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Fri, 30 Jul 2021
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Ambulance

Fatal military helicopter crash in South Africa

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© Reuters
South Africa is struggling to stem the rampant poaching of rhinos
Five air force members killed in crash of helicopter patrolling as part of anti-rhino poaching operation.

The South African military says five air force members have died in the crash of a helicopter that was patrolling as part of an anti-rhino poaching operation.

The military said in a statement that the crash happened on Saturday evening in South Africa's Kruger National Park. It says the crew was among those killed.

Health

Texas District Attorney Mike McLelland, wife found dead in home

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© Ian C. Bates/Staff Photographer
FBI and police worked in the middle of Blarney Stone Way on Saturday night near Forney, where Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and wife Cynthia McLelland were found dead in their home.
Kaufman County's district attorney and his wife were found slain Saturday, raising fears that their deaths may be part of a plot that included the death of one of the county's assistant district attorneys in January.

Kaufman Police Chief Chris Aulbaugh and other officials confirmed that Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia Woodward McLelland, had been shot at their home near Forney.

Their deaths followed the Jan. 31 slaying of Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse.

"It is a shock," Aulbaugh said late Saturday. "It was a shock with Mark Hasse, and now you can just imagine the double shock. ... Until we know what happened, I really can't confirm that it's related, but you always have to assume until it's proven otherwise."

He said that the Texas Rangers were helping with the investigation at the McLellands' home in an unincorporated part of the county but that the sheriff's department will be leading the investigation.

"Because we have to treat it as related [to the Hasse investigation], we'll be working side by side again," Aulbaugh said.

A law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity described the scene at the McLellands' home as an awful scene.

Heart - Black

Police: Pimp forced 13-year-old girl to tattoo eyelids with his name

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© CBS4 News Partner The Miami Herald
Roman Thomas III
Police said "Suave", a Miami pimp, allegedly forced a 13-year-old runaway to tattoo his street name on her eyelids.

The pimp, who has a lengthy rap sheet, allegedly forced the girl to a Liberty City flea market tattoo shop to get the ink done after she threatened to leave him, CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reports.

The vicious twist to a human trafficking case surfaced this month when Miami police arrested Roman Thomas III, 26, who was already on probation after serving four years in state prison for having sex with a minor.

Thomas was wearing a state corrections GPS monitor when Miami police arrested him on March 18.

The girl, dubbed "Sparkle," was pimped through the classified advertising website Backpage.com, police say. Thomas and a woman plied the girl with liquor, marijuana and the drug Molly as she had sex with men at the Miami Shores Motel.

Bizarro Earth

Two fifth-grade boys to stand trial for conspiring to murder classmate

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© DCPI
A classmate saw one of the suspected students with a knife on a school bus.
Two boys at Ford Colville Elementary School, ages 10 and 11, allegedly planned to kill a female classmate. They had a handwritten plan listing seven steps to the murder, a prosecutor said. A fourth-grader saw one of the students with a knife on a school bus, and a backpack search turned up a handgun.

A northeast Washington judge has found two boys, ages 10 and 11, competent to stand trial in juvenile court on a murder conspiracy charge.

Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen says the fifth-graders had a handwritten plan listing seven steps leading up to the planned killing of a female classmate. That list was submitted as evidence at their mental capacity hearing Friday.

Bad Guys

Former Atlanta school chief Beverly Hall and 34 others indicted in APS cheating case

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© AJC photo
Former Atlanta Superintendent Beverly Hall was among 35 people indicted today in APS cheating scandal.
Among those named in the indictment handed down tonight by a Fulton County grand jury looking into the APS cheating scandal is former school chief Beverly Hall.

Hall and 34 others were indicted as a result of their alleged roles in the 2009 cheating scandal that toppled her regime, sullied the district's reputation and raised doubts about testing integrity nationwide.

In the indictments, there was only one count of racketeering, which carries up to 20 years in prison. But the alleged acts of false statements and writings, influencing a witness, theft by taking were the underlying crimes that supported the racketeering charge.

Out of 65 counts, one was racketeering, two were influencing a witness, five were theft by taking and the remaining counts concerned the crime of making false statements or writings.

The cheating discovered by the AJC in Atlanta has since been uncovered in many other school districts around the country.

Dollar

ZeekRewards scam leaves North Carolina town millions poorer

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© Photo: Chuck Burton, AP
Victims of the ZeekRewards Ponzi scheme: Sarah Chavez, left, is embraced by Caron Myers at her home in Lexington, N.C.
In the hardware store on South Main Street, the owner pulled Caron Myers aside to tell her about the best thing to happen in years to this once-thriving furniture and textile town.

Did she hear about the online company ZeekRewards? For a small investment, she could make a fortune. He had invested. So had his grandsons. And so were more and more people in Lexington, including doctors, lawyers and accountants.

Skeptical at first, Myers drove a few blocks to the company's one-story, red-brick office and spotted a line of people circling the building. She was sold, and plunked down several thousand dollars. But months later, Myers, like hundreds of thousands of others, discovered the truth: ZeekRewards was a scam.

"I was duped," Meyer said. "We trusted this man. The community is still in shock."

Briefcase

Ecuador in talks with UK's Labour over Assange Sweden extradition

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© Reuters/Finbarr O'Reilly
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange
Ecuadorian diplomats have discussed Julian Assange with the shadow foreign secretary, seeking assurance he will not be extradited to the US if he travels to Sweden to face charges against him to end the embassy impasse, British media revealed.

The Ecuadorian government has held talks with the British Labour party to try to strike a deal to send Assange to Sweden to end the political impasse, which has seen the Australian whistleblower holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy since claiming asylum in June last year.

The Ecuadorians are setting their sights on a change of government after the 2015 UK election, having "lost all faith" in coming to an agreement with the current coalition.

Assange faces rape allegations in Sweden, but has refused to be extradited there for questioning unless he receives assurances that he will not then be re-extradited to the US, where he reportedly faces trial for espionage over his work with WikiLeaks.

Assange says he would travel to Sweden to prove his innocence if the US threat were lifted, but British Home Secretary Theresa May has rejected repeated calls to affirm she would refuse a US extradition request. Under Swedish law, Assange can only be formally charged in Sweden after being questioned by police first.

Comment: The final word on Wikileaks is yet to be said, but knowing what we know about intel agencies and the way they operate, there has to be a high probability that either Wikileaks itself is compromised, or the information they are getting is, and there is no one smart enough there, including Assange, to figure it out. After all, ego very often blinds people to truth.


Black Cat

Accused psychopath who cleaved psychiatrist to death believed he was on a mission from God, says psychiatrist

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© Ron Antonelli/New York Daily News
David Tarloff after his arrest for the brutal murder of Kathryn Faughey.
Schizophrenic cleaver David Tarloff is arguing an insanity defense in the trial that he brutally murdered his therapist Kathryn Faughey.

Psycho slasher David Tarloff truly believed he was the Messiah following instructions from God when he set out to rob his first shrink in 2008, a defense expert witness testified in his murder trial Tuesday.

Tarloff's deluded plot to hold Kent Shinbach hostage to get money to rescue his infirm mother from a Queens nursing home was sanctioned by God, at least in his sick mind, psychiatrist Eric Goldsmith testified.

"That was the belief he was operating under," Goldsmith told jurors.

Tarloff stabbed and bludgeoned Shinbach's colleague Kathryn Faughey to death and nearly killed Shinbach but did not get money and fled the E. 79th St. office the doctors shared, only to be tracked down and arrested days after the Feb. 12, 2008 slaying.

Comment: It's important to note, that psychopathy can be both categorical and dimensional. That is, there are types and gradations of psychopaths. Martha Stout makes this pretty clear in The Sociopath Next Door. Some of them can be very covert, some can be "raging" mad dog types, others can be pitiful/poor me game players, etc.

Or, there can be individuals who are not psychopaths who react psychopathically when triggered because that is the kind of programming they have from their upbringing and exposure to pathological behavior. In that case, it is not really a psychopath, but rather a sociopath/ a "situational psychopath" who can also be described as a secondary psychopath.

Read the following books to learn more on the topic:

Political Ponerology - A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes by Andrzej M. Lobaczewski.
The Mask of Sanity by Hervey Cleckley, M.D.
Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work by Paul Babiak, Ph.D., and psychopathy expert Dr Robert D. Hare.


People 2

US food stamp use swells to a record 47.8 million

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A record number of Americans are using food stamps, known today as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Despite official proclamations that the recession has ended and an economic recovery is underway, families are turning to SNAP benefits in huge numbers. The working poor comprise a growing number of food stamp recipients, and about half of those receiving benefits are children.

Enrollment in the food stamp program has increased by 70 percent since 2008, to 47.8 million people as of December 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The biggest factor driving the increase is the stagnating job market and a rising poverty rate. This means that a staggering 15 percent of the US population receives food stamp benefits, nearly double the rate of 1975.

In 2008, at the onset of the recession, 28.2 million people were enrolled in SNAP. While the official jobless rate, which peaked at 10 percent in 2009, had dipped slightly to 7.7 percent as of February this year, the SNAP program has continued to grow. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts that food stamp usage will drop only marginally, to 43.3 million people, by 2017. Even this estimate is predicated on the unemployment rate dropping to 5.6 percent over the next four years.

Coffee

Why a college degree can get you a job in a coffee shop

The number of jobs requiring high-skilled labor has declined.

There's a growing perception out there that a college degree no longer delivers the value that it used to.

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© Drew Angerer/Getty
An employee takes orders at a Starbucks in Washington, D.C on December 27, 2012.
Too many college kids are living in Mom's basement, or working at Starbucks. Like most personal finance columnists, I get the letters from them: what do I do? How do I fix this? For many, the answer is grad school. But I get the letters from grad students too. A while back, I found myself talking to a professor whose school has a number of impressive-sounding graduate programs that were originally conceived as add-ons for a professional degree in law or medicine or business. They are now attracting a number of students who just go for the standalone degree. He didn't understand what the career path was for these kids, and he wasn't sure that they did either.

"It sounds good, so they can persuade their parents to pay for it," he said, a touch guiltily.