Archive for September, 2008

“I hit the back of the shark’s neck. It was like hitting concrete.”

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Owner saves dog from shark’s jaws

Greg LeNoir watched in horror as the shark’s mouth opened wide, chomping a large set of teeth on his beloved 14-pound dog, Jake.

”Noooooo,” LeNoir shrieked, fearing the worst.

But the case of the rat terrier vs. the shark has a happy ending.

”Jake’s doing great,” LeNoir’s brother, Phillip, said Monday.

“And I still can’t believe my brother jumped in the water and punched a shark.”

 The saga began Friday afternoon when Greg LeNoir took Jake to the Worldwide Sportsman’s Bayside Marina pier in Islamorada for the dog’s daily swim. LeNoir said Jake is a fast and fearless swimmer, often retrieving jellyfish and soaked coconuts.

 But this time, Jake, a 28-month-old dog adopted from an animal shelter, unexpectedly encountered the shark, which was about five feet long. As Jake disappeared under the water, LeNoir conquered his own fear and sprang to action.

Too Fat For Trial

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Texas murder defendant may be too obese for court

The trial of a nearly half-ton woman facing a murder charge in the death of her 2-year-old nephew will have to be held in a building separate from the courthouse because of the defendant’s weight, her lawyer said.

The defense attorney’s claim Monday is the latest challenge facing South Texas authorities in pursuing charges against Mayra Rosales, who suffers from a thyroid disease.

 Rosales, whose weight has been estimated between 800 pounds and 1,000 pounds, was arrested and charged at home because the Hidalgo County sheriff’s department did not have a large enough cell or a way to transport her to jail. After she was indicted for capital murder, a state district judge allowed her to skip arraignment and another court appearance because of the difficulty of getting her to the courthouse.

Dead Kitties Are No Fun, They No Longer Jump And Run

Monday, September 29th, 2008

 Tenants Say Dead Cats Used To Try To Evict Them:

Tenants of a Brooklyn building say their landlord came up with a new idea for how to kick them out: Let the smell of the cats out of the bag.

 Dead cats, that is.

The stench from the carcasses did catch the tenants’ attention — but they stayed and sued.

One tenant, Daisy Terry, told a City Hall news conference on Friday it was so bad she had to hold her nose coming down the stairs.

 The building in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood was purchased last year by a company listed in court papers as Heskel. A call to Heskel Properties in Manhattan was not immediately returned.

Serial Killer Ghost Terrorizes Prison

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Ghost Of Ted Bundy Has Returned To Florida Prison:

It would appear that the ghost of Ted Bundy has returned or showed up at the Florida Prison and appears to be having a great time.

 The reports coming from the Florida State Prison have gotten strange indeed. It appears that the Ghost of Ted Bundy has showed up and is terrorizing prison guards and inmates at the prison. A guard who has asked not to be identified says that Bundy’s Ghost appears in the area where he was executed and in his former cell where he spent his last hours before being put into Florida’s Electric Chair. Up until the end Bundy tried to save his life by offering to tell where more bodies were buried but in the end they refused to give him any more time and he was executed.

Austria reveals its inner self

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Far Right storms election as Austrians back anti-EU rhetoric

The Far Right has made a grand return in Austria, emerging from yesterday’s elections as the second biggest parliamentary block, according to preliminary results.

The two parties that campaigned on an anti-immigrant and anti-European Union ticket have captured about 29 per cent of the vote, pushing the country’s traditional conservative party into third place.

 Heinz-Christian Strache and his Freedom Party, who were accused of xenophobia and waging an anti-Muslim campaign, won 18 per cent – a rise of 7 per cent compared with the last elections. Mr Strache’s former mentor, Jrg Haider, won 11 per cent of the vote with his new party, the Alliance for the Future of Austria.

Credit Crunch Suicide-by-Express-Train

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Credit crunch banker leaps to his death in front of express train

The City was in shock last night after the apparent suicide of a millionaire financier haunted by the pressures of dealing with the credit crunch.

Kirk Stephenson, who was married with an eight-year-old son, died in the path of a 100mph express train at Taplow railway station, Berkshire.

Mr Stephenson is believed to have taken his own life after succumbing to mounting personal pressures as the world?s financial markets went into meltdown.

Well that’s one way to deal with welfare mothers

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

LaBruzzo’s Plan Would Pay Poor Women To Be Sterilized

A suburban New Orleans legislator is revisiting the controversial idea of paying poor women to undergo sterilization.

 State Rep. John LaBruzzo told New Orleans Citybusiness, in an article published this week, that the program he is thinking about would be voluntary. It would pay poor women $1,000 to have their fallopian tubes tied.

“I’ve got a stack of e-mails for and against,” LaBruzzo said. “Two-to-one in favor of something being done.”

Sex, Spies and Nazis

Friday, September 26th, 2008

MI5 spy quits over scandal

AN MI5 officer has resigned after admitting his wife was a prostitute who took part in a Nazi-style orgy with Formula One racing chief Max Mosley. The man was a surveillance operative with several years of service. His wife, 38, is believed to have approached the News of the World when she realised that Mr Mosley, a regular client, had booked five hookers for a sex session costing pound stg. 2500.

Her days are numbered now!

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Daughter of Radical Muslim Cleric Exposed as Pole Dancer

The 27-year-old daughter of radical Islamic cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed has admitted to pole dancing in London bars in defiance of her family’s strict Muslim beliefs, the Daily Mail reported Friday. Yasmin Fostok left Bakri?s home four years ago because she did not share her father?s opinions. “I don’t get on with my dad. I don’t agree with his views,? Fostok told the Daily Mail. ?I just get on with my life and that is it.? She currently lives with her 3-year-old son in South East London, whom she had with her ex-husband after their arranged marriage. Fostok performs a fire-eating routine and performs semi-naked inside cages. ?If this is true I am deeply shocked,? Bakri told the Mail from Lebanon, where he has lived since being exiled from England three years ago. ?She was brought up properly in the Muslim faith but she is free to make her own choices in life. But I am still shocked.?

Sun blows low

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Solar wind blows at 50-year low

The solar wind – the stream of charged particles billowing away from the Sun – is at its weakest for 50 years.

Scientists made the assessment after studying 18 years of data from the Ulysses satellite which has sampled the space environment all around our star.

They expect the reduced output to have effects right across the Solar System.

Indeed, one impact is to diminish slightly the influence the Sun has over its local environment which extends billions of kilometres into space.

Hot Dog Terror in Philly Stadium

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Hot Dogs Force Evacuation At Citizens Bank Park:

The discovery of several hot dogs in packages outside Citizens Bank Park brought the bomb squad out and forced the temporary evacuation of the stadium Wednesday evening.

According to police, Pattison Street between Darien and 11th Streets was shutdown as officials investigated the discovery of several suspicious packages near a ticket office.

 Fans inside the stadium were evacuated, but players remained on the field during the incident.

Bomb squad members further investigated the packages and determined they were simply several hot dogs in foil wrappers. Sadly, the wieners were detonated as a precaution.

And the color of hypocrisy is green

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Green idealists most likely to take long-haul flights, says study

People who believe they have the greenest lifestyles can be seen as some of the main culprits behind global warming, says a team of researchers, who claim that many ideas about sustainable living are a myth.

According to the researchers, people who regularly recycle rubbish and save energy at home are also the most likely to take frequent long-haul flights abroad. The carbon emissions from such flights can swamp the green savings made at home, the researchers claim.

Stewart Barr, of Exeter University, who led the research, said: “Green living is largely something of a myth. There is this middle class environmentalism where being green is part of the desired image. But another part of the desired image is to fly off skiing twice a year. And the carbon savings they make by not driving their kids to school will be obliterated by the pollution from their flights.”

Some people even said they deserved such flights as a reward for their green efforts, he added.

Yet another reason not to take that transfer to the Indian office

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

CEO murdered by mob of sacked Indian workers

Corporate India is in shock after a mob of sacked workers bludgeoned to death the chief executive who had dismissed them from a factory in a suburb of Delhi. Lalit Kishore Choudhary, 47, the head of the Indian operations of Graziano Transmissioni, an Italian-headquartered manufacturer of car parts, died of severe head wounds on Monday afternoon after being attacked by scores of laid-off employees, police said.

The incident, in Greater Noida, just outside the Indian capital, followed a long-running dispute between the factory’s management and workers who had demanded better pay and permanent contracts.

It is understood that Mr Choudhary, who was married with one son, had called a meeting with more than 100 former employees – who had been dismissed following an earlier outbreak of violence at the plant – to discuss a possible reinstatement deal.

Animals Turned Cannibals!

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Polar bears resort to cannibalism as Arctic ice shrinks – CNN.com:

Summer is over in the northern hemisphere, but it’s been another chilling season for researchers who study Arctic sea ice.

“It’s definitely a bad report. We did pick up little bit from last year, but this is over 30 percent below what used to be normal,” said Walt Meier, a research scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.

This past summer, the Arctic sea ice dwindled to its second lowest level. Arctic sea ice is usually one to three meters, or as much as 9 feet thick. It grows during autumn and winter and shrinks in the spring and summer.

Scientists have monitored sea ice conditions for about 50 years with the help of satellites. Changes in the past decade have been alarming to climate researchers and oceanographers.

“It is the second lowest on record … If anything it is reinforcing the long-term trend. We are still losing the ice cover at a rate of 10 percent per decade now, and that is quite an increase from five years ago,” said Meier. “We are still heading toward an ice cover that is going to melt completely in the summertime in the Arctic.”

Pig Terror in Oz

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Monster pig traps Aussie woman in home:

A pig the size of a Shetland pony has trapped an Australian woman in her village home, the national broadcaster reported Tuesday.

Caroline Hayes, 63, has tried leave her house in Uki in northern New South Wales to use the outdoor toilet but says the animal has bitten her and shoved her back inside.

“It’s a beautiful male pig but he’s just so big and so pushy,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Rangers from the local Murwillumbah Council tried to rescue her but could not capture the huge animal.

“The rangers came out to my house yesterday with a dog cage and this pig is that big, it’s like trying to put an elephant in a dog cage,” she said.

Swingin Church

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

 Pennsylvania Town Says Couple Runs Swingers’ Club Inside Church

A Pennsylvania couple is fighting to maintain a church they run from a Huntingdon Township home, which officials say is really a raunchy swingers club where single men have to pay for access but women come for free.

 John and Kim Ondrik say they worship nature at the Church for Spiritual Humanism. But midnight mass at the Spiritual Palace is on hold as the Rev. John and his wife fight for a variance to continue practicing their religion in a residential area just outside of Pittsburgh.

Opponents of his church, including neighbors and North Huntingdon Township officials, say what’s really behind those closed doors is a club called the “Swinger’s Palace.”

Township commissioner Richard Gray said it’s been an open secret that a swingers club has operated out of the two-story house since the 1970s, but they finally have the evidence to shut it down.

How not to Road Rage

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Woman burnt to death after setting her own car alight in road-rage incident

It was the ultimate expression of road rage. A furious woman driver died after ramming another vehicle and spinning her wheels so fast that her own car burst into flames.

Serena Sutton-Smith, 54, burnt to death after refusing to get out of her Vauxhall Nova as she sat with her foot flat on the accelerator.

She spun the wheels so fast that her tyres disintegrated and the metal rims sent a shower of sparks into the engine, igniting the brake fluid and setting the car on fire.

Appalled onlookers urged her to get out of the car as the flames licked around her but she told them to ?F*** off?, an inquest in Gloucester was told.

Hat tip to Kara!

Stonehenge healed the pagans

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Stonehenge May Have Healed Sick, Injured

Stonehenge has a new age ? and a new purpose. It’s long been understood that the Neolithic stone circle on Salisbury Plain in southern England was an observatory tuned to the summer solstice and the positions of the stars. But new excavations led by a pair of British archaeologists show that it was also a healing center, a sort of pagan Lourdes for chronically ill and crippled pilgrims from across western Europe. “Stonehenge would attract not only people who were unwell, but people who were capable of [healing] them,” Professor Tim Darvill of Bournemouth University told the BBC. The dig by Darvill and fellow archaeologist Geoff Wainwright also may reset the timeline of the Stonehenge site.

How not to claim tax deductions

Friday, September 19th, 2008

BROOKLYN TAX LAWYER WILLIAM HALBY LOSES BID TO GAIN TAX EXEMPTION FOR SEXUAL SERVICES

This was not the “happy ending” William Halby was looking for. The 77-year-old Brooklyn lawyer owes tens of thousands of dollars in back taxes for wrongly deducting more than $300,000 in prostitutes, porn, sex toys and erotic massages, a state tax judge ruled yesterday. The ruling came despite the meticulous efforts of Halby – a tax lawyer – to prove the deductions were reasonable medical expenses in his effort to fight depression and erectile dysfunction brought on by age.

“I was depressed,” Halby, who’s divorced, semi-retired and living alone in a Bay Ridge apartment, told The Post yesterday. “I live a solitary life. I have no social life. I needed that release.”

What were they thinking?

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Restaurant drops plan to cook with breast milk:

Talk about a Swiss miss. A gourmet chef’s plans to whip up a number of delicacies using human breast milk have dried up. Hans Lochen, proprietor of the Storchen restaurant in Iberg, Switzerland, advertised in German newspapers seeking women willing to sell him their milk.

But Swiss authorities stepped in and threatened lawsuits against the chef and any potential donor willing to pump for cash. Before he cooked up his daring culinary scheme, Locher had been doing a little private recipe testing, he claims. Preparing such entrees as breast milk lamb curry and antelope steak with chanterelle sauce spiked with cognac and breast milk had drawn rave reviews: his friends loved the creamy entrees, Locher says.

Bulls on the Attack in California

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

School bull attacks, kills Tulare teacher:

Grief counselors are on hand for students dealing with the death of an agricultural teacher who was attacked and killed by an aggressive bull at the Tulare school district’s farm over the weekend.

School officials say 61-year-old Max Corbett died Sunday when the bull charged him while he was herding milk cows. His wife witnessed the attack and called 911. Corbett was a teacher for 30 years and farm manager for the past 25 years.

Fish in Penis Not Too Brite

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Fish found in boy’s penis

A 2cm long fish apparently found it’s way into the penis of a 14-year-old boy from India in a bizarre medical case. The patient was admitted to hospital with complaints of pain, dribbling urine and acute urinary retention spanning a 24-hour period. According to the boy, the fish slipped into his penis while he was cleaning his aquarium at home.

Professor Vezhaventhan and Professor Jeyaraman, who treated the boy and later wrote a paper on the case, explained: “While he was cleaning the fish tank in his house, he was holding a fish in his hand and went to the toilet for passing urine. When he was passing urine, the fish slipped from his hand and entered his urethra and then he developed all these symptoms.”

Yet another reason not to run for Vice President

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Palin?s E-Mail Account Hacked, Published on Web Site 

In the latest of a series of invasions into Sarah Palin?s personal life, hackers have broken into the Republican vice presidential candidate?s private e-mail account, and a widely read Web site has published screen grabs from it.

An article Wednesday in Gawker.com posts family photos and snapshots of e-mail exchanges the Alaska governor had with colleagues. Gawker says the-email account has since been shut down, but it will leave the images up on its site for all to see.

Satanic cannibals on the attack in Russia

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Knifed 666 times each and eaten

FOUR teenagers were horrifically slain by Satanists ? stabbed 666 times each and then EATEN. The gang of Devil worshippers butchered their victims and roasted them on a bonfire before devouring their flesh. Horror … the upturned cross marks where the remains were found Horror … the upturned cross marks where the remains were found Horrified cops found body parts dumped in a pit beside an upside-down cross, a symbol used in Satanic worship. The victims all suffered 666 knife wounds ? the number associated with the Beast, or Antichrist, and featured in horror films such as The Omen. The pals, three girls and a boy aged 16 or 17, were all Goths.

Big Bang Machine Hacked

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

Report: Hackers Break Into ‘Big Bang Machine’ Computer Network

Hackers have broken into one of the computer networks of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). A group calling itself the Greek Security Team left a rogue Web site describing the technicians responsible for computer security at the giant atom smasher as ?schoolkids? ? but reassuring scientists that they did not want to disrupt the experiment. The hackers gained access to a Web site open to other scientists on Wednesday as the LHC passed its first test, sending its protons off on their dizzying journey through time and space, close to the speed of light.

Texting while driving a train not too brite

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

Engineer In Deadly Metrolink Crash Sent Text Message Just Before Collision

Metrolink officials Saturday put the blame squarely on the engineer of the train for the deadly crash that has claimed at least 25 lives. They say he ran a red light.

But a group of local teens, train enthusiasts, who know the engineer well doubt that he was to blame.

 They called their friend professional and caring and said he helped them learn about trains and being an engineer. To a man, they said he would “never” have been reckless or unprofessional or run a red light.

But one minute before the deadliest crash in Metrolink history, one teen — Nick Williams — said he received a text message on his cell phone from the engineer, whom the teens identified as Robert Sanchez.

God and Drugs in Illinois

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

Priest Accused Of Selling Coke From Rectory

A Catholic priest on the University of Illinois campus has been charged with selling cocaine from his church office and rectory. The Rev. Christopher Layden pleaded not guilty Thursday to two counts of delivery of less than 1 gram of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a church and one count of possession with intent to deliver 1 to 15 grams of cocaine near a church.

“He forgot the projector screen was turned on and he started watching porn

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

Phoenix teacher resigns, accused of showing porn in class

A Phoenix high school teacher resigned after being accused of playing pornographic videos during class earlier this week.

The Scottsdale Unified School District said the photography teacher, who has been and employee at Arcadia High School for about the last five years, submitted his resignation letter Wednesday.

Police opened an investigation into the allegations this week. According to a letter sent home to parents at Arcadia High School, the incident happened Monday.

Teenagers in the classroom said they saw six video clips of what one student described as, “torture porn, of like girls being tied up.”

Obama Implosion Update #1

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Biden: Hillary a Better Pick Than Me:

ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports: Sen. Barack Obama’s, D-Ill., vice presidential nominee, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., Wednesday said that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., might have been a better pick for the position than him.
At a rally in Nashua, N.H., a man in the audience told Biden how glad he was that Obama picked him over Hillary, “not because she’s a woman, but because, look at the things she did in the past.”

 ”Make no mistake about this,” Biden responded. “Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Let’s get that straight. She’s a truly close personal friend, she is qualified to be president of the United States of America, she’s easily qualified to be vice president of the United States of America, and quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me. But she’s first rate, I mean that sincerely, she’s first rate, so let’s get that straight.”

23,000 Big Macs and he’s still alive

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Wisconsin man eats 23,000 Big Macs

A Fond du Lac, Wis., man has published a book about a 36-year obsession in which he says he devoured 23,000 Big Macs. Don Gorske, 54, who is physically fit, hit his 23,000th Big Mac milestone last month, the Fond du Lac (Wis.) Reporter said in a story published Monday. Gorske, who works for the Waupun Correctional Institution, claims to have every receipt for each Big Mac dating to May 17, 1972, when he got his first car, the Reporter said.

Yet another reason not to microwave your baby

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Mom gets life in prison for microwaving baby

A woman has been sentenced to life in prison without a chance of parole for killing her baby daughter in a microwave oven.

Twenty-eight-year-old China Arnold chose not to be in the courtroom for Monday’s sentencing.

Arnold was convicted of aggravated murder in the 2005 death of month-old daughter Paris Talley.

She was spared the death penalty because jurors could not reach a consensus on the punishment.

Is Obama running out of money?

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Minus U.S. Money, Obama Team Presses Donors – NYTimes.com:

After months of record-breaking fund-raising, a new sense of urgency in Senator Barack Obama?s fund-raising team is palpable as the full weight of the campaign?s decision to bypass public financing for the general election is suddenly upon it.

Pushing a fund-raiser later this month, a finance staff member sent a sharply worded note last week to Illinois members of its national finance committee, calling their recent efforts ?extremely anemic.?

 At a convention-week meeting in Denver of the campaign?s top fund-raisers, buttons with the image of a money tree were distributed to those who had already contributed the maximum $2,300 to the general election, a subtle reminder to those who had failed to ante up.

The signs of concern have become evident in recent weeks as early fund-raising totals have suggested that Mr. Obama?s decision to bypass public financing may not necessarily afford him the commanding financing advantage over Senator John McCain that many had originally predicted.

Russia Hates South Park

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Russia in legal bid to ban “extremist” U.S. cartoon

Prosecutors in Russia want to ban the award-winning satirical U.S. cartoon South Park, calling the series “extremist” after receiving viewer complaints, a spokeswoman said on Monday.

South Park, a cartoon aimed at adults and featuring a group of nine-year olds in a Colorado ski town, has courted controversy from its 1997 debut, parodying celebrities, politicians, religion, gay marriage and Saddam Hussein.

Basmanny regional prosecutors office spokeswoman Valentina Titova said investigators filed a motion after deciding an episode broadcast on Moscow television station 2×2 in January “bore signs of extremist activity.”

Carp on the attack in Arkansas

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

Flying Fish Breaks Arkansas Teen’s Jaw

It’s a fishing tale that packs a wallop so strong it broke the jaw of a southeastern Arkansas teen and covered him in fish blood and guts. Seth Russell, 15, of Crossett, was cruising Lake Chicot on a large inner tube towed by a boat when a Silver Asian carp leaped from the water and smacked him in the face. Seth was knocked unconscious. “He doesn’t remember anything at all,” the boy’s mother, Linda Russell, said last week. “He was laughing, and the next thing he remembers, he is waking in a hospital.”

Junkie Elephant completes rehab

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

Elephant cured of drug addiction:

An Asian elephant that became addicted to heroin after being fed bananas spiked with the drug is to return home after undergoing a detox programme. The four-year-old animal, called Xiguang, received methadone injections for a year at five times the human dosage, state media said. It was illegally captured by traders in 2005 in south-west China. When police arrested the traders and freed the elephant, it was found to be suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

Wallabies on the Attack in Oz

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

Wild wallabies attack family

THE latest attack of a child by a large wallaby at White Rock has sparked calls for a cull of the area’s growing mob before someone is killed.

Concerned dad Alwyn “Bones” Bailey yesterday said if he had not been there to fight off the 1m-tall wallaby on Saturday afternoon, he had no doubt his nine-year-old son Morgan would have been mauled to death.

“It?s deadset serious. Someone should get a gun and shoot the buggers,” Mr Bailey said.

“They?re not just friendly, cute little wallabies any more ? they?re killers.”

Fed to the Reptiles

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

Rio drug gang fed rivals to reptiles

Rio de Janeiro police found two caimans in a raid on one of the city’s slums, saying the crocodile-like reptiles were used by drug traffickers to intimidate their enemies and dispose of bodies.

Police were conducting a raid in the west of the Brazilian city looking for a drug gang boss when they came across the animals in the backyard of a house in the Coreia slum.

“The caimans are a symbol of power of the traffickers. When they catch a rival, they kill him and give him to the caimans,” Ronaldo Oliveira, head of the robbery and car theft unit, was quoted as saying on O Globo newspaper’s website.

 Television footage showed police officers carefully placing the small reptiles in the back of a truck.

Rio’s heavily armed drug gangs, with names like “Red Command” and “Friends of Friends,” control many of the city’s hundreds of slums and regularly battle over territory.

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

How many Kims does it take to run N Korea?

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

North Korea ?uses doubles to hide death of Kim?

Is Kim Jong-il for real? The question has baffled foreign intelligence agencies for years but now a veteran Japanese expert on North Korea says the ?dear leader? is actually dead ? and his role is played by a double.

The expert says Kim died of diabetes in 2003 and world leaders including Vladimir Putin of Russia and Hu Jintao of China have been negotiating with an impostor.

 He believes that Kim, fearing assassination, had groomed up to four lookalikes to act as substitutes at public events. One underwent plastic surgery to make his appearance more convincing. Now, the expert claims, the actors are brought on stage whenever required to persuade the masses that Kim is alive.

Russia begins to pay the price

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

Big Summer Sell-Off Hits the Russian Stock Market

Russia?s stock market is suffering its worst correction in nearly a decade as sliding oil prices, political attacks on private companies and instability after last month?s war in Georgia spook investors.

On a bad day globally for stocks, Russia?s markets took an exceptional fall Friday. The Russian Trading System index lost 7.6 percent and recovered later to close down 4.45 percent after rumors circulated that the government would use state oil money to halt the decline. A Russian central bank official said the bank had sold large amounts of foreign currency a day earlier to shore up the ruble, which has fallen to its lowest level in about a year as oil and share prices decline.

 Stock analysts saw similarities between the current sell-off in Russian equities and the financial crisis of 1998, when retreating oil prices, a default on sovereign bonds and a devaluation of the ruble caused a 57 percent loss in the RTS market from the third quarter of that year to the next September. By contrast, the RTS index, which hit a record in May, has lost 38 percent over the comparable period.

Bobcats seize house in S. California

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Cats on a bank-owned roof: Bobcats claim foreclosed house

The foreclosure market is getting wild in Lake Elsinore: “Taking advantage of a slump in local real estate, a family of bobcats has moved into a foreclosed Lake Elsinore home, lolling about on fences and walls and riveting an entire neighborhood.”

Neighbors first noticed the feline squatters Aug. 27 hanging out on a side wall of the empty house in the Tuscany Hills development…. The foreclosed home is one of several on the block. Its lawn is brown but still being watered by the sprinklers. The house sits right up against barren, chaparral-covered hills.

At least two adult bobcats and perhaps a litter of young ones appear to be occupying the house. Residents have mixed emotions about their new neighbors.

Well, that’s one way to see New Jersey!

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Small Plane Lands On Garden State Parkway

A small, single-engine plane made an emergency landing on the Northbound side of the Garden State Parkway on Friday, according to New Jersey state police. The small Cesna 152 was sightseeing when it lost power and had to fly under an overhead parkway sign to make a safe landing. Traffic is backed up on the northbound side of the Garden State Parkway. The plane landed in Tinton Falls, N.J., near mile marker 102.5 on the parkway.

Please remember to connect your safety strap

Friday, September 5th, 2008

 New York Construction Worker Falls 48 Stories to His Death

A construction worker fell about 48 stories to his death at a Manhattan construction site, fire officials said. The worker ? who was on a crew dismantling a crane ? apparently tumbled from a walkway between the crane and the building, according to officials at the scene. He landed in a construction lot that is surrounded by a fence, and his body was placed in an ambulance.

239 MPH on a Motorcycle Not Too Brite

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Motorcyclist Dies in 239 MPH Crash on Bonneville Salt Flats

A 47-year-old record-setting motorcycle racer has died after losing control and crashing while traveling at 239 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

 Investigators were not sure what caused Cliff Gullett, of Bozeman, Mont., to lose control of the motorcycle Wednesday during a time trial.

 The American Motorcyclist Association said on its Web site that Gullett was competing in the 500cc Streamliner class at the Salt Flats, where drivers go for speed records every summer on the open space just east of the Nevada state line.

Is it time for a surge in Chicago?

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Nearly 125 Shot Dead In Chicago Over Summer:

An estimated 123 people were shot and killed over the summer. That’s nearly double the number of soldiers killed in Iraq over the same time period.

In May, cbs2chicago.com began tracking city shootings and posting them on Google maps. Information compiled from our reporters, wire service reports and the Chicago Police Major Incidents log indicated that 123 people were shot and killed throughout the city between the start of Memorial Day weekend on May 26, and the end of Labor Day on Sept. 1.

How not to sack your staff

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

E-mail Blunder Alerts Carat Staff to Major Restructuring

Struggling media agency Carat is planning a major restructuring of its U.S. operations, including an undetermined number of layoffs — news it accidentally released today via a memo the agency’s top New York-based HR executive e-mailed to the entire agency that appeared to be intended only for senior managers.

In a rare, uncomfortable look into the preparations for employee layoffs, management informed its rank and file of forthcoming layoffs and other changes in Microsoft PowerPoint and Word documents full of “message” points on how people should be told of their fate and what should be said to their still-employed colleagues, clients and vendors. According to one person with knowledge of the memo, it was sent to all staffers before the mistake was realized, and it was pulled back by the IT department. The documents, obtained by Advertising Age and posted with this story, detail talking points for managers as they talk to clients, vendors, the press and employees as Carat tries to navigate the fallout from the news.

Yet another reason not to mainline cocaine

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

California Man Tries to Amputate Own Arm in Denny’s Restaurant

Police say a man tried to cut off his own arm at a restaurant in Modesto, Calif., because he thought he had injected air into a vein while shooting cocaine and feared he would die unless he took drastic action.

Authorities say 33-year-old Michael Lasiter rushed into the Denny’s restaurant late Friday and started stabbing himself in one arm with a butter knife he grabbed from a table.

They say that when that knife didn’t work Lasiter took a butcher knife from the kitchen and dug it into his arm.

Hat tip to Kara!

Jolly Joe Stalin, the Farmer’s Friend

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Stalin’s mass murders were ‘entirely rational’ says new Russian textbook praising tyrant

Stalin acted ?entirely rationally? in executing and imprisoning millions of people in the Gulags, a controversial new Russian teaching manual claims. Fifty-five years after the Soviet dictator died, the latest guide for teachers to promote patriotism among the Russian young said he did what he did to ensure the country?s modernisation. The manual, titled A History of Russia, 1900-1945, will form the basis of a new state-approved text book for use in schools next year. It seems to follow an attempt backed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to re-evaluate Stalin?s record in a more positive light.

Elephants are smarter than you think!

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Elephants show flair for arithmetic

The elephant’s memory is legendary, but in a large, grey surprise to science the mighty Asian elephant turns out to have a distinct flair for maths as well

Under carefully controlled experimental conditions ? essentially comprising a large cage and two buckets of assorted fruit ? one elephant at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo managed to get its sums right 87 per cent of the time. A slightly less gifted pachyderm across the country in Kyoto scored a still respectable 69 per cent.

‘Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid.’

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Five women who wanted to pick their own husbands buried alive in mass honour killing

Five women were buried alive by their tribe in a mass honour killing prompted by their wish to choose their own husbands.

The victims, who included three teenagers, were abducted at gunpoint, beaten and shot before being thrown into a ditch.

They were still breathing as their bodies were covered with rocks and mud, according media reports and human rights activists.

The incident occurred in Baba Kot, a remote village in Jafferabad district, after the women decided to defy tribal elders and arrange marriages in a civil court, according to the Asian Human Rights Commission.

They were said to have been abducted at gunpoint by six men, forced into a vehicle and taken to a remote field, where they were beaten, shot and then buried alive, it said, accusing local authorities of trying to hush up the killings.

They chose Eichmann over Mengele

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Israeli ex-agent: We allowed Nazi doc to escape

The team that kidnapped Nazi mastermind Adolph Eichmann in 1960 knowingly let another notorious war criminal ? Josef Mengele ? get away, according to a former Israeli Mossad agent. Rafi Eitan was a member of the Mossad team that seized Eichmann from Buenos Aires and brought him to trial in Israel. Eitan said the agents had also located Mengele but feared that trying to nab him would endanger the Eichmann operation.

Saved by the branch

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Balloonist Survives 9,000-Foot Fall at South Carolina Festival

Authorities say a Michigan man survived after his hot air balloon plunged thousands of feet at a South Carolina festival because the basket caught a tree limb 10 feet before it hit the ground. Great Southeast Balloon Fest officials say pilot Chuck Walz, of Munith, Mich., broke his leg and pelvis Sunday morning, but has undergone surgery and his recovery is promising. Anderson Fire Chief Jack Abraham says Walz’s balloon may have been 9,000 feet in the air when it deflated.