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Fri, 08 Dec 2023
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At least three feared dead after police helicopter crashes into Glasgow pub

Glasgow helicopter crash
© Jan Hollands/PA
Scene of the police helicopter crash at the Clutha Vaults bar in Glasgow.
At least three people were feared dead and dozens were in hospital after a police helicopter crashed through the roof of a busy pub in the city centre of Glasgow as it was hosting a live music event.

A band was playing inside the Clutha Vaults bar when the Eurocopter EC135 T2 operated by Police Scotland came down just before 10.30pm. The aircraft had on board two police officers and a civilian pilot at the time. Eyewitnesses described badly injured people at the scene.

As Saturday morning broke in Glasgow, Scottish police said 32 people had been taken to hospitals across the city including the Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the Western Infirmary. Rescue crews and medical teams were continuing to recover others from the scene.

Arrow Down

Canadians with mental illnesses denied U.S. entry

© Sarah Bridge/CBC
Lois Kamenitz contacted the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office in Toronto after she was blocked entry to the United States because U.S. officials knew she had attempted suicide.
More than a dozen Canadians have told the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office in Toronto within the past year that they were blocked from entering the United States after their records of mental illness were shared with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Lois Kamenitz, 65, of Toronto contacted the office last fall, after U.S. customs officials at Pearson International Airport prevented her from boarding a flight to Los Angeles on the basis of her suicide attempt four years earlier.

Kamenitz says she was stopped at customs after showing her passport and asked to go to a secondary screening. There, a Customs and Border Protection officer told Kamenitz that he had information that police had attended her home in 2006.

People 2

Mormon Bishop poses as homeless man to teach church about compassion

homeless morman bishop
A bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disguised himself as a homeless man to gauge his church's compassion, so convincingly that some church members asked him to leave before he revealed himself.

"The main thing I was trying to get across was we don't need to be so quick to judge," Bishop David Musselman told KUTV-TV regarding his lesson preceding his Nov. 24 sermon at the Taylorsville Fourth Ward church in Salt Lake City.

Musselman enlisted the aid of a friend and professional makeup artist, Tara Starling, to help with the ruse, applying makeup and fake facial hair, to go along with the wig and fake glasses he used for the disguise. Only his second counselor knew about the plan. The disguise was effective enough, the Associated Press reported, that at least five people asked him to leave.

"Many actually went out of their way to purposefully ignore me, and they wouldn't even make eye contact," Musselman told the Deseret News. "I'd approach them and say, 'Happy Thanksgiving,' [to] many of them. I wouldn't ask for any food or any kind of money, and their inability to even acknowledge me being there was very surprising."

Eye 1

Canadian denied entry to the US after agent cites private medical records

© Reuters / Shannon Stapleton
A wheelchair-bound Canadian woman was denied entry to the United States this week because she was previously diagnosed with clinical depression. Now she wants to know why the US Department of Homeland Security had her medical history on file.

The Toronto Star's Valerie Haunch reported on Thursday that 50-year-old author Ellen Richardson was turned away from the city's Pearson Airport three days earlier after DHS officials said she lacked the necessary medical clearance to cross into the US.

"I was turned away, I was told, because I had a hospitalization in the summer of 2012 for clinical depression,'' Richardson told the Star.

The woman, who has been paraplegic since an unsuccessful suicide attempt in 2001, was planning to fly to New York City to start a 10-day Caribbean cruisein collaboration with a March of Dimes group, and had already invested around $6,000 into the trip, she told the paper.

"I was so aghast. I was saying, 'I don't understand this. What is the problem?' I was so looking forward to getting away . . . I'd even brought a little string of Christmas lights I was going to string up in the cabin. . . . It's not like I can just book again right away," she said.

But according to what American officials told her, it would take the permission of US government-approved doctor and around $500 in fees in order to enter the country. Richardson soon left the airport defeated, but only afterward did she begin to raise questions about what the DHS knew about her.

"It really hit me later - that it's quite stunning they have that information," she told CBC.


Human tragedy unfolds as Gaza runs on empty

Abu Mraleel
© The Telegraph, UK
17-year-old Mona Abu Mraleel.
The horrific scars disfigure Mona Abu Mraleel's otherwise strikingly beautiful face. Swathes of bandages cover the injuries the 17-year-old sustained to her arms and legs in a blaze from which she narrowly escaped with her life.

Still racked by pain from burns to 40 per cent of her body, she goes to hospital on a daily basis to have her dressings changed. Specialist doctors are preparing to carry out a delicate skin graft operation in the coming days.

Yet the hospital on which her recovery depends is woefully ill-fitted to the task - riddled by equipment failures, power cuts and shortages in a mounting crisis that doctors fear is leading to a "health catastrophe".

Mona lives in Gaza, the impoverished Palestinian coastal enclave where chronic fuel shortages have led to electricity cuts of up to 18 hours a day and reduced ordinary life and public services to a standstill.

She is just one of many Gazans suffering under a mounting crisis that this week prompted the British Foreign Office minister, Hugh Robertson, to demand urgent action to restore an adequate fuel supply to the territory.

Gaza's long-running shortages - which had already inflicted long-term eight-hour daily blackouts on residents - worsened dramatically at the beginning of this month when the territory's main power station closed, following a row over prices between the two biggest Palestinian factions.

Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs Gaza, said it could no longer afford to buy fuel after the Fatah-dominated and Western-backed Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Bank, withdrew the tax exemptions it once provided.


Author claims to have solved Jack the Ripper mystery

Bestselling writer Patricia Cornwell claims she has uncovered new evidence to suggest Jack the Ripper was a well known 20th century painter
The London Post
The London Post, November 9th 1888.
Crime writer Patricia Cornwell claims to have unearthed evidence suggesting London's most famous serial killer Jack the Ripper was a well known artist.

The American author plans to publish 11 years worth of research which points to Walter Sickert as the prime suspect behind the murders in Whitechapel, East London, in 1888.

She claims to have matched watermarks on letters the mystery killer allegedly sent to police with those on paper used by the painter and printmaker, who died in 1942.

Cornwell also believes she has found clues linking Sickert to the royal family, adding weight to the much debated "royal conspiracy" theory put forward by a number of Ripper investigators.


Survivalists deem TN Plateau prime prepper property

If you're searching for somewhere to make it through any number of doomsday scenarios, some prominent members of the survivalist "prepper" movement say look no further than right here in East Tennessee.

That sentiment has preppers flocking to Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau for property. Country Places realty says it has received so many calls from preppers, the company is now specifically marketing much of its Plateau property to those who are preparing for the worst.

"It's very noticeable how many calls we get and how many people we're showing land on a daily basis," said Don Busby, general manager of Country Places. "A few years ago, at that time I never heard of a 'prepper' or the 'doomsday movement.' But over the last year there is a much greater intensity. I get the calls daily from people all over the United States who are looking for land. Usually, a minute or two into the call it is pretty obvious that they have a prepper mentality. They've got to have a place that is safe where they can grow food, raise animals, and have things stockpiled."

As for what the preppers are afraid of, Busby says the concerns span a wide variety of apocalyptic topics.

Bizarro Earth

'Walking Dead' zombie actress takes plea deal in Obama ricin plot

© Curt Youngblood / Texarkana Gazette / June 7, 2013
In this June 7 photo, Shannon Guess Richardson is placed into a Titus County Sheriff's Department car after an initial appearance at the federal building Texarkana, Texas.
A Texas actress who played a zombie on the TV show "The Walking Dead" has struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors after being accused of trying to frame her husband for sending poison letters to President Obama and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Prosecutors filed notice in federal court in east Texas Thursday that Shannon Guess Richardson, 35, had accepted a deal.

In addition to a small part in "The Walking Dead," Richardson had minor roles in "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Blind Side," according to her profile in the movie database IMDb.

The investigation began in May after Obama, Bloomberg and Mark Glaze -- director of the Bloomberg-backed Mayors Against Illegal Guns group -- received letters containing the poison known as ricin, accompanied by a typed threat:

"You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns," read the notes sent to Bloomberg and Glaze. "Anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face. The right to bear arms is my constitutional God given right and I will excersice [sic] that right til the day I die."

Gold Coins

Hard drive containing £4 million in bitcoins trashed

Meet the devastated owner of a bitcoins hard drive worth £4m that was accidentally thrown away in Wales

James Howells is kicking himself after throwing away a computer hard drive worth millions of pounds.

The IT technician made the costly blunder of accidentally getting rid of the drive which contained 7,500 bitcoins.

It had been gathering dust in a drawer for years after generating the digital currency in 2009. Since then, bitcoins have skyrocketed in value, and the hard drive was worth £4m.

The drive is now somewhere in a landfill site in Newport, Wales getting buried ever deeper under other rubbish.

James said he was devastated when he realised what he had done: "I was in front of my computer, the drawer where the drive was kept was only a few yards away and the first thing I did was move to that drawer, and look, even though I knew it wasn't there, it was still the first thing I did."

"From the very first time I came across bitcoin I knew it was going to be a good investment and I knew it was going to be the next big thing. I mean, devastating really. What else can I say?" he added.

Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day, every day. The supply of the currency, which is "mined" by solving math problems, is limited, and recently stood at 12 million bitcoins, worth about £8 billion at recent prices.


Russell Brand: The Sun on Sunday lied about me, but more importantly, lies about everything

Rupert Murdoch holds up the Sun on Sunday
© Arthur Edwards/AFP/Getty
Rupert Murdoch with the first issue of the Sun on Sunday.
Not a big deal in the scheme of things, but it's still the same fecund bone-yard of gossip, poison and lies. Have they learned nothing?

The Sun on Sunday, which is of course the News of the World with a different hat on, lied about me last week.

In the general scheme of things, the crumbling economy, the savaged environment, the treacherous, inept, deceitful politicians that govern us, the corrupt corporations that exploit us, it might not seem like a big deal. That's because it isn't to anyone, except me or my girlfriend. The pain, disruption and distress, that the Sun inflicted by falsely claiming that I cheated on my girlfriend, in the context of such awesome corruption, is a pale liver-spot on the back of Murdoch's glabrous claw. Still though, it's a tiny part of the demon's dermatology and as such, connected to all the other pestilence. Here's how.