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White House to respond to Death Star petition

Death Star
© Del Ray
The Obama administration will have to respond to a petition to begin construction of a Death Star by 2016, now that the appeal has gathered a critical number of signatures.

The Star Wars-inspired petition was posted on the White House's "We the People" site on Nov. 14, and today it passed the 25,000-signature threshold required for an official reply.

"Those who sign here petition the United States government to secure funding and resources, and begin construction on a Death Star by 2016," reads the tongue-in-cheek request, written by a man identified only as John D. of Longmont, Colo.

"By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense."

This isn't the first time that the White House has been forced to respond to some strange requests concerning space. Last year, one petition on the site asked the administration to "formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race," while another requested that it "immediately disclose the government's knowledge of and communications with extraterrestrial beings."

In a blow for those who want to believe, government officials said that they are not in contact with any extraterrestrials from other worlds, nor has any confirmed proof of alien life been found.

It might be worth noting that while no feasible plans have surfaced for a real-life Death Star, one engineer popularized a concept to build a real-life Starship Enterprise.

Pocket Knife

Man slashes 22 children near school & another slashes women on the subway in China

china knife attack
© Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images
Security staff at a school in Beijing: guards have been posted in schools across China after a spate of attacks
A man with a knife slashed 22 children and one adult outside an elementary school in Henan province Friday morning, the worst such incident in more than a year.

The attack was reminiscent of a spate of knife attacks on schoolchildren that took place across China in 2010. In most cases, the attackers were unemployed middle-aged men, leading to speculation that the assaults stemmed from economic and social discontent.

Friday's attack occurred at about 7:40 a.m. as children were arriving outside the gate of Chenpeng Village's Wanquan Elementary School. The suspect, Min Yingjun, 36, allegedly slashed an elderly woman as well as the children. Local propaganda officials said later that Min had a psychological illness.

Comment: There were a spate of similar incidents in China in the spring of 2010:

8 school children stabbed to death by doctor in China

Another man stabs more children at another Chinese nursery school

Chinese city goes on defense after school attack

China: Man Hacked 7 Children and 2 Adults in Latest Attack at School

13 students wounded in pre-dawn knife rampage at Chinese university


Smoking

Nicotine - The Zombie Antidote

Image

"The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes." - Sherlock Holmes
I'm sick and tired of the anti-smoking culture that has taken over the entire world. I have had enough of hearing "don't smoke, it's bad for you!!" The ignorance that betrays such remarks is utterly abysmal, especially coming from people who should know better. So for all those who have asked me why do I actually smoke, I'm going to explain my reasons in this article.

I have found anti-smoking activists to be intolerant, judgmental Authoritarian Follower types. They believe and parrot emotionally charged catchphrases taken straight from government anti-smoking propaganda. Doctors and non-smokers alike are guilty of this. They feel righteous when providing such 'advice' yet fail to take notice of how ill they themselves look, and forget that, in many cases, their own health issues went downhill when they stopped smoking. Thanks to some pretty convoluted thinking, if they are some day diagnosed with a serious disease, they will later blame their 'smoking years', while overlooking the real culprits of today's modern diseases: junk diets high in carbohydrates and the industrial-scale toxicity that has choked our environment.

Yes, the changes in our diet, particularly since the introduction of mechanised agriculture, the Industrial Revolution and arrival in the 'enlightened' Modern Age, have systemically destroyed our health. The mismatch between our ancient physiology - which thrived with little or no edible plant food - and our current diet, is at the root of many so-called diseases of civilization: coronary heart disease, obesity, hypertension, type-2 diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disease, osteoporosis, etc. But I'm not here to talk about that. You can read more about it here. My aim here is to defend the rights of people who choose to smoke. It may surprise you to know that, while the percentage of the population that smokes has declined in recent years (due to government propaganda), the incidence of heart disease has not declined. The reason, shock! horror! is that smoking is not the real problem to begin with!

Pistol

27 dead in Connecticut school shooting: reports

Newton Shooting
© ABC News Stream
Police sweep through the scene of a deadly school shooting in Newton, Conn. The police are treating the incident as an ongoing school shooting.
A horrific shooting at a Connecticut elementary school Friday has left as many as 27 people dead, including 18 children, the Associated Press reports.

CBS News says 26 people have died. Other news outlets put the death toll at 20. If those numbers are confirmed, it would mark one of the worst mass school shootings in U.S. history, behind the Virginia Tech university massacre in 2007, which left 32 dead.

Police in the town of Newtown, Conn, a quiet town about an hour's drive north of New York City, were alerted to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School around 9:40 a.m. ET. They contacted Connecticut State Police and surrounding police departments. A SWAT team was among the throngs of police to respond and enter the building.

Cut

Justin Bieber kidnap plot gang wanted $2,500 per testicle; killer planned to 'castrate and strangle star'

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© Splash News/News Group Newspapers
Target ... gang aimed to castrate star Justin Bieber with garden shears, inset.
A kidnap gang plotted to strangle and Castrate teen heart-throb Justin Bieber, court papers claim.

Obsessed killer Dana Martin allegedly put a $2,500 bounty on each of Justin Bieber's testicles as he outlined a plot to kidnap, castrate and strangle the teen pin-up.

Jailed Martin - who sports a Bieber tattoo on his leg - is accused of arranging for two other men to abduct and murder the singer, his bodyguard and two more unrelated victims.

According to court papers, he recruited Mark Staake to execute his plan after becoming convinced Bieber had snubbed his efforts to contact him. Staake's nephew Tanner Ruane was later drafted in on the plot.

Having declared the bounty - worth £1,550 - on the 18-year-old's private parts, Martin then ordered his accomplices to strangle the Baby singer with a paisley tie, it is claimed.

The gang were allegedly poised to strike as Bieber played sold-out concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden on November 28 and 29.

But the star was spared after Martin told jail wardens about the plot.

UFO

UFO Hacker Gary McKinnon will not face UK charges

Gary McKinnon
© PA
British computer hacker Gary McKinnon fought extradition to the US for years
Computer hacker Gary McKinnon, whose extradition to the US was blocked, will not face charges in the UK, bringing to an end a 10-year legal battle.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC said the chances of a successful conviction were "not high".

Janis Sharp, Mr McKinnon's mother, said the news was "amazing" and she was grateful the case was "all over now".

Mr McKinnon, 46, admits accessing US government computers but says he was looking for evidence of UFOs.

Pistol

Another Mass Shooting: 27 Dead, Including 14 Children in U.S. Elementary School Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut

Newtown shooting
© CBS 2
Authorities respond to a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, 2012.
Gunman Opens Fire Inside Sandy Hook Elementary School Early Friday

Twenty-seven people are dead including 14 children after a gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Newtown, CBS News reports.

Officials say the gunman was also killed and apparently had two guns. It happened around 9:40 a.m. Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

At least three people were injured, two children and an adult. All three were taken to Danbury Hospital.

Attention

Another idiot - and he's a judge: 'If she didn't want sex, her body should have just shut down': Judge criticized for shocking comments as he takes TEN years off attacker's sentence

A California judge has been publicly criticised today for controversial comments he made saying a rape victim didn't put up a fight during her assault and that if someone doesn't want sexual intercourse, the body 'will not permit that to happen.'

Echoing the widely condemned comments on 'legitimate rape' of outgoing U.S. representative Todd Akin, Superior Court Judge Derek Johnson said 'If someone doesn't want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down.'

Furthermore, the states Commission on Judicial Performance attacked the the judge for taking ten years off the recommended sentence for the rapist in the case, imposing a six-year sentence instead.


Bell

Wheelchair-bound girl, 12, with brittle bone disorder left in tears after TSA detains her for an hour 'after detecting traces of explosives on her hands'

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© Fox
Tears: Shelbi Walser, who suffers from a brittle bone condition, is filmed crying after TSA agents at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport detained her for an hour after detecting explosive residue on her hands, her mother said
A 12-year-old girl who uses a wheelchair was left in tears after TSA agents detained her for nearly an hour at a Texas airport after saying they found traces of bomb residue on her hands, her mother claimed today. Shelbi Walser was travelling to Florida with her mother, Tammy Daniels, for treatment for her brittle bone disorder when she was stopped at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas.

A TSA agent swabbed Shelbi's hands and she tested positive for explosives. But the wheelchair, which is likely to have transferred any substance to her hands as she pushed it, was never tested, her mother said.

A video of the December 8 incident shows Shelbi sobbing as officials detain her in front of hundreds of travellers at security, but refuse to allow her mother to get close enough to comfort her.

Daniels told Fox that they even called a bomb specialist to the scene, while other passengers reportedly spoke out in support of Shelbi and offered her tissues and candy.

Pistol

Principal and at least two children shot at Connecticut elementary school after gunman opens fire

A princiapal and at least two children are believed to have been shot after a gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Connecticut. Police were called to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown after reports of shots being fired at 9.41am by a gunman who was said to be in the main office of the school. There are said to be a number of people with injuries. At least three are being treated at a local hospital.

State police sources said one shooter is dead. Earlier reports of a second shooter are still unconfirmed but police are said to be going from room-to-room at the school. Two handguns have been recovered at the scene. Teachers and students were said to be in morning meetings when the shots were fired. The children were locked inside their classrooms until police came and evacuated them to a nearby fire station.

One child was seen being carried from the school by a police officer, apparently seriously wounded. A person in one room had 'numerous gunshot wounds', police told the The Hartford Courant.
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© Twitter
Traumatized students were seen being led out of the school crying and holding hands