Authorities Thursday were trying to determine who sent envelopes containing apparently harmless powder to Church of Scientology locations, prompting street closings and evacuations.
Envelopes containing the mysterious white powder were mailed to at least 19 church addresses in Los Angeles and Orange counties, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
The letters began showing up Wednesday. Glendale police shut down a street for two hours and Tustin authorities evacuated 60 people from buildings as hazardous materials teams were called in.
Initial tests indicated the powder was harmless but more tests were being conducted, Eimiller said.
Archive for January, 2008
The invincibility of Songun Korea ushering in the most brilliant era of prosperity in the nation’s history spanning 5,000 years, standing all tests of history under the guidance of Kim Jong Il is based on the strong mental power of its people, says Rodong Sinmun Monday in a signed article.
The Korean people are proud to have the strong mental power peculiar to them.
It is the important characteristics of the mental power of the Korean people that it has a tremendous potential and persevering might as it is given fuller play in face of manifold difficulties and trials and that it has been steadily displayed and carried forward generation after generation in the whole course of the revolution.
The Korean people’s strong mental power is based on the great revolutionary idea.
The Juche idea serves as ideological pabulum as it makes the people strongest in faith and will in the world.
The Korean people’s mental power is inexhaustible as it was created and proved in the arduous yet worthwhile revolutionary practices.
How should the media handle sensational allegations that one of the most esteemed members of their profession, former Time magazine journalist and top Clinton State Department official Strobe Talbott, was a dupe of the Russian intelligence service? How should they deal with hard evidence that one of their sacred cows, the United Nations, is penetrated by Russian spies?
The answer is that most of them will ignore it.
This is the fate they’re giving to Comrade J, a blockbuster book about Russian espionage written by former Washington Post reporter and author Pete Earley.
Comrade J is about a Russian master spy, Sergei Tretyakov, who defected to the United States because he was disgusted with the Russian/Soviet system and wanted to start a new and better life with his family in America. He identifies former Clinton State Department official Strobe Talbott, a current adviser to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, as having been a trusted contact of the Russian intelligence service.
A former priest began a seven-year jail term Wednesday for murdering a young nun during an exorcism ritual when she was bound, chained to a cross and denied food and water for days.
Irina Cornici, 23, died from dehydration, exhaustion and suffocation during an ordeal that stunned Romania and prompted the Orthodox Church to promise reforms and psychological tests to screen potential clergy.
The former priest, Daniel Corogeanu, and four nuns were all convicted and sentenced in September but Corogeanu was freed pending an appeal, which he lost Tuesday. He was picked up by police in the remote northeast Wednesday and sent to jail.
Piracy was up ten percent last year, to 269 attacks. That’s actually miniscule, when you consider that there are over 33,000 large (over 1,000 GRT tons) transport ships at sea every day. Even though these ships are close enough to the coast to be attacked less than a third of the time, that still means that a pirate attack is much less likely than running into a bad storm and suffering some damage.
But most of the attacks occur in three hot spots (off Somalia, the Niger river delta in Nigeria and western Indonesia). Most of these are the work of about a dozen gangs, who consider robbing merchant ships as just one illegal form of income among many.
The co-pilot of a Heathrow-bound plane was dragged kicking and screaming from the cockpit after suffering a mental breakdown while in control of the flight.
He began yelling and “invoking God” as the Air Canada 767 flew at 37,000 feet over the Atlantic. He was held down by other crew members and a passenger, a member of the Canadian armed forces.
The co-pilot then had restraints fastened to his wrists and ankles and was handcuffed to a seat. The flight from Toronto made an emergency landing in Shannon and the co-pilot, who had been crying and screaming according to witnesses, was taken off the plane.
He was taken by ambulance to a psychiatric ward where he is being treated for a suspected nervous breakdown.
A woman with a long list of aliases and husbands remains in the Walton County Jail.
Officials arrested Shauna Keith last week. They said the 27-year-old woman married five men, all members of the military.
She is also accused of having five social security numbers.
According to authorities, Keith married a man in the army in Kentucky in 2006. She then allegedly married a marine on the front porch of a home outside Walnut Grove on Christmas Eve 2007. Officials also said Keith told the marine’s family she was the daughter of 82nd Airborne Division Commander Maj. Gen. David Rodriguez.
It was lunchtime in one of Haiti’s worst slums, and Charlene Dumas was eating mud. With food prices rising, Haiti’s poorest can’t afford even a daily plate of rice, and some take desperate measures to fill their bellies. Charlene, 16 with a 1-month-old son, has come to rely on a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger pangs: cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country’s central plateau.
The mud has long been prized by pregnant women and children here as an antacid and source of calcium. But in places like Cite Soleil, the oceanside slum where Charlene shares a two-room house with her baby, five siblings and two unemployed parents, cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal.
When the lungs fail, doctors have woefully few tools in their arsenal to help people breathe.
That may change soon, say scientists who believe they are within sprinting distance of offering patients with acute lung failure an artificial lung — at least one that can be used short-term while they await transplants or for their damaged lungs to heal.
Researchers from academic institutions across the country who are developing and testing prototypes believe artificial lung clinical trials in humans, similar to studies already underway in Canada and Europe, may begin as early as this spring.
Nearly half a million Brazilians were murdered in the past decade but the homicide rate is gradually falling due to better social welfare, more policing and fewer firearms, a study said on Tuesday.
In the 10 years from 1996 to 2006, around 465,000 people were murdered, according to a study published by two aid groups and the federal government. The vast majority were shot.
A Carnival float with a pile of model dead bodies commemorating the Holocaust is causing unease before the lavish parades in Rio de Janeiro this weekend.
The Viradouro samba organization, or school, plans to feature the grim display when it marches in the Sambadrome parade strip on Sunday, despite objections from a local Jewish group.
“Really, it makes no sense addressing this theme with drums and dancing girls,” said Sergio Niskier, president of the Israelite Federation in Rio de Janeiro state, referring to the slaughter of Jews by Nazi Germany in World War Two.
A 24-year-old volunteer at community radio station 91.7 FM KOOP took his music so seriously that he set fire to the station when it didn’t play the songs on his playlist, Austin Fire Department Battalion Chief Greg Nye said.
Paul Webster Feinstein has been charged with second-degree felony arson and was being held Monday in the Travis County Central Booking Facility. If convicted, he could be sentenced to two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
The fire Jan. 5 at 3823 Airport Blvd., Suite B, caused $300,000 in damage. The radio station was off the air for 19 days before broadcasting resumed Friday from studio space donated by Entercom Communications, which owns several other local stations.
Gunmen killed an opposition lawmaker in Nairobi early Tuesday, an attack likely to stoke the ethnic fighting that has gripped Kenya since last month’s disputed presidential election.
As with the gangs that have killed rivals and torched homes in western Kenya, groups of armed youths began gathering after the shooting in the capital’s Mathare and Kibera slums. Since the Dec. 27 election, the death toll has soared over 800.
Two gunmen shot opposition lawmaker Mugabe Were as he drove to his house in suburban Nairobi, police said, adding they did not yet know if the political turmoil had motivated the slaying.
It’s been dubbed the Mystery of the Missing iPhones. On Jan. 22, Apple reported that it sold 3.7 million units of its smartphones worldwide through the end of 2007. But AT&T, the exclusive U.S. iPhone reseller and by far the largest buyer of the devices, reported that its subscribers activated fewer than 2 million units last year. The big question on the minds of Apple watchers is: Where have the other 1.7 million iPhones gone?
The uncertainty has helped sink Apple’s (AAPL) stock price to $130 a share, down 34% since the beginning of the year. That is far worse than the 13% drop for the tech-heavy Nasdaq index. Apple shares were already under pressure over concerns about how weakening consumer spending would affect the company’s shipments of iPod music players and notebook computers. Now the worries about iPhone sales have entered the mix. “In the past week the stock has fallen further because of potentially lower iPhone shipments,” says Shebly Seyrafi, an analyst at Caris & Co.. A story that recently surfaced in a Chinese newspaper claimed that Apple’s iPhone component suppliers are cutting back on production in anticipation of lower U.S. demand.
Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a woman accused of killing her 1-month-old daughter by burning the child in a microwave oven.
If convicted of aggravated murder, China Arnold, 27, could face the death penalty.
Investigators believe Arnold killed 1-month-old Paris Talley by putting her in a microwave at her home. Arnold’s attorneys argue she had nothing to do with the baby’s death in 2005.
Coroner’s officials have said the baby suffered high-heat internal injuries and had no external burns. They have ruled out scalding water, open flame or other possible causes of death that could have damaged the skin.
Driving sleet, freezing temperatures and a blanket of snow across southern China have paralysed trains and aircraft, stranding tens of millions of people trying to get home for the biggest holiday in the Chinese calendar.
The worst weather in 50 years pummelled swaths of central, southern and eastern China as migrant workers and students, business travellers and officials assigned to provincial postings battled for tickets to join their families for the lunar new year holiday.
The human tide strains public transport every year even though the authorities pull dozens of extra trains into service and lay on additional flights to try to cope. With new year’s day falling on February 7 this year, the bad weather has swept China just as the number of travellers is reaching its peak.
Officials struggled to control an estimated 200,000 travellers at the station — a number expected to swell to 600,000 over the next couple of days. Temporary shelter was being arranged for the migrant workers in schools and conventions centres. Soldiers were deployed to stand guard around the station and police barked orders through bullhorns to try to maintain order.
Well water of the tiny Canadian town of Gypsumville, Manitoba (population 65) has been poisoned by an extraterrestrial.
The invader: A meteorite which struck down almost a quarter-billion years ago, creating the 25-mile-wide (40-kilometer) Lake Martin impact crater.
The ancient impact shattered the granitic ground so that extraordinary amounts of fluoride now taint the well water. Slightly higher than recommended amounts of fluoride can cause mottled teeth, while even higher concentrations can lead to neurological problems and softened bones.
A man accidentally shot and killed himself at a South Dallas party early Saturday after showing off his pistol to friends, police said.
A group of friends were drinking in the 3400 block of Iroquois Street when Andreous Robinson, 20, went outside around 1 a.m. and shot a few rounds into the air.
Police said Mr. Robinson then returned inside and thought that he’d discharged all of the rounds, so he put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger, said Sgt. Bruce McDonald, a homicide officer.
When scientists found out that chimps had better memories than students, there were unkind comments about the calibre of the human competition they faced.
But now an ape has gone one better, trouncing British memory champion Ben Pridmore.
Ayumu, a seven-year-old male brought up in captivity in Japan, did three times as well as Mr Pridmore at a computer game which involved remembering the position of numbers on a screen.
And that’s no mean feat – the 30-year-old accountant from Derby is capable of memorising the order of a shuffled pack of cards in under 30 seconds.
A group of hackers calling itself “Anonymous” has hit the Church of Scientology’s Web site with an online attack.
The attack was launched Jan. 19 by Anonymous, which is seeking media attention to help “save people from Scientology by reversing the brainwashing,” according to a Web page maintained by Anonymous.
Anonymous claims to have knocked the Church’s Web site offline with a distributed denial-of-service attack, in which many computers bombard the victim’s server with requests, overwhelming it with data in the hope of ultimately knocking the system offline. True to its name, Anonymous does not disclose the true identities of its members.
The attacks were spurred by the Church’s efforts to remove video of movie star Tom Cruise professing his admiration for the religion, according to an Anonymous video manifesto posted to Youtube.
An animal protection group on Friday rescued more than 200 animals, including 26 hissing cockroaches and two bearded dragons, from an eastern Texas home.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the animals were still being counted Friday night.
The group was acting under the authority of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department and had gone to the property on a warrant regarding medical neglect.
Besides the cockroaches and bearded dragons, the animals included 68 dogs, 16 rabbits, 15 guinea pigs, 13 gerbils, seven doves, two dwarf hamsters, two hedgehogs, an opossum and a pink toe tarantula.
City officials in Lewiston, Maine, are confronting a problem straight out of a 1950s horror flick as a mysterious blob has taken over a major sewer line through the town, according to a report on WMTW.com
According to city officials, the doughy, 90-foot mass is comprised of grease, flour and rags, and has been blocking a stretch of 12-inch sewer pipe on Main Street since January 13, WMTW reports.
Most of your essentials are already distributed by vending machines: condoms, electronics, luscious 1-calorie Tab… But now, you can finally get what you really need: medical marijuana, from Anytime Vending Machines.
AVMs are 24/7 machines housed in standalone rooms, abutting two dispensaries and protected by round-the-clock security guards — like ATMs for people combating psychological withdrawal with a physical one. After cinching up your doctor’s consultation, hit an AVM location to get your prescription approved, fingerprint taken, and a prepaid credit card loaded with your profile: dosage (3.5 or 7 grams, up to 1oz a week) and strain preference (choice of five, including OG Cush and Granddaddy Purple, the mildly hallucinogenic forebear to Prince). Then day or night, all you do is hit a machine and walk away with enough vacuum-sealed, plastic-encapsulated cheeba to adequately treat your illness, and guarantee your car never smells like new leather again.
Hat tip to Parky!
The true scale of a suicide epidemic among young people in a small town was revealed yesterday.
As well as the seven deaths linked to social networking websites, a coroner revealed that a further six had also died within a year.
The astonishing rate of hangings in Bridgend, South Wales, has terrified parents in the area and one secondary school has been placed on ’suicide watch’ after pupils appealed for help.
A military plane crashed in a forested area in northwestern Poland, killing 20 people, the prime minister said early Thursday. The officers had been attending a flight safety conference in Warsaw.
Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the plane crash, which occurred as it was about to land Wednesday evening. The 20 victims included a brigadier general and four crew members, he said.
“Soldiers, husbands, and fathers have died, and that is the most tragic result of this catastrophe,” said Tusk, who had rushed to the site of the accident.
He called it a “huge loss for the Polish air force.”
Hat tip to Kara!
15.01.2008: 2245 LT 01:11.03N – 064:39.0W, Bahia De Robledal, Isla De Margarita, Venezuela.
Five pirates armed with guns boarded a yacht. They assaulted the crew and demanded from the crew all their property. One crew was shot and injured. Incident reported to local authorities who undertook an investigation.
09.01.2008: Bonny River, Nigeria.
Gunmen suspected to be militants in a speedboat attacked a supply ship underway. They fired upon the vessel indiscriminately wounding three crewmembers. The injured crew was taken to hospital for treatment.
Kim Jong-Il’s regime could collapse within six months, bringing chaos to North Korea, observers and intelligence sources in Asia have told Jane’s.
A joint United States report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the US Institute for Peace has also revealed that China has “contingency plans” in the event of North Korea’s implosion. The report, entitled ‘Keeping an Eye on an Unruly Neighbor’, said that China was prepared to “take the initiative” and had a military strategy for securing North Korea’s “loose nukes” should Kim Jong-Il’s rule fail.
Any apocalyptic scenario has to be taken with a grain of salt; in 1997 the Central Intelligence Agency predicted the collapse of North Korea within five years. However, there are reasons for the heightened levels of concern; in particular, the recent actions of Kim Jong-Il and other North Korean officials are being interpreted as signs that the regime is nearing its end.
An anonymous group of hackers, fittingly known as “Anonymous,” has declared war on the Church of Scientology.
In a video posted on YouTube on Monday, the group appears to be upset over the way the church tried to eliminate a video of Tom Cruise from the Internet.
“We shall proceed to expel you from the Internet and systematically dismantle the church of scientology in its present form,” says the video’s narrator. “We are anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”
Remains of Argentine friar’s heart stolen from monastery
The heart of a revered 19th-century Argentine friar and patriot has been stolen from the Franciscan monastery where it was kept for years as a religious relic, a church official said.
The thief removed Mamerto Esquiú’s heart yesterday, leaving behind the urn in which it was stored, said Jorge Martinez, head of the San Francisco monastery in the north-western province of Catamarca.
“The theft was carried out because of the heart – nothing else was stolen,” he told local reporters. “It’s very sad.”
A YOUNG transplant patient has defied medical science by spontaneously switching blood types and taking on her donor’s immune system
NSW teenager Demi Brennan is believed to be the first person in the world to completely accept a donated organ to the extent where her immune system entirely changed.
Demi, now 15, suffered liver failure and had a liver transplant at the age of nine in 2001.
Several months on from the transplant, her doctors at Westmead Children’s Hospital say theywere shocked to discover her blood type had changed to match the blood type of her deceased male donor.
On closer inspection, specialists found that stem cells from the donor liver had penetrated her bone marrow, effectively resulting in a naturally occurring bone marrow transplant.
French bank Societe Generale has uncovered a $7.14 billion fraud that, combined with a write-down from its subprime exposure, will force it to seek $8.02 billion in new capital, the bank said.
France’s second-largest bank by market value after BNP Paribas SA said it detected the fraud at its French markets division the weekend of Jan. 19. A trader at the futures desk had taken “massive fraudulent directional positions in 2007 and 2008 beyond his limited authority,” SocGen said.
The trader, who was not named, used his knowledge of the group’s security systems to conceal his positions through a series of elaborate fictitious transactions, a SocGen statement said.
The west must be ready to resort to a pre-emptive nuclear attack to try to halt the “imminent” spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, according to a radical manifesto for a new Nato by five of the west’s most senior military officers and strategists.
Calling for root-and-branch reform of Nato and a new pact drawing the US, Nato and the European Union together in a “grand strategy” to tackle the challenges of an increasingly brutal world, the former armed forces chiefs from the US, Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands insist that a “first strike” nuclear option remains an “indispensable instrument” since there is “simply no realistic prospect of a nuclear-free world”.
THE FBI has been accused of covering up a key case file detailing evidence against corrupt government officials and their dealings with a network stealing nuclear secrets.
The assertion follows allegations made in The Sunday Times two weeks ago by Sibel Edmonds, an FBI whistleblower, who worked on the agency’s investigation of the network.
Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency’s Washington field office.
She says the FBI was investigating a Turkish and Israeli-run network that paid high-ranking American officials to steal nuclear weapons secrets. These were then sold on the international black market to countries such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
A birthday and New Year’s party resulted in charges against 28 area youths, police said Friday.
Vermont State Police announced the citations Friday during a press conference at the barracks in New Haven. The accused, mostly teenagers, were allegedly the attendees at a party that did roughly $10,000 worth of damage to the Homer Noble Farm in Ripton, a national historical site that was once the summer home of poet Robert Frost.
Police only released 27 of the names, saying the 28th defendant is in college out of state and had not yet been served with paperwork.
All were cited for unlawful trespass, according to police, with five citations for unlawful mischief — to the people police said were observed partaking in the destruction — and one of each for furnishing alcohol to minors, enabling consumption of alcohol by minors and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Police did not identify the person cited for the charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Two Australian graffiti artists drowned when a flash storm swept them along a drain they had been spray painting in Sydney before trapping them at its barred ocean outlet, police said.
A third graffiti artist, who remained conscious during the ordeal, managed to squeeze himself through the bars and into the ocean where he was rescued by surfers on Sunday.
“It’s believed three people, two men and one woman, were allegedly spray painting the walls of a stormwater drain at Maroubra (Beach), when it started to rain,” police said in a statement on Monday.
One of Liberia’s most notorious rebel commanders, known as Gen. Butt Naked, has returned to the nation his troops terrorized to confess, saying he is responsible for 20,000 deaths.
Joshua Milton Blahyi, who now lives in Ghana, returned this week to face his homeland’s truth and reconciliation commission, this time wearing a suit and tie. His nom de guerre is derived from his platoon’s practice of charging naked into battle, a technique meant to terrify the enemy.
Other warlords, though, have refused to ask forgiveness, dismissing a commission many in Liberia see as toothless. Blahyi is urging other former killers to come forward as the country founded by freed American slaves in 1847 struggles to recover from past horrors.
AS a man to spend the night with, Adolf Hitler must rank pretty close to the bottom of the list.
But that hasn’t deterred a new Belgrade hotel, which features a room dedicated to the Nazi dictator. A large portrait of a swastika-wearing Hitler looms over the king-size bed.
Each of the rooms at Mr President – Serbia’s first “designer” hotel – features a current or former world leader.
A Callaway County Christian television station played backdrop today for a scene straight out of a horror movie.
A man with a chainsaw attacked four people at KNLJ Channel 25 Saturday, leaving two critically injured.
Police say twenty-eight year old Matthew Watkins is originally from the St. Louis area and authorities say he’s been staying at the homeless shelter that sits grounds of the T.V. station for the past couple weeks.
Authorities say two of the victims sustained injuries from a chainsaw to the arm and abdomen, and two others sustained injuries from a knife to the neck.
Maoists are turning cannibals. They eat human flesh to terrorize villagers. This was revealed by the residents of Bandiguda, 45 km from the district headquarters town of Malkangiri. The district police, under the leadership of daredevil SP Satish Kumar Gajbhiye, risked in organizing a community policing programme in a far-flung area, known as the Red Terror Zone of the district. On August 3, 2007, the people of Bandiguda saw Mukunda Madhi of their village being lifted by ‘Papular Dalam Commander’ Bhagat, as Mukunda was suspected by the Maoists as a police informer.
Next morning, Mukunda was brought back to the village, where he was killed in a most gruesome manner. And Bhagat even ate his flesh as the villagers looked on in horror. The reign of terror forced Mukunda’s family members to keep telling the police for several days that he was not at home as he had gone to a relatives house. ‘Commander’ Bhagat was acting under the orders of Ganapathy, general secretary of the CPI(Maoist), according to sources. The Maoists, who had suspected Mukunda as a police informer, were taking the revenge on him for the arrest of their dreaded colleague Sriramulu Srinivas.
Radiation from mobile phones delays and reduces sleep, and causes headaches and confusion, according to a new study.
The research, sponsored by the mobile phone companies themselves, shows that using the handsets before bed causes people to take longer to reach the deeper stages of sleep and to spend less time in them, interfering with the body’s ability to repair damage suffered during the day.
The findings are especially alarming for children and teenagers, most of whom – surveys suggest – use their phones late at night and who especially need sleep. Their failure to get enough can lead to mood and personality changes, ADHD-like symptoms, depression, lack of concentration and poor academic performance.
The study – carried out by scientists from the blue-chip Karolinska Institute and Uppsala University in Sweden and from Wayne State University in Michigan, USA – is thought to be the most comprehensive of its kind.
Criminals have been able to hack into computer systems via the Internet and cut power to several cities, a Central Intelligence Agency analyst said this week.
Speaking at a conference of security professionals on Wednesday, CIA analyst Tom Donahue disclosed the recently declassified attacks while offering few specifics on what actually went wrong.
Criminals have launched online attacks that disrupted power equipment in several regions outside of the U.S., he said, without identifying the countries affected. The goal of the attacks was extortion, he said.
“We have information, from multiple regions outside the United States, of cyber intrusions into utilities, followed by extortion demands,” he said in a statement posted to the Web on Friday by the conference’s organizers, the SANS Institute. “In at least one case, the disruption caused a power outage affecting multiple cities. We do not know who executed these attacks or why, but all involved intrusions through the Internet.”
A Denver newspaper columnist is arrested for stalking a story subject. In Cincinnati, a television reporter is arrested on charges of child molestation. A North Carolina newspaper reporter is arrested for harassing a local woman. A drunken Chicago Sun-Times columnist and editorial board member is arrested for wife beating. A Baltimore newspaper editor is arrested for threatening neighbors with a shotgun. In Florida, one TV reporter is arrested for DUI, while another is charged with carrying a gun into a high school. A Philadelphia news anchorwoman goes on a violent drunken rampage, assaulting a police officer. In England, a newspaper columnist is arrested for killing her elderly aunt.
Unrelated incidents, or mounting evidence of that America’s newsrooms have become a breeding ground for murderous, drunk, gun-wielding child molesters? Answers are elusive, but the ever-increasing toll of violent crimes committed by journalists has led some experts to warn that without programs for intensive mental health care, the nation faces a potential bloodbath at the hands of psychopathic media vets.
One of the three victims of San Francisco Zoo tiger attack was intoxicated and admitted to yelling and waving at the animal while standing atop the railing of the big cat enclosure, police said in court documents filed Thursday.
Paul Dhaliwal, 19, told the father of Carlos Sousa Jr., 17, who was killed, that the three yelled and waved at the tiger but insisted they never threw anything into its pen to provoke the cat, according to a search warrant affidavit obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle.
“As a result of this investigation, (police believe) that the tiger may have been taunted/agitated by its eventual victims,” according to Inspector Valerie Matthews, who prepared the affidavit. Police believe that “this factor contributed to the tiger escaping from its enclosure and attacking its victims,” she said.
The editor of Golfweek magazine said he was overwhelmed by negative reaction to the photo of a noose on the cover of this week’s issue, illustrating a story about the suspension of a Golf Channel anchor for using the word “lynch” in an on-air discussion about how to beat Tiger Woods.
“We knew that image would grab attention, but I didn’t anticipate the enormity of it,” Dave Seanor, vice president and editor of the weekly magazine, said from the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla.
“There’s been a huge, negative reaction,” he said. “I’ve gotten so many e-mails. It’s a little overwhelming.”
Among the critics was PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, who said he found the imagery to be “outrageous and irresponsible.”
A little housecleaning nearly cost the Rev. Walter Hermanns a seat at Sunday’s National Football Conference championship game. Hermanns, who has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair, was getting some help from a friend last Friday when he asked him to take care of a stack of papers left in a bin for shredding.
When his friend got to four Green Bay Packers tickets bundled together with a rubber band, he took off the band, put one in the shredder and then stopped short.
“Something rang a bell and he said, ‘Are you sure you want to shred these?’” Hermanns said.
Too late. The ticket was in shreds.
Proving boomerangs really do come back, an Australian town was Thursday celebrating the return of a boomerang stolen from an outback museum by an American tourist 25 years ago.
The boomerang, a flying blade used mainly by Aborigines to hunt animals, was posted home to the city of Mount Isa in the northern state of Queensland by a Vermont man who named himself in a letter only as Peter.
“I removed this back in 1983 when I was younger and dumber. It was the wrong thing to do. I’m sorry, and I’m going to send it back,” according to a note read out to Australian media by Mt. Isa mayor Ron McCullough, who added Peter had also sent a check.
A computer nerd from Shepherd’s Bush, West London, became al Qaeda’s top internet agent, it can be revealed today.
Younes Tsouli, 23, an IT student at a London college, used his top-floor flat in W12 to help Islamist extremists wage a propaganda war against the West.
Under the name Irhabi 007 — combining the James Bond reference with the Arabic for terrorist — he worked with al Qaeda leaders in Iraq and came up with a way to convert often gruesome videos into a form that could be put onto the Web.
Videos he posted included messages from Osama bin Laden and images of the kidnapping and murder of hostages in Iraq such as American Nick Berg.
His capture led to the arrest of several Islamic terrorists around the world, including 17 men in Canada and two in the US.
The Michigan Democratic ballot is a sham that was rigged by Hillary Rodham Clinton, her husband and her supporters to give the nation the impression that she’s the leading candidate in Michigan, an angry former Sen. Don Riegle said Monday.
Riegle appeared at a rally in Detroit today to encourage would-be supporters of Barack Obama and John Edwards to vote uncommitted in Tuesday’s primary. Riegle said he supports one of the two, but wouldn’t say which.
“What happened in Michigan is not very different from what used to happen in the old Soviet Union,” Riegle said. “The Clinton machine manipulated the ballot. They don’t care how they win, only that they do. It’s wrong and people need to know that.”
The threatening radio transmission heard at the end of a video showing harassing maneuvers by Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz may have come from a locally famous heckler known among ship drivers as the “Filipino Monkey.”
Since the Jan. 6 incident was announced to the public a day later, the U.S. Navy has said it’s unclear where the voice came from. In the videotape released by the Pentagon on Jan. 8, the screen goes black at the very end and the voice can be heard, distancing it from the scenes on the water.
“We don’t know for sure where they came from,” said Cmdr. Lydia Robertson, spokeswoman for 5th Fleet in Bahrain. “It could have been a shore station.”
While the threat — “I am coming to you. You will explode in a few minutes” — was picked up during the incident, further jacking up the tension, there’s no proof yet of its origin. And several Navy officials have said it’s difficult to figure out who’s talking.
In this farming community where nightfall usually brings clear, starry skies, residents are abuzz over reported sightings of what many believe is a UFO.
Several dozen people—including a pilot, county constable and business owners—insist they have seen a large silent object with bright lights flying low and fast. Some reported seeing fighter jets chasing it.
“People wonder what in the world it is because this is the Bible Belt, and everyone is afraid it’s the end of times,” said Steve Allen, a freight company owner and pilot who said the object he saw last week was a mile long and half a mile wide. “It was positively, absolutely nothing from these parts.”
While federal officials insist there’s a logical explanation, locals swear that it was larger, quieter, faster and lower to the ground than an airplane. They also said the object’s lights changed configuration, unlike those of a plane. People in several towns who reported seeing it over several weeks have offered similar descriptions of the object.
A candidate campaigning for the Graz city council in Austria says it is time that Islam was “thrown back … behind the Mediterranean,” and alleges Muhammad wrote the Koran in “epileptic fits.”
Susanne Winter, a right-wing politician with the FPÖ party running for a city council seat in the city of Graz, blasted Muslims on Sunday, saying that “in today’s system” the Prophet Muhammad would be considered a “child molester,” apparently referring to his marriage to a six-year-old child. She also said that it is time for Islam to be “thrown back where it came from, behind the Mediterranean.” Not yet finished, she also claimed that Muhammad wrote the Koran in “epileptic fits.”
Residents of an upscale retirement community near here knew Douglas Hoffman was upset that trees were blocking his backyard view of the Strip.
But at a hearing Monday, where Hoffman was sentenced to up to five years in prison for killing more than 500 trees, a prosecutor said the retired construction worker had threatened to unleash “chemical, biological, nuclear mass destruction” because of it.
Dressed in jail garb and handcuffed to his wheelchair, Hoffman, 61, slumped and lowered his eyes when Judge Donald M. Mosley announced his sentence.
Several members of a high school swim team were suspended after they impaled 15 car antennas with fetal pigs and smeared crawfish on hoods and windshields in their rival school’s parking lot, their coach said.
Roosevelt High School swim coach Steve Teter said members of his team retaliated after Dowling Catholic High School swimmers lobbed snowballs at them at an earlier meet.
The incident was discovered Tuesday.
“You could smell the formaldehyde from a block away,” Dowling Assistant Principal Ron Meyers said.
A father sodomized his 18-year-old stepson to avenge the teenager’s alleged rape of the man’s 8-year-old daughter, police said.
The father, 32, turned himself into to authorities on Friday and was released from jail Saturday after posting a $17,500 bond. He faces a charge of aggravated sexual assault.
The stepson was arrested Jan. 2 and charged with suspicion of aggravated sexual assault. Police say the father caught him assaulting his daughter, and a subsequent examination at a hospital revealed the girl had been sodomized.
Hat tip to Kara!
Tusker, a towering 50-year-old bull elephant who had become a favorite of safari camp visitors in Zimbabwe, was shot dead after New Year’s party-goers provoked the animal to trampling several cars, conservationists said Monday.
Tusker was executed Sunday by rangers at the Charara camp on the shores of Lake Kariba, 230 miles (370 kilometers) northwest of Harare, parks officials and the independent Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said.
Rangers said that Tusker had become a danger to people and was classified as a “problem animal.”
In a freak hunting accident, a Baytown man was killed over the weekend when his dog stepped on his loaded shotgun, triggering a discharge that penetrated his truck’s tailgate and then struck him, officials said.
Perry Alvin Price III was hunting on a lease near Stowell in Chambers County Saturday and had shot down a goose but had not seen where it landed, sheriff’s investigators said.
The 46-year-old math teacher from Baytown’s Robert E. Lee High School then put his shotgun in the back of his truck and was about to open the tailgate to release his tracking dog when the shotgun fired, investigators said. The blast struck Price in the thigh.
A Wisconsin man convicted of having sexual contact with a dead deer has been sentenced to nine more months in jail.
Bryan James Hathaway, 21, of Superior had his probation revoked last month for using alcohol and marijuana, lying to his probation agent, and having unapproved contact with a minor child and sexual relations with another adult.
A judge sentenced Hathaway to nine more months in jail during a hearing on Friday.
Hathaway was sentenced to probation in March. It was to be served at the same time as a nine-month jail sentence he received in February for violating his extended supervision.
He was found guilty in April 2005 of felony mistreatment of an animal after he killed a horse with the intention of having sex with it. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail and two years of extended supervision on that charge as well as six years of probation for taking and driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent.
“I’m never shocked anymore, but I am surprised that human beings can actually do this kind of stuff to each other”Sunday, January 6th, 2008
A man held on a capital murder charge in the death of his 21-year-old girlfriend tried to cook and eat her body before police arrived, authorities said today.
The woman’s death and mutilation were apparently the beginning of a crime spree that included the murder suspect stabbing the boyfriend of his estranged wife and breaking into a business. The stabbing victim is in critical condition at an area hospital, officials said.
Christopher Lee McCuin, 25, of Tyler, is in the Smith County Jail on a $2 million bond today and did not have an attorney, officials said.
The smiling children giggled as they patted the young goat on its head and tickled it behind the ears.
Some of the more boisterous ones tried to clamber onto the animal’s back but were soon shaken off with a quick wiggle of its bottom.
It could have been a happy scene from a family zoo anywhere in the world but for what happened next.
A man hoisted up the goat and nonchalantly threw it over a wall into a pit full of hungry lions. The poor goat tried to run for its life, but it didn’t stand a chance. The lions quickly surrounded it and started tearing at its flesh.
A mob torched a church sheltering hundreds of Kenyans fleeing election violence Tuesday, killing up to 50 people as four days of rioting and ethnic clashes marked some of the darkest times in this country’s history.
President Mwai Kibaki — sworn in Sunday in a vote that opponents say was rigged — said political parties should meet immediately and publicly call for calm. The opposition candidate, Raila Odinga, refused the offer.
“If he announces that he was not elected, then I will talk to him,” Odinga told The Associated Press. He accused the government of stoking the chaos, saying Kibaki’s administration “is guilty, directly, of genocide.”
Vandals torched 372 cars as France celebrated the New Year, down on the figure last year after a night the police described as “relatively calm”.
Cars are burned fairly regularly in France and the image of vehicles in flames in poor suburbs became symbolic of riots in 2005 when angry youths set fire to thousands of cars.
There is usually an increase in the number of cars torched on New Year’s Eve compared to other days of the year.
“The night was relatively calm, without notable incident, there were very few direct clashes with the security forces,” said a spokesman for the national police.
A 29-year-old Wenatchee man told police a pterodactyl caused him to drive his car into a light pole about 11:30 p.m. Thursday.
Wenatchee police cited the man with first-degree negligent driving. A breathalyzer test showed “a minimal amount of alcohol,” said Wenatchee police Sgt. Cherie Smith.
Witnesses told police the man was northbound on Wenatchee Avenue and drifted into a southbound lane for less than a block. Oncoming traffic stopped and waited for the man to pass, Smith said.