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September 18, 2003

Museum buys 500-year-old dickface
Wire Services | Submitted by: The Grza
"A leading museum has paid 240,000 pounds for a plate which shows a portrait of a man whose head is made up entirely of penises. It is thought to have been made by Italian Renaissance ceramicist Francesco Urbini in the 16th century. The head is framed by a garland carrying the inscription: Ogni homo me guarda come fosse una testa de cazi (Every man looks at me as if I were a dickhead)." With photo.

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Death sentence for Aum cultist
Yahoo! News | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"A Japanese high court upheld a death sentence to a former Aum Supreme Truth sect member and martial arts expert for his part in 10 murders including victims of a 1994 nerve gas attack. Presiding judge Atsushi Semba turned down the appeal by Satoru Hashimoto, 36, at Tokyo High Court, rejecting the argument that his mind had been under control of Aum guru Shoko Asahara. ... Nine of Asahara's disciples, including Hashimoto, have been sentenced to hang in connection with the gas attacks and the murder of the lawyer's family."

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Saudis consider joining the nuclear club
Guardian | Submitted by: Soylent
"Saudi Arabia, in response to the current upheaval in the Middle East, has embarked on a strategic review that includes acquiring nuclear weapons, the Guardian has learned. ... Saudi Arabia does not regard Iran, a past adversary with which Riyadh has restored relations, as a direct threat. But it is unnerved by the possibility of Iran and Israel having nuclear weapons. ... UN officials said there have been rumours going back 20 years that the Saudis wanted to pay Pakistan to do the research and development on nuclear weapons."

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244 dogs confiscated from private residence
Sun | Submitted by: kIRK cALDY
"Shocked animal rescuers seized 244 dogs from a run-down three-bed house. It took stunned RSPCA officers two days with 12 vans to remove the distressed mutts. ... Hundreds of discarded dog-food cartons littered a stinking yard containing five sheds. Last night neighbours said they suffered ten years of hell as the animals barked and whined all day. ... The huge canine collection included shih-tzus, dachshunds, Lhasa Apsos, bearded collies and a corgi."

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Another sex cult based on the Old Testament
Reno Gazette-Journal | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Raymond R. George, 55, of Reno was arrested Sept. 10 on suspicion of two counts of sexual assault of a minor and three counts of lewdness with a minor under the age of 14. ... A search of Raymond George's residence revealed evidence of child sexual abuse, including evidence that he believed the teenagers were his 'wives' and that he was living in a 'cult-like' environment, said Sgt. Kim Bradshaw. 'George used his interpretation of the Bible to convince these people that this was all OK in the eyes of God,' Bradshaw said."

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Dad kills self, four sons
Manchester Online | Submitted by: optional
"Farm worker Keith Young, from Winsford in Cheshire, called Samantha Young on her mobile, put their seven-year-old son on the line and said: 'Say goodbye to your mum and tell her you love her.' Little Joshua obeyed his dad. [She] could hear her other children crying and the sound of a lawn mower engine pumping out the carbon monoxide that killed them and their father in his car, an inquest in Wrexham was told. ... Referring to her pregnancy he said: 'I hope you're happy, I hope you have a grudge against that baby for the rest of your life.'"

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Thieves steal sensitive equipment from Sydney Int'l
Sydney Morning Herald | Submitted by: Mike
"On the night of Wednesday, August 27, two men dressed as computer technicians and carrying tool bags entered the cargo processing and intelligence centre at Sydney International Airport. ... Inside, they spent two hours disconnecting two computers, which they put on trolleys and wheeled out of the room, past the security desk, into the lift and out of the building. The brazen theft has prompted Australia's top security agencies to conduct emergency damage audits amid fears that terrorists may have gained access to highly sensitive intelligence from the computers. ... The Australian Customs Service has admitted the security blunder, but told customs officers in an email that no sensitive operational information was lost. This brought angry rebuttals from customs officers who claimed that the two mainframe servers held thousands of confidential files, including top-secret communications between customs investigators and the AFP and ASIO." [That can't be good.]

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Snake infestation closes school
starkvilledailynews.com | Submitted by: TrujilloX
"East Oktibbeha Elementary students will stay home from school today and until further notice after snake infestation problems reached a breaking point between school officials and parents Wednesday. ... Parents received a letter after school on Wednesday informing the parents that the school would not open to students today and to stay tuned to local media outlets for information about when students may return to school."

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Bank robber not detail-oriented
Houston Chronicle | Submitted by: Laila Myhusbandisanasshole
"Castillo is accused of walking into the Southwest Bank of Texas at 2222 Shaver Street on Tuesday morning and demanding money from a teller. He fled the bank with an undetermined amount of cash in a 1999 Ford Contour. Witnesses were able to give police the car's description and license plate number. The car had been reported stolen from Advantage Auto Sales in Houston on Monday when a man test drove the car but never returned it. The man had the car, but the car dealership had the man's driver's license. Bank personnel were able to identify Castillo in a photo lineup using the driver's license."

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Murder suspect fucks with wrong Bible study group
AZ Central | Submitted by: FastEddy
"Police said Brandon Kent Henderson, 24, was captured Tuesday evening while trying to steal a car from a Glendale home where the six were holding their weekly Bible class. ... During a discussion on biblical prophecies, the six heard a noise coming from the garage of the home northwest of 67th Avenue and the Loop 101. They stepped into the garage to investigate and found a man trying to back out in an Audi TT sports car that belongs to the homeowner... A man, later identified as Henderson, slipped out of the car and tried to flee as Hagen, Smith, Cook and three others converged on the vehicle... Henderson was tackled in the street and held down while the six waited a few minutes for Glendale police to arrive."

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Jury doesn't buy Chinese bullion story
BBC | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"The jury in the fraud trial of Michael Slamaj and Graham Halksworth were unconvinced by a conspiracy theory involving enormous amounts of Chinese gold and American money. ... In the 1940s the Chinese nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Shek, facing a twin threat from the invading Japanese and Mao Zedong's Communist rebels, sent thousands of tonnes of gold to the US for safekeeping, the court was told. Halksworth and Slamaj said they had been told the Chinese gold was used to 'create' Fort Knox, boosting the Depression-hit US economy. The gold was supposedly exchanged for the 1934 Federal Reserve bonds but in 1948 a US B-29 plane carrying crashed shortly after taking off from the Clark air base in the Philippines."

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Interior Dept. computers still woefully insecure
Government Computer News | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Interior secretary Gale Norton told the Office of Management and Budget recently that the department's financial systems are riddled with security weaknesses, even after she had told the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last month that they were secure. ... Norton wrote to OMB on Sept. 8 that Interior 'has not established access controls that limit or detect inappropriate access to information technology systems and related resources, thereby increasing the risk of unauthorized modification, loss or disclosure of sensitive or confidential data.' ... Norton made a contrary statement in an Aug. 11 court filing, saying Interior's 'IT systems are secure, for purposes of Internet connectivity ... and sufficient security measures are presently in place to protect [against] unauthorized Internet access.'"

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Monkeys demand equitable treatment
Wire Services | Submitted by: Gremlin
"Researchers set up a system in which female capuchins were given tokens, which the monkeys could exchange for so-so cucumbers or highly preferred grapes. The monkeys did not know in advance which of the treats they would receive. ... In some cases, the monkey that was being short-changed would pay its token but refuse to accept the cucumber. Sometimes it would refuse to pay and would stop participating in the experiment. ... In more extreme cases, when one capuchin saw the other receive a grape for free without having to pay the token the unfairly treated capuchin would throw away its cucumber although it had paid for it."

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Another idiot's death pinned on 'Jackass'
KRQE-TV 13 Albuquerque | Submitted by: D.Rango
"Police say a skateboarder being pulled by a sport-utility vehicle on an Albuquerque street died after he lost control and fell. ... police believe this specific incident was modeled after a stunt on the MTV show Jackass. Police say several teenagers were inside a Jeep Cherokee riving westbound on Comanche Wednesday night while two of their friends held onto the back of the Jeep while on skateboards. Witnesses tell police the jeep was traveling very quickly when Cornelius lost control and fell."

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Congress reviews Presidential succession plan
The Hill | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"The Senate Judiciary and Rules and Administration Committees held a joint hearing Tuesday on how to best revise the system for replacing the president following a catastrophic event. ... witnesses questioned whether members of Congress should be in line for commander-in-chief, suggested creating an Assistant Vice President post and proposed confirming a new administration's cabinet before the presidential inauguration."

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