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December 22, 2003

Minister Darryl Strawberry counsels Jacko
MSNBC | Submitted by: anyone other than Bush in '04
"Pop singer Michael Jackson has found a friend in another celebrity whos had his own brushes with the law - former baseball star Darryl Strawberry. Strawberry, a member of the Without Walls International Church in Tampa, ministered to Jackson during a trip to the singer's Neverland Ranch this weekend... [Randy White, the church's head pastor] said Strawberry also talked to Jackson about dealing with media attention. Whether Jackson is guilty of molestation wasnt an issue in the meeting, White said. 'If he is guilty, he needs some type of ministry and counseling,' White said. 'And if he's not guilty, he needs some kind of ministry and counseling with all he's been through.'" [Amen to that.]

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British sex slaver imprisoned
BBC | Submitted by: sTabby
"Albanian Luan Plakici used a false British passport to find the 'poor, naive and gullible' in Eastern Europe. The 26-year-old was head of a gang of traffickers who made more than 1m... Detectives said it was the biggest case of human trafficking for prostitution seen in this country, supplying women to brothels in north London, Bedford, Luton and Reading... He even married one teenager before telling her she would be spending her wedding night working as a prostitute. In the months which followed he ordered her to have two abortions and made her 'return to work' within hours of each one."

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Woman fired for not being Christian enough
KnoxNews | Submitted by: Katie
"The case was filed by a woman who adheres to the Baha'i faith, a sect that believes several religious figures are equally authentic messengers of God. The lawsuit alleges that when she was fired, she was told that she was being fired before the Christmas season because her mere presence in the workplace would ruin her co-worker's holidays. The plaintiff also alleged that other co-workers told her that they were praying for her soul and that the office manager gave her a framed picture of Jesus. She claims that her termination notice contained a letter from her supervisor that said, 'Realize why Jesus Came. Recognize his Holy Name. Receive Jesus Christ into your heart. Rely on Jesus everyday.'"

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Quarry drowns fisherman
BBC | Submitted by: greenphantom
"Stanley King, who was recovering from an operation, got tangled in his line and was pulled into the water at Windsor, Berkshire, after a tug from the 3.5lb barbel. The 60-year-old called for help to his friend John Speer, who was on the riverbank, but he was unable to save him from drowning during the night time fishing trip. The body of the veteran angler, who had recently had an operation on his stomach, was not found until the next morning on 6 August this year."

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Floridians subjected to New Yorker feces cloud
WKMG-TV 6 Orlando | Submitted by: Rio
"Hazardous material crews are still monitoring a giant, smoldering pile of human waste that spontaneously caught fire at a fertilizer plant this weekend, according to Local 6 News... Investigators believe the 10- to 20-ton pile of sludge - which is used to make organic fertilizer - created enough internal heat to ignite on its own. Authorities said that the 'human waste' cloud is not a serious health risk, but did recommend people stay inside... Local 6 News reported that the pile of sludge was from New York."

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Jon Johansen wins in court
Aftenposten | Submitted by: buffaloBill
"Norway's most famous computer whiz got an early Christmas present on Monday. An appeals court in Oslo upheld Jon Lech Johansen's earlier acquittal on all counts of alleged copyright violations... Prosecutors had put Johansen back on trial earlier this month for his role in creating a software solution that removes copy protection from DVD films. He was dubbed 'DVD-Jon' after he helped crack the copy protection code as a teenager and then published it on the Internet... The new ruling was made by a panel of three professional judges backed up by four lay judges, two of whom had technical expertise relevant to the case."

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University profs worried about oversight proposal
xpress.sfsu.edu | Submitted by: rtype
"An upcoming bill has professors nervous that censorship may become the new norm in international studies programs... Conservative columnist Stanley Kurtz spoke in support of the bill to the committee in June, saying he felt that non-liberal points of view were being excluded from university teachings. 'I think the academy has become too one-sided,' he says. 'Professors tend to share a left-leaning cultural and political perspective, and there are few representatives of more moderate or conservative points of view. This is bad for everyone because it inhibits real debate and interchange.' HR 3077, he says, will encourage more diversity in academics."

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AOL slowly moving to India
c|Net | Submitted by: Mveck
"America Online is quietly laying the groundwork to hire software engineers in Bangalore, India - a decision that is sparking some pointed criticism but also is becoming de rigueur among technology companies. AOL's plans slipped out on its Web site in a Dec. 10 job posting seeking a global program manager to 'coordinate software development teams' in the United States, Dublin, Ireland, and Bangalore. The posting bothered some people because it appeared at the same time AOL announced it was laying off hundreds of software engineers at its Netscape Communications unit in Mountain View, Calif... 'The AOL guys always thought the Netscape guys were overpaid, they didn't ever integrate the Netscape stuff into their culture,' said the former Netscape project manager."

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