags, but instead to disrupt the transmission of certain information to scanning devices when consumers want privacy. Blocker tags could be embedded in watches or bags."

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Japan considers pushing robotics envelope
Japan Today | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Group member Mitsuo Kawato, head of Computational Neuroscience Laboratories at the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, wants to promote Japanese science and technology by attempting to develop an Astro Boy-like robot. ... The Atom Project aims at producing a humanoid robot having the capabilities of a 5-year-old child in all aspects, including motion, intelligence and feelings."

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Trade group urges feds to dump Windows
TechWeb News | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) has urged the Department of Homeland Security to reconsider its decision to use Microsoft software on its desktop and server systems, citing 'major security failures' created by the raft of vulnerabilities in the Redmond, Wash.-based developer's products. ... 'Because of these recent developments, historical experience, and the inherent risks associated with lack of diversity, we ask that you reconsider your heavy reliance on a single, flawed software platform to protect our national security.'"

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Local Scientology branch upgrades intake center
Buffalo News | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Not all of the labor has been volunteer. Hired contractors have done some of the work. So did a crew of six inmates from the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden. They were removed after Sheriff Patrick M. Gallivan was questioned by The Buffalo News about the propriety of a government agency providing free labor to a church. ... The space, with cathedral ceilings as high as 19 feet, includes an intimate, horseshoe-shaped sanctuary on the third floor and 'detoxification rooms,' including saunas, that Scientologists use to rid the body of impurities."

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Editorial predicts no prison time for Rep. Bill Janklow
Sierra Times | Submitted by: Soylent
"Two Saturdays ago, en route to his nominal home in Brandon, Congressman Bill Janklow broadsided a motorcycle driven by Randolph E. Scott of Minnesota. Janklow ran a stopsign at a highway intersection at high speed and in broad daylight, striking Scott, who had the right of way. Scott sustained fatal injuries and was apparently killed instantly. ... If possible, Janklow will use his evil political empire to arrange to have absolutely no charges filed against him. On the off chance that some shred of the 'criminal justice' system in South Dakota operates as it was intended, Janklow will use his empire to have the charges reduced from the obvious criminal charge of manslaughter to something civil. ... The one thing that Janklow will never allow to come to pass is what would happen to any other South Dakotan: be sent to prison, probably for the remainder of his life. If Janklow steps into any of South Dakota's prisons, he'll be confronted with individuals that his evil political empire put there. Some of them will wish to exact revenge. Janklow's life expectancy in a South Dakota prison could be measured in days -- perhaps hours. No doubt his fellow inmates would introduce him to a wide range of new sexual experiences immediately prior to shuffling off his mortal coil."

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Extremely rare zebra-donkey mulattorus born in zoo
Sydney Morning Herald | Submitted by: Crazy Quagga
"A Japanese safari park says it will put a zebra-donkey hybrid, believed to be the world's only living 'zenkey,' on public view next week. 'As we keep herbivorous animals without separating them, the unbelievable can happen,' said Osamu Ishikawa, deputy head of Nasu Safari Park... The male foal, now weighing about 25 kilograms, has ears like a donkey and looks as if it is wearing striped leggings." With adorbale photo.

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