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Nuke

North Anna: More rumbling at nuclear plant

Dominion power reported two events over the weekend at North Anna Power Station to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The first was the discovery of a problem with a pipe joint on a steam generator. Workers found cracks in the weld on a large pipe attached to one of the unit's three steam generators.

Steam generators convert heated water from the reactor to steam to drive the turbines, which produce electricity.

The cracks were discovered during Unit 1's refueling outage. New turbines are also being installed, so the outage is taking longer than the month or so it usually requires for refueling.

Richard Zuercher, a spokesman for Dominion's nuclear operations, said Monday that two small cracks were discovered at a weld point where pipes of two different types of steel were connected. That "degraded condition" was reported to the NRC. There was no danger to employees or the public, the company said.

Eye 1

JetBlue Pilot Faces Federal Charges

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Federal authorities have charged a JetBlue Airways captain with interfering with a flight crew after he became unglued and disrupted a flight Tuesday after screaming about a bomb.

An affidavit unsealed Wednesday states that Capt. Clayton Osbon told his co-pilots that things didn't matter during a New York flight bound for Las Vegas. Court documents say Osbon told the plane's first officer, "We're not going to Vegas" and began giving a sermon.

Passengers wrestled Osbon, 49, to the ground after he left the cockpit and sprinted down the cabin screaming and urging everyone to pray. The plane made an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas. No one on board was hurt.

Osbon, a 12-year veteran of the airline, was suspended by the airline and is undergoing medical care. If convicted of interfering with a flight crew, he could face up to 20 years' imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines.

An FBI affidavit filed with the complaint said Osbon arrived later than he should have for Flight 191 and missed the crew briefing. After takeoff, Osbon told his co-pilot he was being evaluated by someone, then began talking about religion in an incoherent way, according to the affidavit from FBI Agent John Whitworth.

Airplane

JetBlue Suspends Captain Following In-Flight Meltdown

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© The Associated Press/Steve Douglas
Emergency workers tend to a JetBlue captain during a Las Vegas-bound flight from JFK International airport Tuesday in Amarillo, Texas.
JetBlue announced Wednesday that it is suspending the captain whose bizarre behavior prompted his fellow co-pilot to lock him out of the cockpit on a flight from New York to Las Vegas.

Clayton Osbon, 49, has been a pilot at JetBlue since 2000, the airline's first year of flying. The company said a "medical situation" occurred onboard the plane on Tuesday but wouldn't elaborate.

Passengers said the pilot was yelling and acting unruly in the cabin after he was locked out of the cockpit. A group of passengers tackled the captain and restrained him until the plane landed in Amarillo, Texas.

JetBlue spokeswoman Allison Steinberg said Wednesday that Osbon was taken off active duty pending review of the incident.

Two passengers aboard JetBlue Flight 191 recounted Wednesday the dramatic and bizarre situation of the plane's captain leaving the cockpit, acting erratically and eventually being subdued. JetBlue's CEO, meanwhile, said the captain was a "consummate professional."

Comment: See this report of a similar incident involving the American Airlines flight attendant: Passengers' terror as flight attendant screams 'We're going to crash!' and rants about 9/11 before being wrestled to the ground by colleagues


Bizarro Earth

Men Accused in Bizarre California Torture Case Given Probation, But Victim Gets Prison Sentence

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© KCOY
Phillip Clyde Williams, Jr. and Daniel Andrew Zeller
US: San Luis Obispo, California - Two men originally charged in a bizarre torture case involving a fork, hammer and blowtorch have pleaded no contest to felony assault in a deal that spared them prison time, though their accuser was sentenced separately to two years in prison.

Daniel Andrew Zeller and Philip Clyde Williams Jr. were accused of holding Travis Michael Lord captive for three days inside a rural California Valley trailer, where he was stabbed with a fork, hit with a hammer and burned with a blowtorch. Authorities were unable to get a credible account of what happened, since the men all gave conflicting stories and two said they had been on a monthlong meth binge.

Charges of torture and false imprisonment were dropped against Zeller and Williams as part of a plea deal. Lord, who was convicted in 2003 for molesting a boy in New York, was sentenced Tuesday to prison for failing to register as a sex offender.

Authorities never offered a motive for the alleged torture, and the men's conflicting accounts couldn't be resolved, the San Luis Obispo County Tribune reported.

Dollar

Texas lawyers offer $10,000 for George Zimmerman's legal defense

Trayvon martin and George Zimmerman

Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman
US, Texas - The National Association for Legal Gun Defense wants to contribute $10,000 toward George Zimmerman's legal expenses, a member said today.

The group represents gun owners involved in self-defense shooting cases, said attorney Blue Rannefeld of Fort Worth, Texas.

Rannefeld said he has not been able to contact Zimmerman, 28, and is trying to reach Zimmerman's attorney, Craig Sonner of Altamonte Springs to make the group's offer of assistance.

Zimmerman's shooting death of Trayvon Martin, 17, on Feb. 26 in Sanford remains under investigation.

Crusader

Tennessee Mother Faces Possible Jail Time For Baptizing Children

baptism
© Agence France-Presse/Ahmad Gharabli/Getty Images
US: Nashville, Tennessee - Shelby County mother is facing contempt-of-court charges and possible jail time for baptizing her two children without the knowledge or consent of her ex-husband.

This week the Tennessee Court of Appeals said Lauren Jarrell must face a criminal contempt hearing for violating a court order that said major decisions regarding the religious upbringing of her two children should be made jointly with her-ex-husband.

The mother and her ex-husband, Blake Jarrell, are both Christian - he's a Methodist and she's a Presbyterian.

Court records say the father thought the children should be baptized once they are older. He has asked that his ex-wife be found in criminal contempt for baptizing the children without his knowledge or permission.

If convicted, she could face 20 days in jail and a $100 fine.

Source: The Associated Press

Pistol

14 Shot, 2 Dead During Wake Outside Florida Funeral Home


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© Someta Etienne
Mckayla, the 5-year-old girl shot in the leg in the North Miami funeral home shooting, with her mother in the hospital
US: North Miami, Florida - Fourteen people have been shot and two are dead in what may be one of the worst mass shootings in South Florida history.

The shooting took place around 9:30 p.m. outside the Funeraria Latina Emanuel funeral home at 14990 W. Dixie Highway Friday night.

One of the victims, a 43-year-old man, died outside the funeral home, authorities said. The other, a 27-year-old man, died at the hospital. Witnesses at the funeral home had said one of the two people killed was shot in the chest. Their names have not been released.

A 5-year-old girl, identified by her family as Mckayla Bazile, was shot in the leg and hospitalized at Jackson Memorial Hospital along with eleven other victims.

Mckayla's grandmother told CBS4's Maggie Newland that the girl has a bullet lodged in her leg bone that doctors do not plan on removing, however, she should fully recover. The grandmother said she was on the phone with Mckayla when the barrage of bullets began and the girl said, "Grandma, I've been shot."

Handcuffs

7 California Boys Arrested in Attack on Teen

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© Google Street View
Brutal: The attack happened near Cactus Middle School, but Ford didn't know if any of the teens involved were students there
US: Palmdale, California - Seven black teens have been arrested on suspicion that they committed a hate crime when they attacked a 15-year-old Hispanic boy while he was walking home from school in Southern California, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office.

The March 14 beating in Palmdale was captured on video and posted on YouTube, but has since been removed from the site. The seven boys, ages 13 to 16, were arrested Wednesday for investigation of assault and committing a hate crime, Lt. Don Ford said.

The attack happened near Cactus Middle School, but Ford didn't know if any of the teens involved were students there.

The video shows as many as 10 boys surrounding the victim and challenging him to a fight. The suspects then began hitting the teen while others watched.

Hourglass

Australia calls WikiLeaks 'irresponsible,' delays Assange-related cables publication

Julian Assange
© Reuters/Finbarr O'Reilly
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks at a news conference in London, February 27, 2012
The Australian government has blamed WikiLeaks for a "reckless, irresponsible and potentially dangerous" disclosures of secret information. It is also delaying the release of diplomatic cables on the matter after the US expressed concern.

Last week Anna Harmer, an official of Australia's Attorney General wrote to a legislator that "debate about the WikiLeaks matter is not about censoring free speech or preventing the media from reporting news," The Sydney Morning Herald reports. She also confirmed the government's focus on WikiLeaks' "reckless" and "unauthorized" disclosure of classified material.

In the meantime, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has delayed the release of sensitive diplomatic cables related to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks until Assange's extradition from the UK to Sweden has been finalized.

The move came after US authorities expressed concerns over the disclosure of US-Australian cables regarding WikiLeaks. They asked Australia that Washington be consulted on future Freedom of Information releases.

Crusader

The Zionist Cuckoos in Christianity's Nest

cross/menorah shadow graphic
© n/a
Stuart Littlewood views the ideology of Christian Zionism, which is rampant in the United States and has made some inroads in other "Christian" societies, and argues that, in essence, Christian Zionism is "a gross corruption of the biblical message".
"The question is, are we seriously to believe that an all-powerful supernatural being has chosen and elevated one group of humans to a position of supremacy above all others, and has approved the use of any mean, including murder, brutal eviction and even war, to achieve their selfish goal, and now mobilizes millions of lesser mortals from around the globe, like those who regard themselves as upstanding Christians, to serve as tools and sing the praises of this "Grand Design"?" (Stuart Littlewood)
If you are as puzzled as I am as to how a true Christian could possibly be taken in by Zionism, a short paper on the phenomenon is available from the Irish-Palestinian alliance, Sadaka.

Sadaka sums up the Christian Zionist position quite neatly. It says that, according to Christian Zionists,
The destiny of the Jewish people is to return to the land of Israel and reclaim their inheritance promised to Abraham and his descendants forever. This inheritance extends from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates. Within their land, Jerusalem is recognized to be their exclusive, undivided and eternal capital, and therefore it cannot be shared or divided.

At the heart of Jerusalem will be the rebuilt Jewish temple, to which all the nations will come to worship God. Just prior to the return of Jesus, there will be seven years of calamities and war known as the tribulation, which will culminate in a great battle called Armageddon, during which the godless forces opposed to both God and Israel will be defeated.

Jesus will then return as the Jewish Messiah and king to reign in Jerusalem for a thousand years, and the Jewish people will enjoy a privileged status and role in the world.