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Mon, 25 May 2020
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10 NATO tankers damaged in Pakistan

At least 10 NATO oil tankers have been damaged in an attack in Pakistan's Khyber area bordering Afghanistan, Pakistani officials have said.

The incident happened at the NATO supply vehicle hub in Landi Kotal, where the bulk of supplies destined for US-led troops in Afghanistan pass through.

"The attackers damaged 10 oil tankers with mortars and small arms fire, but there was no blaze as the tankers were empty and had returned from Afghanistan after delivering supplies," tribal administration official Iqbal Khan Khattak told AFP.

The drivers had parked up at the terminal on their return journey to stay overnight in nearby hotels, he added.

Three security guards were also beheaded during the attack, local intelligence officials confirmed.

Sherlock

US: FBI wants help in decoding mysterious notes found on man's body

All right all you crime fighters, puzzle masters and cryptanalysts (if you have to ask, you aren't), here's something to keep you busy.

Join the throngs who already are offering the FBI their best guesses as to the meaning of two garbled notes found in a dead man's pockets more than a decade ago.

The FBI's Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU) is seeking the public's help with two pages of ciphers recovered in 1999 by St. Charles County, Mo., sheriffs investigating the suspected homicide of Ricky McCormick about 20 miles northwest of St. Louis.

The FBI said its folks had worked on cracking the code but admitted its "really good" staff was stumped.

Handcuffs

Child-porn discovery not a 'licence to kill': Canadian man who beat his neighbour to death after finding child pornography on his computer will serve six years behind bars

A man who beat his neighbour to death after finding child pornography on his computer should serve six years behind bars, says the Crown.

Patrick Belanger, 28, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the July 2009 beating death of Leonard Wells, 63, in west-end Montreal.

Prosecutor Thierry Nadon told a Quebec Court judge the sentence would send a clear message to society that vigilante killings are unacceptable and that a man's pedophilic tendencies don't give citizens "a licence to kill."

Belanger will be sentenced on April 21.

He was initially charged with first-degree murder following the attack on July 25, 2009. He had been helping Wells to move and had asked to use his computer while the two were taking a break.

Dollar

Tea Party Hypocrisy? Some Lawmakers With Tea Party Ties Are on the Government Dole

The Tea Party swept into the 112th Congress with promises of cutting government spending. But according to a report out today, at least five lawmakers with Tea Party connections have been longtime recipients of federal agricultural subsidies.


"There's nothing too surprising about hypocrisy in Washington," Ken Cook, president of Environmental Working Group, told ABC News. "This particular group, you not only have to look at the hypocrisy but you need to watch your wallet."

While the majority of American farmers receive no government money at all, at least 23 current members of congress or their families have received government money for their farms -- combining for more than $12 million since 1995 according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group.

Cow

US: EPA boosts radiation monitoring after low levels found in milk

Image
© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Radiation gets into the milk because it falls on grass eaten by cows.
There is no health risk from consuming milk with extremely low levels of radiation, like those found in Washington state and California, experts said Thursday, echoing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"When we have a disaster like we've had with a nuclear power plant in Japan, we're probably going to find things that are truly not a public health risk, but I think it's very difficult for the public to assimilate this information and understand the risks," said Dr. Wally Curran, a radiation oncologist and head of Emory University's Winship Cancer Center.

The federal agency said Wednesday it was increasing its nationwide monitoring of radiation in milk, precipitation, drinking water, and other outlets. It already tracks radiation in those potential exposure routes through an existing network of stations across the country.

Results from screening samples of milk taken in the past week in Spokane, Washington, and in San Luis Obispo County, California, detected radioactive iodine, or iodine-131, at a level 5,000 times lower than the limit set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, officials said.

At that level, a person would have to drink 1,000 liters of milk to receive the same amount of radiation as a chest X-ray, said Dr. James Cox, radiation oncologist at Houston's MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Heart - Black

US: Two Denver police officers fired in videotaped LoDo beating case

Image
© Denver Post | John Prieto
Manager of Safety Charles F. Garcia talks about firing two police officers
Two Denver police officers were fired this afternoon in connection with a 2009 beating of 23-year-old man in Lower Downtown.

Officer Devin Sparks and Cpl. Randy Murr have both lost their jobs, Safety Manager Charley Garcia and Mayor Bill Vidal said during a press conference at City Hall this afternoon.

Sparks was caught on videotape throwing Michael DeHerrera to the ground as DeHerrera talked on a cellphone. The video then shows Sparks repeatedly beating him with a department-issued sap, a piece of metal wrapped in leather.

The Denver district attorney's office reviewed the case and declined to file criminal charges.

Denver police internal affairs division then conducted its own investigation, which was sent to then-Safety Manager Ron Perea.

Radar

$5 Fees May Be Coming to an ATM

Image
© Jack Hollingsworth | Getty Images
J.P. Morgan Chase and other banks are trying to recoup approximately $30 billion a year in lost overdraft fee income by testing $5 ATM fees, Consumer Action spokesman Joe Ridout told CNBC.

These banks have "historically been reliant on overdraft fees," he said, so they're "coming up with new ways to make up the difference." He said higher ATM fees and other rising costs penalize small depositors.

Nessa Feddis, spokeswoman with the American College of Consumer Financial Services, agreed there are "enormous pressures on banks because of lost revenue."

But she insisted that "most people don't pay ATM fees. Only non-customers who otherwise pay nothing to contribute to the cost of providing the ATMs pay the fee. That is fair because otherwise they are not contributing to the cost of providing the service."

Nuke

Japan nuclear crisis: Fukushima 50 'expect to die'

Workers who have been fighting to bring the reactors under control at Japan's strick nuclear plant expect to die from radiation sickness, according to the mother of one of the men.

Image
© Aflo/Air Photo Service / Rex Features
An aerial photo, taken by small unmanned drone, showing the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. From bottom to top, Reactors 4 through 1
The so-called Fukushima 50, the group of around 300 technicians, soldiers and firemen who work in shifts of 50, have been exposed repeatedly to dangerously high radioactive levels as they attempt to avert a nuclear disaster.

The mother of one of the men has admitted that the group have discussed their situation and have accepted that death is a strong possibility.

"My son and his colleagues have discussed it at length and they have committed themselves to die if necessary in the long-term."

Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, said the world needed international safety standards on nuclear power by the end of the year as fears surrounding the extent of radiation leaks in Japan continued to grow.

Mr Sarkozy, on the first trip by a foreign leader to Japan since the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11, said he would call a meeting of the G20's nuclear power watchdogs to discuss safety regulations. "We must address this anomaly that there are no international safety norms for nuclear matters ... We need international safety standards before the end of the year."

Heart - Black

UK: Pastor jailed for fondling boy

An evangelical pastor who fondled a teenage boy while he slept and touched a young preacher while sharing a hotel bed has been jailed for eight months.

Dr Albert Odulele, 47, admitted indecently assaulting the boy and sexually assaulting the man during a hearing at Bexley Magistrates' Court on March 3.

Today at Woolwich Crown Court, in London, he was jailed for eight months and six months respectively, to run concurrently, and put on the sex offenders' register for five years.

Bizarro Earth

Japan Leaves Bodies Over Radiation Fears

Image
© Unknown
Aftermath of destructive earthquake and tsunami in Japan
Recent rise in radiation around Japan's Fukushima power plant has prevented Japanese officials from collecting bodies of earthquake victims within the 20-kilometer-radius.

As many as 1,000 bodies of victims of the destructive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan's northern coasts on March 11 have been left untouched within the evacuation zone around the Fukushima nuclear plant, Kyodo News Agency reported on Thursday.

Police sources say the bodies have been "exposed to high levels of radiation after death."

On Sunday, high levels of radiation was detected on a body found in Okuma in Fukushima Prefecture, about 5 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.


Comment: According to JapanToday, the bodies are contaminated with such high levels of radiation that not only "The authorities are now considering how to collect the bodies, given fears that police officers, doctors and bereaved families may be exposed to radiation in retrieving the radiation-exposed bodies or at morgues", but "Even after the bodies are handed over to the victims' families, cremating them could spread plumes containing radioactive materials, while burying the victims could contaminate the soil around them."


The earthquake and a subsequent tsunami set off nuclear problems by knocking out power to cooling systems at the Fukushima nuclear plant resulting in radiation leaks.