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US, Ohio: Missing Ohio man could be 3rd Craigslist victim

© The Associated Press/FBI
This is an undated hand out photo of Timothy Kern of Massillon, Ohio provided by the FBI. Kern, missing since Nov. 13.
A man missing since Nov. 13 answered a Craigslist help-wanted ad that police say was actually a deadly scheme to lure people to a nonexistent farm job so they could be robbed, his family said.

Timothy Kern's father called the outlook "pretty grim" and Kern's son said his father had been murdered. The missing man, who would be the scheme's third known victim, had called the job offer "strange" in a Facebook post.

Two people are in custody, but law enforcement officials have released few details because of a gag order.

Kern was promised $300 a week, a trailer and a truck for the job near Caldwell in southern Ohio, his father, Jack Kern, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. He said his son was excited about the job because of the chance of bettering his life.

In a Facebook post on Nov. 10, Tim Kern wrote: "Just got one of the strangest job offers. A good offer but strange. The job is to watch over 680 acres south of cambridge. Odd jobs and such but mainly just secure it. Trailer, utilities, salary. Drawbacks? No cell phone service, kids are up here, and i have to move this sunday."

Jack Kern, of Massillon, said his son was rarely out of touch and often texted and called family members.

"We're holding hope, but pretty grim, I think," he said.


New York, US: Controversial "Anti-Semitic" Vodka Billboard Taken Down in New York City

© The New York Times
A billboard for Wodka vodka in NYC has been taken down and destroyed after complaints that the advertisement's message is anti-Semitic.

The New York Times reported that the billboard featured a long-haired dog wearing a yarmulke and another dog wearing a Santa hat with the words, "Christmas quality, Hanukkah pricing," alongside the photo.

The backlash against the billboard was nearly instantaneous. Ron Meier, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, called it "crude and offensive."

"To use the Jewish holiday in dealing with issues of money is clearly insensitive and inappropriate," Meier told the paper.

Brian Gordon, head of MMG, the advertising company behind the billboard, said the billboard's message was not intended to be offensive.


US: Megyn Kelly's pepper spray comments spark backlash

Pepper spray, its effects, and its appropriateness continue to be top of mind in the media.

Following the protests at UC Davis, during which Occupy protesters were sprayed with pepper spray by a campus police officer, Fox News commentator Megyn Kelly went on the Bill O'Reilly show.

Kelly appeared to downplay the physical effects of pepper spray. Kelly said pepper spray is "like a derivative of real pepper. It's a food product essentially."

Arrow Up

US: Passenger forced to stand for seven hours on U.S. Airways flight because of 400-pound man sitting next to him

  • Arthur Berkowitz flying from Anchorage to Philadelphia
  • One of longest possible domestic flights without a stop
  • Said it was dangerous as he couldn't use his seatbelt
  • Obese man said 'I apologise, I'm your worst nightmare'
The passenger who had to stand during a seven-hour flight because of a morbidly obese man sitting next to him has today spoken about his ordeal.

Arthur Berkowitz, 57, said his 400lb neighbour on US Airways Flight 901 from Anchorage to Philadelphia made it impossible to get into his seat.

The obese man spilled over into Mr Berkowitz's personal space and he could not move because the plane was full so he was forced to stand up.

© Alamy
Dangerous: Passenger Arthur Berkowitz had to stand for a seven-hour flight after a morbidly obese man next to him made it impossible for him to sit down


US: Dozens of rabbits found along Colorado roadside

© unknown
Animal advocates are trying to find out why someone apparently left dozens of rabbits along a road in Colorado Springs.

Someone spotted the white bunnies Sunday and members of the Dream Power Animal Rescue and other people helped round them up.

The Gazette reports that the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region is investigating and offering a $500 reward for information in the case.

Many of the bunnies went to animal shelters, but about 20 were taken home by people who helped rescue them.

Source: The Gazette

Green Light

US: Why was Michelle Obama Booed at a NASCAR Race?

Michelle Obama
© unknown
First lady Michelle Obama, along with Vice President Biden's wife Jill Biden, was presented as grand marshals of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Finale in Miami. Obama was booed by some members of the crowd.

While stipulating the NASCAR crowd is hardly part of President Barack Obama's base of support, the unpopularity of an American president rarely translates to his wife. Mrs. Obama enjoyed a 63 percent positive rating in a recent CNN poll, while her husband languishes in the mid-40s.

It would not be too difficult to overanalyze this incident. Sports fans tend to be raucous, especially after they have been well lubricated. It is possible the NASCAR crowd would have booed the Second Coming if it came before the big race.

On the other hand, Mrs. Obama has delved into controversy in her pet cause of getting people to eat healthy. Recently she opined that her favorite meal was steak and arugula. It seemed to be a somewhat Marie Antoinette type of statement. A lot of families in these difficult times are hard pressed to afford hamburger, not to mention steak.


US: Massachusetts Fishermen Snare 881-Pound Tuna, Feds Take It

© The Associated Press/NOAA
This Nov. 12, 2011 photo released by NOAA and provided by Stephanie Rafael shows fishing boat owner Carlos Rafael in New Bedford, Mass., with an 881-pound tuna.
It's the big one that got taken away.

Local fishing boat owner Carlos Rafael was elated when one of his trawlers snared an 881-pound bluefin tuna earlier this month.

But the joy was short-lived. Federal fishery enforcement agents seized the fish when the crew returned to port Nov. 12.

Rafael had tuna permits but was told catching tuna with a net is illegal.

Instead, it's got to be caught by handgear, such as rod and reel, harpoon or handline.

"We didn't try to hide anything," Rafael told The Standard-Times newspaper of New Bedford, a famous whaling era port 50 miles south of Boston. "We did everything by the book. Nobody ever told me we couldn't catch it with a net."


Kenyan runner in Alaska loses feet to frostbite

© Amanda Umberger/University of Alaska Anchorage/Screengrab
Marko Cheseto won several honors for the University of Alaska Anchorage athletics team.
A top college runner from Kenya who spent two days lost in an Alaska snowstorm earlier this month had to have both of his feet amputated due to frostbite, the University of Alaska, Anchorage said on Monday.

Marko Cheseto, a two-time NCAA All-American runner, disappeared on November 6 after leaving the university campus during a heavy storm. He walked into a campus hotel more than 48 hours later severely hypothermic and suffering from frostbite.

Both of the 28-year-old star athlete's feet later had to be amputated because of severe frostbite, the university said.

Cheseto, in his first public statement since he was found, thanked the university, city and volunteers who searched for him during his "troubled times".

"As some may know, I've been going through a lot of personal issues," the runner said in a statement released through the university.

Heart - Black

Egyptians expect to 'see a lot of bloodshed'

Security forces fought Monday with several thousand protesters in Tahrir Square in the third straight day of violence over demands that the military set a date for turning power over to civilians.

Egypt's army-appointed government handed in its resignation Monday in what the protesters took as a gesture toward addressing their complaints. "God is great!" they shouted upon hearing the news.

Protesters vowed to remain in the streets despite violence that has killed 24 people before parliamentary elections that will begin Nov. 28 and continue for months.


US: Farm belt rage over MF Global could chill markets

© Reuters/Andrew Kelly
A woman leaves the office complex where MF Global Holdings Ltd have an office on 52nd Street in midtown Manhattan, October 29, 2011.
When the CME Group pledged $300 million of its own money to help former MF Global customers get their cash back faster, the exchange was likely thinking of customers like Kansas cattle rancher Tim Rietzke.

Fed up and frustrated with his broker's collapse and what he sees as the CME's slow efforts to help him retrieve $30,000 in stranded capital, Rietzke says his faith in the futures industry has been shaken to its core.

"I would be hedging some feeder cattle right now, but I'm not going to do it. I'm leaving them exposed to the cash market and I don't like that," Rietzke said.

Rietzke may reside far from the trading pit in Chicago, but he and thousands of other ranchers and farmers across the country are at the heart of futures trading.

With billions of their dollars locked up by MF Global's October 31 bankruptcy filing, they are a key voice in determining if and when the futures business regains its poise and reputation.

"I have no confidence in the market, because it could happen at any other brokerage," Rietzke told Reuters from his 8,000 acre ranch near the southwest Kansas town of Coldwater.