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Canada to Pull the Penny from Circulation

money, penny
© Canadian Royal Mint
The Canadian government announced on Thursday that it plans to pull the penny from circulation at the end of 2012, saying the copper-coated currency is more expensive for the Royal Canadian Mint to produce than its actual currency value.

"Pennies take up too much space on our dressers at home. They take up far too much time for small businesses trying to grow and create jobs," said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. He also said it costs 1.5 cents to produce each penny.

"We will, therefore, stop making them," he said.

Nonetheless, the news has been causing quite a stir across Twitter today.

The U.S. faces a similar dilemma, where it costs nearly two cents to produce a single penny. U.S. pennies are in fact composed primarily of zinc, and have a thin copper coating. The Wall Street Journal wrote that the Obama Administration has proposed using less expensive materials in the production of pennies and nickels, but public misinformation on the perceived value of coins would likely stir up controversy.
Info

Polar Bear Shot Dead in Newfoundland After House Break-in and Livestock Attack

polar bear
© Getty Images
Canada: Goose Grove, Newfoundland and Labrador - Fifty-five-year-old Louis Reardon got the shock of his life early Thursday when he leapt out of bed to his son's cries of "Polar bear!" as a large male bear broke into their home in northern Newfoundland.

"He had the door busted open to the dining room with his two front paws and his head in through the door," Reardon said from tiny Goose Cove, just south of St. Anthony, N.L.

"I mean, it frightened the wits right clean out of me, to be that close to a polar bear."

Reardon's son Damien, 29, had heard a ruckus and flicked on the light to discover the animal. Polar bears are notoriously aggressive when cornered, and Damien slammed on a table trying to frighten the intruder as his father raced for a shotgun.

"A polar bear doesn't usually back down," Louis Reardon said. "If he came in the house, God knows what he would have done before he went out."

His other son, his daughter, her three young children and her boyfriend had all been sleeping when the commotion started just after 4 a.m.
Pistol

Wife Shot Dead by Husband After Dog Poops in House


US, Dallas - A 76-year-old Texas man was charged with murder for shooting his wife and two dogs after one of the animals pooped in the house.

Police arrested Michael Stephen Stolz after a five-hour standoff at the man's home in the Dallas suburb of Lewisville late Tuesday. He was charged with murder in the shooting death of his wife, Bernice Stolz, and remained in the Denton County Jail on Wednesday on a $250,000 bond.

Stolz told officers he shot his 49-year-old wife and the couple's two dogs after the German Shepherd mix defecated on the floor on Saturday, said Lewisville Police Capt. Kevin Deaver. He told officers that he shot the dog, then their other dog, a Rottweiler, then his wife, who was screaming because of the shootings of the dogs, Deaver said.

Police were called to investigate after Bernice Stolz' employer reported that she failed to show up at work for several days. Stolz rebuffed officers who asked to enter the house and check on the woman's welfare, Deaver said.
Heart - Black

Fakhra Younus, Pakistani Acid Attack Victim, Commits Suicide After Surgeries

© The Associated Press/Fakhra Younus Family
This combination of two undated photos provide by the family shows on the left, Fakhra Younus, some time after an acid attack twelve years ago, allegedly carried out by her then-husband, an ex-lawmaker and son of a political powerhouse; and on the right, Younus sometime before the attack. Younus, who had endured more than three dozen surgeries over more than a decade to repair her severely damaged face and body, finally decided life was no longer worth living. The 33-year-old former dancing girl jumped from the sixth floor of a building in Rome March 17, 2012, where she had been living and receiving treatment.
Islamabad - Pakistani acid attack victim Fakhra Younus had endured more than three dozen surgeries over more than a decade to repair her severely damaged face and body when she finally decided life was no longer worth living.

The 33-year-old former dancing girl - who was allegedly attacked by her then-husband, an ex-lawmaker and son of a political powerhouse - jumped from the sixth floor of a building in Rome, where she had been living and receiving treatment.

Her March 17 suicide and the return of her body to Pakistan on Sunday reignited furor over the case, which received significant international attention at the time of the attack. Her death came less than a month after a Pakistani filmmaker won the country's first Oscar for a documentary about acid attack victims.

Younus' story highlights the horrible mistreatment many women face in Pakistan's conservative, male-dominated culture and is a reminder that the country's rich and powerful often appear to operate with impunity. Younus' ex-husband, Bilal Khar, was eventually acquitted, but many believe he used his connections to escape the law's grip - a common occurrence in Pakistan.

More than 8,500 acid attacks, forced marriages and other forms of violence against women were reported in Pakistan in 2011, according to The Aurat Foundation, a women's rights organization. Because the group relied mostly on media reports, the figure is likely an undercount.

"The saddest part is that she realized that the system in Pakistan was never going to provide her with relief or remedy," Nayyar Shabana Kiyani, an activist at The Aurat Foundation, said of Younus. "She was totally disappointed that there was no justice available to her."
Attention

Self-immolation protests shock Italians

Italy map
© BBC News
Italians have been left shocked by two cases of men setting themselves on fire in the past two days in protest at their financial hardship.

A 58-year-old builder accused of tax evasion set himself alight in his car in Bologna on Wednesday.

Another builder, a 27-year-old Moroccan, set himself on fire outside the town hall in Verona on Thursday, saying that he had not been paid for four months.

Both men are being treated in hospital.
Play

Video Raises New Questions in Trayvon Martin Killing

The father of George Zimmerman, the man accused of shooting and killing an unarmed black teen in Florida, says the 17-year-old threatened to kill Zimmerman and then beat him so badly that it forced Zimmerman to shoot him.

"Trayvon Martin said something to the effect of, 'You're going to die now' or 'You're going to die tonight,' something to that effect," Robert Zimmerman told Orlando TV station WOFL. "He continued to beat George. At some point, George pulled his pistol. Did what he did."

A surveillance video from the Sanford police headquarters the night of the incident raises questions about the description of a beating.

It shows Zimmerman, his hands cuffed, exiting a patrol car and being led into the police station. First broadcast Wednesday by ABCNews.com, the video does not provide close-ups, but also does not show clear signs of Zimmerman having injuries.
Airplane

Unruly child & family kicked off flight in Portland

© MSNBC/Today Show
An unruly child put an end Tuesday evening to a plane trip by a family flying from Long Beach, Calif., to Vancouver, B.C., authorities said.

A young child refused to stay seated during an Alaska Airlines flight, according to Port of Portland spokesman Steve Johnson, and neither the parents nor flight attendants were able to control the child.

The pilot radioed ahead to have police waiting at the gate in Portland to remove the family of four from the plane.

Officers spoke with the family but did not arrest or cite them. They were not allowed to get back on the flight to Vancouver. Johnson said the stop in Portland was a scheduled stop for the flight.

He was unsure of the exact age of the child.

Comment: How does a child 'refuse' to be seated? Parenting is not a Democracy!

Handcuffs

Sex offender yells Go Cowboys! as he's executed

© Myspace
Jesse Joe Hernandez
A convicted child sex offender was executed Wednesday in Texas for the beating death of a 10-month-old boy he was baby-sitting at a home in Dallas.

Jesse Joe Hernandez smiled and laughed at times before receiving a lethal injection for the slaying of Karlos Borja 11 years ago.

"God bless everybody. Continue to walk with God," the 47-year-old Hernandez said. Moments later, he shouted "Go Cowboys!" in honor of his favorite football team.

As the drugs took effect, the condemned man repeated his appreciation for those he knew who had gathered to witness the execution. "Love y'all, man," Hernandez said. "... Thank you. I can feel it, taste it. It's not bad."

He took about 10 deep breaths, which grew progressively weaker until he was no longer moving. Ten minutes later, at 6:18 p.m. CDT, he was pronounced dead.
Pistol

911 caller arrested after cops gun down unarmed black teen

Police shooting victim Kendrec McDade, 19.
© Screenshot via CBS 2 in Los Angeles
Police shooting victim Kendrec McDade, 19.

At a press conference Wednesday in Pasadena, California, police announced that they have arrested a man who called 911 earlier this week, claiming he'd been robbed at gunpoint by two black teens. Police responded to the incident with deadly force, killing 19-year-old college student Kendrec McDade after he fled from officers.

The 911 caller, Oscar Carillo, allegedly admitted under questioning that he lied about the firearm to trigger a faster police response.

Police claim that once they cornered McDade, he reached for his waistband. Believing he was armed, two officers opened fire and hit the teen multiple times. He died a short time later at Huntington Hospital.
Attention

Lockerbie Bomber Could Have Walked Free Says Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission Report


Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi boards a plane for Tripoli from Glasgow after his release in 2009
The Sunday Herald today publishes the full 800-page report detailing why the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing could have walked free.

The controversial report from the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) has remained secret for five years because, until now, no-one had permission to publish it.

The Sunday Herald and its sister paper, The Herald, are the only newspapers in the world to have seen the report. We choose to publish it because we have the permission of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the bombing, and because we believe it is in the public interest to disseminate the whole document.

The Sunday Herald has chosen to publish the full report online today at www.heraldscotland.com to allow the public to see for themselves the evidence which could have resulted in the acquittal of Megrahi. Under Section 32 of the Data Protection Act, journalists can publish in the public interest.

We have made very few redactions to protect the names of confidential sources and private information.

The publication of the report adds weight to calls for a full public inquiry into the atrocity - something many of the relatives have been campaigning for for more than two decades.

Megrahi has today also sent a copy of the full report to Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, who released him on compassionate grounds in August 2009.
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