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December 23, 2003

It's official: Mad Cow has breached the United States
Wire Services | Submitted by: Channing Derry
"The Agriculture Department announced Tuesday that a cow at a farm near Yakima, Wash., had tested positive for the brain-wasting disease... The disease was found in a Holstein cow, which could not move on its own, from a farm in Mabton, Wash., about 40 miles southeast of Yakima. It tested preliminarily positive on Dec. 9. Parts of the cow that would be infected - the brain, the spinal cord and the lower part of the small intestine - were removed before the animal went to a meat processing plant."

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USDA hiding Mad Cow documents
UPI | Submitted by: bud`
"Although the United States Department of Agriculture insisted the U.S. beef supply is safe Tuesday after announcing the first documented case of mad cow disease in the United States, the agency for six months repeatedly refused to release its tests for mad cow to United Press International. The USDA claims to have tested approximately 20,000 cows for the disease in 2002 and 2003, but has been unable to provide any documentation in support of this to UPI, which first requested the information in July. In addition, former USDA veterinarians tell UPI they have long suspected the disease was in U.S herds and there are probably additional infected animals." [Another example of the Bush administration wiping its ass with the FOIA regulations.]

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Lenny Bruce finally pardoned
New York Newsday | Submitted by: leisure
"Lenny Bruce, the Long Island-born, obscenity-slinging comic icon of the 1960s, became a free-speech hero Tuesday when Gov. George Pataki granted him the first posthumous pardon in New York state history. Pataki called the action, almost 40 years after Bruce was charged with the misdemeanor of Giving an Indecent Performance, 'a declaration of New York's commitment to upholding the First Amendment.' [And only 40 years after the fact! Give yourselves a well-deserved pat on the back!] ... Bruce was convicted in 1964 on obscenity charges stemming from a performance at Café Au Go Go in Greenwich Village. He used more than 100 'obscene' words during the act, undercover detectives who attended testified before a judicial panel."

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Rapists kill victim for being HIV-positive
Guardian | Submitted by: I Choose The Matrix
"An AIDS activist in South Africa was gang raped and then beaten to death after telling her attackers she was infected with the HIV virus, it has emerged. Police said yesterday that two men had been arrested on charges of participating in the rape and murder of Lorna Mlosana, 21, in the township of Khayelitsha outside Cape Town. 'After they finished, the lady told them she was HIV positive, and then they took her outside and killed her,' said Inspector Lunga Ntsinde... The attack evoked memories of the 1998 mob killing of Gugu Dlamini, an AIDS activist in Durban, after she revealed she had HIV. The fact that neighbours joined in the assault underlined just how profound was the stigma."

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Globetrotter pleads guilty to Ponzi scheme
Newsday | Submitted by: I Choose The Matrix
"Former Harlem Globetrotter Clyde 'the Glide' Austin pleaded guilty Friday to fraud and money laundering in a scheme that cheated investors of $20 million... According to a statement signed by Austin, he founded companies in the 1990s that ran investment programs from Cary, N.C., where he was a minister. He later moved to Las Vegas and continued the fraudulent 'Ponzi' scheme, in which early investors are paid with the contributions of later investors rather than from actual profits... He played only briefly for the NBA team before beginning a 10-year career with the Globetrotters, who combine comedic antics with masterful basketball."

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A Nigerian Christmas
South Florida Sun-Sentinel | Submitted by: Soylent
"The figures are fuzzy, but a 1997 U.S. State Department report put worldwide losses at "hundreds of millions of dollars" annually. Last year, the FBI said 74 people were taken for $1.6 million... Authorities say the cons fund drug trafficking and have become the fourth- or fifth-largest industry in Nigeria. The crime rings behind them, the Secret Service has concluded, 'represent a serious financial threat' to the United States. Sometimes the threat turns physical. At least eight Americans have been held against their will after traveling to Africa to get their money. Fifteen people have been killed, including one American whose burned body was dumped outside a hotel in Lagos, Nigeria."

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Another candidate for world's worst cop award
New York Newsday | Submitted by: cheesebus
"A Brooklyn cop is being investigated over Internet postings that brag about beating suspects, writing phony tickets and ignoring calls to his precinct. The officer, identified by Internal Affairs investigators as a patrol cop who works in the 75th Precinct, purportedly uses the pseudonym Brooklynbacon... Alongside pictures of motorcycle trick riders, naked women, photographs with comical captions and pictures of human oddities, Brooklynbacon posts messages supposedly about his job and, in some instances, his own misconduct. Any one of the offenses he describes could cost an officer his job... Many postings on the site offer what appears to be the view of a dissatisfied cop. Brooklynbacon slams the NYPD's anti-terrorism training as a waste of time and rips on the poor quality of bulletproof vests officers are issued. He also ridicules the people he purportedly is called on to help, calling himself a 'baby-sitter' and repeatedly saying that everyone he deals with is on welfare."

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Factory worker shredded
BBC | Submitted by: Nog
"A man has been killed after being caught up in a paper shredding machine at a Norfolk recycling plant... The company supplies animal bedding. The East Anglian Air Ambulance and the emergency services were called to the scene, but could do nothing to save the man, who is thought to be in his 30s." [More like 30 thousand! (rimshot)]

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Security through gaussian blur
MSNBC | Submitted by: anyone other than Bush in '04
"The government is deliberately blurring its highest-quality aerial photographs over Washington to hide objects in plain view on the roofs of the White House, Capitol and Treasury Department. The government also obscured aerial views of the Naval Observatory compound where Vice President Dick Cheney lives... Tourists can see the roofs of the White House and U.S. Capitol from dozens of tall buildings downtown, and the Web site for the National Park Service shows a June 2002 photograph of the White House from atop the Washington Monument."

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