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October 15, 2003

Staten Island Ferry kills at least 14 commuters
ABC News | Submitted by: Mean Gene
"A Staten Island ferry slammed into a pier as it was docking Wednesday, killing 14 people, tearing off victims' limbs and sending passengers leaping into the water, officials said. At least 34 others were injured. The 310-foot ferry, with a capacity of 6,000 passengers, plowed into the enormous wooden pilings on the Staten Island end of its run from Manhattan, reducing the front of the mighty boat to a mass of shattered planks, broken glass and twisted steel... Commuters were trapped in piles of debris aboard the 22-year-old ferry, and victims screamed and dove for cover as metal crunched into wood just before the start of the evening rush hour, tearing girders, splintering planks and ripping a huge hole in the side of the vessel."

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Girl commits suicide after daddy allegedly raped her
BayArea.com | Submitted by: mika1973
"An 11-year-old girl apparently hanged herself in her bedroom after being raped by her father earlier in the day, police said. Valerie Charlene Lucie was found dead on Sept. 30. Timothy Lucie, 46, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of rape and sodomy and released Wednesday on $35,000 bond. Lucie told police he raped the girl in the shower after threatening to cut her hair unless she did what she was told, authorities said... Valerie and her four brothers were home-schooled by their mother. If convicted, Lucie faces up to 25 years to life on each charge."

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Dog eats paralyzed boy's fingers
WKMG-TV 6 Orlando | Submitted by: Rio
"A 6-year-old Florida boy who was partially paralyzed by a hit-and-run driver last year had four of his fingers chewed off by his family's dog because he couldn't feel what the animal was doing. Dontavius Bryant, of Tampa, Fla., was hit by a driver last year and left with no feeling on his left side, which is why he didn't feel the dog chewing off his fingers to his second knuckle while he slept... Hillsborough County animal control officials destroyed the puppy, a mixed breed of chow and pit bull named Chaka. The child's fingers were found in the dog's stomach, police said."

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Toddler killed by family's dogs
Canoe | Submitted by: Dag 88
"A three-year-old boy died Thanksgiving Day after being mauled by a pack of up to six frenzied dogs belonging to his grandmother on the Nelson House Cree Nation reserve, about 700 km north of Winnipeg... 'The little kid was playing with a puppy when he had a piece of bread in his hand. The dog jumped up and that's when the attack started,' he said. There were 15 dogs tied up in the yard, Avanthay said. Six of the dogs escaped and at least four attacked the boy."

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Scalia recused from pledge of allegiance case
Fox News | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Antonin Scalia will just be a spectator when the Supreme Court tackles the emotional Pledge of Allegiance case next year... The announcement surprised court watchers and even Michael Newdow, the California parent and atheist who wants the words 'under God' removed from the pledge. He sued on behalf of his 9-year-old daughter and won. Newdow asked Scalia to stay out of the case at the high court because of comments the conservative justice made during a speech at a religious event. Scalia criticized the appeals court ruling in Newdow's favor... Scalia's recusal makes a potentially close case even more tight. The remaining eight justices could deadlock 4-4. That would affirm the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal's ban on the religious reference, which would apply to 9.6 million schoolchildren in the nine states the court oversees: California, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, Washington, Idaho, Arizona, Hawaii and Alaska, plus Guam."

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Miranda rights under attack
ABC News | Submitted by: poorjon
"In a police practice some say is increasingly common, a St. Louis officer held off reading a suspect her Miranda rights until he got her to admit she played a role in setting a fire that killed a young boy. Then he read her her rights, and convinced her to confess again. Why? Because he thought, correctly as it turned out, that suspect Patrice Seibert would be more likely to make incriminating statements before she knew of her rights, and then it would be easy enough to get her to repeat the confession after she'd been 'Mirandized,' as the law requires... 'What's emerging in some states - and it may be more often than people think - is that police are deliberately violating Miranda in order to get some benefit down the road,' [University of Pennsylvania Law School professor David Rudovsky] said. 'If the court permits that, a lot of cynics say that's a clear signal that Miranda doesn't mean anything at all.'"

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Legislator wants probe into alleged pedophile ring
Canoe | Submitted by: egoman!!!
"A Canadian Alliance MP came to the scene of one of Canada's most notorious cases of child sexual abuse yesterday and promised to push federal authorities for an inquiry into the scandal of New Brunswick's Kingsclear Youth Training Centre. Peter Goldring, MP for Edmonton Centre-East, pointed toward the unremarkable brick building where hundreds of boys were sexually assaulted and traumatized and said there has been a coverup of what he believes was a pedophile ring. Only one person, Karl Toft, was convicted and sentenced to jail for crimes against children who were in his care as a guard at the reform school in the 1960s, '70s and '80s. 'I'm convinced there was a ring here,' Goldring told reporters as he stood near what used to be the Kingsclear centre, now a privately owned building."

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9-11 commission explores another unconstitutional idea
Salon | Submitted by: Fuzzy Guy
"The independent commission studying the Sept. 11 terror attacks is considering recommending changes in U.S. intelligence that would go well beyond actions of the Bush administration, including creation of a domestic spy agency modeled after Britain's MI5... In an interview on the eve of his testimony, [James B. Steinberg] said U.S. counterterror efforts remain hampered by decades-old walls separating the work of the FBI, which operates domestically and traditionally has focused on catching people who break laws, and the CIA, which works abroad and focuses on learning secrets. 'The beauty of the MI5 model is it breaks down both those walls,' said Steinberg, director of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution... Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge visited MI5 headquarters during a trip to Britain last year. He later said he doubted the Bush administration would create a similar domestic intelligence agency, because MI5's powers would be unacceptable under the U.S. Constitution."

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People still laughing over Colin Powell's UN speech
CBS News | Submitted by: Gambrinus
"The person responsible for analyzing the Iraqi weapons threat for Colin Powell says the Secretary of State misinformed Americans during his speech at the U.N. last winter. Greg Thielmann tells Correspondent Scott Pelley that at the time of Powell's speech, Iraq didn't pose an imminent threat to anyone - not even its own neighbors. 'I think my conclusion [about Powell's speech] now is that it's probably one of the low points in his long distinguished service to the nation,' says Thielmann... Steve Allinson and a dozen other U.N. inspectors in Iraq also watched Powell's speech. 'Various people would laugh at various times [during Powell's speech] because the information he was presenting was just, you know, didn't mean anything - had no meaning.'"

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Davis aide withheld good economic news until after recall
Contra Costa Times | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"As outgoing Gov. Gray Davis staged a farewell ceremony for his cabinet Thursday, Finance Director Steve Peace announced that an important new economic forecast holds more optimistic numbers than previously expected. Interviewed later, Peace said he received the news Sept. 29 from Howard Roth, the state's chief economist, but did not have a chance to tell Davis until Thursday's media event. [Um, what?] Asked why he didn't tell Davis sooner, Peace said the governor was extremely busy and the timing would have seemed politically suspect. 'Nobody would not have believed it anyway,' he said... The information now will be passed to the department's revenue unit, where experts will include it in the state budget that Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger unveils in January." [Now Arnold can claim credit for retroactively improving the state budget.]

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Iraq invasion yields mixed results on al Qaeda
CNN | Submitted by: Gambrinus
"War in Iraq has swollen the ranks of al Qaeda and galvanized the Islamic militant group's will, the International Institute for Strategic Studies says in its annual report... 'War in Iraq has probably inflamed radical passions among Muslims and thus increased al Qaeda's recruiting power and morale and, at least marginally, its operating capability,' it said... Al Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden, is blamed for the 2001 U.S. airliner hijack attacks which killed some 3,000 people."

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Cop arrested for underage pervcam
WNBC-TV 4 New York | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"A Port Authority police officer was charged with secretly videotaping an 11-year-old girl while she was taking a shower inside her Queens home... The 11-year-old girl was taking a shower last Friday morning when she saw a hand holding a video camera at the partly-raised bathroom window. The child told her family and a family member confronted Bass - who was allegedly standing in the backyard holding a bag. Bass allegedly fled on foot and dropped the bag - which had a video camera and several videotapes."

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Judge mandates father speaks English around daughter
ABC News | Submitted by: poorjon
"A Hispanic man who spoke to his 5-year-old daughter in Spanish has been ordered to use primarily English around the girl as a condition of his visitation rights. Sarpy County Judge Ronald E. Reagan said the child does not understand Spanish, and her father should speak to her in the language she knows... [the man's] attorney John Allen Sellers, said he was surprised that the judge 'would consider a restraint such as this based on racial or cultural differences of the parents.'"

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Ugandans killed for drinking alcohol
BBC | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) have killed 23 people in a market in the northern Ugandan district of Lira. The incident occurred on Monday night at Abako market where a group of some 17 rebels rounded up people as they were drinking a local alcoholic brew before shooting them. In addition to the deaths, 17 others were critically injured... the rebels also abducted an unknown number of civilians."

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Gay lobsterman appears in court in full regalia
Boston Herald | Submitted by: Heathen Heather
"One man's bent for living la vida loca as a gay lobster has landed him in hot water in Provincetown, where steamed officials contend Mark Ceria is nothing more than a scavenger picking on tourists. Ceria, 50, a sculptor who calls himself 'Provincetown's first gay lobster,' said he's been capering as a costumed crustacean since June, posing for snapshots in exchange for money 'to support my art.' He feels no need to butter up his critics. 'People love me,' he said yesterday after appearing in Orleans District Court as Mr. Lobster to plead not guilty to pot possession... The marijuana allegedly was found on Ceria last month when he was arrested on a warrant out of Gardner District Court charging the former Wendell landlubber with stealing an Enterprise rental car."

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Halliburton losing money out its ass, thanks to Cheney
Slate | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Last week, Halliburton, the oil-services and construction company formerly run by Vice President Dick Cheney, surprisingly warned that its earnings for the current quarter would be 15 percent lower than estimates... Halliburton attributes its earnings shortfall to problems in joint ventures and high legal fees - both of which can be laid at Cheney's feet. Cheney midwifed the Barracuda-Caratinga Project, which is gnawing a hole in the company's balance sheet. Under the $2.5 billion deal, announced in January 2000 when Cheney was CEO, Halliburton was supposed to develop two offshore oil fields in Brazil by December 2003 and April 2004, respectively. But the project has turned into a fiasco, with huge cost overruns and bad schedule misses. As of June 30, 2003, the project was 75 percent complete - and more than a year behind schedule. By that date, Kellogg, Brown and Root, the responsible subsidiary, had already recorded a pretax loss of $345 million on the project, with the possibility of greater losses to come... American citizens must hope they avoid the fate of Halliburton shareholders: at first glad to have the experienced Cheney at the top, then excited about his ambitious plans, and, finally, dismayed to be left holding the bag when Cheney moves on to another job."

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Philip Agee on the CIA leak
Common Dreams | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"The current brouhaha over the outing of an undercover CIA officer brings to mind vivid memories and comic ironies. The 1982 law that now threatens Karl Rove, or whoever it was who leaked the officer's name, is the Intelligence Identities Protection Act - and it was adopted to silence me... It was President George H.W. Bush who fought to get that law passed as CIA director in 1976-1977 and later as vice president... U.S. intelligence officers are being outed, and the law violated. It would be outrageous if it turned out that the outers are part of the Bush administration, and the exposure part of a cheap political tactic to punish an enemy."

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