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December 03, 2003

India plagued by Tantric killings
Christian Science Monitor | Submitted by: Teaperson
"Since the disappearance and death of his 6-year-old son Monu in October, Narendra Kumar has learned that he was kidnapped and killed in a ritual human sacrifice. The perpetrators were childless neighbors who were desperate to have a son of their own. It was the 25th killing this year linked to Tantric practices... All five of the accused - including the childless couple, two of their relatives, and a Tantric priest - have confessed to killing Monu in a mango grove not far from the village. According to police documents, the wife confessed to bathing in Monu's blood, under priest's instruction."

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Man suing for Vince Foster crime scene photos
Wire Services | Submitted by: The Grza
"Multiple investigations determined that a depressed Vincent Foster shot himself in the head, but California attorney Allan Favish and some others say he may have been murdered as part of a cover-up by the Clinton administration... Foster, 48, was found dead of a gunshot to the head in a park in Virginia in 1993. The longtime friend of Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton was handling several personal legal matters for them at the time. The Bush administration maintains that thousands of pages of reports about the Foster death and more than 100 photographs have already been released, and five government investigations concluded that the death was a suicide."

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Pentagon fires Guantanamo lawyers on first day
Guardian UK | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"A team of military lawyers recruited to defend alleged terrorists held by the US at Guantanamo Bay was dismissed by the Pentagon after some of its members rebelled against the unfair way the trials have been designed, the Guardian has learned. And some members of the new legal defence team remain deeply unhappy with the trials - known as 'military commissions' - believing them to be slanted towards the prosecution and an affront to modern US military justice... 'The first day, when they were being briefed on the dos and don'ts, at least a couple said: "You can't impose these restrictions on us because we can't properly represent our clients." When the group decided they weren't going to go along, they were relieved. They reported in the morning and got fired that afternoon.' The Pentagon's recently set up Office of Military Commissions denied the claim. 'That is not true, never happened,' said its spokesman."

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Pastor beats boy with sticks
statesman.com | Submitted by: El Guapo
"A 12-year-old boy testified Wednesday that a South Austin pastor beat him a hundred times with two sticks - until the boy's shirt was bloody - because the child was goofing off in Bible class. 'He said I have the devil in me,' said Louie Guerrero... Prosecutor Dana Blazey said during Wednesday's opening arguments that Guerrero spent five days in intensive care after the beating because doctors were worried he would have kidney failure."

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Girlfriend bites off piece of boyfriend's tongue
Wichita Eagle | Submitted by: bropandopy
"A Wichita woman was arrested after biting off part of her boyfriend's tongue when he tried to kiss and make up after a fight, Wichita police said... When officers arrived, they learned that the man had pushed the woman and caused some minor scratches, Johnson said. Johnson said officers reported that the woman bit off 'a good portion' of the man's tongue during his attempted kiss. Johnson said the piece of tongue was found and taken with the man to the hospital."

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Israeli pilots unhappy over dead bystanders
Guardian | Submitted by: Lydia
"For two months, a rebel group of Israeli Black Hawk helicopter and F-16 fighter pilots has been denounced as traitors for saying they will no longer bomb Palestinian cities... The line was crossed for most of the pilots with the dropping of the one-tonne bomb last year on the home of a Hamas military leader, Salah Shehade, killing him and 14 of his family, mostly children... 'You don't have to be a genius to know that the destruction from a one-tonne bomb is massive, so someone up there made a decision to drop it knowing it would destroy buildings... Someone took the decision to kill innocent people. This is us being terrorists. This is vengeance.'"

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Crusaders suing over anachronistic road name
CNN | Submitted by: The Grza
"The Anti-Defamation League, Japanese American Citizens League and others filed a discrimination complaint on behalf of two Japanese-Americans with two U.S. government agencies asking for them to suspend paying federal tax dollars to Jefferson County in Texas until the county renames 'Jap Road.' The three-mile stretch of road in Fannett, near Beaumont, has been around for about 100 years. It was named to honor a Japanese family who moved to the area and helped introduce the region to rice farming... The complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development." [The federal government doesn't have anything better to do than rename a Texas road?]

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Possible life sentence for torture killing
Guardian | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Matthew Welsh, 19, led his girlfriend and his best friend into a vicious assault on 14-year-old Adam Morrell in which he was punched, kicked and stamped on before being burned with boiling water mixed with sugar... He was later strangled to death, decapitated and chopped up limb by limb by 27-year-old Nathan Barnett, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at an earlier hearing. The gang were taking ecstasy, smoking cannabis and drinking on the night of the attack." [Um, so what? Did somebody force them to get high?]

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Man dies attempting to steal sewer service
Canoe | Submitted by: Hans Krule
"Lorenzo Pilagatti's wife and daughter watched in horror as he was buried alive and died in a trench he had excavated in his front lawn. The 40-year-old unemployed construction worker had climbed into the three-metre-deep trench he had dug with a backhoe at his 94 Elgin Mills Rd. home at 8:30 p.m. on Monday when the sides collapsed, trapping him up to his neck. Richmond Hill fire and rescue crews worked for several hours to free him until a second collapse completely buried Pilagatti just after 1 a.m. yesterday."

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Another chance at justice for Pinochet
Reuters | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Chilean lawyers said on Wednesday they will resume efforts to try former dictator Augusto Pinochet for human rights crimes, saying a recent television interview showed the 88-year-old general was neither senile nor forgetful. Chile's Supreme Court halted a trial of Pinochet in 2001 on grounds that he was mentally unfit after court-ordered medical exams had showed he suffered a mild form of dementia brought on by minor strokes... The TV interview, arranged by Pinochet's daughter, sparked controversy in Chile. Pinochet's supporters called it a public relations gaffe, while his foes said it showed the former dictator is not 'crazy or demented,' the legal language used when he was ruled unfit to stand trial."

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Canadian government obsessed with porn
Canoe | Submitted by: Hans Krule
"Ontario's Marketplace Standards and Services Division spent 95% of its inspection resources checking video stores for valid licences and ensuring adult videos were being sold with appropriate rating stickers attached. The devotion to dirty movies - 1,600 inspections - comes despite receiving only eight complaints about video retailers and theatres in a year. In contrast, the division received a total of 4,000 complaints in 2001-02 about debt collectors and conducted only 10 inspections of collection agencies."

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UN liberates 34 Congolese sex slaves
Independent Online | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"United Nations troops freed dozens of young girls and women used as sex slaves during raids on camps run by ethnic militiamen in north-eastern Congo, officials said on Wednesday. United Nations troops, deployed to bring peace to a region where rival ethnic militias regularly kill civilians, also seized munitions including antipersonnel mines and electronic detonators in the raids on Tuesday... 'Three prisoners were freed from underground prison cells. Thirty-four women used as sexual slaves in the camp were freed as well,' Salmeron said. According to Salmeron, who is based in Bunia, local witnesses said the women and girls were aged between 12 and 23 and had been held for four months."

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Abortion doctor convicted of molesting patients
Arizona Republic | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Dr. Brian Finkel, the outspoken gun-toting Phoenix abortion doctor, was convicted Tuesday on 22 counts of sexually abusing patients over the past 17 years. Finkel, 54, was found not guilty on 34 more counts, including six of the more serious charges of sexual assault... During Finkel's three-month trial, a parade of victims told of sexual abuse that included twisting their nipples, kissing them or fondling them inappropriately during exams."

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Berlusconi caught up in conflict of interest
BBC | Submitted by: qwf
"The Italian Senate has approved a controversial measure which allows Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to consolidate his media domination... One provision of the bill is to reverse a court ruling that Mr Berlusconi's Mediaset company must sell off one of its three TV stations by 1 January... The bill contains a number of different provisions, including the creation of multi-channel digital broadcasting. It will also lift the ban on cross-ownership of broadcast and print media in 2009 and increase the amount of advertising that one single company can have. Both measures will increase the profitability of Mr Berlusconi's companies."

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Britain finally apologizes for forcible deportation
Canadian Broadcasting | Submitted by: Rufferto
"At the beginning of the French and Indian War (1754), the British government demanded that Acadians take an oath of allegiance to the Crown. Most of them refused. British Governor Charles Lawrence retaliated by deporting the Acadians from the area and dispersing them among the 13 colonies. Many colonies refused to take refugees and deported the Acadians back to Europe. This was referred to as the Grand Dérangement (or Great Expulsion) of 1755."

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Polygamist fighting for constitutional protection
Washington Times | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"A Utah man with five wives is in court fighting to get his bigamy conviction overturned on the basis of the U.S. Supreme Court's June ruling that decriminalized homosexual relations. The legal action by polygamist Tom Green in the Utah Supreme Court seems to confirm predictions of a Republican lawmaker and other social conservatives who warned that the high court's decision would open the door to attempts to legalize other sexual activities that historically have been outlawed by states, such as bigamy, polygamy, prostitution, adult incest and even bestiality."

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Justice system discriminates against pederasts
KMBC-TV 9 Kansas City | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"An appellate judge questioned Tuesday whether the state has any reason to punish some illegal sex more harshly because it involves homosexual acts, saying some of the reasons advanced by the state were 'utterly ridiculous.' A three-judge panel of the Kansas Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday in the case of Matthew R. Limon, now serving a sentence of 17 years and two months in prison for criminal sodomy, a conviction stemming from sex acts in 2000 with a 14-year-old boy... Had Limon been engaged in sex with an underage girl, he could have been sentenced to one year and three months in prison for the same conduct. The American Civil Liberties Union, representing Limon, argued that such different treatment represents unconstitutional discrimination against gays and lesbians."

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Allegedly drunk woman allegedly rams gas pump
Miami Herald | Submitted by: Lucid346
"Shortly after 5 a.m., police say Debra Ann Marren, 43,, who appeared to be inebriated, walked into the Citgo gas station at 3301 N. University Dr. and tried to purchase wine and beer. The clerk refused to sell alcohol to Marren, citing city and county ordinances that prohibit the sale of beer or wine before 6 a.m... Marren then jumped into her dark-colored car and squealed out of the parking lot. Before leaving the area, she slammed on her brakes and raced backward in her vehicle striking a gas pump, which exploded and erupted into flames."

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The torture industry
Chile Post | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"'It's possible to use anything for torture,' says a US manufacturer of electro-shock riot shields, 'but it's a little easier to use our devices.' Amnesty International has campaigned for many years to end the trade in torture equipment. In Arming the Torturers: Electro-Shock Torture and the Spread of Stun Technology and Stopping the torture trade, Amnesty International detailed the largely unregulated business of manufacturing and trading electro-shock weaponry and other devices which are ostensibly designed for security, but which in reality lend themselves to serious abuses of human rights."

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Upton Sinclair spinning in grave
Daily Southtown | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"A Frankfort man pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges he continued to store food in the massive Chicago warehouse he managed despite a long-running invasion of rats hungry for cereal and corned beef brisket. David Smith, 43, of the 22000 block of Princeton Court, pleaded guilty to one count of improperly storing meat products. Smith said he organized squads of his employees into 'rat patrols' to police the multilevel LaGrou Cold Storage Inc. warehouse at 2101 W. Pershing Road, but didn't warn federal food regulators or warehouse customers about the rodent horde. He also knew about sewage dripping onto food boxes from leaky overhead pipes... An estimated $7.5 million worth of food had to be destroyed because of contamination."

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Just another cat lady
Wire Services | Submitted by: The Grza
"Officers wearing oxygen tanks to protect themselves from the stench removed 49 dead cats from a garage where they had died while waiting for a woman to find them new homes, authorities said... Police who removed the dead animals on Sunday said the 45-year-old Michigan City woman, who described herself as an animal lover, apparently became overwhelmed by the number of animals in her care... They found cages full of dead cats, birds and rabbits stacked throughout the garage, which was littered with urine, feces, maggots and flies. In a nearby modular home, officers found 29 live animals, mostly beagles, inside cages or locked in rooms with floors soaked in waste."

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Thai politicians ready to legislate own morality
BBC | Submitted by: unaesthetic
"MPs from Thailand's ruling Thai Rak Thai Party are getting hot under the collar over plans by the party leadership to ban them from having mistresses or visiting brothels. Later this month, the party, led by the prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, will consider plans to screen candidates so that only faithful and monogamous husbands can stand in elections. One MP told The Nation newspaper that if the rules were enforced, the party would only be able to field around 30 candidates, compared to its more than 200 sitting MPs. Another said it would lead to mass defections."

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Public toilet behind glass
BBC | Submitted by: unaesthetic
"A fully functioning toilet is to be unveiled as a public piece of art. Artist Monica Bonvicini has created a minimalist glass cube containing a usable loo to stand opposite the Tate Britain gallery in London. The work, called Don't Miss A Sec, is made out of one-way glass which means you can see out but not in."

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Pot ad prompts punitive legislation
Washington Post | Submitted by: Harry Canyon
"An Oklahoma lawmaker is seeking to slice $92,500 from the federal government's annual payment to Metro because he is angry that the transit agency accepted advertising from a nonprofit group that wants to decriminalize marijuana... The ad showed a man carrying a tanned blonde in a short white dress, the two of them set against the azure sky of some tropical retreat. Under the picture appeared the declaration: 'Enjoy better sex! Legalize and Tax Marijuana.' ... This week, Istook inserted into a bill language that would cut Metro's funds by $92,500 and prohibit any transit system that receives federal funds from running advertising from a group that wants to decriminalize marijuana... Metro officials initially refused the ads when Change the Climate approached them in 2001. But when they were threatened with a First Amendment lawsuit backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, officials relented."

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Scammers becoming the scammed
Stuff NZ | Submitted by: Ogle
"Computer buffs in New Zealand are 'baiting' Nigerian fraudsters in a game dubbed the new internet bloodsport, a report said today. The ultimate goal is to turn the fraud back on the Nigerians, but authorities warn the game is dangerous and are urging people not to play... The baiters pretend to fall for the scams while secretly humiliating the fraudsters, whom they call 'lads.' Typically, they make endless demands for proof of identity that force the lads to forge passports, bank accounts and documents. Sometimes the lads are told to photograph themselves in ridiculous poses, with loaves of bread on their heads, or clutching signs with secret passwords."

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Israeli vet discriminates against black cat
BBC | Submitted by: Queeebec
"A black cat has been barred from the stairwell of a housing block in Israel because he scares local residents. Kooshi, a seven-year-old mixed breed with a jet-black coat and green eyes, looked ferocious, residents in Rishon Letzion complained to town officials... A neighbour told Associated Press: 'It brings you bad luck, you go in the street, you walk in the street and you see black cat, it [messes] up the whole day - this is very bad, very bad for Karma, for communication, very bad.'"

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Jon Johansen back in court
BBC | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Jon Johansen, 20, is accused of breaking Norwegian law by cracking DVD codes and helping others copy films. In January this year, he was acquitted after courts said he did not break the law when he created his DeCSS system. The case is seen as a major test of Norway's computer protection laws, and a verdict is expected early 2004."

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DJ tells kids Santa doesn't exist
Newsday | Submitted by: allism
"Babylon radio station WBAB/ 102.3 FM is experiencing a backlash from some listeners after a Monday morning show promoted a big announcement to families for several days, then told children that Santa Claus... (stop reading this if you're under 10)... does not exist. At 7:20 a.m., John Parise of 'Roger and JP in the morning' informed listeners Santa is none other than mom and dad."

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Bogoturkey & ghost pilot adorn Bush Thanksgiving
Washington Post | Submitted by: Soylent
"President Bush's Baghdad turkey was for looking, not for eating. In the most widely published image from his Thanksgiving day trip to Baghdad, the beaming president is wearing an Army workout jacket and surrounded by soldiers as he cradles a huge platter laden with a golden-brown turkey... But as a small sign of the many ways the White House maximized the impact of the 2 1/2-hour stop at the Baghdad airport, administration officials said yesterday that Bush picked up a decoration, not a serving plate... The White House has updated its account of an airborne conversation in which a British Airways pilot wondered into his radio if he had just seen Air Force One and was told that it was a Gulfstream 5, a much smaller plane... British Airways said it has been unable to confirm the new version. 'We've looked into it,' a spokeswoman said from London. 'It didn't happen.'"

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