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December 30, 2003

Scientists create "hyper-virulent" form of tuberculosis
BBC | Submitted by: unaesthetic
"A virulent form of tuberculosis was created in the laboratory by experts trying to alter its genetic structure. The mutant form of the bug multiplied more quickly, and was more lethal than its natural counterpart. Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley, US, had actually been trying to disable genes and make the bacterium less deadly. 'This is one of the very few hyper-virulent organisms ever created,' said scientist Dr Lisa Morici... They disabled [certain] genes, and expected to find a weakened form of TB as a result. Instead, the organism grew in virulence. It killed laboratory mice within seven months of exposure, while those infected with normal TB survived the experiment."

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Saddam protected by Geneva Convention
Australian Broadcasting | Submitted by: anyone other than Bush in '04
"The international Red Cross has asked the US-led coalition in Iraq for access to captured former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Under the Geneva Conventions the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has the right to contact any prisoner of war or detained civilian... prisoners are only bound to give their name, rank, date of birth and equivalent information, and forbids physical or mental torture, or 'any other form of coercion ... to secure from them any kind of information whatever.'"

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Cable installers charged in cat dragging death
Press of Atlantic City | Submitted by: optional
"Two cable installers face animal-cruelty charges after police allegedly saw a cat tethered to the bumper of a cable-company truck and being dragged along at a high rate of speed as another truck from the same company drove behind it. The Dec. 22 incident killed the adult cat and left it mutilated to the point that the animal's sex cannot be determined, police Sgt. Ken Brown said Monday... The cat was tied to the rear bumper of one truck by its neck with four feet of cable wire and one of its legs had snapped off... Authorities identified the driver of the truck that was dragging the cat as Robert Hewitt Jr., 28, of Hickory Lane in Egg Harbor Township, and the driver of the truck that was following him as Joseph M. Newton Jr., 25, of Maddox Run in Galloway Township."

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Tammy Faye still milking her shtick
WKMG-TV 6 Orlando | Submitted by: Rio
"Tammy Faye Messner, the ex-wife of televangelist Jim Bakker, says she may pick up some tips on make-up from the male transvestites she'll appear with this Friday. The former Tammy Faye Bakker will host Drag Bingo in Durham , to raise money for the Alliance of AIDS Services Carolina... Noting that many drag queens make themselves up to look like her, Messner said, 'They do a better job of me than I do.'"

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Man rescued from apartment clutter
New York Times | Submitted by: Tom the Tom
"A Bronx man trapped for two days under an avalanche of newspapers, magazines and books was rescued by firefighters and neighbors yesterday in a small urban drama that recalled the macabre 1947 tale of the Collyer brothers... It took more than an hour to extricate Mr. Moore - 50 garbage bags of his paper had to be hauled out just to reach him - and he was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital with leg injuries."

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Britney unhappy with Christina Aguilera's tongue
New York Daily News | Submitted by: Rio
"'I haven't seen her in two years, and then she comes up to me in a club in front of all these people and tries to put her tongue down my throat,' an agog Spears recounts in the January issue of Blender magazine. 'I say: "It's good to see you," and she goes, "Well, you're not being real with me."' Spears says: 'I was like, "Well, what's your definition of being real? Going up to girls and kissing them after you haven't seen them for two years? ... You know what, Christina, you're scary and I feel really dark when I get around you."'"

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Mattel is taught the meaning of "fair use"
Houston Chronicle | Submitted by: When you pry it from my dead, cold hand.
"Noting the image of Barbie dolls is 'ripe for social comment,' a three judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected toymaker Mattel Inc.'s appeal of a lower court ruling in favor of lampooning the popular doll. The San Francisco-based appeals court ruled that naked photos of Barbie made by Kanab, Utah, artist Thomas Forsythe were meant to be a parody and could not affect demand for Mattel products... Forsythe had used Barbie dolls in absurd and often sexualized positions for his 'Food Chain Barbie' photos. The artist had argued that the photo series, which also included a photo of Barbie dolls wrapped in tortillas and covered in salsa in a casserole dish in a lit oven, was meant to critique the 'objectification of women' and 'beauty myth' associated with the popular doll."

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