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Chicago, US: Newly disclosed account surfaces in 1966 Valerie Percy murder case

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© Tribune archive photo, Chicago Tribune
Valerie Percy, shown in a 1964 photo with her father, Chicago industrialist Charles Percy, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Illinois, was found stabbed to death Sept. 18, 1966, in her Kenilworth home.
Doctor's written report sheds some light, raises some questions.

Nydia Hohf sleeps in the same bedroom where she awoke to a siren sounding from her neighbor's house almost 45 years ago. She walks on her lawn overlooking the expanse of Lake Michigan she surveyed then. She gazes down at the crashing waves she thought were so beautiful that morning.

And still, she wonders what happened that day, on what her husband called that "cloudy, dismal morning."

All this time, Hohf kept in a file cabinet - and in the back of her mind - - a detailed account of a notorious North Shore murder scene.

The document, written by her late husband - the doctor who first examined the victim - describes the aftermath of the brutal attack on Valerie Percy, the 21-year-old daughter of then-Senate candidate Charles Percy.

Valerie Percy was killed in her bed on Sept. 18, 1966, in her family's estate on Lake Michigan in Kenilworth, two doors away from the Hohfs. The crime made national news but was never solved.

The newly revealed account, police say, does not significantly change the evidence in the case, but provides details never before publicized, shedding light on those involved just after the slaying.

Megaphone

Critics Blast Anti-Circumcision Comic for Its Grotesque Jewish Stereotypes

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© MGMbill/Associated Press
Some liken Foreskin Man's confrontation with Monster Mohel to 1930s Nazi propaganda.
San Diego - Fists clenched and muscles rippling beneath a tight blue suit, the yellow-caped character is poised to take on evil-doers.

But as his name suggests, Foreskin Man is not a typical comic-book superhero. Neither is his choice of adversaries: doctors who practice circumcision and Orthodox Jews who support the religious ritual.

San Diego activist Matthew Hess says he conceived the Internet comic series last year as a way to boost a national effort to outlaw circumcision, an effort that has led to a measure on San Francisco's ballot in November that would make it illegal in the city to perform a circumcision on a boy younger than 18.

Recently, though, the series has drawn criticism from those who deride Hess' imagery as anti-Semitic and liken Foreskin Man's confrontation with a sinister-looking Monster Mohel to 1930s Nazi propaganda.

In the comic's second issue, the mohel (a specialist in Jewish ritual circumcision) barges into a San Diego home, snatches a baby boy from his mother and proceeds to circumcise the infant on a pool table before being stopped by Foreskin Man.

Comment: For a "non-establishment" perspective on the horrors of this practice and more, take a look at "Foreskin Man" Takes On Genital Mutilation.


People

Bahrainis hold mass protest in Sitra

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Thousands of Bahraini anti-government protesters have poured into the streets in the island city of Sitra, following a call by the country's largest opposition group al-Wefaq.

The Friday rally was the second mass anti-government demonstration organized by al-Wefaq since the heavy mid-March government crackdown on protesters.

Witnesses say regime forces were closely monitoring the rally and a military helicopter was hovering over the city. But there were no reports of clashes or arrests.

The first protest rally was hold last Saturday under the banner "Bahrain, homeland for all" in the village of Sar 10 days after a state of emergency was lifted.

Al-Wefaq leader cleric Sheikh Ali Salman told protesters on Friday that the opposition was not against dialogue with the government if rights interlocutor and officials were involved.

"The success of dialogue, reform and transition to democracy need officials that believe in it. One of the problems of the past was that many officials did not believe in democracy and reform," AFP quoted Salman as saying to the crowds.

Similar protest rallies were also held in some other Bahraini villages and towns. Witnesses say regime forces fired teargas at protesters in Karzakan village, west of the country.

Bizarro Earth

Video of mad Vancouver riots: World Revolution is underway... but Canadian authoritarians are upset about a hockey score

Angry, drunken revellers ran wild on Wednesday night after the Vancouver Canucks' 4-0 loss to Boston in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, setting cars and garbage cans ablaze, smashing windows, showering giant TV screens with beer bottles and dancing atop overturned vehicles. Later, looters smashed windows and ran inside department stores. There were no immediate indications of injuries, although images were shown on television of at least one woman mopping blood from her forehead. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson praised the police and firefighters and asked people to stay away from the central downtown area. Tear gas mingled with the stench of acrid smoke and stale beer as riot police, truncheons drawn, moved in to quell the violence, pushing crowds away from the burning cars. Later, police cars also were set on fire.


Dollar

Nigel Farage: Bankers+politicians = 'unholy alliance' vs people

Renowned Eurosceptic and British Euro MP Nigel Farage says saving the banks is why politicians are so determined to bail out Greece and keep it in the Eurozone.


Chess

Yemen's president Saleh ousted? 'Will not return home'

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Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh will not return to his country, a top Saudi official said, disputing Sana'a's claims that the veteran leader would be returning to the country within days.

"The Yemeni president will not return to Yemen," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, without specifying whether the decision was taken by Saleh himself, AFP reported on Friday.

The Saudi official also said that "it has not been decided where he will stay."

Saleh and five other high ranking Yemeni officials were evacuated to Saudi Arabia for treatment following a rocket attack on the Yemeni presidential palace on June 3.

Saleh, who is now in a Saudi hospital recovering from what reports said were burns to over 40% of his body, has not been seen in public since the attack.

Che Guevara

'Anonymous', Black or White Hats? A Meeting With A Member Of The Secret Society Of Hackers

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© Getty
Here's the thing about the secret international brotherhood of Internet bandits called Anonymous: It's kind of hard to get an interview with them. When you offer revolutionary groups a chance to say their piece to a mass audience, they generally get back to you within two to three hours, but Anonymous isn't a group.

Or that's what they'd say, anyway, if you could get them to talk. Most of the time they don't talk, except in 1980s robot voices. But more on that later.

There's been a lot of curiosity about Anonymous lately, and fortunately for the inquiring journalist, lots of non-anonymous people have been talking about them. The most recent flurry of chatter began on Friday, when police in Spain said they'd hunted down three members of the group (or the alliance, or whatever you want to call them). Anonymous had incurred Spain's wrath back in March by temporarily knocking out the website of the national government.

Vader

20 Orlando Police Steal food from Children, Arrest 6 MORE for feeding the Hungry


Bizarro Earth

New Hampshire, US: Man Found On Fire Near Courthouse Dies

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© WMUR
Cheshire County Superior Courthouse
Investigators Say Man Set Himself On Fire

Keene - Police in Keene said a Massachusetts man found on fire in front of the Cheshire County Superior Courthouse on Wednesday night has died.

The call came in to the Keene Police Department at 5:30 p.m., according to Lt. Todd Lawrence.

Police said the man was thoroughly burned when they arrived at the scene.

The man was later identified as Thomas Ball, 58, of Holden, Mass. An autopsy showed that he set himself on fire and that he took his own life.

Witnesses said what they saw in front of the courthouse almost defied belief.

"I saw a man standing on fire. He walked around a little bit, walked on to the grass, collapsed on all fours and literally sat there and burned," said witness Dan Koski.

"(The flames were) over his head, and when he was on the ground, they were probably a good foot over his body," said witness Jerry Goodrich.

Phoenix

New Hampshire, US: Thomas James Ball Self-Immolates Himself in Protest Against Justice System

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© MICHAEL MOORE / Sentinel Staff
Police, other emergency personnel and the state medical examiner are seen outside the Cheshire County Superior Courthouse in downtown Keene Wednesday where Thomas Ball set himself on fire and was pronounced dead at the scene.
"I have 21 years of Army service going back to the Vietnam War. My loyalty to the government should be a given. It is gone. I am certain it will never return regardless of how long I might have lived."

- Thomas James Ball in his "last statement" before he self-immolated in front of the courthouse that was integral in destroying his life.
I just got back from the Cheshire county courthouse, the site of yesterday's self-immolation. As I was walking out, they were painting over the scorch marks they attempted to wash away earlier in the morning.

Thomas thankfully dropped off a "last statement" to the Keene Sentinel, so we could all know what he was going through. I will post that below.

First, what I learned in over an hour and a half of poring over stacks of paperwork along with Kyle Jarvis of the Sentinel and a reporter from WMUR:

Thomas James Ball, born 2/21/53 and his wife at the time, Karen Louise Ball (maiden name Primiano), born 3/2/65 had begun divorce proceedings about a decade ago. It was alleged that Ball had committed domestic violence against his 4 year old daughter at the time, Melissa. Karen had called Monadnock Family Services after the incident and was allegedly told that if she did not report the incident to police, that she would be arrested for child abuse. She called Jaffrey PD out of fear of what the government people would do to her family (steal her kids if they were both arrested) and because of their mandatory arrest policy in domestic violence cases, Thomas was arrested. He was found not guilty of simple assault in Cheshire Superior Court, despite slapping his daughter multiple times and causing bleeding. The Jaffrey PD apparently admitted that pressing forward as a domestic violence case was a mistake. His wife's testimony shows he did not have a history of violence. Thomas figured he'd get to see his kids again after the not guilty. He figured wrong. The court continued to press for counseling at Monadnock Family Services (MFS) prior to allowing Thomas unsupervised visits with his kids. Of course, this is a huge racket for MFS, who likely is paid for every one of the cases they are sent by the court, either by the people involved or by the state of NH.