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September 05, 2003

Disneyland ride kills 1, wounds 10
KABC-TV 7 Los Angeles | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"A locomotive broke loose from a train on Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction Friday, killing one rider and injuring at least 10 others, police and hospital officials said. ... The roller coaster accident occurred at 11:20 a.m. PDT, Disneyland spokeswoman Ruthy Flores said. Television helicopters showed a triage unit set up near the ride and one person being wheeled to an ambulance on a stretcher."

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Mormon church abandons blood atonement doctrine
Newsday | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Hoping to clear the way for eliminating the firing squad as a means of execution, a Utah commission asked for and received a statement from the Mormon church saying it does not oppose the change. In a one-sentence statement provided Wednesday to the Utah Sentencing Commission, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said it 'has no objection to the elimination of the firing squad in Utah.' The clarification was needed, according to one commission member, because of a purported church doctrine that held that justice was not done unless a murderer's blood was shed."

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Electronic voting machine maker declares fealty to Bush
Akron Beacon-Journal | Submitted by: alabio
"A wealthy businessman helping the Ohio Republican Party try to win the state in 2004 for President Bush also is the head of a company competing for a state contract to sell voting machines. Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc., told Republicans in an Aug. 14 fund-raising letter that he is 'committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.' The letter invited guests to a $1,000-a-plate fund-raiser at O'Dell's suburban Columbus mansion and asked them to consider donating $10,000 each. The letter went out the day before Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, also a Republican, was set to qualify Diebold, based in Green, as one of three companies eligible to sell upgraded electronic voting machines to Ohio counties in time for the 2004 election."

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Womyn upset over Arnie's grabassitude
BBC | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"A group of women announced they would picket the former bodybuilder's campaign headquarters on Friday to protest what they call his misogynist views and crude behavior toward women. 'I am not concerned about what he does that is consensual,' said Karen Pomer, the founder of the Rainbow Sisters Project, a group of rape victims. 'But women who do not want to be touched who he touches -- the reports of him harassing women -- they are of great concern. It's degrading to women.' ... Some published articles have portrayed Schwarzenegger as touching women's bottoms and breasts without their consent. In a recent interview with Reuters, his best friend Franco Columbu confirmed that such incidents have taken place, such as when he touched the breasts of a British television presenter."

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House arrest for sex with nonwhite Canadian 12-year-old
canada.com | Submitted by: Mean Gene
"A 26-year-old man convicted of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl was sentenced to house arrest rather than prison because the victim may have been seen as a 'willing participant' or even 'the aggressor,' a judge ruled Thursday. [uh... what?] The sentence handed down to Dean Edmondson by Justice Fred Kovach outraged the family and friends of the victim, even as Kovach himself noted that this type of sexual assault traditionally results in a sentence of at least three years in a federal penitentiary. As the justice read the sentence, supporters and family members of the now 14-year-old aboriginal girl stormed out of the courtroom, yelling 'bullshit' and 'racism.' ... 'The young white man was sitting there with the judge protecting him... Who has justice served here? It sure wasn't our aboriginal child.'"

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5 years for torturing pregnant teen
BBC | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Sammy Shadukhi, 22, tied the girl up, beat and whipped her and forced her to stand through the night, in the month she was trapped at his Rotherhithe flat. ... Shadukhi invited her into his waterfront apartment in January 2002... He cut off the phone, refused to let her leave and held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her. At times he would force her head into a bucket of hot water telling her: 'This is the last day of your life. You don't deserve to live. I have got to get rid of you.' ... She climbed out of the second floor window and onto a drainpipe, before slipping and falling 60 feet onto the Thames foreshore. The fall broke her back, leg and ankle. She lay there for hours until neighbours heard her cries for help. The girl, who can not be named for legal reasons, was so afraid the fall had damaged her unborn child she had an abortion five months into the pregnancy."

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5 years for tossing newborn into dumpster
Houston Chronicle | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A Missouri City woman was given a five-year prison sentence Wednesday for putting her newborn daughter into a debris-filled garbage bag and leaving her in a trash bin last year. The child escaped death when a construction worker found her after he dropped a load of rotten wood into the trash bin and heard a noise that he thought was a cat. ... he climbed inside and pulled out a white kitchen garbage bag. The bag was tied shut and he ripped it open and found the child packed inside with bloody paper towels."

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College students decapitate stranger's chickens
Savannah Morning News | Submitted by: The Editor
"Four Georgia Southern University students face criminal charges and school disciplinary action. They are accused of killing chickens just to see whether they really run around with their heads cut off. ... 'All they had to do was ask a science teacher. Or ask a farmer,' said Rob Lee, executive director of the Humane Society of Chatham-Savannah. ... Bulloch County Chief Deputy Gene McDaniel said the teens brought machetes, knives and a hatchet, and broke into a commercial chicken house on Brannen Farm Lane on Harville Road. McDaniel said they are accused of taping and photographing the decapitation of at least two chickens." With mugshots.

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City considers ban on ultimate fighting, etc.
newszap.com | Submitted by: gg206045allin
"A proposed ordinance designed to prohibit combative fighting in Dover has left some businesses perplexed about the future of professional wrestling events in the city. The ordinance would outlaw events with 'prearranged' results, but city officials said it should not affect 'sanctioned' pro wrestling, including a local promotion. ... Under the measure, ultimate fighting matches and 'tough man' competitions would be prohibited, as would 'sham or collusive contests ... (where) the results thereof have been prearranged.'"

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Booze smugglers dig tunnel under U.S. base
BBC | Submitted by: optional
"Two South Korean men have been arrested on suspicion of stealing $1.7m worth of beer and wine from the US military's main army base in South Korea. An investigation is under way after a secret tunnel used by the alleged smugglers was found under the Yongsan base in Seoul. It is thought 58,000 crates of beer and 4,000 boxes of wine were ferried from cargo containers inside the base to a coffee shop outside, built purposefully as a cover. ... The incident will be a major embarrassment to the US military whose bases in South Korea are supposed to be on high alert."

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More stunning technology from DARPA
South Florida Sun-Sentinel | Submitted by: Element
"Chronically short of musicians for military funerals, the Pentagon has approved the use of a push-button bugle that plays taps by itself as the operator holds it to his lips. Only some 500 buglers are on active duty on any one day, but about 1,800 people with military service die across the country each day and are eligible for honors ceremonies... So the Defense Department worked with private industry to invent the 'ceremonial bugle,' which has a small digital recording device inserted into its bell to play the music. A member of the honor guard at the funeral simply presses a button on the device. A five-second delay gives the guards time to raise the instrument to their lips as if they are going to play it. ... it plays 'an exceptionally high-quality rendition of taps that is virtually indistinguishable from a live bugler,' the Pentagon said."

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Sun unexpectedly producing antimatter
gsfc.nasa.gov | Submitted by: JJ
"Solar flares are among the most powerful explosions in the solar system; the largest can release as much energy as a billion one-megaton nuclear bombs. ... scientists discovered the July 2002 flare created a half-kilo (about one pound) of antimatter, enough to power the entire United States for two days. According to the RHESSI images and data, this antimatter was not destroyed where expected. ... it appears that this flare might have shuffled antimatter around, producing it in one location and destroying it in another. ... 'The result is as surprising as gold miners blasting a cliff face and discovering that the explosion threw all the dirt in one direction and all the gold in another direction,' said Dr. Craig DeForest, a solar researcher at the South West Research Inst."

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Chemical, nuclear hunt begins in Russian waters
newsfromrussia.com | Submitted by: Kaiser Wilhelm
"A unique research expedition is about be carried out in the Karsk Sea where scientists will search for signs of nuclear waste. 200 containers of radioactive waste were deposited here in the sixties and seventies. ... Extremely high levels of arsenic were discovered in the central part of the White Sea in August 2003 while scientists were searching for chemical weapons deposited during the Second World War. ... According to unofficial sources, after the war the northern shipping fleet deposited unused gas bombs containing mustard gas in the area near the White Sea, the Barents Sea and the Karsk Sea." [Reportedly, the Karsk Sea holds 11,000 containers of radioactive waste and 16 spent nuclear sub reactors.]

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Conservative governor divorcing, cancels speeches
KMGH-TV 7 Denver | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Gov. Bill Owens, a conservative who campaigned on a family values platform, canceled a pair of speeches to religious groups two days after announcing that he and his wife of 28 years are separating. ... Owens, 52, announced a trial separation from Frances Owens, 49, on Sunday. His statement did not detail the reasons for the separation." [Best quote from a 2002 speech: "In my life, I know it is my wife and children who are most important."]

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