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December 15, 2003

Strom Thurmond's family claims half-breed
CNN | Submitted by: Truxillo-X
"The family of the late US Senator Strom Thurmond on Monday issued a statement saying the family 'acknowledges' a claim made by a retired mixed-race Los Angeles schoolteacher. The statement says the family hopes the acknowledgement will bring closure for Essie Mae Washington-Williams, the 78-year-old who has long been rumored to have been Thurmond's daughter."

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Nurse admits killing 30-40 patients
News 12 New Jersey | Submitted by: The Gamble
"A 43-year-old former nurse at Somerset Medical Center is being charged with first-degree murder after a patient died while in his care. Charles Cullen told a judge that he planned to plead guilty and did not want a lawyer to represent him. Cullen also told investigators that he killed between 30 and 40 patients while spending 16 years as a nurse in New Jersey and Pennsylvania... According to prosecutors, Cullen admitted the murder and said he intended to alleviate the pain and suffering of some patients... Over the last 16 years, he worked in five different hospitals across New Jersey."

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Nigerians reject evil American polio vaccine
BBC | Submitted by: chompson
"The northern Nigerian state of Kano is not part of a new polio vaccination campaign being conducted by the World Health Organisation after health fears. Muslim leaders in the historic city say the vaccine has been laced with anti-fertility drugs. Scientific tests in Nigeria approved the injection. Nigeria has the world's highest number of new polio cases, centred in Kano, and it is spreading to other countries... Datti Ahmed, the President of the Kano-based Sharia (Islamic Law) Supreme council, has told the BBC that the vaccine is part of a United States-led conspiracy to de-populate the developing world."

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Accused nutball sends Christmas card to victim's dog
Boston Herald | Submitted by: Stephen DeToma
"A Natick man accused of beating his female roommate with a hammer last month has sent a Christmas card to her dog in which he claims to be the devil. Kathleen Powers, 49, formerly of 74 South Ave., said the card, sent by Michael Stuart, 49, disturbed her so much she had nightmares... In the rambling note, Stuart wrote, 'Merry Christmas and happy New Year, and that goes to you too, Patience. When you spell God backward, you get dog. Patience is a dog, the all mighty star in heaven. I am Lucifer, the all mighty demon in hell.' Prosecutors said at Stuart's arraignment last month he hit Powers 12 times with the hammer, choked her, tried to rip her tongue out of her mouth and punched her dog."

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Lauryn Hill spoils Vatican extravaganza
Catholic World News | Submitted by: bud`
"Vatican officials are privately fuming about the international attention given to an American pop singer who used a Vatican Christmas concert as the occasion for an attack on the Church. Lauryn Hall, a 'hip-hop' performer, shocked organizers of the Saturday night concert when - instead of performing the song that had been scheduled - she announced: 'I did not come here to celebrate the birth of Christ with you.' Hill proceeded with an indictment of corruption in the Church... The concert, which was co-sponsored by the Rome diocese and Prime Time Productions, was being taped for television broadcast on Christmas Eve... Organizers indicated that Hill's outburst would be cut from the broadcast version."

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16 tons of liver dumped by jacknifed rig
Bloomsburg Press-Enterprise | Submitted by: sTabby
"Sunday's storm led to a rash of accidents, including one in South Centre Township where police say a jackknifed tractor-trailer dumped roughly 32,000 pounds of liver all over Bloomsburg Carpet's parking lot... The rig was headed towards the Del Monte pet food plant when driver Samuel W. Smith of North Carolina says a black vehicle trying to pass him might have bumped the truck's back end, police reported. When Smith hit the brakes, the rig jackknifed and wound up in the ditch in front of the plant." [Sure, blame the black car.]

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Kurds claim credit for catching Saddam
Sydney Morning Herald | Submitted by: qwf
"Six hundred troops were involved in Operation Red Dawn yesterday, but only a few saw the bearded and haggard-looking Saddam crawling out from the hole under a two-room mud hut, littered with clothes and smelling rank... [4th ID commander Major-General Ray Odierno] said the capture involved a joint operation, but would not reveal the exact role of special forces and other secretive units that have concentrated on tracking down Saddam. Kurdish officials said their peshmerga fighters also played a key role in nabbing Saddam, but American officials made no mention of the Kurdish role and Odierno said only US troops were involved in the capture."

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Amsterdam only prosecuting for 3+ kilos
BBC | Submitted by: BrummieJimjam
"Smugglers arrested with less than three kilos of cocaine at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport will not be prosecuted under plans by the Dutch Government. The policy is designed to ease pressure on the judicial system due to a rising number of arrests of drug couriers... Schiphol is a key transport hub in Europe About 150 cocaine smugglers are arrested there each month... Last year, the government stopped prosecuting drug couriers carrying less than one-and-a-half kilos, but those with larger amounts were sent home with a court summons on the understanding they would be prosecuted in their home countries. Still, extra courts and prison cells were not enough to deal with the drug traffickers."

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New firearm shoots around corners
Wired | Submitted by: When you pry it from my dead, cold hand.
"Veterans of Israeli anti-terror units demonstrated a new gun Monday that can fire at a target from around the corner, making it particularly effective in urban combat... the new weapon can be fired through an exploded doorway around the corner into a house, or from a hall into a room. A soldier sees the target on a small TV screen mounted on the barrel of the gun... The device swivels at the middle, 63 degrees to the left or right, with the stock, trigger and the small screen at the hand-held end. The entire firing mechanism, fitted with a pistol that sits over a mini-camera with a zoom lens, is located at the front end."

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Another Ponzi scheme targeting churches
Sacramento Bee | Submitted by: scanner
"Sacramento Assemblies of God leader Glen Cole said Setser's affable, born-again persona and connections to renowned evangelists persuaded him to invest millions of dollars in church funds in Setser's purported import-export business, International Products Investment Corp. (IPIC), which promised returns of as much as 50 percent within six months. [Um hello?!] Last month, federal agents charged Setser, a self-anointed evangelist from San Bernardino County, with masterminding a Ponzi scheme that fleeced at least 29 churches and hundreds of ministers nationwide out of $160 million... SEC officials say the company falsely claimed $700 million in annual revenues on far-flung enterprises that purportedly included real estate speculation, oil exploration, the treatment of infectious diseases, the sale of condoms and even a diamond mine in the Republic of Congo that it operated for President Bush and his family... Federal agents searching Setser's Rancho Cucamonga home found a copy of the book How to Be Invisible and a printout on The Complete Guide to Off-Shore Money Havens."

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Ex-CIA veteran wants resignations from Cheney, Tenet
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Submitted by: Frem
"I've just been watching very, very closely how intelligence has been abused in the lead up to the Iraq war and, now, after the war. I fear for what this will mean for a very crucial part of our government. If the president can't turn to the CIA for straight answers, whether he knows it or not, he's in bad shape. He has nowhere to turn for a straight answer. He can't expect Wolfowitz or Rumsfeld to tell him, 'Sorry boss, we didn't think of A or B or C. We thought it would be a cakewalk.' He's getting slanted advice from the people running the policy toward Iraq."

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Defendant's mom hoping for execution
Macon Telegraph | Submitted by: lemmiwinks
"Eva Reyes knew this day would come, the day her friends found out her son was a murderer, and even worse, an accused serial killer... even though the news anchor mispronounced her son's last name, she knew instantly it was him. He had killed before. 'If he's on the outside of a prison, he's killing somebody,' Reyes said... Prosecutors are considering the death penalty for Maust, something else that upsets Reyes. 'I wouldn't like it, but I think that's suitable. That's better than what would happen if another stupid judge turns him loose.'"

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