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Divide and conquer: Ireland abortion debate stretches into second day

© Yves Herman/Reuters
Enda Kenny: hard line against party rebels
Irish politicians will spend a second day debating divisive laws that will legislate for the first time for abortion in limited circumstances.

A vote on the landmark laws, which enshrine a woman's right to a termination if her life is at risk, including from suicide, had been expected to pass at about 5am on Thursday morning.

But as discussions rumbled into dawn with no sign of an end, the Dáil was adjourned with plans for the debate to resume late this afternoon.

The laws will be supported by the vast majority of the country's politicians, but a junior minister who has shown signs of joining a small backbench revolt is likely to lose her job.

Despite the widely anticipated rebellion by Lucinda Creighton, the minister for European affairs, the laws are likely to pass comfortably.

The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 was drawn up following the death of Savita Halappanavar, an Indian dentist who died in an Irish hospital in October last year after being denied an abortion as she miscarried 17 weeks into her pregnancy.

One CCTV for every 12 people - surveillance soars in care homes, hospitals and schools, UK

There are nearly 5million CCTV cameras in the country, new research finds

More in 'sensitive locations' such as car homes, hospitals and schools

Campaigners criticised the growth of the 'surveillance state'

Common sight: There are an estimated 5million CCTV cameras in Britain today - one for every 12 people
Schoolchildren, the elderly and the infirm are being watched by an astonishing 750,000 spy cameras across Britain, a survey revealed yesterday.

There are nearly 5million CCTV cameras in the country, researchers found - the equivalent of one for every 12 people. Surveillance was particularly high in 'sensitive locations' such as care homes, hospitals and schools.

Campaigners last night criticised the growth of the 'surveillance state', lambasting the Government for embarking upon a journey similar to George Orwell's vision in his novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

The British Security Industry Authority (BSIA) estimated there were 4.9million closed-circuit television cameras in the country, but said the figure could be as high as 5.9million. Previous estimates ranged from 1.5million to 4million.

Nick Pickles, director of the privacy campaign Big Brother Watch, criticised the findings. He said: 'This report is another stark reminder of how out of control our surveillance culture has become.

Bomb squad sent to US Embassy in Australia after car crashes into gates

© Graham Tidy
The car stuck in the gates at the US Embassy.
A 30-year-old man is expected to face the ACT Magistrates Court after a car crashed into the main gates of Canberra's United States Embassy on Wednesday night.

The Australian Federal Police bomb response unit attended the Yarralumla complex after ACT Policing, Fire and Rescue and Ambulance crews were called about 6pm.

Investigators said it was too early to tell what circumstances had led to the accident and five-hour police operation, but neither the vehicle or the embassy security gates were extensively damaged.
Black Magic

He's at it again: Pat Robertson wants a 'vomit' Facebook button for gay pictures

Former Southern Baptist minister Pat Robertson, 83, said during his "700 Club" show that liking same sex couples' photos on Facebook is considered condoning behavior and added that he'd prefer to punch the "vomit" button to describe how he feels about the images.

Robertson's comments came as a response to an online question posed by a confused fan:

"When we 'like' things on Facebook, if it's something that goes against what is written in the Bible -- such as pictures of same sex couples -- is that considered condoning behavior? How do you explain this to new Christians or youth?"

"You've got a couple of same-sex guys kissing. Do you like that?" Robertson answered. "Well, that makes me want to throw up. To me, I would punch 'vomit,' not 'like,' but they don't give you that option on Facebook."


Underground RV park lets you survive the apocalypse redneck-style

© AP photo/Orlin Wagner
If you're determined to live through any possible doomsday scenario, the thought of climbing into one of those deep underground shelters might give you pause. After all, who wants to live dormitory style with a bunch of strangers when you've become accustomed to the comforts of your own double-wide at the RV park?

Dug over 100 years ago as part of a limestone mining operation, this bunker in Kansas covers 45 acres sitting 100-150 feet below ground. Developer Robert Vicino says that the structure can withstand a 1 megaton nuclear blast just 10 miles away, but there's no word on how many apocalyptic zombies the doors can hold back. The temperature inside hangs constantly in the low 70s, so it should be fairly comfortable as you wait for things to settle down up on the surface.

Ya think? Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority says ocean contamination likely at Fukushima - leak is "strongly suspected"

Japan's nuclear watchdog said Wednesday that the crippled Fukushima power plant is probably leaking contaminated water into the ocean, a problem long suspected by experts but denied by the plant's operator.

Officials from the Nuclear Regulation Authority said a leak is "strongly suspected" and urged plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. to determine where the water may be leaking from and assess the environmental and other risks, including the impact on the food chain. The watchdog said it would form a panel of experts to look into ways to contain the problem.

The watchdog's findings underscore TEPCO's delayed response in dealing with a problem that experts have long said existed. On Wednesday, the company continued to raise doubts about whether a leak exists.

TEPCO spokesman Noriyuki Imaizumi said the increase in cesium levels in monitoring well water samples does not necessarily mean contaminated water from the plant is leaking to the ocean. TEPCO was running another test on water samples and suspects earlier spikes might have been caused by cesium-laced dust slipping into the samples, he said. But he said TEPCO is open to the watchdog's suggestions to take safety steps.

Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina condo deck collapse sends 21 people to hospital

More than 20 people were taken to hospitals after a second-story deck on a condominium in Ocean isle Beach collapsed onto a patio below.

Brunswick County emergency officials say the deck collapsed about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Emergency services director Anthony Marzano says the injuries included cuts and broken bones but none of the injuries was life-threatening.

Thirteen people were taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where 11 were treated and released. One person was admitted to the hospital with a broken leg and a second with a broken ankle.

Seven were taken to Brunswick Novant Medical Center in Supply and one was flown to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington.

Former chief of Fukushima nuclear plant dies from cancer

Masao Yoshida
© AP/Kyoda News
Tokyo, Japan -- Masao Yoshida, the man who led the life-risking battle at Japan's crippled nuclear power plant when it was spiraling into meltdowns, died Tuesday of cancer of the esophagus. He was 58.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesman Yoshimi Hitosugi said Yoshida died at a Tokyo hospital. TEPCO officials said his illness was not related to radiation exposure.

Comment: LIE!

Yoshida led efforts to stabilize the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant after the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami knocked out its power and cooling systems, causing triple meltdowns and massive radiation leaks.

Recalling the first few days when the three reactors suffered meltdowns in succession, Yoshida later said: "There were several instances when I thought we were all going to die here. I feared the plant was getting out of control and we would be finished."

Yoshida was an outspoken, tall man with a loud voice who wasn't afraid of talking back to higher-ups and was known to his workers as a caring figure. Even then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who was extremely frustrated by TEPCO's initial lack of information and slow handling, said after meeting him that Yoshida could be trusted.

On March 12, after Unit 1 reactor building exploded following a meltdown, Yoshida kept pumping in sea water into the reactor to cool it, ignoring an order from the TEPCO headquarters to stop doing so as Kan feared a possibility of sea water triggering a fission chain reaction. Yoshida was initially reprimanded for disobeying the order from above, but later praised for his judgment that eventually helped keep the reactor from turning worse.

"I bow deeply in respect to his leadership and decisiveness," Kan said in his Twitter entry Tuesday.
Heart - Black

California female inmates sterilized: 'more cost effective than welfare' says doctor

female inmates
© @Now.MSN
Not only is it morally wrong to pressure women into having this procedure, it is against the law. Federal law makes it illegal to use federal funds to pay for inmate sterilizations.
A horrifying picture of modern-day eugenics is emerging in California, the state that was once known as the country's most prolific sterilizer, with as many 20,000 people losing their ability to procreate between 1909 to 1964. They were so well-known for their practice of preventing the 'inferior' from breeding that historians say Nazi Germany contacted the state's eugenics leaders in the 1930s. You know they must have been doing something terribly, terribly wrong if Hitler was seeking their advice.

That shameful past is coming back to haunt the state as a new report emerges that almost 150 female prison inmates were sterilized between 2006 and 2010 without state approval. The report released by The Center for Investigative Reporting claims that at least 148 women received tubal ligations during that time frame. Records show that between 1997 and 2010 the state paid $147,460 to doctors to perform the surgery on inmates.

Texas troopers under fire for yet another perverted roadside strip-search

road trip
© Reuters / Andy Newman
Two Houston women have filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Public Safety claiming they were subjected to a humiliating roadside body cavity search that left them violated and traumatized.

"I was embarrassed, in a bikini, on the side of the freeway. And it hurts so bad to even go through something like that," 27-year-old Brandy Hamilton told KTRK News.

Hamilton and 26-year-old Alexandria Randle were driving home to Houston after spending last year's Memorial Day at a nearby beach with family and friends when Texas Trooper Nathaniel Turner pulled them over for speeding on the side of Highway 288 and ordered them to exit their vehicle. The women were still wearing their bathing suits and were not permitted to put clothes on or cover up before exiting the car.

The trooper claimed to smell marijuana in the car and called a female trooper to search the women's body parts for drugs, despite numerous pleas from the ladies.

"The male officer, his words verbatim were, 'We're gonna get familiar with your womanly parts," Hamilton told KXAN.