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September 16, 2003

Brazil's summary executions, death squads
Tri-City Herald | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Summary executions and killings by death squads, often comprised of police officers, are commonplace in Brazil and frequently are tolerated by authorities, according to a human rights report released Monday. ... The report documents the execution of 335 people in 24 of Brazil's 27 states since 1997, and said authorities failed to take any action in 202 of those cases to bring perpetrators to justice. ... In some cases, law enforcement agents receive promotions and bonuses for their 'engagement in fatal shootings,' the report said. ... In May, the country's top human rights official said an Amnesty International report accusing Brazilian police of torturing and killing thousands of people last year 'reflects the truth.'"

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Another sexual abuse witch hunt
canada.com | Submitted by: The Grza
"The boy who made up fantastic stories of ritual sexual abuse against his former foster parents admitted in court Monday that he lied because he was mad at them. 'I was angry. That's why I started telling stories and stuff,' Michael Ross testified Monday during the malicious prosecution lawsuit filed by 12 adults once charged with sexually assaulting children. ... The horrific allegations included the murder of animals and babies, and graphic descriptions of sex parties involving adults and children."

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Japanese hostage situation ends badly
CNN | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Three people have been killed and more than 20 others injured in an explosion at a Japanese office building after a knife-wielding man took several hostages and then set light to the area. The attacker, identified as 52-year-old Noboru Beppu, entered the building in the city of Nagoya at around 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning, armed with a knife and carrying a flammable liquid, Kyodo news agency reported. ... shortly after 1 p.m., a blast rocked the fourth-floor office of Nagoya-based Keikyubin Co., shattering windows and engulfing the floor with flames. Black smoke was seen billowing from the building and witnesses described bystanders bleeding from glass shards that rained down from the explosion."

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Another fetus found in sewage plant
kold.com | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Workers at a temporary headworks at the Roger Road Wastewater Treatment Facility found a fetus Monday morning as they were cleaning a filter. ... Normally the large debris is automatically cleared from the filter and trucks carry the debris to the landfill. The headworks have been under construction for three weeks to a month and the fetus might not have been discovered if the normal, automatic system was working. 'You know we really have no way of knowing if this is, if this has happened before and we haven't caught it,' says Laura Fairbanks of Pima County Wastewater Management. 'It's hard to say. About six years ago a fetus came into the plant and it was spotted on the refuse truck.'"

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Deadbeat dad used to hunt deadbeat dads
Wire Services | Submitted by: Laila Toosexyformyshirt
"A former Minnesota state official who once oversaw the state's child support enforcement division has been arrested in Las Vegas for allegedly failing to pay child support, federal officials said Monday. Francis Giberson, 56, who was deputy commissioner of the state Department of Human Services from 1983 to 1987, owes more than $106,000 in child support, according to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department's office of the inspector general. ... Police discovered he had a fake ID with the name of Charles F. Walsh III, which Giberson told police he used to avoid paying child support."

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The House at Poo Corner
Stuff NZ | Submitted by: Crazy Quagga
"A leak in an aircraft sewerage system could have created the 'bomb' of smelly flying waste that hit a house in a rural part of Wellington yesterday, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said today... Sheep and cattle farmer Shonnie Gordon said yesterday she could not believe her eyes or her nose, when she found the bathroom, outside walls and the roof of her home splattered with the substance." Includes mouth-watering photo.

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Mountaintop 9-11 flag burned
Denver Post | Submitted by: American Buzz Beer
"A giant American flag raised as a Sept. 11 memorial on a prominent mountaintop was torched over the weekend, sparking outrage from local residents and putting law enforcement on high alert. ... apparently sometime on Saturday, someone set the day-old, 10-by-15-foot flag ablaze, bent the pole and left a typewritten note condemning the U.S. war in Iraq, according to Summit County Sheriff Joe Morales. ... 'This was more than just simple vandalism. Whoever perpetrated this appears to either support (the terrorist attacks of) 9/11 or is just anti-American. It is very concerning,' said Morales, who notified the FBI's counterterrorism task force about the incident and launched a criminal investigation." [Brace yourself for that flag-burning amendment.]

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Solar flares are for lightweights
rednova.com | Submitted by: Crazy Quagga
"'The source of the blast was SGR 1900+14, a neutron star about 45,000 light years away,' says NASA astronomer Pete Woods. 'It was the strongest burst of cosmic x-rays and gamma rays we've ever recorded.' SGR 1900+14 is a special kind of neutron star called a magnetar. 'Magnetars have the strongest magnetic fields in the universe: a million billion (1015) gauss,' he says. For comparison, the magnetic field of the sun is less than 10 gauss in most places, and about 1000 gauss near sunspots. ... Flares from magnetars are about a million million times stronger, ~1044 ergs, befitting their more intense magnetic fields. ... When the blast wave from SGR 1900+14 arrived on August 27, 1998, it hit the night side of our planet -- something flares from the sun never do."

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Idiots mistake mercury jar for super happy fun ball
Muncie Star-Press | Submitted by: Gumabear
"A group of young people playing with a small bottle of mercury forced police to shut down a one-block area in the Old West End Neighborhood on Monday evening and seal off a southside business, authorities said. ... about 18 people who were playing with or were exposed to the hazardous liquid metal were detained, stripped and washed down. ... the group of teenagers found a 2-ounce bottle of mercury inside an abandoned business near Eighth and Walnut streets. ... They were tossing it on each other, dropping it and 'sloshing it all over the place,' Muncie Deputy Police Chief James Peters said." [Maybe they thought it was just robot jism.]

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Australian blood system runs on Visual Basic
Australian | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Australia's national blood management system is vulnerable to hacker attacks that could cause chaos and potentially endanger lives, according to a Red Cross IT insider. The new IT system for Australia's first national blood service is also tenfold over budget and four years behind schedule... But the greatest concern is the security risk caused by the fact that programmers who do the updates and corrections for Australia's blood management system are based overseas, including in Macedonia. ... 'My worry is that the system could be hacked and something could be slipped into the code and we would never know. Many of the programs are written in the Visual Basic language, which goes back some time, so we are not talking about (needing) phenomenal (hacking) skills here.'"

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Cheney still lying about Saddam and 9-11
Boston Globe | Submitted by: raw
"Vice President Dick Cheney, anxious to defend the White House foreign policy amid ongoing violence in Iraq, stunned intelligence analysts and even members of his own administration this week by failing to dismiss a widely discredited claim: that Saddam Hussein might have played a role in the Sept. 11 attacks. ... Details that Cheney cited to make the case that the Iraqi dictator had ties to Al Qaeda have been dismissed by the CIA as having no basis, according to analysts and officials. ... Vincent Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism specialist, said that Cheney's 'willingness to use speculation and conjecture as facts in public presentations is appalling. It's astounding.'"

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Robertson still telling God what to do
WTVM-TV 9 Columbus | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Pat Robertson, whose Christian Broadcasting Network could be hit by Hurricane Isabel, has asked God to turn the storm away from Virginia Beach and the U-S East Coast. On today's broadcast of The 700 Club, Robertson gave God credit for turning past hurricanes away in response to prayer. ... [Robertson invoked Jesus to cause] 'this storm to go out into the sea and to pass land harmlessly.'"

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