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US, Florida: Judge Orders Mental Health Evaluation for Palmetto Expressway Bomb Scare Suspect

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© Gabriel Nuñez / Courtesy to the Herald
Cars back up on the Palmetto Expressway eastbound near the exit for Northwest 27 Avenue on Friday afternoon. A bomb threat is causing the backup.
One mystery was solved when police arrested the tattooed man who left his fake-weapons-laden hearse under the Palmetto. Other questions - like 'why?' - remained.

Was it a faux terrorist plot? A malicious prank? Performance art?

One man knows for sure - and he is sitting in jail Sunday while waiting for a mental health evaluation, days after a bizarre episode in which a hearse, abandoned underneath the Palmetto Expressway at Northwest 27th Avenue, brought rush-hour traffic to a standstill for more than five hours.

Lee Lewis, 28, who bills himself on his MySpace page as a fetish model and fireplay entertainer, was being held at a downtown Miami detention center Sunday on $36,500 bond.

The state requested the mental health evaluation Sunday after police found Lewis' tricked-out hearse, festooned with silver skulls and outfitted with green undercarriage lighting under the Palmetto on Friday afternoon. The officers thought they spotted automatic weapons, an anti-tank rocket and other explosives inside - and immediately closed the road to cars and pedestrians. The Miami-Dade bomb squad rushed to the scene.

The following day, an investigation found that the weapons were bogus.

"They were good replicas," Miami Gardens Police Chief Matthew Boyd said Saturday. "But they were fake."

Lewis turned himself in Saturday morning, Boyd said.

Arrow Down

The Dollar Collapse Will be the Single Largest Event in Human History

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Every major civilization in history has collapsed. In almost all recorded cases the collapse has occurred as a result of infinite expansion in a finite environment. We are, no doubt, approaching a similar fate.

The dollar collapse will be the single largest event in human history.

This will be the first event that will touch every single living person in the world. All human activity is controlled by money. Our wealth, our work, our food, our government, even our relationships are affected by money. No money in human history has had as much reach in both breadth and depth as the dollar. It is the de facto world currency. All other currency collapses will pale in comparison to this big one. All other currency crises have been regional and there were other currencies for people to grasp on to. This collapse will be global and it will bring down not only the dollar but all other fiat currencies,as they are fundamentally no different. The collapse of currencies will lead to the collapse of ALL paper assets. The repercussions to this will have incredible results worldwide.


Nuke

Russian reactor reconnected to power grid after shutdown

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© RIA Novosti. Viktor Chernov
Nuclear specialists earlier said such safety shutdowns are a routine occurrence.
A reactor at the Balakovskaya nuclear power plant (NPP) in central Russia was restarted and reconnected to power grid early on Sunday after a safety shutdown, a spokesman for the plant said.

"The reactor was reconnected to the power grid and restarted in compliance with regulations for safety operation," the source said. "Radiation levels at the station and surrounding territories remain unchanged, at the normal level."

Bomb

US - Iowa Town Evacuated After Fuel Tanker Explosion

Blakesburg, Iowa -- A series of explosions were reported in the southern Iowa town of Blakesburg Friday morning.

The Wapello County Sheriff's office said the town was evacuated. Witnesses report hearing multiple explosions from the scene. The fire was brought under control and the evacuation order lifted around 11:40 a.m.

Officials said a fuel tanker caught fire and exploded around 8:30 a.m. The driver was off-loading fuel when the fuel ignited.


Attention

Ten million people at risk of starvation in African crisis

AID workers yesterday told of the "unimaginable hell" unfolding in Africa...as it emerged that 1,500 starving people are arriving at refugee camps every day.

Some have trekked barefoot through the scorched scrubland for 22 daysto get food and water as East Africais gripped by its worst drought in 60 years.

But many die within hours of arriving, meaning the sprawling camps are quickly turning into graveyards.

More than 10 million people are ­estimated to be at risk of starvation in Ethiopia, Somalia and northern Kenya, which the UN says are experiencing pre-famine conditions.

Yet, as rising numbers of people in the Horn of Africa leave their homes in search of help, humanitarian charities say the world isn't listening. They have warned hundreds of ­millions of pounds of extra aid is ­urgently needed to stop the suffering.

Phoenix

Minnesota, US: Apple Valley Firefighters Respond to Sewer Line Explosion in Burnsville

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© Carle Kennedy
Authorities are blocking off areas of a Burnsville neighborhood near River Hills Drive and Hwy. 13 East, after residents reported there seemed to be some type of underground explosion around 1 p.m. Friday.
Authorities are still seeking the cause behind increased carbon monoxide levels that caused the explosion, sending three manhole covers flying into the air.

Apple Valley firefighters on Friday responded to an apparent underground explosion in a Burnsville neighborhood of which authorities still were still seeking the cause on Friday night.

Nobody was hurt in the blast that shook a neighborhood in northeast Burnsville on Friday afternoon, but at least 100 residents were evacuated from the neighborhood near River Hills Drive and Hwy 13 East after an underground sewer line erupted, sending three manhole covers flying between eight and 12 feet in the air.

"Those manholes weigh 100 pounds a piece," said Fire Marshal Lee LaTourelle. "That's a lot of force."

The source of the blast remains unknown. LaTourelle said many residents complained of a distinct smell of gasoline shortly before and after the explosion. On arrival, emergency workers found high levels of carbon monoxide in the sewer lines - up to 1,000 to 1,200 parts per million.

"That's really explosive," LaTourelle said. "We still don't know quite what happened."

Bizarro Earth

France Becomes First Country to Ban Extraction of Natural Gas by Fracking

The French parliament voted on June 30 to ban the controversial technique for extracting natural gas from shale rock deposits known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the web sites of Le Monde and other French media reported.

The bill had already passed the National Assembly, the country's lower chamber, on June 21, and on June 30 a Senate vote of 176 to 151 made France the first country to enact such a ban, just as New York State is preparing to lift a moratorium on the same method.

The vote was divided along party lines, with the majority conservative party voting in favor and the opposition voting against the bill, according to Le Monde. The Socialist Party, in particular, opposed the bill because it did not go far enough. The bill's critics said that it left open possible loopholes and that in particular it does not prevent the exploitation of oil shale deposits by techniques other than fracking. An earlier version of the bill, which the Socialists had supported, would have banned any kind of development of the deposits, Le Monde reported.

Eye 2

Singapore: An epidemic of corpses

murders singapore
© Singapore Straits Times / Asia News Network
Water tragedy: Police removing the body of an Indonesian maid who was found in a water tank on the roof of a flat in Singapore on 16 May.
In recent days, parts of this law-and-order city, whose murder rate ranks as low as Japan's, resembled scenes from the American TV series Crime Scene Investigation.

Against its staid nature, seven gruesome bodies have been found in various parts of the island since July 1, unrelated to each other - at a rate of one a day.

In fact, the grisly spate had begun earlier, from around mid-April when a decomposed body was found in a luggage bag at the casino resort of Sentosa.

A month later, an Indonesian maid's body was discovered submerged in a rooftop tank that supplies drinking water to nearly 200 residents at Woodlands. Her Bangladeshi boyfriend had been arrested.

Since then a total of 13 bodies have turned up, prompting shocked citizens to ask: "What has become of Singapore?"

Police investigators and pathologists - as well as sociologists - are working overtime to probe this epidemic of corpses. Most were believed to be murder or suicide victims.

Until a clear picture emerges, people are blaming it on the rapid intake of foreigners, as well as the presence of two casinos, or possibly both.

As a result, the second most densely-populated city in the world (next to Monaco) is now also poised to overtake Las Vegas as the second largest gaming destination as well.

These two factors have pushed economic growth sky-high but few ordinary citizens are celebrating.

Families are extremely concerned about the social impact they may bring - including crime, family stress and suicides.

Megaphone

An Actionable Plan for 9/11 Truth

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As each anniversary of 9/11 rolls by, the import of this tragedy looms ever larger in our history. Especially looming like storm clouds on the horizon of American politics are the unanswered questions about these events. And as new evidence and new whistleblowers come forward seemingly every week, the import of the 9/11 truth movement multiplies in historic significance. All of this points to the urgent need for a new, independent investigation with subpoena and other grand jury powers - a citizen's commission that is truly free of partisan political interference.

As we approach 9/11's tenth anniversary, we are reminded - each time we pick up a newspaper - that the government's "official 9/11 story" resulted in three interminable wars: Afghanistan, Iraq, and the War on Terror. The official line also conveniently set the stage for the Patriot Act that abridged so many of our liberties and civil rights, plus a long list of other abuses such as egregious torture of "terror suspects" in the name of national security. Our dilemma ten years later reminds me of a prescient statement made by James Madison: "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."

The U.S. government's investigations that culminated in the 911 Commission Report purported to set the record straight about the perpetrators of terrorism on our soil and the mistakes made by those whose sacred task is to defend our shores. But this 2004 report has since been called into question by a very long list of credible voices, not only within the United States, but throughout the world. Even the co-chair of the Commission, Governor Thomas Kean, admitted failure: "We think the Commission, in many ways, was set up to fail. Because we had not enough money, we didn't have enough time, and we [were] appointed by the most partisan people in Washington."

Book

Assange's £850,000 Book Deal Collapses 'Over Fears US Government Could Use Them Against Him'

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© unknown
Collapse: Julian Assange has pulled out of his 'ghost-written' memoirs
An £850,000 book deal signed by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to write his memoirs has collapsed over fears the U.S. Government could use them for extradition hearings.

He has said he is unhappy with his 'ghost-written' book and that he never actually wanted them written.

Mr Assange, who will appear before the High Court on July 12 for an appeal against his extradition on sex assault allegations, said he had only agreed to the memoirs because he was in financial straits.

He received an advance of £500,000 for his book from publishers Alfred A Knopf of Random House with a further £350,000 coming from Canongate, according to the Guardian.

It is believed that Mr O'Hagan could still write a book based on his six months of interviews with Mr Assange and that could recoup some of the losses if he cannot be persuaded to let publication to go ahead.

Assange has been under house arrest since December last year, and is obliged to report to the police station every day as well as wear an electronic tag.

He is currently staying at Ellingham Hall, the 10-bed home of journalist Vaughan Smith, in Norfolk.