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[quote author=latimes.com]NFL Player Blames God for Dropped Pass
BUFFALO, NY -- Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson dropped a game-winning touchdown in the end zone Sunday in overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

After the game, Johnson talked about the painful blunder.

"How would you feel?" Johnson said.

"All of a sudden, when the biggest play needs to be made, you don't make it. You feel bad. I'm devastated right now."

"I had the game in my hands and then dropped it," Johnson said. "I'll never get over it. Ever."

Later, Johnson filed this on his twitter account:



Just last week Johnson was fined $5,000 by the NFL by for wearing a t-shirt under his jersey that said, "Why so serious?" After scoring a touchdown, he lifted his shirt to reveal the Batman-inspired quote from the Joker.

Interestingly enough, he praised God for helping him make that catch.[/quote]

[quote author= newsoftheweird.com]Best Not to Ask Why:
Fredrik Hjelmqvist, 45, owner of an audio shop in Stockholm, demonstrated in November his system of broadcasting music from his stomach.

He swallowed a plastic capsule containing a battery-operated audio set-up, then connected an amplifier to a stethoscope and held it against his belly, and began playing recorded music, including the Village People's "YMCA," until the battery died three hours later.

Hjelmqvist admitted that the audio quality was poor but still hopes to sell the system for the equivalent of about $17,000[The Local (Stockholm),11-27-10][/quote]

[quote author=sfgate.com] Swiss village: pay your dog tax or Fido gets it

A Swiss village has found a drastic way to compel dog holders to pay their pet's annual tax: cough up, or the dog gets it.

Reconvilier — population 2,245 humans, 280 dogs — plans to put Fido on notice if its owner doesn't pay the annual $50 tax.

Local official Pierre-Alain Nemitz says the move is part of an effort to reclaim hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes.

He says a law from 1904 allows the village to kill dogs if its owner does not pay the canine charge.

Nemitz told the AP on Monday that authorities have received death threats since news of the plan got out.

"This isn't about a mass execution of dogs," Nemitz said. "It's meant to put pressure on people who don't cooperate."[/quote]

[quote author=sfgate.com] Ohio man blames Ozzy Osbourne for traffic arrest

(12-30) 14:03 PST CLEVELAND, (AP) --

An Ohio drunken-driving suspect is blaming his arrest on Ozzy Osbourne. William Liston was arrested Christmas Eve in suburban Cleveland. WJW-TV says he told police officers, "Ozzy Osbourne and his music made me do it."

Osbourne's hits as lead singer of heavy metal band Black Sabbath and as a solo artist include "Paranoid" and "Road to Nowhere."

Liston is awaiting arraignment. He's to appear in court Tuesday on a charge of operating a vehicle while impaired.

In an unrelated case, Liston pleaded not guilty Thursday in Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County Common Pleas Court in a November break-in at a medical office. He was released on bond.

Telephone calls to the 33-year-old Liston's home in Aurora have gone unanswered.

Information from: WJW-TV[/quote]

[quote author=sfgate.com] Heil Hound: Nazis dogged by Hitler-mocking mutt

(01-07) 17:28 PST BERLIN, Germany (AP) --

Newly discovered documents have revealed a bizarre footnote to World War II: the Nazis' dogged obsession with a Finnish mutt who gave not a howl, but a heil. And, just as absurdly, the totalitarian state that dominated most of Europe was unable to do much about the canine's paw-raising parody of Germany's Fuehrer.

In the months preceding Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union, Berlin's Foreign Office commanded its diplomats in the Nazi-friendly country to gather evidence on the dog and its owner — and even plotted to destroy the owner's pharmaceutical business.

Historians were unaware of the scheme until some 30 files containing correspondence and diplomatic cables were found by a researcher in the Foreign Office archives.

Klaus Hillenbrand, an expert on the Nazi period who examined the documents, called the episode "completely bizarre."

"Just months before the Nazis launched their attack on the Soviet Union, they had nothing better to do than to obsess about this dog," he told The Associated Press.
The Dalmatian mix named Jackie was owned by Tor Borg, a businessman from the Finnish city of Tampere. Borg's wife Josefine, a German citizen known for her anti-Nazi sentiments, dubbed the dog "Hitler" because of the way it raised a paw high in the air, much like Germans greeting the Fuehrer with a cry of "Heil Hitler!"
In one photo, Borg, a jovial businessman known for his sense of humor, appears with Jackie by his side wearing a pair of round sunglasses.

On Jan. 29, 1941, the German vice consul in Helsinki, Willy Erkelenz, wrote that "a witness, who does not want to be named, said ... he saw and heard how Borg's dog reacted to the command 'Hitler' by raising its paw."

Borg was ordered to the German Embassy in Helsinki and questioned about his dog's unusual greeting habits.

The businessman denied ever calling the dog by the German dictator's name, but acknowledged that his wife called the dog Hitler. He tried to play down the accusations, saying the paw-raising only happened a few times in 1933 — shortly after Hitler came to power.

Borg assured the Nazi diplomats that he never did anything "that could be seen as an insult against the German Reich," according to the documents.

The zealous diplomats in Helsinki did not believe him and wrote back to Berlin that "Borg, even though he claims otherwise, is not telling the truth."

The ministries involved — the Foreign Office, the Economy Ministry and even Hitler's Chancellory — meticulously reported all their findings about the hound.

The Economy Ministry announced that the German chemical conglomerate IG Farben, which supplied Borg's wholesale trade with pharmaceuticals, agreed to cut all ties, which would have destroyed his business.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office was looking for ways to bring Borg to trial for insulting Hitler. But in the end, none of the witnesses were willing to repeat their accusations in front of a judge.

So, when on March 21, 1941, the Foreign Office asked the Chancellory whether to press charges against Borg, the reply came back: "Considering that the circumstances could not be solved completely, it is not necessary to press charges."

There's no evidence Hitler, who owned a German Shepherd named Blondi, was ever told of the case, even if it made it all the way to his Chancellory, Hillenbrand said.
Finland cooperated with Nazi Germany during WWII, and Helsinki was one of the few European capitals the Nazis never occupied.

As for Borg, he and his company survived the war unscathed. He died in 1959 at age 60; his wife Josefine passed away in 1971.

Borg's company Tampereen Rohduskuppa Oy went on to become Tamro Group, the leading wholesale company for pharmaceuticals in the Nordic countries.

And Jackie, the Hitler-saluting canine, also died a natural death, according to Tamro spokeswoman Margit Nieminen.

She said the company was not aware of the dog's place in history until the recent archive discovery.[/quote]

[quote author=seattlepi.com]Seattle officer: I had no 'reasonable alternative' but to shoot woodcarver


Telling his side of the Aug. 30 fatal shooting of John T. Williams for the first time publicly, Seattle police officer Ian Birk described the Native American woodcarver as an angry-looking man, with his jaw clenched, showing signs Birk thought might have indicated an oncoming attack based on his department training.

Birk gave commands for Williams to drop the knife -- one with a 3-inch blade Birk said he "clearly saw … in the open position" when Williams passed his patrol car. Birk said that the second time the carver, who he thought could have been inebriated, turned toward him, he noticed Williams' weight dropped said the man didn't show any signs he'd drop the knife.

"And at that point, if he had had the opportunity to take a step in my direction, I don't think there was much I could have done to stop him at that point," Birk told an inquest jury.

"At that time I was not left with any reasonable alternative but to fire at Mr. Williams, which I did."

During much of Birk's testimony Tuesday, done late on the second day of the shooting inquest, he looked toward the six jurors and two alternates -- a group with six men and two women.

Birk, who started on patrol in early 2009, said he hadn't met Williams before, but had many contacts with people downtown he thought were threatening. Birk testified he thought the incident would end with a conversation, but "it became pretty serious pretty fast."

The young officer -- also an Army National Guardsman who hasn't been deployed -- was armed with a baton and pepper spray, but not a Taser. Even if he had a Taser, Birk said his training taught it would not have been best to use that option because of the threat Williams posed.

He said the short time frame of the incident was subjective. A few seconds seems short to most people, but Birk said his training taught it was more than enough time for a suspect to bring deadly force over 9 feet -- the approximate distance between he and Williams when he fired shots.

Birk said he stopped firing when he saw Williams going to the ground, and the lead homicide detective investigating the case -- also a Seattle police officer -- testified that in some cases one bullet doesn't stop suspects.

Det. Jeffrey Mudd also testified that in his investigation, he did not see documentation of Williams being hard of hearing. Williams' brothers has said he was deaf in one ear and may have had difficulty understanding the officer's commands. An autopsy report showed Williams' blood-alcohol level was 0.18 -- more than double the legal driving limit in Washington -- The Seattle Times reported. Williams was known to several veteran officers for previous offenses, and three days before the shooting was charged in Seattle Municipal Court with drinking in public.

Birk, who was supported in court by his wife and the guild president, became emotional while talking about the aftermath at the scene -- realizing his younger sister's wedding was four days later and there was a chance he might not have been there.

Listen to clips of Birk's testimony below. Segments are separated by sections with no audio.

Footage from Birk's patrol car captured a roughly four-second interaction in which Birk said three times to drop the knife, then opened fire. The shooting has sparked several protests, and several people at the inquest, including family and friends of Williams, say they want Birk charged with first-degree murder.

Birk was questioned about why he told Williams to "put the knife down" rather than to drop the knife.

"It's hard to say," he responded. "It's certainly possible that there could be a better order to give in that situation. But I certainly felt that I was communicating a clear order as the police officer and that the intent of what I want Mr. Williams to do was clear."

That response is expected to be a focal point for the Williams family attorney, Tim Ford, who is scheduled to question Birk on Wednesday morning. Ford questioned Mudd about that wording Tuesday.

Homicide investigator questioned
On the stand Tuesday morning, Mudd acknowledged to Ford that that none of the witnesses to the Seattle shooting saw the man as a threat. Mudd said later in the inquest that none of the witnesses reported seeing Williams' knife.

Asked whether Birk was trained to shoot someone within four seconds of making contact, Mudd said officers are trained to address people who are a threat.

The day before, Mudd told jurors the lock on Williams' knife wasn't working properly. Birk told jurors, "I clearly saw a knife in the open position when I passed in front of my patrol car." But other than Birk's statement, Mudd said he could not verify with physical evidence that the knife was open.

Mudd told jurors Williams' knife was found in a closed position, as was another knife that fell from Williams' right jacket pocket when Mudd was looking for his identification.

However, Mudd said, Seattle Fire Department Lt. Lisa Barron reported seeing one of Williams' knives open, though it was not clear if it was the one Birk initially saw or the knife from his jacket pocket. Barron is expected to testify this week.

Seattle police investigators also e-mailed the London knife-making company for details about the specific knife and its lock, but were told the knife was a knock-off.
In a tense face-off, Ford hammered at Mudd, picked holes in his statements, and emphasized that Birk didn't use a baton or pepper spray that had been at his disposal, and didn't retreat. Birk later said he was trained not to retreat in such situations.

At one point, the Williams family attorney asked Mudd to hold Williams' carving board and knife, and to try and get the knife to close on its own. Mudd was unable to do so, and acknowledged that the lock sometimes did work. The detective also said under questioning that no scratches were found on the tip of the knife from being dropped.

Ford then questioned Mudd about the phrase "put the knife down," repeatedly giving the detective loud commands to do so as he held the knife and laminated board Williams had carried.

Ford later said it was because the command had been unclear and that Mudd identified his fellow officer. If Birk had said "drop the knife," the command would have been clearer, Ford said.

Mudd disagreed. The command had nothing to do with his actions, he said. Rather, Mudd said he didn't want to drop critical evidence and would have dropped the knife in a situation with an officer.

Questions about patrol video, rounds fired
Seattle police sent Birk's patrol car video to Victory Studios, a Seattle media production company, to try and determine if Williams knife was open when he passed the officer's patrol car. But because of the video resolution -- the highest available for patrol-car cameras, but lowered to capture a larger volume -- it was unclear exactly what was in Williams' hand, Mudd said.

There also were questions about the number of rounds fired. Birk's patrol car video has audio of five shots being fired, Mudd said twice on Tuesday. But only four casings were found, and Birk's gun was found with 11 rounds in the seated magazine. A full Seattle police duty handgun has 15 rounds, Mudd said.

Mudd said that sometimes casings -- ejected in this case when Birk's standard police-issue .40 caliber Glock Model 22 was fired -- can be hard to find after hitting the concrete, though detectives made a diligent search.

Last month, King County District Court Judge Arthur Chapman, who is leading the inquest, ordered that the video from Birk's patrol car be released. The footage showed it was roughly 16 seconds from the time Birk turned on his lights to the point when Williams was shot multiple times, after Birk yelled multiple times to get Williams' attention. Police initially said the confrontation lasted about a minute.

The city's firearms review board concluded its hearing Oct. 4 and presented preliminary findings to Police Chief John Diaz that week. The board found the shooting not justified.

Williams' shooting was one of five officer-involved shooting in Seattle last year and one of three that were fatal. In 2009, Seattle had the same number of officer-involved shootings, ending with the fatal confrontation involving Maurice Clemmons.

This week's inquest itself is not a criminal proceeding -- jurors will be asked to find whether the shooting was justified, but their finding will have no immediate impact. King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg will make a charging decision after the inquest is complete.[/quote]

[quote author=blogs.forbes.com]Brooklyn College Student Committed to Mental Institution After Hidden Camera Complaint

Your housing situation can be one of the most stressful aspects of the whole college experience. Especially if your roommates are writing nasty things about you on the Internet and your landlord has planted a hidden camera in your bedroom. Such was the situation for Chinemerem Eze, a Nigerian student at Brooklyn College, in December 2008, according to a lawsuit she’s filed in New York Supreme Court.

When a college student complains about secret surveillance — as Tyler Clementi did last year — I’ve said before that they should be offered other housing arrangements. Eze did get new digs, but they weren’t very attractive ones. When she went to the Brooklyn College Campus Security and Safety Office to complain about her suspicions, they offered her an involuntary two-week stay at a psychiatric hospital.

Eze says that when she talked to security officers about being defamed on the Internet and secretly filmed by her landlord in her off-campus apartment, they brought in a psychologist. After asking her a few questions, the psychologist called an ambulance and had her committed to Kings County Psychiatric Hospital. Her One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’s experience lasted two weeks.

When she flew the nest, she discovered that there was a hidden camera in her apartment. (On the defamation front, I see no nasty results in her Google search results.) She missed her final exams and was not able to complete them, and wound up losing a scholarship she’d received from the school, according to her attorney.

Now she’s suing the security officers, psychologist, and the school for negligence, emotional distress, and false imprisonment. Her lawyer, Andrew Spinnell, says this was “totally inappropriate conduct by the college.”

Brooklyn College had no comment on the suit. It will be defended by the New York Attorney General’s office since the college is governed by the state. The AG’s office also had no comment.

This all took place in late 2008. Perhaps back then, it did seem crazy to have someone come in and complain about hidden cameras and the like. But nowadays, it seems crazy not to assume you’re being observed by hidden cameras at some point in your day.[/quote]


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[quote author=sfgate.com]City opts not to name building after Harry Baals

(03-14) 18:35 PDT Fort Wayne, Ind. (AP) --

A new government building in Fort Wayne, Ind., may officially be called Citizens Square, but to some not-so-square citizens it will always be the Harry Baals (bawlz) Government Center.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry announced the new city and county government center's name Monday.

The most popular choice for the building in an online poll was the "Harry Baals Government Center." The second-place finisher was "Thunder Dome."

The former mayor pronounced his name "balls," although his descendants pronounce their name "bales" (baylz).

Fort Wayne officials previously said the city wouldn't name the building after Baals because they were worried the name would be ridiculed.

City spokesman Frank Suarez offered a different reason on Monday. He says the mayor didn't want to name the building after a person.


[quote author=sfgate.com]Swedish bank robber busted by forgotten urine

03-09) 13:15 PST COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) --

A Swedish bank robber forgot to cover his tracks and left three bottles of urine behind after hiding inside a bank vault in Copenhagen for three days.

The 27-year-old man and his accomplice used the bottles to relieve themselves after sneaking into the vault on a Friday in May and remaining there until the bank opened again the following Monday.

While inside, the robbers emptied 140 safety deposit boxes of at least $500,000 in cash and jewelry. But Prosecutor Frederik Larsen said Wednesday they forgot to take the urine when they left "so we were able to get their DNA samples from the bottles."

The evidence helped prosecutors win a 21-month prison sentence for the Swede on Tuesday. His accomplice is still at large and the loot hasn't been recovered.


[quote author=mirror.co.uk]Bungling cops raid wrong home...for 41st time

An innocent couple’s home has been wrongly raided for the 41st time – just days after police pledged it would never happen again.

Matthew Jillard and Claire Hayes told last week how they have suffered 18 months of their home being mixed up with another 100 yards away.

Police promised them they had fixed the problem – but blundering officers made the same error at the weekend.

Now the couple, who have never been in trouble with the law, have vowed to move.

Office worker Claire, 42, said: “This was the final straw. They apologised but I feel the only thing we can do is move house.

“I spent an entire day talking to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and they promised me it wouldn’t happen again because a computer marker had been put on our house to stop a future mix-up.

“They seem incapable of solving this problem.”

Police keep confusing the couple’s home in Repton Road, Birmingham, with one round the corner in Repton Grove. Matthew, 38, was once confronted by 10 officers in bullet-proof vests.

Officers also banged on the door twice on Christmas Day.

They later apologised with flowers. But handyman Matthew, who took photos of the police after the latest raid on Saturday morning, said: “We’ve been renting this house for 10 years but we’re definitely moving. I fear one day armed police are going to come flying through.”

Last night West Midlands police said: “Despite measures put in place to prevent such an occurrence, it appears human error has led to officers attending the incorrect address. We will be contacting them to apologise and discuss the matter further.”

_http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/03/21/bungling-cops-raid-wrong-home-for-41st-time-115875-23004407/#ixzz1HFbRZDm4 [/quote]

[quote author=metro.co.uk]CDs and stereo confiscated after man plays I'm Every Woman too much

One fan of love songs has had his CD collection and stereo confiscated after he kept his neighbours awake by blaring out Whitney Houston hit I'm Every Woman.

The man in question, who has not been named, irritated other people living in his Folkestone block of flats by playing his 'tiny collection of CDs', including the Whitney hit and rap songs by 50 Cent, over and over again.

He was served with a noise abatement notice but, when this went unheeded, officers were forced to break down the door of his flat and confiscate his CDs and stereo.

Liam Flannery, an environmental health officer for Shepway District Council, said: 'It must have been a nightmare for the other people living there.'

'Unfortunately, the man concerned didn't have an extensive CD collection so it was the same few songs, from gangsta rap to girly love songs like I'm Every Woman, over and over again,' he added.

'We've got his stuff now and the warrant's open, so if he buys any more we'll take that too.'

A neighbour added that the man will 'drive himself mad' if he continues repeatedly listening to such a limited selection of music.

One woman in Essex recently had her stereo confiscated and was evicted from her flat after she disturbed neighbours with loud music at all hours of the day and night.


[quote author=metro.co.uk]Man marries pillow

True love can take many forms. In this case, it has taken the form of a Korean man falling in love with, and eventually marrying, a large pillow with a picture of a woman on it.

Lee Jin-gyu fell for his 'dakimakura' - a kind of large, huggable pillow from Japan, often with a picture of a popular anime character printed on the side.
In Lee's case, his beloved pillow has an image of Fate Testarossa, from the 'magical girl' anime series Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha.

Now the 28-year-old otaku (a Japanese term that roughly translates to somewhere between 'obsessive' and 'nerd') has wed the pillow in a special ceremony, after fitting it out with a wedding dress for the service in front of a local priest. Their nuptials were eagerly chronicled by the local media.

'He is completely obsessed with this pillow and takes it everywhere,' said one friend.

'They go out to the park or the funfair where it will go on all the rides with him. Then when he goes out to eat he takes it with him and it gets its own seat and its own meal,' they added.

The pillow marriage is not the first similarly-themed unusual marriage in recent times - it comes after a Japanese otaku married his virtual girlfriend Nene Anegasaki, a character who only exists in the Nintendo DS game Love Plus, last November.


[quote author=metro.co.uk]Fashion worker sues for £1.2m over 'anguish' of depressing commute

Many people find travelling to and from work a chore, but one worker has taken things a step further and is suing over his depressing commute.

Thomas Horodecki, a manager at design house Elie Tahari's Saks Fifth Avenue store in New York, is demanding $2 million (£1.2 million) for the 'anguish' and 'depression' caused by his weekly commute through an unstylish area of New Jersey.

Thomas Horodecki did not like driving through unfashionable New Jersey

He claims his supervisor, Sagit Halperin, who is married to Tahari head designer Kobi Halperin, forced him to visit New Jersey every week as part of his role co-coordinating six retailers in the district.

'It was depressing driving to Jersey,' Mr Horodecki said. 'New York City has everything when it comes to fashion, especially Saks. And when it comes to styling, let's just say Jersey is difficult. Fashion it is not!'

He also complained about the smog, bad driving and traffic he had to endure on his commute.

Mr Horodecki alleges that he was 'banished' to the stores in New Jersey, while a number of Israeli women were promoted instead of him in Manhattan.

His lawyers, Michael Borrelli and Alexander Coleman, said it is 'outrageous to treat employees disparately based on their national origin and/or religion'.
According to UK organisation Safe Workers, a long and stressful commute to work can raise people's risk of developing depression, high blood pressure and flu, as well as increasing their anger levels.



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[quote author=latimes.com]Ohio man, charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly barking at a police dog, claims 'the dog started it'

MASON, Ohio — Police say an Ohio man has been charged with a misdemeanor for barking at a police dog.

A police report says 25-year-old Ryan James Stephens was charged with teasing a police dog in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason.

Officer Bradley Walker wrote that he heard the K9 unit dog barking uncontrollably inside his patrol car while he was investigating a traffic accident at a pub early Sunday morning. Walker says Stephens was making barking noises and hissing at the animal.

Walker reported that Stephens, when asked why he was harassing the animal, said, "The dog started it." The officer said Stephens appeared to be highly intoxicated.

Stephens could not be reached for comment. He is to appear April 21 in municipal court.[/quote]

[quote author=San Diego News]Man Admits Pedophilia on Application to be SDPD Officer

Robert Williams' Answers To Police Applicant Questionnaire Raised Red Flags

SAN DIEGO -- A man who applied for a job as a San Diego police officer was arrested after answers on his application raised red flags.

On his questionnaire to work for the San Diego Police Department, Robert Williams had to answer questions about crimes he might have committed.

A search warrant affidavit lists question No. 172 from Williams' applicant questionnaire as trouble.

The question, which asked applicants if they have ever had sexual contact with a child, had a yes answer.

Question No. 175, which asked applicants if they have ever viewed, purchased, sold or subscribed to child pornography, also received a yes response.

10News learned there were two more flagged questions and responses.

Police then searched Williams' car and apartment, confiscated computers and hard drives and arrested him.

Williams had lived at an apartment in Chula Vista for about a week. A man who answered the door told 10News, "He was a guest and he's no longer living here. He won't live here anymore."

In April, Williams had moved in with a woman and her son in east San Diego.

"I did a favor and brought him in because he had nowhere to go and he gave me a sob story," said Rory Shipp.

She said one day she turned on her computer and found a strange file after Williams left his hard drive hooked up.

"And when I opened the file, it was a little girl in blue and she was coming out of her clothes, playing with a little thing in her mouth. Oh my God, tears came out of my eyes. It was a home video," she said.

Shipp said she kicked him out that day.

"He goes, 'There's nothing wrong with downloading it, Rory, nothing at all. Looking at it and downloading it, that's okay.' I said, 'Are you sick?'" said Shipp.

Williams' wife, Sunem, called 10News to read a statement from him. It said, "The San Diego Police Department has problems with the integrity of their officers because telling the truth during the hiring process brings prosecution upon those seeking employment. Mr. Williams told the truth, revealing his secrets, his thoughts, and his past. But he remains innocent of all charges they have illegally obtained. He is seeking expert counsel, pro bono."

Williams was booked at the George Bailey Detention Facility. His bail was set at $150,000.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.[/quote]

[quote author=The New Republic]Love the Sinner

Why is Robert Mugabe visiting the Vatican?

On May 1, Pope John Paul II was beatified. The second-to-last step in the road to sainthood, beatification occurs when the Catholic Church declares that a deceased person has intervened on behalf of someone who worships in his or her name. (In this case, a French nun recovered from Parkinson’s disease after having prayed to the former pope.) Nearly 90 delegations from around the world, including 16 heads of state and representatives from five royal families, traveled to Rome to attend the event.

Among the invited guests, sitting in the front row, no less, was Robert Mugabe, president-for-life of Zimbabwe, responsible for the deaths of untold thousands. In response to queries about the propriety of inviting the dictator to such a solemn event, a Vatican spokesman simply said, “Zimbabwe is a state with which the Holy See has diplomatic relations. There is therefore nothing to hide.” How could the Vatican be content to host such an ignominious figure?

Despite his Marxist pretensions and passionate rhetoric against the West, Robert Mugabe has long been an admirer of the Catholic Church. Born at a Catholic mission station in British-ruled Southern Rhodesia, he attended Jesuit schools. The Jesuits instilled a love of learning in Mugabe, who went on to earn seven degrees during the 14 years he spent in prison for anti-regime activities.

Perhaps as a result, the Vatican has tended to give Mugabe a free pass. This month wasn’t the first time Mugabe had come to the Vatican: In 2005, he attended the Pope’s funeral. (On both occasions, he was able to get around a European Union travel ban—which has been in effect against him since 2002—and enter the Vatican under the terms of the Lateran Treaty, the 1929 accord recognizing the Holy See as a sovereign state. The agreement established a “diplomatic corridor” between the Vatican and the rest of the world, thus allowing someone like Mugabe to travel over Italian territory.) The Vatican’s indulgence of Mugabe has extended to more quotidian affairs as well: It offered a Papal blessing to his 1996 marriage to Grace, his second wife, despite his having fathered children with her out of wedlock while he was still married to his first wife, Sally, who died of kidney failure in 1992.

The Church’s stance is all the more odd because Mugabe has been at war with local Catholic bishops in Zimbabwe for some time. The conflict’s roots lie in Mugabe’s campaign against the Ndebele ethnic group, which he waged during the 1980s with a brigade of North Korean-trained soldiers. The campaign ultimately took the lives of 20,000 people. A Catholic priest in Harare subsequently accused the regime of following a “genocidal course” against the Ndebele. In 1997, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe—an arm of the of Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference—published a groundbreaking report about the massacres. Over the past ten years, as the country has careened from the trauma unleashed by the land reforms that evicted white farmers from their property, to famine and cholera outbreaks, to election-related violence, the local Catholic clergy has released a steady stream of statements criticizing the regime.

Most recently, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference released a political pastoral letter in April, which, while not mentioning Mugabe by name, sought to discredit his self-serving narrative. “The liberation of Zimbabwe was achieved through the efforts of those who were inside the country, both armed and unarmed, outside the country and by the international community,” the letter read. “The claim to have monopoly in the liberation struggle by any single sector or party is therefore, false and may be the misconception solely responsible for the abuse of human rights and the erosion of the sovereignty of the citizens in Zimbabwe.”

Mugabe responded by unleashing a series of blistering attacks on the Church during the weeks leading up to his appearance in Rome. “Even though I was born in this church, their bishops are all over me on a daily basis,” Mugabe thundered at the opening of an 18,000-seat house of worship belonging to the Zimbabwe Christian Church, an indigenous African sect, on April 22. “They attack me and criticize me because they are led by the whites who have their interest and agendas.” A little over a week later, at another indigenous African parish, he alleged that Catholic Bishops “are mere puppets of Western countries. I grew up in the Catholic Church but now I am totally frustrated by how these so-called men of God lie. All Catholic bishops are liars, they demonize my party every day.”

And yet the Vatican’s treatment of Mugabe has been the polar opposite of the courage shown by local Catholic officials. Nowhere has this been more clear than in the tragic story of Pius Ncube, who served as Archbishop of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city, until 2007. For years, he was Mugabe’s loudest critic, frequently lambasting him from the pulpit and to the international media. That all stopped after Mugabe’s dreaded Central Intelligence Organization produced a grainy video—aired repeatedly on state television and written about luridly in state newspapers—which showed the archbishop engaging in sexual relations with a married woman. Rather than fight on his behalf, the Vatican promptly accepted Ncube’s resignation and made him spend nine months at a Franciscan retreat in England. Though he left Zimbabwe claiming that he would “not be silenced by the crude machinations of a wicked regime,” the Vatican promptly enforced a gag order on Ncube, forbidding him from making political statements. Upon his return to Zimbabwe in 2008, he told the London Times, “I am very upset about it. I believe in speaking out for the people at a time of distress.”

When it comes to Mugabe, the Vatican has its defenders. “It is perfectly true [the Vatican] could place Mugabe under interdict for his many sins and misdemeanors, but if you start with Mugabe, where would you finish?” Alexander Lucie-Smith, a British Catholic priest, wrote in the Catholic Herald. “Should Berlusconi also be banned? What about the much married Sarkozy?” But the comparison is clearly specious. Berlusconi and Sarkozy, whatever their foibles, are both democratically elected leaders accountable to their people; neither has engaged in the wanton torture, mass murder, and electoral skullduggery that have marked the three decades of Mugabe rule.
“Only God who appointed me will remove me,” Mugabe said in 2008, as he stole yet another election. “Even Romans 13 says leaders are appointed by God. I am an image of God, who appointed me to my current position.” Clearly, the Vatican’s power to bring about change in Zimbabwe is limited. But given the role that religion obviously plays in Mugabe’s self-image, it would be nice if the Church stopped treating him like a legitimate head of state. [/quote]

[quote author=Chicago Sun-Times]Fake doctor used toothpicks for ‘acupuncture,’ Niles police say
By TRACY GRUEN Sun-Times Media May 17, 2011 9:40AM

A man told Niles police that a man passing himself off as a doctor examined him at a closed medical clinic, used toothpicks for acupuncture, gave him expired pills and charged him $200 on April 23 for the exam.

The victim responded to an ad in a Bulgarian newspaper and he went April 23 to the clinic in the 8900 block of Golf Road, police said.

The building appeared to be closed, though, with no other patients or employees around, except for the “doctor,” who was dressed in a white lab coat, police said.

The “doctor” conducted an exam on the man and stuck toothpicks in his chest. He told the victim to take pills called “Prosperous Farmer Dietary Supplements” each day until the bottle was finished — though the expiration date on the bottle was February 2002, police said.

The victim paid the man $200, police said.

When the victim called the clinic April 26 he was told they had no idea who the “doctor” was, police said.

So the man and his son returned to the clinic April 30. When they did, the “doctor” ran out of the building, locked the door behind him and ran eastbound on Golf Road, police said. [/quote]

[quote author=The Salt Lake Tribune]Tabiona councilman arrested for shooting, killing neighbor’s 9-month-old teacup chihuahua

Authorities arrested a Tabiona town councilman Friday for shooting and killing a neighbor’s 9-month-old teacup chihuahua, police said.
Rick E. Wilberg, 58, was arrested after he admitted to killing his neighbor’s dog with a .22-caliber rifle. The dog, named Rocky, belonged to Peggy Redmiles, whose three-quarter acre lot shares a fence line with Wilberg’s property.

Redmiles said she had left the house to collect fence supplies when her son heard what he thought sounded like firecrackers. But when he walked outside, their puppy was dead from a single gunshot.

“I am terrified. I am angry. He was like my baby,” she said. “I am so scared to let my other dogs go in the backyard, and the only thing that was separating my yard from my neighbors with small children was a chain-link fence.”

Police reported that children had been playing nearby when Wilberg shot the dog. When police spoke with Wilberg, he admitted to shooting the dog, saying “he had been sick of listening to the dog bark and warned her [Redmiles] and she done nothing about the dog so he shot the dog,” the police report states. The report also states that Wilberg had been drinking.

Attempts to reach the councilman Monday morning were unsuccessful.

Redmiles, who moved into her home six years ago, describes her relationship with Wilberg becoming contentious about three years ago, for reasons she still doesn’t understand. She said that he complained about her chicken coop, over-watering her garden and the noises her swimming pool made. She said she has since gotten rid of the chickens and garden, and turns the pool off at night to try to keep the peace.

“I live here, I pay my taxes here, all my neighbors like me,” Redmiles said. “We just thought, ‘Oh, he’s just a grumpy old man.’ I told my boys to smile and wave at him and maybe he’ll get over it. We thought we could kill him with kindness. But what, killing him with kindness gets my dog dead?”
Wilberg was booked into the Duchesne County Jail on suspicion of animal cruelty, a third-degree felony, and for public intoxication. Ronnie Giles, mayor of Tabiona, said Wilberg has a court appearance Monday.[/quote]

[quote author=Haaretz.com]Inspired by Facebook, Israeli couple names their daughter Like

Like has a nice and international ring to it, says father Lior Adler, adding that Facebook has become the icon of today's generation.

Everybody likes babies. Some people like unique names. An Israeli couple likes both.

The couple decided not to wait for Facebook users to click on the "like" button when seeing photographs of their newborn baby girl. Instead, they pre-empted them by naming her: Like.

The most popular names for girls in Israel currently are Noa, Maya and Tamar.

But Lior and Vardit Adler, from Hod Hasharon, a town north-east of Tel Aviv, went a step further to ensure their child would not have namesakes in her classroom.

"To me it is important to give my children names that are not used anywhere else, at least not in Israel," the father told the German Press Agency dpa on Monday.

The couple gave unique names to their first two children too, perhaps for their love of cooking: Dvash (honey in Hebrew) and Pie.

When they chose the name Like, the sound was at least as important as the meaning, explained Lior.

Like had a nice and international ring to it, he said, and Facebook had become the icon of today's generation.

"If once people gave Biblical names and that was the icon, then today this is one of the most famous icons in the world," he said, joking that the name could be seen as a modern version of the traditional Jewish name Ahuva, which means "beloved."

Although his and his wife's parents had expected an original name, the couple's friends and acquaintances reacted incredulously. "They simply didn't believe it," said Lior.
"I believe there will be people who will lift a eyebrow," he said, "but it is my girl and that's what's fun about it."

Will one-week-old Like like her name too? Lior said he hoped so.

"By the way, I asked her, but she wouldn't answer," he laughed.[/quote]

[quote author=msnbc]NC sheriff blames cheese for false drug test

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — An enzyme found in cheese triggered false drug test results that led North Carolina deputies to think a man with 91 pounds of tortilla dough was actually carrying that much cocaine, the sheriff said.

Antonio Hernandez spent four days in an Asheville jail this month before tests by a state lab showed he was carrying food, not drugs.

A Buncombe County deputy stopped Hernandez on May 1 and found what turned out to be a mix of cheese, shrimp and tortilla and tamale dough in his truck. A portable kit used by deputies changed colors, indicating the mixture was illegal drugs.

Sheriff Van Duncan told The Asheville Citizen-Times he didn't know until this case that some foods, like cheese, can give false positives on field drug tests. He plans to have deputies talk to the company that makes the tests.[/quote]



Jedi Master
Thanks for those Jerry. One was funnier than the next. The pictures are priceless. I sometimes watch this show called "When Vacations Attack" where you have videos of things like a fisherman sticking his hand in a shark's mouth to impress his pals who are downing some brewskis. And then the shark clamps down on his arm and everyone's scrambling to pry open the shark's jaws. I always think, "Yeh, good luck with that."

Mountain Crown

The Living Force
[quote author=metro.co.uk]'Vampire' woman gets ‘horns’ implanted

A 'vampire mother' has had titanium 'horns' implanted, to complement the tattoos that cover almost 100 per cent of her body.

Maria Hose Cristerna, a mum of four from Mexico, showed off her unusual looks at a tattoo exhibition in Monterrey in California recently.

She had her body transformed as a reaction to enduring years of abuse at home.

The striking look is completed by specially shaped vampire 'fang' teeth, fake eye colours and massive earrings – but she's not finished yet! The 35-year-old claims that she wants even more horns implanted.

'Tattoos were a form of liberation for me – my way of being immortal - and the horns I have are a symbol of strength and were implanted without anaesthetic,' she told The Sun.

'I had the fangs done because I loved vampires as a little girl and I changed the colour of my eyes so they were how I really wanted them to be.'[/quote]

[quote author=ShortList.com]

So you've blinged up your neck, decorated your ears and added horns to your forehead (okay, maybe not the last one). What's next?
Your eyeballs, that's what. A company is offering contact lenses fitted with real diamonds and gold that you position over the most delicate organ of the human body. No sweat.

That's right, 18 diamonds studded onto an 18-carat gold plate on a special lens is yours for just $15,000 (£9,000).

Created by Shekhar Eye Research in Mumbai, the 'La SER' brand lenses can be custom-made in four designs of diamonds on white gold, diamonds on yellow gold, or just gold or yellow gold. Decisions, decisions..[/quote]

[quote author=boston.com]Released lobsters retaken, group says
Caught at site of Buddhist ritual

Talk about bad karma.

On Thursday, a group of Buddhists traveled to Gloucester and purchased 534 lobsters, about 600 pounds worth, from a wholesaler and dumped them back into the sea in a prayer ceremony in which the crustaceans’ bands were cut and blessed water was sprayed on them.

Freedom. But it may have been short-lived.

Yesterday, lobstermen from the fishing vessel Degelyse said they had traveled to the site of the ceremony, laid their traps, and hauled up exactly 534 lobsters, according to a local blog, Goodmorninggloucester.org.

And then they brought their haul right back to market.

“It’s really not meant as a slight toward Buddhism at all,’’ said Joe Ciaramitaro, who runs the blog that broke the story and co-owns Captain Joe and Sons Dock, where the boat and several others offload their catch. He also runs Captain Joe and Sons Wholesale Lobster Co. in Gloucester. “We’re just having fun.’’

The Reuters news agency reported on the Buddhists’ release of the lobsters, which featured a group of 30 who boarded a whale-watching ship and conducted their ceremony.

The actions included prayers, mantras, and walking boxes of lobsters in a circle around blessed objects, which is designed to “develop a karmic connection for the animals’ future lifetimes.’’

“Even if they get captured again, they’ve had a longer life,’’ Wendy Cook, who helped lead the ceremony, told Reuters.
Cook did not return calls seeking comment yesterday.

In a video on Ciaramitaro’s blog, the lobstermen joke that the Buddhists are welcome to re-purchase the lobsters and release them again.

The captain of the Degelyse could not be reached for comment.

Ciaramitaro did not know how the crew ascertained the location of the Buddhist drop zone, but he admitted that the whole episode may have been a joke designed to break up the long days and hard work of fishing the Atlantic.

“The job is so tough, lobstering and being down the dock at 5 a.m. seven days a week, and it’s a lot of monotonous physical labor,’’ he said.

“Anything to break up the day and have some fun is what we’re all about. We’re not trying to antagonize them or anything like that.’’[/quote]

[quote author= seattlepi.com]Ex-cop’s thefts from disabled ‘an act of extreme hypocrisy’
Former Granite Falls police chief stole $626K from Seattle-area residents

Paid to protect the disabled when they had no one else to turn to, former Granite Falls Police Chief Charles Allen stole at least $626,000 from the Seattle area's poorest and gave to himself.

Having previously pleaded guilty to stealing government money, Allen’s thefts while head of People Helping People left hundreds of disabled residents without money to pay their bills or rent, or to buy food.

“Over the course of his career, Allen likely helped put countless people in jail for thefts that pale in comparison to his own conduct,” Special Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Seth Wilkinson told the court. “Allen’s crime is an act of extreme hypocrisy.”

On Friday, Allen will find out how much those thefts will cost him when he faces a federal judge for sentencing. Prosecutors have asked for a seven-year prison sentence, while he is expected to argue for a term of less than half that.

Allen, former head of the Burien-based People Helping People charity, was supposed to manage the benefits payments for severely disabled people unable to manage their own finances.

Such a trust would usually be administered by beneficiaries’ families or loved ones; Allen’s clients were those in need with no one else to watch their money.

Having taken over People Helping People after its founder – his mother – retired, Allen siphoned money meant to pay his clients’ rent and bills.

Without notifying the non-profit’s more than 570 clients, Allen shuttered People Helping People in March 2010 after draining the trust account meant to store their funds. Doing so left many clients without money to pay for their basic needs.

People Helping People was supposed to serve as a “representative payee” for Social Security beneficiaries unable to manage their finances and who didn’t have anyone else to turn to. For providing the service, People Helping People was allowed to collect $33 to $72 a month from each client.

In 1995, Allen’s mother Esther Calderon founded the purportedly non-profit service that ultimately came to have about 580 clients, many of whom suffered from developmental disabilities, schizophrenia or other psychiatric disorders.

Having spent 17 years as chief of police in Granite Falls, Allen took over day-to-day operations at People Helping People in 2005. By January 2006, he was embezzling from the client account, which pooled the Social Security and other disability payments meant for all People Helping People clients.

By his own admission, Allen unlawfully took $10,000 to $14,000 on average from the client account each month. Some months he withdrew as much as $30,000 more than he was entitled to take for business expenses.

Allen used the money to pay gambling expenses, make his alimony payments and pay off his personal credit card debts.

“Allen knew that each person in the group was disabled. He knew that each lacked the mental capacity to manage his or her own affairs. He knew that each person in the group lacked a trusted family member or other person willing to serve as a personal representative payee,” Wilkinson told the court.

“Nonetheless, Allen exploited his trusted position by reaching into his victims’ collective bank account and stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars of their money – and then abandoning them without notice.”

Writing the court, Wilkinson offered that Allen might claim much of the stolen money was used to pay operating expenses. Noting that doing so would still be illegal, Wilkinson suggested Allen inflated People Helping People’s business expenses by paying his own family – including his mother and, after her death, her husband – through the charity even though they weren’t working there.

Allen paid $80,000 in “salaries” to members of his extended family who did not work at People Helping People, Wilkinson continued.

The charity also paid personal expenses – chiefly gas and meals – of other family members.

What Allen failed to pay, Wilkinson said, were his clients’ bills.

One man told investigators he lost his possessions after People Helping People failed to pay the rent on a storage unit. A woman said she regularly had her utilities cut off for non-payment; when she went to the charity’s Burien office, Allen refused to meet with her.

“I had the door literally slammed in my face,” the woman told investigators.

Then, because of Allen’s mismanagement, the charity ran out of cash and abruptly closed, leaving clients without access to their money.

People Helping People, Wilkinson told the court, “provided no notice or explanation to its clients, financially stranding this vulnerable group of people who depended on (Social Security) payments to fund their daily existence.”

“Some of the clients lost their housing, others had their utilities disconnected,” Wilkinson continued. “Others recount a lack of money to buy food.”

In February, Allen pleaded guilty to stealing government money and agreed to repay $626,000.

Writing the Social Security Administration, Allen admitted to the thefts and apologized for his actions.

“I accept my responsibility for my actions which I knew was wrong and illegal at the time I carried out these actions,” Allen told the court. “I have deep remorse and am so ashamed of myself.”

Wilkson has asked that Allen be sentenced to seven years in federal prison, four years more than the U.S. Probation Office suggested. Allen’s attorney did not respond to requests for comment prior to Friday’s sentencing hearing.

Allen, who is not in custody, is expected to appear before U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour for sentencing at the Seattle federal courthouse.[/quote]

[quote author=nypost.com]JetBlue flier who 'peed' on girl could be axed from US Ski Team

He probably just pissed away his Olympic dreams.

The drunken JetBlue passenger who treated a sleeping 11-year-old girl like his personal potty is a member of the US Ski Team who refused to apologize yesterday for the high-altitude humiliation.

Robert "Sandy" Vietze, 18, is among the 75 most elite skiers in the nation -- but he may have blown his chance to compete in the 2014 Winter Games in Russia.

His name was bumped from the team's developmental roster yesterday afternoon, although officials refused to comment about his status.

The leaky loser expressed no remorse outside his family's palatial Vermont home, where he ignored questions about the incident and showed no interest in apologizing to his victim.

"We have no comment, nothing to say," snapped Vietze's mother, Abigail, as they hauled luggage and ski equipment from a gray BMW.

Vietze had taken the red-eye flight from Portland, Ore., to JFK Wednesday on his way home from a weeklong training camp with the US Ski Team at Mount Hood in Oregon.

It was lousy luck for his young victim, who was flying with her sister and cancer-stricken father on a trip to see her grandmother on eastern Long Island for the first time since his diagnosis.

Soon after takeoff, Vietze stumbled from his seat five rows behind the child and emptied his bladder onto the girl, who was briefly left alone while her dad and sister were in restrooms.

"I was drunk, and I did not realize I was pissing on her leg," the 6-foot-4, 195-pound Vietze later told cops, according to law-enforcement sources.

The girl's father, a Stage 4 cancer patient, caught Vietze midstream and tried to wipe him out.

"F- -k that kid. I don't want him near my family!" he yelled.

Vietze slurred that he had suffered "an accident," according to another passenger.

Flight attendants had to separate the men.

Vietze admitted to cops that he had consumed eight alcoholic beverages before boarding JetBlue Flight 166.
He was issued a federal summons for indecent exposure, but federal prosecutors later decided to drop the case, according to Port Authority cops.

The father refused to allow his traumatized 11-year-old daughter to be interviewed by cops, likely sparing Vietze criminal charges.
Yesterday, the girl's family attempted to recover from the disgusting incident by attending the Yankee game.

Last May, when Vietze was invited to join the ski team, he was the toast of the Green Mountain Valley School in Waitsfield, Vt., which describes itself as "a world-class ski academy."

"He's a very nice boy, one of the nicest, most respectable young people I've ever met," said a neighbor, Colin Seaman.

"It would be very hard for me to believe that this even happened." [/quote]

[quote author= gwinnettdailypost.com]Police: Ransom plot foiled

LAWRENCEVILLE ¬— Authorities said a quick-thinking kidnapping victim outsmarted her captor during a harrowing Sunday ordeal, setting up his arrest with the help of a language barrier.

The alleged victim, Carolina Lopera, 23, was using an automated DVD rental kiosk about 10:30 p.m. Sunday outside a CVS Pharmacy at Herrington and Cruse roads when she felt something pressed into her back. A man standing behind Lopera told her the object was a gun, and ordered her into the passenger seat of her own vehicle, police said.

The suspect drove Lopera to several locations, directing her to withdraw $500 from ATMs using her bank card.

“The victim told the suspect her card was a credit card and she did not have a PIN number to make withdrawals,” said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter. “The suspect then directed her to make purchases of drinks and cigarettes and get cash back,” which didn’t work either, Ritter said.

After about 45 minutes of failed attempts, the suspect told Lopera that he would settle for $100 in cash and let her go. The money, she said, was at a nearby friend’s house, who spoke only Spanish. The suspect agreed to let Lopera use her cellphone to orchestrate the transaction, police said.

Unbeknownst to her non-Spanish-speaking captor, Lopera informed her friend of the ransom plot, and that information was relayed to police. Officers directed Lopera to bring the suspect to a nearby subdivision, where several officers concealed cruisers near the entrance.

Police pounced when Lopera’s car entered the neighborhood, stopping the vehicle and arresting the alleged driver, Lawrenceville resident Ronald Dean Foster, 45, without incident. No weapons were located on the suspect or in the vehicle, Ritter said.

“The successful resolution was due, in large part, to the quick thinking of the victim,” said Gwinnett police Cpl. Jake Smith.

Police said Lopera was not physically harmed during the ordeal but remained shaken Wednesday and did not want to speak with media. She told police she’d never seen Foster before.

Foster remains jailed without bond on charges of robbery, kidnapping, theft by taking and terroristic threats and acts.

In an unrelated interview in November, Foster outlined his hardscrabble past for a Daily Post feature on Meet The Need Ministries, where he was serving as “pastor” for homeless men and convicts who, like himself, had fallen on hard times.

Foster told the Daily Post he was a recovering methamphetamine addict and former college football linebacker who later turned to meth to stay awake while driving trucks for a living. He’d landed in prison and led a white-supremacist gang but had since devoted his life to religion, he told the Daily Post.

Jane Alvarez, Meet the Need’s executive director, said Wednesday that Foster had left the ministry in December and “went back to the streets.”

“He had done great for over two years,” Alvarez said. “There are so many men here that say he was totally responsible for turning their lives around.”

Lawrenceville police arrested Foster in April on drug and traffic charges. Records show he was released from jail three weeks ago in that case. [/quote]

[quote author=azcentral.com]Woman beat girl for eyeing boyfriend

NORTH BRANFORD, Conn. -- A 24-year-old Connecticut woman is facing charges after police said she assaulted a 12-year-old girl the woman accused of eyeing her boyfriend.

The Hartford Courant reports Candice Kiley, of New Haven, Conn., was charged Tuesday in connection with the July 23 attack.

According to police, Kiley was attending a family birthday party when she grabbed the 12-year-old by the hair and threw her to the floor. Police said the girl then suffered an asthma attack.

Police said Kiley's 30-year-old boyfriend was in the kitchen cleaning up a spill when the confrontation took place.

Kiley was charged with third-degree assault, disorderly conduct and risk of injury to a minor.

Police said she was released pending a court appearance on Aug. 23.

It was unclear if she had an attorney.[/quote]



FOTCM Member

Due to the economic crisis, Darth Vader and crew had to sell the Death Star and move
into a trailer park in Toledo. :lol:

Mountain Crown

The Living Force
[quote author=Vulcan59]Due to the economic crisis, Darth Vader and crew had to sell the Death Star and move into a trailer park in Toledo.[/quote]

Love it! :lol:

Lucas County! :nuts:


FOTCM Member

OH COME ON! How hard could it possibly be to cover your ass? The purpose of suspenders
is to keep your pants up above your waist, yet somehow you have managed to fail at that
simple task, while at the same time, just our luck, the backup safeguard of your shirt fails
to stay down and protect us. Thanks buddy!


Mountain Crown

The Living Force

[quote author=metro.co.uk]'S***house' restaurant serves dinners in miniature toilets

A new eatery called 'The S***house' dishes up its oriental delicacies served in replica toilets and bedpans.

The critics might pan it, but one restaurant in the Chinese capital Beijing has got food fans going potty for it.

The plop-up restaurant has queues around the block as punters prove that it's more than just a flush in the pan.

Co-owner Feng Lu said: 'We had the idea when we were discussing one of the worst restaurants we'd ever eaten in and one of us said it had been a real toilet. So we decided to see if we could make a restaurant that was just one big toilet.

"We can't quite believe how successful it's been. Now we're talking about opening a chain," added Feng.[/quote]

[quote author=sfgate.com]Mass. woman says TSA confiscated frosted cupcake

A woman who just flew back home from Las Vegas says an airport security officer confiscated her frosted cupcake because he thought the icing on it could be a security risk.

Rebecca Hains said the Transportation Security Administration agent at McCarran International Airport took her cupcake Wednesday, telling her its frosting was enough like a gel to violate TSA restrictions on allowing liquids and gels onto flights to prevent them from being used as explosives. She said the agent told her the frosting was conforming to the jar it was inside.

"I just thought this was terrible logic," Hains said Friday.

Hains, who lives in Peabody, just north of Boston, said the agent didn't seem concerned that the cupcake could actually be explosive, just that it fit some bureaucratic definition about what was prohibited. She said he even offered to let her eat it away from the airport security area.

Hains, a 35-year-old communications professor at Salem State University, said she told the agent she had passed through security at Boston's Logan International Airport earlier in the week with two cupcakes packaged in jars, gifts from a student. But she said the agent told her that just meant TSA in Boston didn't do its job.

The TSA, which is entrusted with protecting the nation's transportation system, was reviewing the situation, agency spokesman Nico Melendez said. Passengers are allowed to take cakes and cupcakes through checkpoints, he said.
Hains ultimately surrendered the cupcake. But she said the situation highlighted a lack of common sense by the agent and the ludicrousness of TSA policies.

"It's not really about the cupcake; I can get another cupcake," she said. "It's about an encroachment on civil liberties. We're just building up a resistance and tolerance to all these things they're doing in the name of security, when it's really theater. It is not keeping us safe."[/quote]

[quote author=dailymail.co.uk] Have you got change? Man attempts to go shopping at Walmart- with a million dollar bill
Have you got change for a million-dollars?

A North Carolina man allegedly tried to go shopping at Walmart with a million dollar bill.

53-year-old Michael Fuller insisted his million-dollar note was real when he was trying to buy $476 worth of items, including a vacuum cleaner, and a microwave oven, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Store employees called police after the Lexington, North Carolina man insisted that the bill was legitimate, and Fuller was arrested.

The largest bill in circulation is $100. The government stopped printing notes of up to $10,000 in 1969 because the public rarely used them.

The largest bill ever printed was $100,000 which carried a picture of President Woodrow Wilson.

The bills, which were never used by the public, were printed between December 18, 1934 and January 9, 1935, and were used for transferring money between Federal Reserve banks.

Fuller was charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretense and uttering a forged instrument.
He is in jail on a $17,500 bond, and it isn't clear if he has an attorney. He is scheduled to be in court Tuesday.[/quote]

[quote author=dailymail.co.uk]Mother drowns baby daughter in bucket while boyfriend watches live on Skype

A mother drowned her baby daughter in a bucket while her boyfriend watched live over the internet.

Norwegian Yasmin Chaudhry killed the one-year-old by plunging her into a bucket of water during a 3am Skype video call with her British partner.

Chaudhry, 26, said she had just wanted to discipline her baby for waking up and 'disobeying her'.

She called an ambulance and initially told paramedics that the baby had fallen into the bucket by accident.

The girl was unconscious when the paramedics arrived and was pronounced dead the next day, in October 2010.

Chaudhry was initially arrested on suspicion of negligence because of inconsistencies in the stories she gave to police and the paramedics, but is now facing a preliminary charge of murder.

'This has been a long investigation and she eventually admitted it to us in October 2011,' Norwegian police prosecutor Kristin Rusdal told MailOnline.

'She said it was done to discipline the child. She had been holding her under water.

'She had discussed the discipline with this friend, with whom she had a relationship. They met online and had met in person only once.
Chaudhry claimed that her boyfriend - who is not the child's father - told her to do it.

Both she and the Briton deny wanting to kill the baby.

The British man has not yet been named because his name does not appear in any of the court documents published in Norway.
Ms Rusdal confirmed a preliminary murder charge had been filed against the British man and said police were discussing extradition.
Officers from Oslo flew to Britain just before Christmas to question the boyfriend with the help of Scotland Yard.

'We could issue a formal request to the British authorities to see if they wan to investigate the case, but because it is so closely tied to our investigation we would like to see them together,' said Ms Rusdal.

Chaudhry's five-year-old son was taken into care following the horrific episode in October 2010.
Yesterday she was remanded until February 4.

The baby's father now lives in Pakistan after splitting with the mother.

His lawyer said: 'He is, of course, very shocked.'[/quote]

[quote author=msnbc.msn.com] Flier, displaced by obese seatmate, forced to stand

A passenger on a US Airways flight said he was forced to stand for seven hours after he was squeezed out of his seat by an obese man sitting next to him.

“I didn’t fly from Alaska to Philadelphia on Flight 901,” Arthur Berkowitz told Christopher Elliott, a consumer advocate who operates elliott.org. “I stood.”

“His size required both armrests to be raised up and allowed for his body to cover half of my seat,” Berkowitz said. “It did not allow me to use my seatbelt during takeoff and landing as well as required me to stand in the aisle and galley area for most of the seven-hour-plus flight.”

The incident occurred on July 29 and was first reported by Elliott on Tuesday.

Berkowitz said he alerted flight attendants to the problem, but they were unable to accommodate him, according to his account on elliott.org. “They were sympathetic, but they could not do anything. No other seats existed on plane. They would not permit me to sit in their jump seats, and fully acknowledged the mistake by their gate agent, in allowing this individual on plane without requiring him to purchase and occupy two seats,” he said.

Liz Landau, a spokesperson for US Airways, confirmed that Berkowitz was inconvenienced by a passenger of size and told msnbc.com “it was his choice to stand.”

“His seatmate had the same right to his seat as Mr. Berkowitz did to his. So here’s where the diplomacy and cooperation of all passengers comes into play,” the airline said in a statement.

Berkowitz was unhappy with the $200 voucher the airline offered him for his experience, at which point he contacted Elliott.

"We have attempted to address this customer’s service concerns,” the airline statement said, “but offering increasing amounts of compensation based on a threat of a safety violation isn’t really fair — especially when the passenger himself said he didn’t follow crew members’ instructions and fasten his seatbelt.

“The way to ensure you have space available next to you — whether you are a person of size, or you would simply like to ensure you have more personal space to relax on a long flight — is to purchase that additional seat, or First Class, in advance.”[/quote]

[quote author=Reuters]Flier sues Southwest, says owed 45 free drinks

Southwest Airlines Co was sued by an Illinois man over the discount carrier's decision to stop honoring coupons for free alcoholic drinks, which it had given to select travelers and which lacked expiration dates.

The plaintiff Adam Levitt said Southwest had for years awarded customers like him, who bought tickets through its premium-priced "Business Select" program, hundreds of thousands of coupons for the drinks, which would otherwise cost $5 each.

But on August 1, 2010, Southwest changed its policy, and said Business Select passengers may use their coupons only on the day of travel printed on them. Some other passengers were given more time.

"In an industry where the competition is always knocking (or banging) on the door and where watching the bottom-line is more important than ever, we owe it to our employees, customers, and shareholders to find ways to operate smarter," Mike Hafner, vice president of cabin services, wrote on a company blog.

Levitt, who lives in the Chicago area, said the policy change amounted to a breach of contract. He attached to his complaint copies of 45 coupons for free drinks, which he said he had accumulated and which the change left worthless.

"Southwest decided that it would make more money -- improve its 'bottom-line' -- by choosing not to honor the coupons that consumers had already paid and bargained for," said the complaint filed on Wednesday in Chicago federal court.

The lawsuit seeks class-action status for Southwest customers in the United States with unredeemed drink coupons. It seeks compensatory damages and other remedies.

Southwest had no immediate comment. A lawyer for Levitt did not immediately return a call seeking a comment.

U.S. carriers are reducing services and cutting expenses as fuel costs rise and an uncertain economy threatens to reduce demand for travel. Southwest, based in Dallas, has long been among the healthiest major U.S. carriers financially.

The case is Levitt v. Southwest Airlines Co, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 11-08176.[/quote]


Mountain Crown

The Living Force

[quote author=news.com.au]Dead NYC woman's brain 'lost' during autopsy

THE Medical Examiner's Office in New York took a deceased woman's brain - and allegedly lost it - as it carries out an anguish-causing new policy to tell next-of-kin on the eve of a funeral that organs were removed.

A woman whose sibling died of an unexplained illness in January learned just before the funeral that the ME had removed her brain during an autopsy and would keep it at least three weeks "for further testing".

It was too late to delay the memorial service, so the distraught woman decided to bury her sister, in her 60s, without her brain.

Last week, the woman still had not received her sister's death certificate, autopsy report or brain, funeral director Alexandra Mosca, who handled the arrangements, said.

When Mosca called the Brooklyn Medical Examiner's Office to inquire, "they couldn't find this particular brain," she said.

"Where is it?" she added. "Nobody knows. They said they would have to locate it and get back to me."

She called again two days later and was told "they found the brain after all," Mosca said. "That was because I made such a ruckus about it."

But now the woman - still grieving - does not know whether to exhume her sister and bury her again with the brain, bury the brain next to her sister's coffin or let the medical examiner dispose of it.

Mindless city officials are adding to mourners' grief, Mosca contends.

"They're putting people in an untenable position: What do you do?" she said.

In ice-cold letters handed to funeral directors when they pick up bodies, the ME gives next-of-kin several options: give up claim to the organ, leave the body in the morgue until the organ is released or pick up the organ later.

The woman whose sister died checked off the final option offered, "I am unable to make a decision ... at this time." But if a decision is not made within a week, the letter warns, "it will be understood I do not wish to claim the retained organ(s)."
An ME spokeswoman did not respond to questions, but denied the office lost a brain.[/quote]

[quote author=metro.co.uk]Family kept man in coffin for two years

A family in India kept their 72-year-old uncle in a coffin for two years after he refused to hand over his farm to them.

Authorities in Porbunder, western India, say that the family took the lid off the coffin just once a day to feed Rajan Killaker before nailing it down again, and that they drilled holes in the casket so he could breath.

They kept him trapped after he had refused to sign over his farm, worth around £100,000, to them

'We have arrested eight of his relatives who confessed to torturing him,' said a police spokesman.[/quote]

[quote author=blog.sfgate.com]Dentist gets revenge by pulling ex’s teeth

Polish dentist is facing jail time after she allegedly pulled out all her ex-boyfriend’s teeth after he dumped her for another woman, the Daily Mail reported.

Marek Olszewski, 45, made an appointment to see his former girlfriend, also a dentist, when he developed a toothache just days after breaking up with her.

But instead of fixing Olszewski’s problem tooth, Anna Mackowiak, 34, is accused of giving him a heavy dose of anesthetic and then pulling out all of his 32 teeth, according to the Daily Mail.

“I tried to be professional and detach myself from my emotions,” she told the Daily Mail. “But when I saw him lying there I just thought, ‘What a b—–d.’”

Olszewski told the Daily Mail that he could tell something was wrong when he woke up and couldn’t feel any teeth in his mouth. But his ex-girlfriend assured him he would feel fine once the numbness wore off, he said.

“I didn’t have any reason to doubt her, I mean I thought she was a professional.

“But when I got home I looked in the mirror and couldn’t (expletive) believe it,” he told the Daily Mail. “The (expletive) had emptied my mouth.”

Olszewski’s new girlfriend has since left him, saying she can’t date a toothless man, according to the website.
Meanwhile, Mackowiak is being investigated for medical malpractice and abusing the trust of a patient, the Daily Mail reported.[/quote]

[quote author=blog.sfgate.com]Police: Man with plunger tries to rob NY bank

Police say a 49-year-old man tried to rob a central New York bank armed with a toilet plunger.

Utica police tell local media outlets that Lawrence Deptola went into city bank Thursday afternoon and threatened a teller with the plunger.

Police responded after two other banks had previously called authorities about a suspicious man entering their buildings.

Deptola was arrested after a foot chase and charged with attempted third-degree robbery.

It could not be determined Friday morning if Deptola had a lawyer.[/quote]

[quote author=cnn.com]IRS forms show charity's money isn't going to disabled vets

Birmingham, Alabama (CNN) -- A national charity that vows to help disabled veterans and their families has spent tens of millions on marketing services, all the while doling out massive amounts of candy, hand sanitizer bottles and many other unnecessary items to veteran aid groups, according to a CNN investigation.

The Disabled Veterans National Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., and founded in 2007, received about $55.9 million in donations since it began operations in 2007, according to publicly available IRS 990 forms.

Yet according to the DVNF's tax filings with the IRS, almost none of that money has wound up in the hands of American veterans.

Instead, the charity made significant payments to Quadriga Art LLC, which owns two direct-mail fundraising companies hired by the DVNF to help garner donations, according to publicly available IRS 990 forms.

Those forms show the charity paid Quadriga and its subsidiary, Brickmill Marketing Services, nearly $61 million from 2008 until 2010, which was the last year public records were available.

The independent group CharityWatch gave the DVNF an "F" grade. More than 30 veterans charities were rated by the independent group by the amount they spend on fundraising compared to actual donations, and two-thirds were given either a D or F grade, according to CharityWatch president Daniel Borochoff.

"Up to $2 billion is raised in the name of veterans in this country and it's so sad that a great deal of it's wasted," Borochoff said.

"Hundreds of millions of dollars of our charitable dollars intended to help veterans is being squandered and wasted by opportunists and by individuals and companies who see it as a profit-making opportunity."

WEWS: Suspect accused of stealing millions through phony veterans charity

On its website, the DVNF posted a "news bulletin" announcing that the charity had sent badly needed goods "by the truckload" to veterans centers in Birmingham, Alabama, in the wake of last year's devastating tornados.

DVNF specifically cited a small veterans charity called St. Benedict's. But the charity's executive director said most of the donations from DVNF could hardly be classified as "badly needed."

"They sent us 2,600 bags of cough drops and 2,200 little bottles of sanitizer," J.D. Simpson told CNN. "And the great thing was, they sent us 11,520 bags of coconut M&M's. And we didn't have a lot of use for 11,520 bags of coconut M&M's. "

Simpson said the DVNF also sent him more than 700 pairs of Navy dress shoes, which he said he can't use. He has put them up for purchase at a yard sale.

In its tax filings, the DVNF also claims to have sent millions of dollars of so-called "Goods In Kind" to smaller veterans-related charities around the nation.

In one instance, the DVNF claimed more than $838,000 in fair market value donations to a small charity called US Vets in Prescott, Arizona.

CNN obtained the bill of lading for that shipment, which showed that, among other things, hundreds of chefs coats and aprons were included in the delivery, along with a needlepoint design pillowcase and cans of acrylic paint. The goods listed in the two-page shipping document were things "we don't need," a US Vets spokesman said. And at the bottom of the bill of lading, the DVNF itself estimated the value of the shipment at around $234,000 -- significantly less than the $838,000 it reported to the IRS.

CNN has attempted to get a comment from the DVNF for more than a year, but has received no specific replies, even after submitting several questions in writing.

When approached by a CNN crew at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Disabled National Veterans president Precilla Wilkewitz rebuffed questions.

"Well, this is the Veterans of Foreign Wars and I really didn't think you'd do something like this and we've agreed to talk to you ... answer your questions," she said, standing in the entranceway to her office.

Wilkewitz is the former national legislative liaison for the VFW, which is not directly tied to the Disabled Veterans National Foundation.
She said she would answer questions only in writing, but so far CNN has received no response.

When asked about Quadriga's relationship with DVNF, spokesman Ron Torossian told CNN in an e-mail that the company is privately owned and "we do not discuss specific client relationships." But according to IRS filings, Quadriga has been paid for direct-mail services by DVNF since the charity was founded in 2007.

Torossian did say in his e-mail, "At times, Quadriga chooses to invest money in partnerships with non-profit organizations. Sometimes it is a successful business venture, while others it is not."

In a subsequent e-mail, Torossian said Quadriga had lost $7 million investing in veterans nonprofit organizations.

When CNN asked whether that included the Disabled Veterans National Foundation, he said "your facts remain woefully inadequate," but he declined to elaborate in a later e-mail exchange. He also threatened to sue CNN on behalf of Quadriga.

At the small house in Birmingham where J.D. Simpson operates St. Benedict's, he said his main goal is to provide beds to homeless and disabled veterans.

He characterized the DVNF operation in harsh terms.

"I ask myself what the heck are these people doing stealing from our veterans. because that's what they are doing," Simpsons said.

"I don't care how you look at it. These people have sacrificed for our country. And there are some people out there raising money to abuse 'em and that just makes me mad."[/quote]

[quote author=press-citizen.com]Union bouncer confiscates his own stolen ID from patron

Police said a University of Iowa student tried to use a stolen ID to enter the Union Saturday morning.

The only problem with Steven J. Fiorella’s plan was that ID was stolen from the bouncer who was working the door that night.

That’s right — Fiorella, a 19-year-old University of Iowa student who hails from Chicago, gave the doorman his own ID back when Fiorella tried to pass it off as his own.

According to a criminal complaint, the doorman – who is not identified in the criminal complaint — notified Iowa City police officers at 12:55 a.m. that Fiorella tried to use his ID to enter the Union. The bouncer “immediately” recognized his driver’s license, police said. The driver’s license were reported stolen in February, police said.

Fiorella was also in possession of the doorman’s debit card and AAA card. Police said Fiorella claimed to have purchased the items at a party for $20.

Fiorella was charged with fifth-degree theft and unlawful use of another’s ID.[/quote]

[quote author=bizarrenews.org]Man wins dumpling eating contest, then dies

A Ukraine dumpling-eating contest to find the person who could eat 10 of the dough balls most quickly went horribly wrong when the 77-year-old champion keeled over and died.

The winner, Ivan Mendel, had just won his prize, a one-litre jar of sour cream, when he began to feel ill.

"The old man got sick and fell to the ground," an unnamed witness told Interfax news agency. "The ambulance arrived when he was already dead. The doctor said that he probably choked on vomit."

The contest was held on Saturday in the south-east Ukrainian town of Tokmak as part of its city-day celebrations.

Dumplings, known in Ukraine as vareniki, are a staple of the regional diet; they are usually stuffed with mushrooms, potatoes or cherries. Organisers of the contest said the dumplings they used – filled with potatoes – had been frozen and packaged and bought from a local supermarket.

Organisers struck back at accusations that the contest had killed the man, saying Mendel had eaten just 10 dumplings in all. He ate them, reportedly, in half a minute.

"A 77-year-old pensioner ate his portion more quickly than his opponent," Viktor Khalamovsky, one of the contest organisers, told Interfax. "He won a prize for that – a jar of sour cream. What happened to him after his victory, the organisers don't know."

Officials in Tokmak, which is in the Zaporizhya region, refused to comment on the incident when contacted by local media, but said representatives had attended the Mendel's funeral on Tuesday.[/quote]

[quote author=bizarrenews.org]Two ill after eating burgers laced with multi-purpose cleaner in Australia

A prank by three young kitchen staff at Hungry Jack's fast food restaurant in the Central-Western New South Wales city of Bathurst went wrong when two customers required medical treatment after eating burgers they had laced with multi-purpose cleaner.

According to staff at the Emergency Department of Bathurst Hospital, two Hungry Jack's customers became ill Sunday night after eating burgers contaminated with a chemical believed to be multi-purpose cleaner.

One of the patrons was in a serious condition upon arrival at Bathurst Hospital due to being allergic to an ingredient in the cleaning product. "He presented to the emergency department as he was having an allergic reaction after eating a burger from Hungry Jacks, he was in a really bad way when he arrived here and if he had waited much longer it could have been much worse," said a Greater Western Area Health Service employee.

"We called Hungry Jacks and they said that three of their employees had been goofing off and sprayed multi-purpose cleaner inside the burgers so we then treated the patients for poisoning."

Both customers are expected to make a full recovery. During an investigation undertaken by Wikinews reporter Nathan Carter, it was learned that the chemical sprayed into the burgers was KAY multipurpose cleaner which is reported to cause nausea, diarrhoea and mucosal and gastric irritation. The Material Safety Data Sheet for KAY multipurpose cleaner lists Antonic Surfactants as its hazardous ingredient.

In New South Wales, it is a criminal offence to make food intended for sale unsafe punishable by 2 years imprisonment. Due to restrictions on the publication of the name of young people involved in crimes in New South Wales, the names of kitchen staff can not be published. Wikinews was told by Hungry Jack's staff that the staff involved in the incident remained employed by Hungry Jack's. Josh, a Hungry Jack's manager at the Bathurst restaurant, told Wikinews that his boss Adam was aware of the food contamination issue and would be taking steps to address it.[/quote]

[quote author=tampabay.com]Woman attacks boyfriend after he refuses sex

A 34-year-old woman accused of attacking her boyfriend after he declined to have sex with her was arrested on a misdemeanor charge, according to a recently released affidavit.

The website TCPalm reports that the boyfriend of Stacey Ann Ortiz told Port St. Lucie police April 18 they'd been drinking at a friend's home and came back to go to bed. The boyfriend said he wanted to watch TV, while Ortiz wanted to have sex.

He said Ortiz started to attack him after he told her several times he wasn't interested. He said he ran down stairs and out the garage to get away and that Ortiz tried to chase him down. "It appeared the victim had just left his bed since he was only wearing his underwear," the affidavit states.

Ortiz told police her boyfriend got in a verbal argument, but the dispute turned physical. She said her boyfriend "head butted" her and she pushed him off her.[/quote]

[quote author=tampabay.com]Man beats McDonald's manager with baseball bat after being skipped in line, police say

LAKELAND — Lakeland police are looking for a man who they say beat a McDonald's manager with a bat for accidentally being skipped in line, wftv.com Ch. 9 reports.

The attack happened Monday. Employees said the man confronted the manager about being skipped, and then left the McDonald's.

They said 20 minutes later he came back, jumped the counter, and hit the manager twice in the ribs with a bat.

Employees said he then walked away calmly, using his shirt to open the door so as not to leave fingerprints.

The manager was taken to the hospital, but should make a full recovery. [/quote]

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