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US delegation walks out during Ahmadinejad speech

United Nations - The U.S. delegation at the United Nations walked out Thursday as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a fiery broadside against the United States and what he called its "slave masters and colonial masters."

Ahmadinejad told the U.N. audience that the United States used "the mysterious September 11 incident" as a pretext for wars against Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Iranian president offered his criticism in the form of a series of questions, asking who had engaged in slavery, imposed colonialism, supported military regimes and triggered World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

"The answers are clear," Ahmadinejad said.

"By using their imperialistic media network which is under the influence of colonialism they threaten anyone who questions the Holocaust and the September 11 event with sanctions and military actions," he said.


[Video runs about 30 minutes.]

Arrow Down

Canada: Child rapist to get less time than pot grower

Marijuana Plant
© Luis Robayo, AFP, Getty Images
Under the Tories' omnibus crime legislation tabled Tuesday, a person growing 201 pot plants in a rental unit would receive a longer mandatory sentence than someone who rapes a toddler or forces a five-year-old to have sex with an animal.
Incarcerated weed offenders to skyrocket

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is getting tougher on pot growers than he is on rapists of children. Under the Tories' omnibus crime legislation tabled Tuesday, a person growing 201 pot plants in a rental unit would receive a longer mandatory sentence than someone who rapes a toddler or forces a five-year-old to have sex with an animal.

Producing six to 200 pot plants nets an automatic six-month sentence, with an extra three months if it's done in a rental or is deemed a public-safety hazard. Growing 201 to 500 plants brings a one-year sentence, or 1½ years if it's in a rental or poses a safety risk.

The omnibus legislation imposes one-year mandatory minimums for sexually assaulting a child, luring a child via the Internet or involving a child in bestiality. All three of these offences carry lighter automatic sentences than those for people running medium-sized grow-ops in rental property or on someone else's land.

Bizarro Earth

US: Troy Davis and Lawrence Brewer: 2 Executions, 2 Reactions

Image
© unknown
Troy Davis and Lawrence Brewer were executed Wednesday night. And the nation's reaction couldn't be more divided.

There was heartbreak and outrage at the news that Davis, 42, was put to death for the slaying of a Georgia police officer -- a crime that many, including former President Carter, do not believe Davis committed. Some say the execution of Davis could ultimately lead to the end of the death penalty in the U.S. by underscoring flaws in the legal system.

Among the tweets this morning, carrying the hashtag #TroyDavis: "A KKK member once said they dont need to walk around n sheets,they get us by becomin officers, judges, & lawyers" and "It's so sad it takes the death [of] an innocent man for folks to question the death penalty, so sad".

Davis used his dying breath to insist he was not responsible for killing Mark MacPhail, an off-duty Savannah, Ga., police officer gunned down in 1989 while coming to the aid of a homeless man. "I personally did not kill your son, father and brother," he told the victim's family as he was strapped to a gurney in a Georgia prison in preparation for the lethal injection. "I am innocent."

Attention

US: White Supremacist Executed for Texas Dragging

Image
© The Associated Press/David J. Phillip
Louvon Harris, left, covers her face as Clara Taylor, right, both sisters of James Byrd Jr., looks back while answering a question after witnessing the execution of Lawrence Russell Brewer Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, in Huntsville, Texas.
White supremacist gang member Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed Wednesday evening for the infamous dragging death slaying of James Byrd Jr., a black man from East Texas.

Byrd, 49, was chained to the back of a pickup truck and pulled whip-like to his death along a bumpy asphalt road in one of the most grisly hate crime murders in recent Texas history.

Brewer, 44, was asked if he had any final words, to which he replied: "No. I have no final statement."

He glanced at his parents watching through a nearby window, took several deep breaths and closed his eyes. A single tear hung on the edge of his right eye as he was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m., 10 minutes after the lethal drugs began flowing into his arms, both covered with intricate black tattoos.

Byrd's sisters also were among the witnesses in an adjacent room.

"Hopefully, today's execution of Brewer can remind all of us that racial hatred and prejudice leads to terrible consequence for the victim, the victim's family, for the perpetrator and for the perpetrator's family," Clara Taylor, one of Byrd's sisters, said.

She called the punishment "a step in the right direction."

Magic Wand

US: Long-Lost Moon Rock Turns Up In Clinton Papers

Image
© Getty Images
Astronaut Harrison Hagan Schmitt takes rock samples from the surface of the moon during America's last lunar landing mission of the 20th century, Apollo 17.
Rock was one of 50 brought back to states from Apollo 17 mission

A long-lost, highly valuable Moon rock brought back from the Apollo 17 mission has turned up in the files of Bill Clinton.

The rock was one of 50 presented to each state, and was given to Arkansas while the ex-president was governor. The rock, worth millions of dollars, had been missing since at least 1980 until an archivist found it in old gubernatorial papers. Bobby Roberts, director of the Central Arkansas Library System, told Reuters the archivist opened a box previously archived as "Arkansas flag plaque." The rock and a state flag were originally affixed to the plaque, but the rock had fallen off and the plaque had been misplaced.

"The moon rock, which is in a plastic container, had fallen off the plaque," Roberts said, explaining that the rock was at the bottom of the box. "The archivist immediately knew what he had discovered."

Handcuffs

US, New Jersey: Teens Charged, Officer Hospitalized After Brawl

police, crime
© unknown
Aggravated assault charges have been filed against two youths who allegedly attacked and injured a Jersey City police officer who was trying to break up a street brawl involving roughly 30 teenagers.

The boys - ages 14 and 17 - were among several teens fighting during Tuesday afternoon's fracas. The officer was trying to separate the two when they allegedly attacked him, striking him several times.

Other officers who were arriving on scene at the time quickly collared the youths, who were remanded to the Hudson County Youth House in Secaucus. They also face charges of failure to disperse and resisting arrest.

The injured officer, whose name was not disclosed, was treated at Jersey City Medical Center for undisclosed injuries.

Padlock

US, Mississippi: TSA official charged in fatal stabbing

Image
© Rankin Co. Sheriff's Dept.
Benitez
One of the top federal Transportation Security Administration officials in the state of Mississippi has been arrested in connection with the killing of TSA worker Stacey Wright.

On Sunday, D'Iberville police found Wright, 43, stabbed to death in her apartment there.

Authorities said Ruben Orlando Benitez, 45, who serves as assistant federal security director for screening for the TSA in Mississippi, has been arrested.

Bond has been set for $3 million by Justice Court Judge Albert Fountain.

Info

US, California: Dugard sues feds over failure to monitor abductor

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© The Associated Press/Carl Probyn
This Aug. 27, 2009 file family photo provided by Carl Probyn shows his stepdaughter, Jaycee Lee Dugard, who went missing in 1991. Dugard sued the federal government Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011 for failing to monitor the convicted sex offender who kidnapped her and held her captive for 18 years.
Jaycee Dugard sued the federal government Thursday for failing to monitor the convicted sex offender who kidnapped her and held her captive for 18 years.

The complaint filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco said the mistakes by federal parole officers in the handling of Phillip Garrido's case are as "outrageous and inexcusable as they are numerous."

Had federal parole officers done their jobs, Dugard's lawyers allege, Dugard and her daughters would not have had to endure their years of captivity in a ramshackle compound tucked inside Garrido's Antioch backyard.

Garrido, who was convicted in 1977 of raping and kidnapping a 25-year-old woman, was on parole and under federal supervision when he kidnapped Dugard in 1991. He fathered Dugard's two children while he and his wife, Nancy, held her captive. The pair was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to kidnapping and rape charges in the case.

The complaint alleges that the federal government's negligence allowed Garrido to be free to kidnap Dugard. The complaint said federal authorities were aware he was still dangerous yet failed to revoke his parole and send him back to prison.

Charles Miller, a spokesman at the U.S. Department of Justice, said government attorneys will review the complaint once they are served, and "make a determination about how we will ultimately respond in court."

Bizarro Earth

World shocked by U.S. execution of Troy Davis

People hold placards on Wednesday during a demonstration in Paris against the execution of Troy Davis
© CNN
People hold placards on Wednesday during a demonstration in Paris against the execution of Troy Davis

London, England -- Troy Davis may be dead, but his execution Thursday in the American state of Georgia has made him the poster boy for the global movement to end the death penalty.

World figures, including Pope Benedict XVI and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, human groups and commentators urged the execution to be halted -- but to no avail. On Wednesday Davis was put to death by lethal injection for the 1989 killing of off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail despite doubts being raised over the conviction.

The execution sparked angry reactions and protests in European capitals -- as well as outrage on social media. "We strongly deplore that the numerous appeals for clemency were not heeded," the French foreign ministry said.

"There are still serious doubts about his guilt," said Germany's junior minister for human rights Markus Loening. "An execution is irreversible -- a judicial error can never be repaired."

The European Union expressed "deep regret" over the execution and repeated its call for a universal moratorium on capital punishment.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the bloc had learnt "with deep regret that Mr Troy Davis was executed," her spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told Agence-France Presse.

Bad Guys

China Bans Ancient Dog-Eating Festival After Online Uproar

Dogs
© Getty Images
A Chinese animal lover consoles a dog after a convoy of trucks carrying some 500 dogs to be sold as meat, were stopped along a highway in Beijing on early April 17, 2011, and the dogs were later rescued to the China Animal Protection Association.

China has banned a dog-eating festival that dates back more than 600 years after a Chinese internet uproar over the way dogs are slaughtered, the official Xinhua news agency reports.

Dogs are chopped up and skinned in the streets of Qianxi township in coastal Zhejiang province during the ancient festival, which is usually held in October, state-run Xinhua says.

The festival marks a local military victory during the Ming dynasty, in which dogs in Qianxi were killed so they would not bark and alert the enemy.

After the victory, dog meat was served at a celebratory feast, and since then local people have eaten dog meat at temple fairs held during traditional Chinese holidays.