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Hackable Irish E-Voting Machines Costing 54 Million Euros Sold For Scrap

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© insideireland.ie
For years, we've been pointing out the massive problems of e-voting, and governments' general blindness to the security risks. Of course, beyond the basic fear of fraud, there should have also been concerns about wasting taxpayer money. Apparently those concerns didn't amount to much in Ireland. As Slashdot highlights, Ireland spent €54 million on 7,500 e-voting machines. However, after realizing that there was no way to secure them from being hacked, the government has sold them off for scrap for a grand total of €70,000, or approximately €9 per machine. On the bright side, at least they weren't completely worthless...

Penis Pump

Was there a Penn State Conspiracy to Cover up Sandusky's Sex Abuse?

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© Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, leaves court in handcuffs after being convicted in his child sex abuse trial at the Centre County Courthouse
Conspiracy theorists are pretty much always treated as if they are insane. The notion that powerful people might secretly conspire to conceal evidence or direct an outcome - at the expense of the powerless - is often portrayed by mainstream culture and media as entirely irrational.

Indeed, there are crazy conspiracy theories out there (global warming is a hoax, anyone?). But sometimes, real conspiracies do take shape and those in power do collude to direct outcomes in secret. Nowhere is this more true than in the case of sexual abusers in elite institutions.

Recently, a slew of such elite institutions - from Yale University to the United States military (which we explored in our discussion of The Invisible War) - have been exposed as having become aware of systematic sexual abuse, and having suppressed evidence of it.

On 22 June of this year, Jerry Sandusky, an assistant football coach at Penn State University, was found guilty of abusing ten boys over the course of a decade and a half. At first, the Sandusky case at Penn State seemed like that of a lone abuser. Now, it seems to be turning into a story of extensive and shockingly high-level coverup of the known rape of children. A new trove of emails from 2001, read by a firsthand source to a CNN reporter last week, suggest that 15 young lives were not just ruined because Sandusky abused vulnerable boys for over 15 years, but were ruined, too, because powerful men around Sandusky knew exactly what he was doing - and colluded in detail with one another not to stop it.

Gear

Armageddon Postponed Yet Again

ConMan
© Aaron Lynett / National Post
A billboard near Bloor and Jane streets in Toronto, showing Jose Luis De Jesus. The organization has been accused of being a cult.
Kitchener - A Christian sect with hundreds of followers in Canada that had proclaimed Armageddon would strike over the weekend was met with a picture-perfect Canada Day and left waiting for their prognosticated superhuman-powers to kick in.

Growing in Grace, also known as Creciendo en Gracia, predicted that its Texas-based leader Jose Luis de Jesus, would "transform" into an immortal being, while non-believers and roughly two-thirds of the world's population would be destroyed on June 30 (or July 1, depending on the time zone).

The group predicted Mr. de Jesus - whom they believe is the second coming of Christ - and his followers would also be bestowed with special abilities such as walking through walls and flying, while religious institutions such as the Vatican and the world's financial systems would be wiped out.

But Monday, the global economy continued churning, the Holy See appeared intact and there was no sign of a major global disaster.

When reached in Kitchener on Sunday afternoon, the group's Canadian bishop Alex Poessy would not answer many questions, but said their transformation had not yet come to pass.

"Well, we are still waiting for that," he said.

Newspaper

RCMP officer under fire for posing in sexually explicit pictures

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© Unknown
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Commissioner Bob Paulson takes part in a news conference on Parliament Hill.
The RCMP is under scrutiny again as word comes out of yet another Mountie facing a code-of-conduct inquiry. The Vancouver Sun reports that an inquiry is underway into Coquitlam Cpl. Jim Brown - who played a bit part in the investigation into serial killer Robert Pickton - for posing in sexually explicit pictures reminiscent of the pig-farmer's crimes.

Ian Mulgrew writes that the narrative of the photographs, posted on a S&M website, progresses from an apparent street scene of a woman walking past Brown sitting on a wall; he overpowers her; he hog-ties her, and he imprisons her in a cage. In one image, Mulgrew notes, Brown appears to be wearing only his regulation-issue Mountie boots and is aroused carrying a huge knife while the naked woman cringes in terror.

His detachment commander, Supt. Claude Wilcott, said that when he became aware of the material on the Web earlier this year, he discussed the issue with the force's legal services to determine if there was a violation of the Mountie code of conduct. "The alleged issue was deemed to be off-duty, non-criminal, adult consensual activity during which the individual was not representing himself as a member of the RCMP and thus it did not appear to legal services to meet the threshold for a code-of-conduct violation," he told the Sun.

Ambulance

'Rightful heir' to British monarchy dies in Australia

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© AFP Photo
Mike Hastings pictured in front of a portrait of a relative in his home town of Jerilderie, some 750 kilometres (465 miles) southwest of Sydney, in 2005. Hastings, an Australian forklift driver who some historians argued was the true heir to the British throne has died in the small New South Wales town he called home, his local newspaper reported Thursday.
An Australian forklift driver who some historians argued was the true heir to the British throne has died in the small New South Wales town he called home, his local newspaper reported Thursday.

Mike Hastings, 71, was a real-life aristocrat, born the 14th earl of Loudoun, who moved to Australia in 1960 in search of adventure. He made international headlines in 2004 when a documentary team from Britain's Channel Four conducted extensive research into the monarchy and concluded his ancestors were cheated out of the crown in the 15th century.

Hastings, an avowed republican, died on June 30 and was buried Thursday in Jerilderie, about 750 kilometres (465 miles) southwest of Sydney, the local Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser reported. Hastings was a descendant of England's House of York, whose dynastic struggle with the House of Lancaster became known as the Wars of the Roses and was dramatised by William Shakespeare.

Arrow Down

Military School, St. Johns, a Nightmare for Teens

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© José Luis Villegas
Jesse Mactagone, 14, sits with his parents, Jennifer and Scott Mactagone, at home in Auburn. They are suing St. John's Military School for Boys in Salina, Kan., over injuries Jesse sustained there.
esse Mactagone lived in a sea of camouflage, with handcrafted model tanks and planes adorning his bedroom. He left home in Auburn last August, energized to attend St. John's Military School for Boys in Kansas.

He lasted four days.

During Mactagone's short time behind the school's brick walls, he and his family claim that students pushed him, trampled him, dragged him, threw him and kicked him, breaking both his legs and displacing his right femur several inches below the knee.

Mactagone, now 14, and the families of other former students are suing the school in Salina, Kan. The federal suit was amended last month to list 10 parents of former students and one former student as plaintiffs who allege the students were abused and tortured at the institution, which portrays itself on its website and in testimonials as a prestigious military academy that vows to keep children safe.

Black Cat

Vampire Attack? Teen Bitten in the Neck by Unknown Man

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Is a vampire on the loose in Corpus Christi?

Police say a 16 year old boy was walking down Shoreline Boulevard near Corpus Christi Bay Wednesday night, when he accidentally bumped into a man, who turned around and bit him in the neck.

"Apparently he left a bite mark and broke the skin and took some skin off," Senior Police Officer Julia Hernandez-Garcia told 1200 WOAI'S Michael Board.

The teenager was taken to the hospital by his mother and was not seriously hurt. The suspect, described as a Latino male in his early twenties, ran away after biting the boy's neck.

"This is a very unusual case," she said. "I've been here for 27 years and I've never heard of anything like this."

Ambulance

Man watching fireworks struck by falling bullet

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© WTSP
Richard John Smeraldo was hospitalized after he was struck by a falling bullet as he watched a 4th of July fireworks celebration in Safety Harbor.
Safety Harbor, Florida -- A man watching Fourth of July fireworks was injured when he was struck by a falling bullet.

Pinellas deputies say Richard John Smeraldo was watching fireworks with his wife and friends near the shoreline at the Safety Harbor Marina when something struck him in the face.

Smeraldo at first thought he was struck by a rock, until a friend found the bullet on the blanket next to her.

Smeraldo was taken to Mease Countryside Hospital, and was released after receiving stitches. Investigators say the bullet apparently went through the bill of Smeraldo's cap, into the bridge of his nose. From there it went out his right nostril, through the upper portion of his bottom lip and exited through his lower chin.

Black Cat

Cat-fighting - Obama's Social Security Number challenged

If Barack Obama has an immediate eligibility problem, it is more likely to derive from the Social Security Number he has been using for the last 25 years than from his birth certificate.

Ohio private investigator Susan Daniels has seen to that. On Monday, July 2, she filed suit in Geauga County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court demanding that Jon Husted, Ohio secretary of state, remove Obama's name from the ballot until Obama can prove the validity of his Social Security Number.

Daniels, who has vetted thousands of Social Security Numbers for numerous other clients, has done her homework. In her filing, she thoroughly documents her contention "that Barack Obama has repeatedly, consistently, and with intent misrepresented himself by using a fraudulently obtained Social Security Number."

To acquire appropriate standing in court, Daniels has gone to the trouble of establishing herself as a valid write-in candidate for president. Before she is through, this 70-something mother of seven, who has been a licensed Ohio PI since 1995, may cause Obama more trouble than the Romney campaign.

Heart - Black

Nine-month-old boy dies of overdose after 'babysitters injected his feet and hands with heroin and cocaine'

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© Police Handout
Babysitters: Oscar Sanchez-Rivera, 24, and Viameri Santana-Berrios, 27, were babysitting the nine-month-old boy when he died from a drug overdose
A couple have been accused of killing a nine-month-old baby boy by injecting her with heroin and cocaine.

Oscar Sanchez-Rivera, 24, and Viameri Santana-Berrios, 27, were babysitting the boy when he died from a drug overdose.

Doctors found needle marks on his hands and feet as well as undigested heroin and cocaine in his body.

A medical examiner told a court in Philadelphia that the young victim, Milton Rojas, had so many drugs in his body that he likened him to a drug mule - the slang for someone who smuggles drugs in their body.

The shocking details of the baby boy's death were revealed at a preliminary hearing in Philadelphia where a judge ordered Sanchez-Rivera, 24, to stand trial on murder.