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Bomb Threat Prompts Louisiana State Campus Evacuation

Image
© Ken Lund / Flickr
Tiger Stadium at Louisiana State University's Baton Rouge campus. A bomb threat forced evacuation of the campus, one of a string that has unsettled several American universities in the past week.
Officials evacuated Louisiana State University on Monday after yet another bomb threat forced students to leave a campus.

A caller phoned in a vague threat to 911 that was received by the East Baton Rouge Parish emergency center at 10:32 a.m., university spokesperson Kristine Calongne told the Los Angeles Times. University officials blasted out an evacuation notice on social media platforms a little over an hour later, at 11:37 a.m.

By Monday evening, law enforcement officials were allowing students to return to dorms and some other facilities while continuing to inspect the rest of the campus. Classes were canceled for the day.

"We have a huge campus, so it takes a little time," Calongne said.

Unless police find a bomb, the threat looks to be yet another hoax - the fourth to strike an American university in the past week. The trend is a tough one for school officials who must protect students even from potentially spurious threats since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and a gunma's rampage at Virginia Tech in 2007.

Airplane

Hoax Call About Hijacking Prompts Investigation at New York's JFK Airport


Three passenger planes were quarantined and investigated for 90 minutes at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Monday after an apparent hoax call about a possible hijacking.

Fox 5 News reports that it appeared to be part of a coordinated hoax at airports across the country claiming there were hijackings planned on the flights, according to the Port Authority Police Department.

Someone anonymously called in a threat about an American Airlines flight from San Francisco and a FinnAir flight from Helsinki saying there were terrorists hiding in the wheel well.

The New York Post reported that the caller said he received the information from a member of an unnamed Muslim terrorist group.

Stop

US Teen Dies After Amazon Psychedelic Ritual

Buried Body
© Sky News
Police found the body buried at the retreat.

A shaman has admitted trying to cover up the death of an American teenager who died after eating an hallucinogenic plant by burying him in the grounds of his Amazon retreat.

Kyle Nolan, 18, died after drinking extracts of a psychedelic plant called ayahuasca during a ritual in the Madre de Dios jungle region of Peru.

He was reported missing ten days later when he failed to return to the US.

His mother Ingeborg Oswalo, from northern California, travelled to Peru and launched a media appeal for information after police failed to find him.

He was eventually traced to the Shimbre Shamanic Centre, near Tres Islas, but shaman Jose Manuel Pineda Vargas, 58, told them he had disappeared from the area.

He later confessed to burying him in the grounds of the retreat, and was arrested with two other men who helped cover up the death.

Bizarro Earth

Oil Company Loses Radioactive Tool; Could be Dangerous to Humans

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© opensecrets.org
Halliburton lost a 7-inch radioactive cylinder used for hydraulic fracturing.

Oil company Halliburton has lost an important instrument for its drilling processes somewhere in Texas, and if touched by humans, it could be harmful.

Halliburton recently announced that is lost a 7-inch radioactive cylinder that is used for hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing is a process where oil and gas companies insert water and other components underground to break up subterranian formations. By doing this, natural gas is free to leak to the surface.

However, Halliburton slipped up and lost this 7-inch radioactive cylinder somewhere in West Texas. While the cylinder doesn't produce radiation in a way that would kill humans quickly, it's still dangerous. The Texas Department of State Health Service warns that humans should stay back 20-25 feet if they come in contact with it.

Attention

More than 130 escape from Mexican prison on U.S. border

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© The Associated Press
A group of federal police stand in front of the prison in Piedras Negras, Mexico, after a mass escape by inmates
Mexico City - More than 130 inmates escaped through a tunnel from a Mexican prison on the border with the United States in one of the worst jailbreaks the country's beleaguered penal system has suffered in recent years.

Homero Ramos, attorney general of the northern state of Coahuila, said 132 inmates of the prison in the city of Piedras Negras had got out through the tunnel in an old carpentry workshop, then cut the wire surrounding the complex.

Corrupt prison officials may have helped the inmates escape, said Jorge Luis Moran, chief of public security in Coahuila, adding that U.S. authorities had been alerted to help capture the fugitives if they try to cross the border.

The jailbreak is a reminder of the challenges that await Enrique Pena Nieto, the incoming president, who has pledged to reduce crime in the country after six years of increased gang-related violence under President Felipe Calderon.

Many of Mexico's prisons are overcrowded and struggle to counter the influence of criminal gangs that can use their financial muscle to corrupt those in charge.

Ramos said that the state government of Coahuila was offering a reward of 200,000 pesos ($15,700) for information leading to the capture of each fugitive.

The Piedras Negras complex housed a total of 734 inmates, and the tunnel through which the prisoners escaped was about 1.2 meters (four feet) wide, 2.9 meters (9-1/2 feet) deep and seven meters (23 feet) long, Ramos said.

2 + 2 = 4

Chicago Teachers Strike: Teachers Considering Offer, Ending Strike; Emanuel Files Lawsuit

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© Scott Olson/Getty Images
Striking Chicago teachers and their supporters attend a rally at Union Park, Sept. 15, 2012.
Chicago - Teachers across the nation's third-largest city will be poring over the details of a contract settlement Tuesday as the clock ticks down to an afternoon meeting in which they are expected to vote whether to end a seven-day strike that has kept 350,000 students out of class.

Some union delegates said they planned to take a straw poll of rank-and-file teachers to measure support for a settlement that includes pay raises and concessions from the city on the contentious issues of teacher evaluations and job security. But many warned the outcome was still uncertain two days after delegates refused to call off the walkout, saying they didn't trust city and school officials and wanted more details.

"It takes a lot to start a strike. You don't want to prematurely end it," said Jay Rehak, an English teacher and union delegate who planned to survey his colleagues at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School before voting at a meeting scheduled for 3 p.m.

Pressure has mounted on the teachers to come to a decision quickly on the tentative contract, which labor and education experts - and even some union leaders - called a good deal for the Chicago Teachers Union.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, irked by the union's two-day delay in voting on whether to send children back to school, took the matter into court Monday. A judge has called a hearing for Wednesday morning to rule on the city's request for an injunction ordering the teachers back to work.

Widespread support from parents also appeared to be waning as the strike begins to drag. At least one parent group has sprung up and organized to express its frustrations with the kids being out of class after the teachers decided to stay out on Sunday.

X

Japan Brandname Firms Shut China Plants after Protest Violence

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© Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images
Anti-Japanese protesters are confronted by police as they demonstrate over the disputed Diaoyu Islands, on September 16, 2012 in Shenzhen, China.
Some major Japanese brandname firms announced factory shutdowns in China on Monday and urged expatriates to stay indoors ahead of what could be more angry protests over a territorial dispute between Asia's two biggest economies.

China's worst outbreak of anti-Japan sentiment in decades led to weekend demonstrations and violent attacks on well-known Japanese businesses such as car makers Toyota and Honda, forcing frightened Japanese into hiding and prompting Chinese state media to warn that trade relations could now be in jeopardy.

Another outbreak of anti-Japan sentiment is expected across China on Tuesday, the anniversary of Japan's 1931 occupation of parts of mainland China.

"I'm not going out today and I've asked my Chinese boyfriend to be with me all day tomorrow," said Sayo Morimoto, a 29-year-old Japanese graduate student at a university in Shenzhen.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the government would protect Japanese firms and citizens and called for protesters to obey the law.

"The gravely destructive consequences of Japan's illegal purchase of the Diaoyu Islands are steadily emerging, and the responsibility for this should be born by Japan," he told a daily news briefing. The islands, called the Senkaku by Japan and Diaoyu by China.

China and Japan, which generated two-way trade of $345 billion last year, are arguing over the uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, a long-standing dispute that erupted last week when the Japanese government decided to buy some of them from a private Japanese owner.

Handcuffs

Mass Arrests in New York City as Occupy Wall Street Movement Marks One Year


Hundreds of police barricaded the New York Stock Exchange as Occupy Wall Street protesters swarmed the Financial District for the movement's one-year anniversary, with over 180 reportedly arrested.

Police made 180 arrests by Monday evening, primarily for "disorderly conduct" or impeding "vehicular or pedestrian traffic."

Witnesses had previously reported on Twitter that demonstrators were being arrested for "blocking pedestrian traffic." A well known local artist named Molly Crapabble was sitting in a police van when she wrote on her Twitter page that people were being "yanked off of the sidewalk" by police.

The final tally will ultimately be higher, as at least seven people were arrested after falling on the Bank of America building later in the afternoon. Several more arrests were subsequently reported after demonstrators marched to the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan and the adjacent Goldman Sachs Tower. Around half a dozen protesters staged a sit-in protest outside of the Goldman Sachs headquarters and refused orders by police to disperse.

House

$7 Million In Gold Bars Found In Dead Man's Home

gold bars
Carson City, Nevada - A Carson City recluse whose body was found in his home at least a month after he died left only $200 in his bank account.

But as Walter Samaszko Jr.'s house was being cleared for sale, officials made a surprise discovery: gold bars and coins valued at $7 million.

"Nobody had any clue he was hoarding the gold," Carson City Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover told the Las Vegas Sun, adding it was found stored in boxes in the house and garage.

The 69-year-old Samaszko was found dead in his home in late June after neighbors called authorities. He had been dead of heart problems for at least a month, according to the coroner.

He had lived in the house since the 1960s, and his mother lived with him until her death in 1992.

He left no will and had no apparent close relatives. But using a list of those who attended the mother's funeral, Glover's office tracked down Arlene Magdanz, a first cousin in San Rafael, Calif., the Sun reported.

A recording said her phone number had been disconnected.

"Our goal is to get the most money for the heir," Glover said.

Info

Two American companies lay off hundreds as military uniforms to be made by prison labor


Two southeast companies that make U.S. military uniforms are shedding hundreds of jobs, as the government looks to federal inmates for the fatigues.

American Power Source makes military clothing in Fayette, Ala., but its government contract expires in October. Federal Prison Industries - which also operates under the name UNICOR will snag the work, and leave the task to inmates. FPI has the first right of refusal for U.S. Government contracts, under a 1930 federal law.

American Apparel, the Selma, Ala., based military clothing manufacturer closed one of its plants and continues to downsize others due to the loss of some of its contracts to FPI. According retired Air Force colonel and spokesman Kurt Wilson, the company laid off 255 employees and cut the hours of 190 employees this year alone. So private workers end up losing their jobs to prisoners.

"The way the law is - Federal Prison Industries gets first dibs and contracts up to a certain percentage before they have to compete against us," Wilson, the executive vice president of business development and government affairs, said. "The army combat uniform, for instance, is an item that they take off the top. As a result American tax payers pay more for it - but the bottom line is each soldier is paying more for their uniform."

American Apparel charges $29.44 per uniform, but the FPI uniform costs $34.18 - a 15 percent difference.