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Fireball Horror: Hundreds Injured as Gas Balloons Go Up in Flames at Political Rally in Armenia

Mass panic erupted after the hydrogen balloons exploded into a huge fireball, thought to have been caused by a smoker who lit a cigarette nearby
© Getty Images
More than 140 people have been injured after hundreds of gas-filled balloons went up in flames at a campaign rally in the Armenian capital Yerevan.

Mass panic erupted after the hydrogen balloons exploded into a huge fireball, thought to have been caused by a smoker who lit a cigarette nearby.

More than 100 of those injured were taken to hospital with burns following the rally, staged two days before the election by the ruling Republican Party in the centre of the city.
Nuke

Japan to Switch Off Final Nuclear Reactor (for now)

© Agence France-Presse
This aerial view, taken in 2010, shows the Tomari nuclear plant in northernmost Hokkaido, northern Japan.

The last working reactor in Japan is to be switched off Saturday, leaving the country without nuclear power just over a year after the world's worst atomic accident in a quarter of a century.

As technicians ready to close down the No. 3 unit at Tomari in Hokkaido, the debate over whether Japan needs nuclear power has been reignited, amid increasingly shrill warnings of summer power blackouts.

Hokkaido Electric Power, which runs the plant, said they would at 5pm (0800 GMT) begin inserting control rods that would halt the chain reaction and bring the reactor to "cold shutdown" some time on Monday.

The shuttering will mark the first time since the 1970s that resource-poor and energy-hungry Japan has been without nuclear power, a technology that had provided a third of its electricity until meltdowns at Fukushima.

The tsunami-sparked disaster forced tens of thousands of people from their homes in an area around the plant -- some of whom may never be allowed to return.

It did not directly claim any lives, but has devastated the local economy, leaving swathes of land unfarmable as radiation spewed from the ruins.
X

Arizona Bans Funding to Planned Parenthood in Abortion Fight

AZ Governor Jan Brewer
© Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com
Jan Brewer
US, Phoenix - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Friday signed into law a bill banning abortion providers like Planned Parenthood from receiving money through the state, her office said in a statement.

The Republican-backed Whole Woman's Health Funding Priority Act cuts off funding for family planning and health services delivered by Planned Parenthood clinics and other organizations offering abortions.

"By signing this measure into law I stand with the majority of Americans who oppose the use of taxpayer funds for abortion," Brewer said in a statement.

Arizona joins six other states with similar laws, officials said. But three of those states -- Indiana, Kansas and North Carolina -- are facing legal challenges.

Arizona does not provide tax dollars for abortion, but backers said the law is needed to make sure that no indirect monies are funneled to organizations like Planned Parenthood that provide abortion and other health services. There were no estimates of how much money is involved.
Heart - Black

23 Dead in Day of Horror for Mexico Border City

© Agence France-Presse/Raul Llamas
The bodies of four women and five men were found hanging off this bridge in the Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo with an apparent message from a drug gang, an army official said.
The northeast Mexico border city of Nuevo Laredo saw a brutal day of gang violence, with 14 headless bodies found stuffed in a vehicle and nine others hanging from a bridge.

Fourteen heads believed to correspond to the decapitated bodies were also found in ice boxes outside the city hall on Friday, according to local security forces in the city of almost 400,000 inhabitants across the border from Laredo, Texas.

Horrified motorists earlier encountered the blood-stained bodies of four women and five men hanging off a bridge, alongside an apparent message from a drug gang.

The grim spectacles were extreme even for Nuevo Laredo and the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, which have seen some of the most gruesome episodes in Mexico's brutal five-and-a-half year drug war so far.

State security forces and soldiers cordoned off the areas where the bodies were found and gave no immediate comment.

Comment: Read about the Matamoros cult and the CIA (Part IV) to understand the ongoing horrors along the US-Mexico border:

Latin American High Weirdness: 'Hand of Death' Satanic CIA Cult Network

Cow Skull

Sacred White Buffalo Intentionally Killed, Investigation Under Way

White Buffalo
© WFAA
Greenville - Lightning Medicine Cloud, a white buffalo, was born onto Arby Little Soldier's Lakota Ranch with great ceremony.

Now, at just under one-year-old, the sacred and rare calf is dead. Authorities believe the animal and his mother were intentionally killed.

"He was the hope of all nations," Little Soldier said.

As a Lakota Indian, the birth, he said, was a symbol for the world to seek unity, making the ranch a destination for people around the country.

But now the Hunt County Sheriff and the Texas Rangers are searching for the person or people who killed the two animals. Little Soldier had thought the Lightening Medicine Cloud's father had been killed by a lightning strike last month.

But that now appears suspicious, too.
Attention

Affidavit: Tahlequah Mom Burns Baby's Testicles With Hair Straightener

© Unknown
Jodi Rock.
A Tahlequah mother is in jail after authorities say she admitted to burning her 15-month-old baby's genitals with a hair-straightening iron.

Jodi Rock, 19, is being held on a $200,000 bond at the Cherokee County Detention Center on accusations of felony injury to a child.

According to an affidavit for arrest, which was obtained Thursday by News On 6, authorities were called to the Tahlequah City Hospital on April 26 for a possible child abuse case. Investigators found Rock's baby had several bone fractures to both shoulders and burns to the groin and genital area, with some of the fractures being 12 weeks old, the affidavit says.

A deputy reported seeing three burns on the baby's genital area, including across his testicles, documents say.
Family

The electorate's silent, withering rebellion against the political class

© The Telegraph
The tumbleweed is just out of shot to the right
If you needed any further proof that the political class inhabits a different moral universe to normal human beings, look no further than this morning's analyses of yesterday's elections. "It was a good night for Labour," chirp Ed Miliband's delusional cheerleaders. "It shows that Cameron must re-engage with traditionalists," say Tory desperadoes. "It confirms the British public's rejection of the mayoral system," intone deathly dull political studies lecturers. All of these yawn-inducing attempts to decipher what message the British electorate was trying to send to the political class yesterday overlooks what the majority of us chose to say to them: absolutely nothing. Zilch. Diddly squat.

Sixty-eight per cent of eligible voters did not vote in the elections, a bloc of people so big it could be described as "the vast majority", or certainly "most people". Most people chose not to take part in these elections, and in doing so they implicitly rejected the political class in its entirety; its ideas, its policy proposals, its representatives - all were very publicly and humiliatingly cold-shouldered. What we witnessed yesterday was a silent, withering rebellion against the political elites of this country. A good night for Labour? Are you kidding me? Labour got roughly 39 per cent of the vote on an estimated turnout of 32 per cent. This means around 12 per cent of the eligible electorate voted Labour. To put it another way, 88 per cent of us - the heaving mass of society - did not vote Labour. If that's a good night for Labour, I'd hate to see a bad one.
Che Guevara

The Man Who Quit Money

Daniel Suelo
© ABC News
Can Going Without Money Hurt the Economy? One Man's Quest to Be Penniless
Daniel Suelo is 51 years old and broke. Happily broke. Consciously, deliberately, blessedly broke.

Not only does he not have debt, a mortgage or rent, he does not earn a salary. Nor does he buy food or clothes, or own any product with a lower case "i" before it. Home is a cave on public land outside Moab, Utah. He scavenges for food from the garbage or off the land (fried grasshoppers, anyone?). He has been known to carve up and boil fresh road kill. He bathes, without soap, in the creek.

In the fall of 2000, Suelo (who changed his name from Shellabarger), decided to stop using money altogether. That meant no "conscious barter," food stamps or other government handouts. His mission was to "use only what is freely given or discarded and what is already present and already running," he wrote on his web site, Zero Currency.

The question many people wonder: Is he insane, or a mooch, or simply dedicated to leading a simple, honest, dare we say, Christ-like existence?
Padlock

Student Files $20 Million Lawsuit After Being Left For Five Days Without Food or Water in DEA Cell

Daniel Chong
Daniel Chong, the 23-year-old student at UC San Diego who was left in a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) holding cell for five days without food or water, has filed a $20 million lawsuit against the agency, according to NBC San Diego.

"The deprivation of food and water for four and one-half days, while the person is handcuffed the entire time, constitutes torture under both international and domestic law," Chong's claim says. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has asked Attorney General Eric Holder for a formal probe.

"Given the seriousness of this incident, I urge you to personally ensure that the Department of Justice conducts a full and thorough investigation to find out what happened, who was responsible and what steps must be taken to make sure it never happens again," the senator wrote. "After the investigation is completed, I ask that you please provide me with the results and the actions the department will take to make sure those responsible are held accountable and that no one in DEA custody will ever again be forced to endure such treatment."
Bug

Human Societies Beginning to Resemble Ant Colonies

Ants
© Corbis
As human populations grow, our societies are behaving more and more like ant colonies.
The similarities offer a look at just how ever-growing human societies could collapse.

The human population is growing at such a staggering rate that we are organizing ourselves more like ant supercolonies, with new research finding that we have more in common now with some ants than we do with our closest living animal kingdom relatives.

The new study, published in the journal Behavioral Ecology, points out that both humans and ants (termites, too) live in societies that may consist of up to a million plus members.

"As a result, modern humans have more in common with some ants than we do with our closest relatives the chimpanzees," Mark Moffett, author of the study, told Discovery News. "With a maximum size of about 100, no chimpanzee group has to deal with issues of public health, infrastructure, distribution of goods and services, market economies, mass transit problems, assembly lines and complex teamwork, agriculture and animal domestication, warfare and slavery."
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