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Ecuador: Over 300 Dead Sharks Found On Illegal Fishing Boat

Dead Sharks
© NOAA

Ecuadorean officials have reported that they have seized over 350 dead sharks from a boat that had been illegally fishing in the waters around the Galapagos Islands Marine Reserve.

The Associated Press (AP) on Friday, citing government news agency reports, said that the crew of the boat, which had been discovered southeast of Genovesa Island on Monday night, will face criminal proceedings for fishing in the protected waters of the aquatic reserve. The catching, selling, and transporting of sharks within the park is strictly prohibited.

MSNBC.com added that the vessel had been located by park rangers and an Ecuador navy ship some 20 miles inside the Galapagos Islands park, and that the total number of sharks discovered were 286 bigeye thresher, 22 blue sharks, 40 Galapagos sharks, 6 hammerhead sharks, 2 tiger sharks, and 1 mako shark.

According to University of North Carolina (UNC) marine biologist John Bruno, who is currently teaching at the Galapagos Science Center, it was the largest shark seizure ever at the national park.

Attention

The Raquel Nelson case: Prosecuting the victim, absolving the perpetrators

This is an advocacy blog, but typically we're rather measured in our tone. Sometimes, however, we see something so utterly outrageous, so emblematic of the failure of our current transportation system, that "measured" just won't cut it.

The prosecution and conviction this week of Raquel Nelson - a metro Atlanta mother who lost her four-year-old son to a hit-and-run driver - on the charge of vehicular homicide is one of those times.

You heard that right: According to the office of Cobb County prosecutor Barry Morgan, Nelson - who had no car at the time - committed vehicular homicide by attempting to cross a five-lane highway with her three kids to get to her apartment, after being let off the bus.

Attention

US: Pedestrian convicted of vehicular homicide in own child's death

A Marietta mother may serve more time than the driver who hit and killed her 4-year-old son.

Raquel Nelson, 30, could be sentenced to up to 36 months at a hearing July 26, said David Savoy, her attorney. She was convicted Tuesday of homicide by vehicle in the second degree, crossing roadway elsewhere than at crosswalk and reckless conduct, said Savoy.

Jerry L. Guy, the driver who admitted hitting the child when pleading guilty to hit-and-run, served a 6-month sentence. He was released Oct. 29, 2010, and will serve the remainder of a 5-year sentence on probation, according to Cobb court records.

Comment: The bulk of the responsibility in this case rests with the city officials. They have done nothing to improve urban planning and public transportation in Atlanta, despite repeated calls from the residents. Now they are spending public funds to viciously prosecute a grieving mother, instead of using a fraction of it to set up a traffic light and paint a crosswalk. The Transportation for America blog has further details.


Pistol

US: 6 dead, 4 injured in Texas roller rink shooting

roller world
© Reuters/Mike Stone

Police officers stand outside of the Roller World Forum were five people were murdered in Grand Prairie, Texas July 23, 2011.
Austin - A gunman opened fire at a family birthday party at a North Texas roller rink late on Saturday, killing five people and wounding four others before turning the gun on himself, police said.

Police were called to Forum Roller World in Grand Prairie, about 20 miles west of Dallas, at 7:10 p.m. following reports of a shooting, Grand Prairie Police Department spokesman John Brimmer said.

The incident began when an unidentified man drew a gun during an argument at a birthday party at the rink. He opened fire, shooting five people dead and wounding four others, and then shot himself, Brimmer said.

"This was a domestic situation that went south in a hurry." Brimmer told Reuters. "The shooting lasted only seconds."

Megaphone

Former Governor Jesse Ventura: 'We're a fascist nation now'

jesse ventura

Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura lambasted Friday at a federal court hearing "un-American" security procedures implemented at airports across the nation in 2010.

He filed a lawsuit with the Transportation Security Administration in January, claiming their use of pat down searches at airport security checkpoints is unconstitutional. Pioneer Press reported that a lawyer for Ventura argued in federal court that the searches violate his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable and unwarranted searches.

The Justice Department has filed a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed, claiming that the searches are legal and that they can only be challenged in a federal appeals court.

Pistol

US: 7 wounded in casino shooting near Seattle

casino

Seven people were wounded, at least two critically, when a gunman opened fire at a casino near Seattle, authorities said.

Auburn Police Commander Jamie Sidell said the shooting happened at a nightclub inside the Muckleshoot Casino at about 1:30 a.m. PDT Sunday.

An armed, 42-year-old Covington-area man entered the club looking for a woman who was possibly his wife or girlfriend, Sidell said. He discovered her with another man and shot them both.

Briefcase

French court reopens Princess Diana's death case

diana,dead

A French court is said to have reopened Princess Diana's death probe by seeking to question two former top British police officials over allegations that they withheld "crucial evidence" about the Paris car crash which killed her in 1997, a media report said.

London: A French court is said to have reopened Princess Diana's death probe by seeking to question two former top British police officials over allegations that they withheld "crucial evidence" about the Paris car crash which killed her in 1997, a media report said.

French Judge Gerard Caddeo wants to interrogate former Scotland Yard chief Lord Condon and ex-Assistant Commissioner of Metropolitan Police Sir David Veness why they had failed to disclose the existence of a note in which the late Princess of Wales predicted her assassination, the Daily Express said.

Under French law, "removing or concealing" evidence, which could "facilitate the discovery of a crime", is punishable by three to five years in jail, it said.

Binoculars

New Homeland Security Video Depicts US Citizens as Terrorists...and Encourages You to Snitch on Them

Homeland Security's "See Something, Say Something" campaign produced several ridiculously awful videos encouraging people to snitch on anyone acting out of the ordinary. This last video is about "terrorism" but we see no turban-wearing angry Arabs in there (didn't Hollywood teach us they that were all terrorists?). Nope, we're looking at regular-ol-Walmart-dwelling Bob from Ohio as a potential terrorist now.

The police-state mentality promoted in the video encourages people to look for and to report suspicious activities such as: using a cellphone camera, wearing a backpack or writing on a piece of paper. Am I exaggerating? Sadely, barely.

Document

3 Examples Of How "It's Policy" Has Become An Excuse For Absolutely Unspeakable Acts

Image
© Unknown
In the United States today, young children are taught from the moment that they first enter school that they are to blindly follow orders. By the time most Americans have become adults, if they are told that something "is policy" then they just accept it. Decades of conditioning have trained us to do what we are told no matter what the consequences are. But what happens when "policy" asks us to do the unthinkable? All over America, "it's policy" has become an excuse for absolutely unspeakable acts. Fire crews are standing by and watching homes burn to the ground and rescue crews are standing by and watching people drown all in the name of policy. Because it is "policy", every single day in airports all over the nation TSA "officials" are sexually touching Americans and Americans are allowing them to do it. Things have gotten completely and totally out of control. Hitler and Stalin and Chairman Mao were able to do the things that they did because their people blindly adhered to their "policies". In the United States today, is there anything that the American people would not do if they were told that it was "policy" to do it?

This country is starting to get really crazy. Just consider the following three examples where "it's policy" was used as an excuse for absolutely horrifying behavior....

Magic Wand

US: Massachusetts Man Says He's Cracked Zodiac Killer Code

Image
© Unknown
Corey Starliper believes he has solved the 41-year-old "340" cipher and has identified the legendary serial killer who terrorized northern California.

To most, the word "Zodiac" conjures up images of astrological symbols and the positions of stars. Corey Starliper, a Tewksbury, Mass. native and hobby code-cracker, thinks of a serial killer of the same name.

Starliper also thinks that he has solved a cipher devised by Zodiac that has remained unsolved for over 40 years.

Zodiac was the name taken by a murderer who operated in the Bay Area, including Napa, Solano, and Vallejo counties, in 1968 and 1969. Zodiac sent encrypted communication to area newspapers, taking credit for killings and warning of more to come, according to Robert Graysmith, who personally investigated the murders and wrote several books on the case.

Police attributed seven murders and two attempted murders to Zodiac because of information he was able to provide that was unavailable to the public, though the number of unconfirmed victims may be much higher.