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Australian Government Issues Licences to Kill Wombats, Wallabies, Kookaburras, Swans, Emus and Parrots

Permits issued to kill thousands of native animals, including kookaburras, has outraged animal rights activists.
Permits to kill thousands of native animals, including black swans, kookaburras and more than 1500 wombats were issued by Victoria's Department of Sustainability and the Environment last year in a move that has outraged animal rights activists.

Authorities also gave the nod for more than 32,000 kangaroos and wallabies to be killed.

In two cases, permits to kill up to 300 parrots were issued to protect golf courses.

Authorities also granted permits for wildlife officers to kill up to 10 Australian fur seals.

Other Australian animals marked for death included eastern rosellas, rainbow lorikeets and sulphur-crested cockatoos.

The kill list was obtained under the Freedom of Information laws by Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber who has been campaigning to have all animal killing permits made public.

In June, Mr Barber attempted to have all permits to cull wildlife tabled in State Parliament, a move that was frustrated after Environment Minister Ryan Smith said it would involve an unreasonable diversion of his department's resources.

Other documents obtained under FOI show authorities gave permission to shoot 100 brushtail possums in the Geelong Botanic Gardens, while Avalon Airport was allowed to kill 10 magpies, 20 galahs, 40 ravens and two Cape Barren geese that were interfering with aircraft.

The documents also reveal wildlife officers at Parks Victoria's Serendip Sanctuary applied to kill an emu that had become aggressive and was threatening human safety.

They were also given the right to destroy 80 emu chick nests to control population numbers.

Permits to kill more than 500 emus were issued statewide last year.

Potential Plea Deal for Jared Lee Loughner Would Give Him Life Sentence for Gabby Giffords Shooting

Person familiar with the case says a court-appointed psychiatrist will testify Tuesday that Loughner is competent to enter a plea in the shooting rampage that killed six people and injured 13, including Giffords.

Jared Lee Loughner
© unknown
Jared Lee Loughner
Phoenix - A possible plea deal in the deadly Tucson shootings that wounded then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords would send Jared Lee Loughner to prison for the rest of his life, a person familiar with the case said Saturday.

A court-appointed psychiatrist will testify Tuesday that Loughner is competent to enter a plea in the shooting rampage that killed six people and injured 13, including Giffords, said the person, who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

A status conference in the federal case had already been scheduled for Tuesday in Tucson, Ariz.

The person, speaking about upcoming events in the case, said the plan is for Loughner to enter a guilty plea in the murders and attempted murders. The plan is contingent on the judge in the case allowing Loughner to enter the plea.

Bill Solomon, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, said Saturday he could not comment on Loughner's case and the possibility of a guilty plea.

The Pima County attorney's office, which has said it could also pursue state prosecution of Loughner, declined to comment, said spokeswoman Isabel Burruel Smutzer.

Thousands of seriously ill walk out of emergency rooms due to long wait

© Brooke Whatnall / The Advertiser
Patients needing amputations are among thousands walking out of hospital emergency departments because they do not want to wait.

SA Health figures show more than 14,000 people walked out of metropolitan emergency departments without being treated by a doctor last financial year, including one person whose condition was assessed by a triage nurse as critical.

Patients deemed critical may be suffering a heart attack, have stopped breathing or be a violent threat to others. In the same year another 81 patients with life-threatening conditions, which could include swallowing poison, needing amputations, losing blood or having chest pains, walked out of EDs.

Four Children Killed by Haiti Witch Doctor

Voodoo Drawing
© France24
A Haitian voodooist sets a candle down near a VeVe, or drawing representing the Luo spirits, before a ceremony in Port-au-Prince in 2010. Four children from the same family have been found dead in Haiti after being treated by a witch doctor who claimed to be able to cure them of a mysterious illness, a local official said Friday.
Four children from the same family have been found dead in Haiti after being treated by a witch doctor who claimed to be able to cure them of a mysterious illness, a local official said Friday.

"Three girls and a boy, the eldest of whom was seven years old and the youngest only 15 months, suffered abuse from the healer who was treating them," said Wilfrid Brisson, an official from the southern town of Marbial, told AFP.

"They were then abandoned in their mother's bed."

According to neighbors, the sorcerer -- who was assisted by his brother -- persuaded the victims' mother that the children were possessed by a demon and said he could rid their soul of the devil.
Che Guevara

Protesters smash window at Obama's Oakland, California office

© Shane Bauer/
Staffers inside are visibly afraid as a window is broken at an Obama campaign office in downtown Oakland on Friday night.
Police say protesters marching through downtown Oakland smashed a window at President Barack Obama's campaign office.

Officials say the window at Obama's office at 16th Street and Telegraph Avenue was broken as more than 100 protesters marched around 9 p.m. Friday.

Police say the marchers also smashed several car windows.

Source: The Associated Press

Colorado University Announces Review of Events Before Aurora Theater Shootings

james holmes
© unknown
James Holmes
The University of Colorado has hired a former U.S. attorney to review procedures and actions taken by the university and its employees in relation to former student James Eagan Holmes, who is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 58 others at an Aurora movie theater.

Robert N. Miller and his team began the investigation last week, according to a news release from the university.

According to court records, in the months before the July 20 shootings, Holmes, 24, was seeing CU Denver psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Fenton.

Fenton, medical director of student mental-health services at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, was so alarmed by Holmes' behavior that she notified a campuswide threat-assessment team.

Comment: See also:
"A Coordinated Attack": July 20th Colorado Shooting Anomalies
FBI and DHS Warned in May of Terrorists Planning to Attack Movie Theaters
Suspect 'Eyewitnesses' - From 9/11 to the Colorado Massacre

Heart - Black

Megachurch Pastor Confesses to Sexual Relationship with Teenager

The former pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond has confessed to having sex with a member of the church when she was 16, board members told the congregation Wednesday night.

The Board of Deacons addressed the church Wednesday to explain their sudden decision to fire pastor Jack Schaap, who had led the church for the past 11 years. The church plans to fully cooperate with an FBI investigation into allegations that multiple sexual encounters involving the same girl took place across state lines.

"Stick with us," the board asked of the 15,000 member congregation, according to the WGN.

Schaap's affair was outed accidentally, a former church member told CBS Chicago.

"Jack Schaap had left his cell phone on the pulpit and a deacon had seen it on the pulpit and had picked it up to bring it back to him," Trisha Kee, who maintains a Facebook group for ex-congregants, told the station. "From what we understand, the deacon then saw a text come through from a teenage girl in the church, and it was a picture of Jack Schaap and this girl making out."

Horses Starved at Riding School

Starving Horse
© The Queensland Times
Riding school owners Troy McIntosh and Mary Goodwin were fined for animal cruelty.
Two Ipswich riding school owners have been convicted of animal cruelty for starving six horses on their property.

Troy Lawrence McIntosh, 30, and Mary Eliza Goodwin, 28, were the joint owners and operators of a riding school business Beleg Faer Equestrian at Minden.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard the pair started the riding school in 2010 but a report was made to RSPCA Qld in August 2011 with regards to concerns for the welfare of the horses.

The RSPCA launched an investigation which found six horses had been starved by the pair.

Three of the horses relating to the charges were not owned by the defendants and had been leased from different owners.

Both pleaded guilty to six counts each of animal cruelty and were fined $2000 each without a conviction recorded.

They were also ordered to pay $4500 in costs but weren't banned from owning any animals.

The Queensland Times understands the couple are still operating a riding school under a different name.

Parents of UK Girl Found Guilty in So-Called Honour Killing

© The Associated Press
This is an undated Cheshire Police handout photo of murdered teen-ager Shafilea Ahmed. A British court on Friday Aug. 3, 2012 found a mother and father guilty of murdering their teen-age daughter Shafilea Ahmed in a so-called honor killing.
The girl was murdered by her Pakistani parents for her Western ways. And it was her little sister who bravely told jurors how her mother and father suffocated the 17-year-old with a plastic bag - gripping testimony that led to her parents' murder conviction on Friday.

Justice Roderick Evans sentenced Iftikhar, 52, and Farzana Ahmed, 49, to life in prison for killing their daughter, Shafilea, in 2003. The couple - first cousins from the Pakistani village of Uttam - were ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison.

"She was being squeezed between two cultures - the culture and way of life that she saw around her and wanted to embrace, and the culture and way of life you wanted to impose on her," Justice Evans said during the sentencing at the Chester Crown Court in northwest England.

In Britain, more than 25 women have been killed in so-called "honour killings" in the past decade. Families have sometimes lashed out at their children on the belief that they have brought their household shame by becoming too westernized or by refusing a marriage.

Shafilea was only 10 when she began to rebel against her parents' strict rules, according to prosecutor Andrew Edis.
Arrow Down

The U.S.Housing Market is a Black Hole

© Press TV
We have reached a profound point in economic history where the truth is unpalatable to the political class - and that truth is that the scale and magnitude of the problem is larger than their ability to respond - and it terrifies them...Bad things are going to happen. - Hugh Hendry on CNBC
Once again we're going through another wash, rinse, repeat cycle with the housing market fairy tales. People who bother to pay attention to the news woke up this morning to a report from the Commerce Dept that housing starts rose the highest level since 2008 in June. I'm not sure why that would be considered good news, since 2008 is when the bottom really fell out of the housing market. The other anomaly that contradicts this Government-compiled data is that mortgage purchase applications continue to decline on a weekly basis. Note: the mortgage application data is compiled and released by a private, free enterprise organization so we can safely assume that the data report is infinitely more reliable than that of the Government's Commerce Department.

The other myth being propagated by the media and the economic wizards is that the housing inventory is declining. In fact, this housing inventory has largely been converted to rentals. In particular Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been unloading their foreclosed inventory into institutional investors using Taxpayer money to subsidize the transactions. Interestingly and anecdotally, I was perusing the home rental listings in the Denver area for a friend who may be moving to Denver and I noticed that rents had decreased by about 10% from just 6 months ago, when I was looking for a new rental. If in fact the total housing inventory, for sale + rentals, was declining then we would expect that rents would be stable or increasing.

So where's the black hole disconnect? For one, the data is highly suspect, especially since mortgage purchase applications do not correlated with sales and starts. To be sure, I'm sure home builders are taking advantage of near-zero interest rates and borrowing as much as they can to build. But, as Zerohedge crunched this morning's housing starts numbers, the number of homes actually completed is well below the run-rate of starts. A form of "channel stuffing" for home builders is to start a lot of homes but take a long time to complete them, since the stock market and investors only care about the headline "starts" data.