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August 14, 2003

Hambali captured in Southeast Asia
CNN | Submitted by: nutte
"Riduan Isamuddin, known as Hambali, is a key leader in Jemaah Islamiyah, a group linked to al Qaeda. He has served as a link between the groups, and was sought by at least a half-dozen countries in Southeast Asia. ... President Bush called Hambali 'one of the world's most lethal terrorists' and said his capture was a significant victory in the war on terrorism. ... Al Qaeda leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, along with Hambali, evaded arrest in 1995 and moved further up al Qaeda's corporate ladder. Mohammed -- who was arrested in April -- became one of Osama bin Laden's trusted lieutenants, U.S. officials say."

Read article... and This... and This...

Idi Amin, a human liver, and a shitload of irony
BBC | Submitted by: Gambrinus
"The ailing former President of Uganda Idi Amin Dada is seeking a kidney to keep him alive, according to his son, Hashim Amin. Last month, the 78-year-old Idi Amin was admitted to the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in the Saudi Arabian port of Jeddah, where he has remained ever since. The Ugandan Minister for the Presidency, Kirunda Kivejinja, said on Thursday that the government would not prevent any Ugandan from donating their kidneys to the man whose regime was one of the bloodiest in African history, with up to 400,000 deaths and disappearances."

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Iran tells US to fuck off re: al Qaeda suspects
BBC | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Iran has no intention of allowing United States officials to interrogate the al-Qaeda suspects it has arrested, the country's president has said. US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said on Tuesday that Washington wanted to interrogate senior al-Qaeda members being held in Iran. But Tehran has refused to identify which al-Qaeda members it has caught and has already ruled out handing them over to the US. Saad Bin Laden, son of the Saudi-born al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, is thought to be one of the men being held by the Iranians. Egyptian Saif al Adel, believed to be the network's security chief, and Kuwait-born Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, al-Qaeda's spokesman, are also reported to be under arrest."

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Religious cult killing its own
JoongAng Daily | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"The bodies of two religious-group members were unearthed yesterday at a mountain in Gyeonggi province. They were killed and buried by group members, the prosecution said. The religious group known as the Yeong Saeng, or 'eternal life,' church has been considered a cult, and created a stir in 1995 over a similar case. ... The prosecution said it had been able to locate the bodies from murder confessions by two men identified only as Mr. Kim and Mr. Jeong. Both are members of the Yeong Saeng Church and committed the crime on the order of the church’s founder, Cho Hee-seong... The prosecution said that Mr. Cho had ordered the killings because the victims had opposed him and did not follow church doctrine properly. More cult members are thought to have been killed and buried throughout the nation."

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British soldiers target of Kenyan rape protest
BBC | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"A Kenyan delegation has presented a petition on behalf of hundreds of alleged victims of rape by British soldiers. Dozens of women in bright tribal dress stood outside the British High Commission in Nairobi singing and waving banners. Many of them brought along mixed race children. The alleged crimes which stretch back over three decades took place in central Kenya where the British army runs training exercises. 'Look at his skin,' shouted one woman. 'His father is a British soldier who raped me.'"

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Payday for torture victims of Pinochet regime
BBC | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"People who were tortured under the military regime of General Augusto Pinochet are to receive compensation from the Chilean Government. Until now, compensation has only been paid to the families of people who were killed during the regime, which ran from 1973 and 1990. The decision could benefit tens of thousands of Chileans, correspondents say. Chilean President Ricardo Lagos says he wants to push his country's deeply divided population towards reconciliation by resolving past human rights issues on both sides of the conflict. In a national address he said his plan, which requires congressional approval, 'does not bring a definitive solution' to the suffering of many Chileans during Mr Pinochet's rule but it is 'a step toward reconciliation.'"

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Saddam's wizard breaks magician-client confidentiality
breakingnews.iol.ie | Submitted by: UncleGum
"A man who says he was Saddam Hussein's sorcerer predicts the Iraqi dictator will be found dead. ... The sorcerer asks that he not be identified -- for now, at least -- and will not even pronounce the name of the man he once served. 'That man is still alive, so I'm afraid,' he says. 'I helped him, his sons, his ministers, his wife, his cousins, but I can't mention names. When he is dead I can talk about him.' ... Saddam is still protected, he says, by a pair of golden statues imbued with magic. The deposed president speaks daily with the king and queen of genies."

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Whale fart captured on film
News Corporation | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Researchers claim this is the first photograph of a minke whale letting one go in the icy waters of Antarctica. It was taken from the bow of a research vessel. 'We got away from the bow of the ship very quickly ... it does stink,' said Nick Gales, a research scientist from the Australian Antarctic Division."

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Marine embezzles breast implant surgery
ABC News | Submitted by: LCP
"A Marine Corps lance corporal is in the military brig for illegally using a Pentagon credit card to buy herself a car, motorcycle, furniture and a breast-lift, according to the Marine Forces Reserve. Sherry K. Pierre pleaded guilty and was convicted on June 17 of making $129,709.11 worth of illegal purchases on her government-issued charge card between May 2000 and June 2001 while assigned to the Marine Forces Reserve headquarters in New Orleans. ... Purchase cards are used by all federal agencies to buy goods and services for official government use. The idea behind the program, started in 1989, was to streamline government purchases by allowing agencies to deal directly with vendors, reducing administrative costs and cutting bureaucratic red tape."

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Gamma-ray weapons could trigger next arms race
New Scientist | Submitted by: Who cares about soccer
"An exotic kind of nuclear explosive being developed by the US Department of Defense could blur the critical distinction between conventional and nuclear weapons. The work has also raised fears that weapons based on this technology could trigger the next arms race. The explosive works by stimulating the release of energy from the nuclei of certain elements but does not involve nuclear fission or fusion. The energy, emitted as gamma radiation, is thousands of times greater than that from conventional chemical explosives. The technology has already been included in the Department of Defense's Militarily Critical Technologies List, which says: 'Such extraordinary energy density has the potential to revolutionise all aspects of warfare.'"

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Dead woman found in latrine
ghanaweb.com | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"The body of Efua Frafra, 19, a Trader, was found floating in a pit latrine at Asante Mampong on Tuesday, a week after her relatives had reported her missing. Chief Superintendent, Kwaku Ayesu Opare Addo, Mampong Divisional Police Commander, told the Ghana News Agency that the relatives of the deceased on August 5 reported that Efua was missing. He said the Police conducted a search for her but to no avail until Tuesday morning when they were informed that a dead body was floating in a pit latrine."

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Secret neural net can purportedly predict crime
New Scientist | Submitted by: Tobermory
"The technique, now under trial in the US, could be available for routine use within a year. ... Gorr and his team plan to do a final test of their program in Rochester later in August. They will then start working on a version for general distribution, which they hope to finish within a year. But you are unlikely to see crime forecasts after the evening news. Brown says that revealing the forecast could reduce its effectiveness. 'If people can change the outcome by changing their behaviours, they will.'"

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Tourists told to avoid sex with Cameroon jailbait
BBC | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"Cameroon has decided to tackle sex tourism, which the authorities say is threatening to undermine the country's campaign against the spread of HIV/Aids. The director of tourism promotion, Elise Bomba, told the BBC that the issue would dominate a three-day tourism conference in Limbe which started on Tuesday. Mrs Bomba said that the delegates, including hotel managers, travel agencies and representatives from the general public, were discussing ways of raising awareness of the dangers of encouraging sex tourism. 'We want to educate tourists not to engage in sexual activities with Cameroonians, especially underage girls,' Mrs Bomba said."

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Toy survives transatlantic flight
BBC | Submitted by: Tim Howard
"An international team of model aeroplane enthusiasts say they have managed the first successful flight by a lightweight remote-controlled plane across the Atlantic. US, Canadian and Irish engineers worked together to ensure 'The Spirit of Butts Farm' - named after its testing site - landed safely in County Galway, Ireland on Monday 11 August, some 38 hours after it took off from Canada. The balsa wood and mylar plane flew 3,039 kilometres (1,888 miles) using satellite navigation and an autopilot system overseen by engineers and radio operators using laptop computers."

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Peterson defense team working the Satan angle
Oakland Tribune | Submitted by: hank bormet
"Scott Peterson's defense team briefed two forensic experts this week on a satanic cult theory, including paintings and artwork near San Francisco Bay and an experiment showing that the pregnant Laci Peterson's body could have been placed in the water at the art site. Attorney Matt Dalton, using a laptop computer, showed artwork that he said depicted ritualistic killings and occult practices, and said the artwork could be found near the end of a peninsula. ... Karla LaVey, founder of the San Francisco-based First Satanic Church, said the Peterson defense team was using the satanic tactic as an attempt to deflect blame on a misunderstood and unfairly vilified group. 'Satanism does not involve any type of sacrifice or ritualistic killing,' LaVey said. 'Satanism obviously is a subject people are ignorant of, and so they tend to be biased and prejudicial.'"

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Gemologists having panic attacks
Wired | Submitted by: Aalabio
"'This is very rare stone,' he says, almost to himself, in thickly accented English. 'Yellow diamonds of this color are very hard to find. It is probably worth 10, maybe 15 thousand dollars.' 'I have two more exactly like it in my pocket,' I tell him. He puts the diamond down and looks at me seriously for the first time. I place the other two stones on the table. They are all the same color and size. To find three nearly identical yellow diamonds is like flipping a coin 10,000 times and never seeing tails. 'These are cubic zirconium?' Weingarten says without much hope. 'No, they're real,' I tell him. 'But they were made by a machine in Florida for less than a hundred dollars.' Weingarten shifts uncomfortably in his chair and stares at the glittering gems on his dining room table. 'Unless they can be detected,' he says, 'these stones will bankrupt the industry.'"

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Russians plan to pop Lake Vostok's cherry
Seattle Times | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"If Russian researchers in Antarctica succeed in drilling through the final 120 meters of nearly 4 kilometers of ice to reach an ancient, unexplored lake, NASA scientists warn the hole could cause a dangerous eruption that spews water thousands of feet into the air. U.S. scientists speculate that the water in pristine Lake Vostok, filled with gases and pressurized under tons and tons of ice, would act like a carbonated drink in a can that's shaken and then popped open. ... The Russian group, which controls the drill and operates the only research station above the lake, had planned to make the final push to complete the hole —- about 10 centimeters in diameter —- this year. Delays have pushed back that timeline."

Read article...


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