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Beaker

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal thinks it's 'fair' to execute people with a chemical cocktail that takes 26 minutes to work

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© Unknown
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Sunday said that using a new lethal drug that took as long as 26 minutes to kill an inmate is a "fair way" to conduct an execution.

Earlier this month, Ohio elected to use two drugs never combined before to execute Dennis McGuire after manufacturers began refusing to sell traditional execution drugs to U.S. states. According to reports, "McGuire gasped for air and took almost 26 minutes to die."

Louisiana announced last week that it would also use the drug cocktail to convicted killer Christopher Sepulvado.

Boat

Modern day Robinson Crusoe: 'I wanted to kill myself', Mexico castaway reveals

Castaway Jose Ivan
© Jonathan Pearlman
Castaway Jose Salvador Alvarenga arrives in the capital of the Marshall Islands
A castaway who spent more than a year at sea before landing on a remote Pacific island has recounted his "incredible" voyage as he drifted for thousands of miles surviving on turtles, birds and hand-caught sharks.

Appearing bewildered after being told that he was in the Marshall Islands - a country he had never heard of - Jose Salvador Alvarenga, 37, a fisherman who set off from Mexico in December 2012, said his first words on spotting land were: "Oh, God".

Evil Rays

School shooting kills two in Russian capital


School shooting, Russia
© Unknown
Emergency vehicles parked outside a school in Russian capital Moscow, where a gunman shot dead a police officer and a teacher on February 3, 2014.

Russian police have confirmed that a police officer and a teacher were killed as an armed young man took children hostage at a school in the capital Moscow.

The man armed with a rifle entered the school located in northeast of Moscow on Monday, threatening the school's security guard, the police added.

The security guard managed to contact the police. Upon arrival, the guard showed the officers the biology room where the assailant had taken 20 teenagers aged 15 hostage, most of whom were released shortly afterwards.

The attacker opened fire at the police when they reached the room, killing the officer and wounding another, according to local media.

Authorities said the police officers had detained the gunman, who is reportedly a high school student.

Info

Property rights bill introduced after Virginian woman threatened with fines for hosting kids' birthday party

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Farmers gather at a Board of Zoning Appeals meeting in Fauquier County Virginia to hold a "Pitchfork Protest" in support of Liberty Farms owner Martha Boneta.
"Local officials who abuse zoning authority powers to cower citizens into submission and deprive land owners of Constitutional rights in the enjoyment of their land must be subject to fines and actual damages they cause including attorney fees," Delegate Bob Marshall noted in support of his HB 1219 recently introduced in the Virginia General Assembly.

Marshall introduced his bill in direct response to incidents precipitated by county officials who threatened Virginia citizen farmer Martha Boneta. Boneta gained national attention after she was cited and threatened with $5,000 per-day fines for hosting such 'menacing activities' as a birthday party for eight 10-year old girls without a permit and advertising pumpkin carvings. Virginians rallied at two "pitchfork protests" in support of Boneta.

Marshall said, "I am convinced this harassment will continue until local officials realize they can be held liable in the form of fines and other costs." H.B. 1219 provides that local governments violating constitutional rights through zoning shall pay their victims (1) the amount of the fines they sought to impose, and (2) actual damages including attorney fees. Local government officials who intentionally violate this law would also be liable.

Comment: See also:

Interview with the lunatic farmer Joel Salatin

Regarding 'pitchfork protests', they're taking off in Italy too:

Italy's president fears violent insurrection in 2014 but offers no remedy


Cell Phone

Cell phone tower collapse kills 3 and injures 2 in Western Virginia

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© CBS
A 300-foot cell phone tower collapsed Saturday and minutes later a smaller tower fell, killing two contractors and a firefighter, authorities said.

The contractors were tethered to the larger tower when it collapsed in Clarksburg, State Police Cpl. Mark Waggamon said. A firefighter with the Nutter Fort Fire Department was killed when he was walking from his vehicle to the scene.

Two other contractors working on the larger tower were hurt and taken to a hospital. Waggamon described their injuries as serious but not life-threatening.

Waggamon said three of the workers were more than 60 feet up on the tower. One of those workers was killed along with a co-worker who was about 20 feet up when the tower toppled.

Two other workers at the site were not injured.

Sheriff

Federal lawsuit accuses eight Chicago cops of illegal strip searches

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Three people are part of the federal lawsuit alleging eight Chicago police officers searched them illegally.

The attorney for the three people says the police apparently targeted the trio, thinking they were selling drugs.

The lawsuit says on or about May 23rd of last year, the three were stopped near 9040 S. Laflin. Their car was confronted head on by two plain clothed officers in an unmarked Chicago police car.

The lawsuit alleges that, "...an officer "pulled up" a man's shirt...and "pulled his elastic waistband away from his body, and searched down the front of his pants," and that, "a second man had his waistband pulled "away from his body" and was also searched down the front of his pants."

The suit also alleges officers demanded a woman remove her pants to be searched. She told them she was menstruating.

Syringe

Lethal batches of 'bad heroin' hit East Coast the same week Philip Seymour Hoffman died

needle-heroin
© Image via AFP

For the past three weeks, authorities have been tracking batches of deadly fentanyl-laced heroin that has been moving east from Pittsburgh.

Twenty-two people in western Pennsylvania died of overdoses in the past week. Authorities believe that most of the deaths were related to heroin laced with fentanyl, a powerful narcotic typically prescribed to terminal cancer patients as means of pain management.

It is 100 times more powerful than morphine, and in combination with heroin can shut down the respiratory system of users.

The laced heroin went by the street names "Theraflu" and "Bud Ice" in Pennsylvania, but as it made its way to Long Island it was re-branded as "24K."

It has already been linked to five Long Island overdoses.

Arrow Down

Razor blades found inside butter purchased at New Jersey supermarket

Butter
© NBC New York

Razor blades were found inside two separate packages of butter inside a New Jersey grocery store, and police are investigating the incidents as possible food tampering.

Two customers reported finding a razor blade inside a stick of Kerrygold-brand butter purchased from the Best Market store in Holmdel, police said.

Best Market says it's pulled all Kerrygold butter from its stores and was having store managers inspect each package for signs of tampering. All the Kerrygold butter from the Holmdel store was turned over to the FDA.

The supermarket chain said in a statement: "Best Market would like to assure its customers that after this thorough review, all items for sale on our shelves are believed to be unaltered."

Anyone who experienced a similar incident is asked to contact police.

Heart - Black

Insurance providers deny sick kids specialty healthcare due to Obamacare

In Washington state, some sick kids have been denied specialty care due to Obamacare, a local news outlet reports:


Arrow Down

Record high in U.S. long-term joblessness while unemployment benefits have been cut

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© Lynne Sladky, AP
Luis Mendez, 23, left, and Maurice Mike, 23, wait in line at a job fair held by the Miami Marlins, at Marlins Park in Miami on Oct. 23, 2013.
In 28 states, a third or more of the unemployed have been without a job for six months or longer, leaving them with no unemployment insurance safety net following the expiration of extended benefits in December.

In New Jersey, Florida and the District of Columbia, nearly half of the unemployed have been out of work for longer than 26 weeks, according to an analysis from the Economic Policy Institute of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among all 50 states and D.C., the average is 33%.

Before the Great Recession, the highest the long-term joblessness share ever reached was 26% in mid-1983, according to the EPI analysis. Today, 41 states and D.C. have shares of long-term unemployment above that level.

The prevalence of long-term unemployment nationwide and in many states underscores the arguments safety-net advocates and many on both sides of the aisle in Congress made for extending the benefits before they expired.