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September 02, 2003

FBI: human timebomb was just doomed
CNN | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"An FBI agent says there was little that police in Erie, Pennsylvania, could have done to save a man who said he was forced to rob a bank by someone who strapped explosives to his body. ... Police probably could not have saved Wells from the bomb if it was armed with a timing device, FBI special agent Ken McCabe, whose agency is helping in the investigation, said. ... 'As soon as they confirmed that he in fact had a bomb on him, they backed off, did a perimeter of at least 300 yards around him. They protected innocent lives,' McCabe said. 'Police and agents are not trained to go and defuse a bomb. It's not like TV shows where we go up and try to guess, "Do we cut the red wire or the green wire?" It's too dangerous.'"

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Cambodia building Khmer Rouge theme park
Sydney Morning Herald | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Unlike most of the estimated 2 million Cambodians who perished in his killing fields, there is at least a sign that marks the passing of Pol Pot. ... And if the Cambodian Government has its way this place will soon be transformed into a prime tourist attraction; a Disneyland of death that is stirring strong passions among Cambodians. In an attempt to boost revenues, the Government plans to spend several million dollars turning the area into an official 'historical tourism' zone. It is preparing to rebuild the ruined homes, offices and hideouts of Pol Pot and other former Khmer Rouge leaders, and establish a museum and theatre complex at Anlong Veng, a frontier town a few kilometres from the border."

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Group sues over 'cult' label
Albany Times-Union | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"More than 300 students from around the world are in the Adirondacks this week to celebrate 'Vanguard Week,' the birthday of Keith Raniere, a self-described philosopher and entrepreneur. During courses run by his personal training company, NXIVM, students wear special scarves and bow to both Raniere, whom they know as 'Vanguard,' and the company president, Nancy Salzman, or 'Prefect.' Both Raniere and Salzman live in Clifton Park. ... 'Rational inquiry -- their technology -- is essentially a philosophy that draws from many other large group-awareness programs like Scientology,' said social movement commentator Rick Ross of New Jersey." [And it's statements like that which caused Raniere to sue Ross and others.]

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Wife found hacked up, stashed in cooking pot
iAfrica | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A KwaZulu-Natal husband found what might be his missing wife's remains on Tuesday -- cooking slowly in a pot. ... a woman told the husband she had seen his wife's handkerchief and scarf in a bush. When the husband went to investigate he found his wife's mutilated body next to a pot containing body parts believed to be hers. While the husband was at the pot an unidentified man appeared from the bushes and the husband gave chase. The man managed to get away."

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Malaysian politician not courting the chick vote
BBC | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A controversial leader of Malaysia's Islamist opposition party, the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party, has been criticised by women's groups for saying that wearing perfume and lipstick could arouse men and provoke rape. ... In his speech last weekend, Mr Nik Aziz declared that wearing a headscarf was not enough to avoid arousing men. Even a very modestly dressed woman could stir up desires in the opposite sex by applying glossy lipstick or perfume, he said. ... the controversial minister regularly appears to place the blame for men's failings on women. Most notoriously, he suggested that his state government should only employ ugly women, because pretty ones might get married."

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Vatican promoted known pedophile
Billings Gazette | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"The Vatican promoted a U.S. Roman Catholic priest through its diplomatic corps despite warnings he had molested a girl in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, according to a newspaper report. A spokeswoman for the archdiocese, Tricia Hempel, told the Dallas Morning News that the Vatican knew of the allegations against the diplomat, Monsignor Daniel Pater. Pater had acknowledged molesting the girl when he was confronted about a decade ago, she said. ... In addition, the Rev. Lawrence Breslin, a pastor of the church where the abuse began, told the News he had spoken twice about Pater's past to Bishop James M. Harvey, a longtime Vatican state department executive who now heads the pope's personal staff. Pater just recently resigned from his post as the church's second-highest-ranking diplomat in India."

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Compensation for zoo worker killed by lions
Mainichi Daily News | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A zoo guard fatally mauled by lions in front of a bus packed with shocked onlookers is eligible for worker's compensation, according to the Nakatsu Labor Standards Office on Tuesday. ... Park officials said Takahara left his vehicle to try and move a pride of lions to make them more visible for a group of visitors riding a bus through the park's lion enclosure on the afternoon of April 23. But several of the hungry lions pounced on the old man, and attacked him, being particularly vicious on his chest and abdomen."

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Slave boy tortured by British family
This Is London | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"An 11-year-old Bangladeshi boy who was sent to Britain to find a better life told today how he became a 'slave' to a family who tortured him with electric shocks, beat him, and gave him cold baths as punishment. ... After arriving late for school one day, the boy said he was tied to a chair in the living room. He claimed Mohammed Ahmed, 30, plugged wires into the mains and tortured him."

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Doomsday: 21 March 2014
CNN | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A giant asteroid is heading for Earth and could hit in 2014, U.S. astronomers have warned British space monitors. ... Asteroid '2003 QQ47' will be closely monitored over the next two months. Its potential strike date is March 21, 2014, but astronomers say that any risk of impact is likely to decrease as further data is gathered. On impact, it could have the effect of 20 million Hiroshima atomic bombs, a spokesman for the British government's Near Earth Object Information Centre told BBC radio."

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EPA clears way for sale of toxic dump sites
USA Today | Submitted by: Bonny Fide
"The Bush administration has ended a 25-year-old ban on the sale of land polluted with PCBs. The ban was intended to prevent hundreds of polluted sites from being redeveloped in ways that spread the toxin or raise public health risks. ... It was PCB pollution that forced the abandonment 25 years ago of the Love Canal community in Niagara Falls, N.Y. The decision, already in effect, has not been made public. It is being treated as a 'new interpretation' of existing law, according to the memo, which was obtained by USA TODAY. As such, no public comment was required."

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Hinckley wants unsupervised field trips
CNN | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"The man who shot President Reagan 22 years ago says his mental condition has improved enough that he should be allowed to visit his parents without psychiatric hospital staff supervision. ... Hinckley seeks 10 unsupervised visits, five of them overnight trips, with his parents at their home in the Williamsburg, Virginia, area. Such trips are an 'appropriate next step' in Hinckley's treatment, lawyer Barry W. Levine wrote. ... Federal prosecutors objected, citing Hinckley's 'history of deception and violence.' They argued in their filings that Hinckley at one point had 57 pictures of Foster in his room, wrote to serial killer Ted Bundy before Bundy's execution in 1989, and had praised Adolf Hitler and mass murderer Charles Manson."

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8,000 Argentinians killed in dirty war
Sydney Morning Herald | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Former Argentine dictator General Reynaldo Bignone has admitted that 8000 people were kidnapped and killed during the 1976-83 military regime and said the church leadership had given its approval to torture practices. ... Bignone said French instructors had taught Argentina's military how to kidnap and torture suspected opponents of the regime and how to execute them. Bignone said the ruling junta had asked Roman Catholic bishops in Argentina about the use of torture, and were told that it was permissible under certain circumstances. [And he claims one bishop told him:] 'I believe your legal authority extends to as long as the man speaks while in his right mind.'"

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Milosevic attempts to delay the inevitable
BBC | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic has requested to be freed for two years so he can prepare his defence against war crimes charges. But Judge Richard May, presiding over the trial at The Hague, turned down the request for release and said there 'can be no question' of such a long break in the proceedings. ... Mr Milosevic, 62, insists he does not recognise the United Nations' court and has vowed to defend himself, despite entreaties from judges to appoint counsel. ... Mr Milosevic faces more than 60 charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo during the 1990s."

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Space Shuttle cult runs NASA
spacedaily.com | Submitted by: JJ
"Much has been made over the report produced by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB). I have since read newspaper articles that called the report 'scathing.' Hardly. Its polite recommendations probably had Shuttle managers who made poor decisions dancing down their office hallways with relief. Essentially, it gave them a pass by proclaiming 'culture' made them do it. ... I do not believe there is a NASA culture other than a willingness by its engineers to work their butts off to keep us in space. It might be said, however, that there is a Shuttle cult. It is practiced like a religion by space policy makers who simply cannot imagine an American space agency without the Shuttle. Well, I can and it is a space agency which can actually fly people and cargoes into orbit without everybody involved being terrified of imminent death and destruction every time the Shuttle lifts off the pad."

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Four kids croak after mom's toad soup
xaura-vip.tiscali.co.za | Submitted by: Frog_mother
"Three Chinese children and their cousin have died two hours after eating toad soup -- a brew cooked by their mother in the belief it would be good for digestion. ... The children, aged between seven and 11, started feeling unwell soon after eating the soup. The woman and other family members treated them at home. This failed and they rushed the children to a nearby hospital, but all four died, Xinhua said."

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Man unaccountable for gym boner
pub.tv2.no | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Two female students contacted college management after the incident where they claim the lecturer exposed himself indecently to them in a work-out room. The district attorney filed a suit against the man after the local police suggested not prosecuting the case. However, in the criminal case the lecturer was unanimously acquitted. ... According to witness accounts from students, the incident took place when the lecturer got an erection while he was lying on a work-out mat lifting weights. The court bases its decision on the fact that even if one of the women claims that she saw his penis, the majority of the people in court claimed that this was not his intention."

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Ashcroft finds roast beef sandwich in sewer
USA Today | Submitted by: Incubus
"Attorney General John Ashcroft says he is ruling out any future campaign for elective office, but he indicates that he would like to continue serving the administration if President Bush is elected to a second term. ... Ashcroft was nominated to be attorney general after losing his U.S. Senate seat in 2000 to Democrat Mel Carnahan, whose name remained on the ballot after his death just before Election Day. ... Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said recently that he remembers talking with Ashcroft shortly after his re-election loss and his subsequent nomination as attorney general. 'I recall us discussing how it was like he had fallen into the sewer and had come up (after his nomination to be attorney general) with a roast beef sandwich,' Specter said."

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Pentagon's imagineers of death
Fox News | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"A government office is sponsoring a robot race through the Mojave Desert with a $1 million cash prize, trying to build lasers powerful enough to down missiles and studying the feet of geckos. And it calls its best employees 'freewheeling zealots.' DARPA -- the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency -- is unlike any other federal agency. ... The man whose work generated much of the recent publicity, former Iran-Contra figure and retired Adm. John Poindexter, left the agency Friday after 20 months."

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British teeth threatened by fluoridation
observer.guardian.co.uk | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"A new amendment to forthcoming legislation will force water companies to add fluoride to water supplies, smoothing the way for the largest extension of fluoridation for almost 50 years. Opponents have condemned the moves, accusing Ministers of mass medication by stealth and a 'nanny state' mentality. They also claim fluoride has been linked to adverse health affects including cancer, brittle bones and thyroid disease and can cause teeth to mottle."

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Schwarzenegger's Japanese TV commercials
Japender.com | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
A collection of Japanese TV ads starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. By far, the best are the ones for the nicotine-laden energy drink. With video.

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