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Malaysia Bus Accident Claims 37 Lives

Bus accident in Malaysia
© AP
Aug. 21, 2013: Malaysian emergency services personnel rescue a passenger by a crane after a passenger bus carrying tourists and local residents fell into a ravine near the Genting Highlands, about an hour's drive from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Malaysian rescuers recovered 37 bodies after a tourist bus plunged into a ravine near a resort outside Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, killing many of the passengers in one of the worst road accidents in many years.

"Rescue operation is still on. We think there were 53 passengers on board, but we are not sure," said Che Shaari Abdullah, an assistant director at Kuala Lumpur's Fire and Rescue Department. The cause of the accident is still being probed, he added.

Malaysian emergency services personnel work to rescue passengers after a bus carrying tourists and local residents fell into a ravine near the Genting Highlands, about an hour's drive from Kuala Lumpur.

Fire Department spokesman Christopher Chong said that the bus was likely overloaded as it was meant to carry only 44 passengers.

The bus was coming back from the Genting Highlands - a patch of hillocks 55 kilometers (34 miles) from Kuala Lumpur and home to Malaysia's only casino - when it skidded off the road Wednesday afternoon.

Sixteen passengers were rescued - some with serious injuries - and are being treated in hospitals in Kuala Lumpur and its suburbs, the official said.

Heart - Black

Christopher Lane murder: Teens charged in shooting death of Australian baseball player

Christopher Lane
© AP Photo/East Central University Communications & Marketing, Gina Smith
This photo provided by East Central University shows Christopher Lane, an Australian who was on a baseball scholarship at East Central University in Ada, Okla. Lane was in Duncan, Okla., visiting his girlfriend, when he was shot and killed Friday, Aug. 16, 2013.
Duncan, Oklahoma. -- With a motive that's both chilling and simple - to break up the boredom of an Oklahoma summer - three teenagers randomly targeted an Australian collegiate baseball player who was attending school in the U.S. and killed him for fun, prosecutors said Tuesday as they charged two of the boys with murder.

Prosecutor Jason Hicks called the boys "thugs" as he described how Christopher Lane, 22, of Melbourne, was shot once in the back and died along a tree-lined road on Duncan's well-to-do north side. He said the three teens, from the grittier part of town, chose Lane at random and that one of the boys "thinks it's all a joke."

Hicks charged Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and James Francis Edwards Jr., 15, of Duncan, with first-degree murder. Under Oklahoma law they will be tried as adults. Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, of Duncan, was charged with using a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and with accessory to first-degree murder after the fact. He is considered a youthful offender but will be tried in adult court.

Jones wept in the courtroom after he tried to speak about the incident but was cut off by the judge who said it wasn't the time to sort out the facts of the case. Jones faces anywhere from two years to life in prison if convicted on the counts he faces.

The two younger teens face life in prison without parole if convicted on the murder charge.

"I'm appalled," Hicks said after the hearing. "This is not supposed to happen in this community."


8 injured in explosion at Navy Station in New Jersey

An explosion at a Navy base in New Jersey on Tuesday left at least eight people hurt, one of them seriously, the authorities said.

The Navy said the blast occurred around 9 a.m. in a marine boat repair shop at the Naval Weapons Station Earle, in Monmouth County. Workers were doing routine maintenance at the time of the explosion.

Naval officials said that the cause was still under investigation and that the damage was contained in the boathouse area.

Seven of those injured were treated at area hospitals - most for smoke inhalation - and had been released by Tuesday afternoon, the Navy said. One person, who suffered a broken arm and underwent surgery, remained hospitalized.


3 dead, hundreds evacuated in Mexico ammonia pipeline leak

© Unknown
Ammonia leak from a pipline owned by Mexico's Pemex oil monopoly has killed 3 and prompted evacuation of 1,500.
An ammonia leak and ensuring explosion in Central American country of Mexico has left at least three people dead and 10 others injured while prompting mass evacuations.

Local authorities of the country's southern state of Oaxaca stated Tuesday that the leak occurred after construction equipment operated by a private company struck a pipeline that carries ammonia to a nearby petrochemical plant owned by the state's oil monopoly Pemex.

The local government officials further added that the pipeline rupture on Tuesday also resulted in an explosion.

All of the three fatalities were reportedly construction workers employed on a highway expansion project.

The ten injuries came from the explosion while 40 others reportedly fell ill by inhaling ammonia.

People 2

Swedish activists protest attack on Muslim woman

Hijab Sweden
© AP
Fatima Doubakil, one of the initiator's of the 'hijab outcry' campaign speaks to media outside the government building in Stockholm.
Sweden's justice minister on Tuesday met with activists who convinced prominent Swedes to wear headscarves this week to protest an alleged attack on a Muslim woman who wore a hijab.

"We tried to say that there is structural discrimination ...but (Justice Minister Beatrice Ask) kept referring to individual responsibilities," Foujan Rouzbeh, one of the organisers, said at a press conference after the meeting.

"I also said that under this government, we've gotten the impression that that this type of crime has increased," she added.


Georgia school shooting: Suspect is in custody after reports of gunfire

School shooting
© David Goldman/AP
Police officers stand at the scene at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy after reports of a gunman entered the school, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, in Decatur, Ga. Superintendent Michael Thurmond says all students at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur east of Atlanta are accounted for and safe Tuesday and that he is not aware of any injuries.

A suspect was in custody after shooting into the air at an Atlanta-area elementary school Tuesday, the school chief said. All the children and teachers were safely evacuated from the Georgia school.

Comment: For more on hysterization, read this article: Transmarginal Inhibition


Politicians say no! Canadian police chiefs propose ticket system for pot

Proposal would give officer discretion, free up court time, chiefs say

Canada's police chiefs have voted overwhelmingly in favour of reforming drug laws in the country.

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, meeting in Winnipeg this week, wants officers to have the ability to ticket people found with 30 grams of marijuana or less.

Kentville, N.S., police Chief Mark Mander, chair of the association's drug-abuse committee, said Tuesday officers currently have only two choices: turn a blind eye or lay down the law.

Mander said officers could "either to caution the offender or lay formal charges resulting in [a] lengthy, difficult process, which results in a criminal charge if proven, a criminal conviction, and a criminal record."

Mander said ticketing the offender would be far less onerous and expensive.

However, federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay said there are no plans in the works to legalize or decriminalize marijuana. Though McKay had no follow up on the chiefs' recommendation, he said he appreciates their input.

"We don't support legalization or decriminalization," Mander said.


Sammy Yatim shooting: Murder charge for Toronto officer who shot 18-year-old nine times

A Toronto police officer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Sammy Yatim, the 18-year-old shot and killed in a streetcar last month.

A statement issued Monday from Ontario's Special Investigations Unit - the province's police watchdog - says the actions of Const. JamesForcillo in the downtown Toronto incident this summer justify a charge of second-degree murder.

Forcillo, the officer who fired the shots, had been suspended from duty during the investigation.

Comment: It'll be interesting to see if Forcillo gets away with it like Zimmerman did. Cops are outta control in North America these days. It might be time for people to shun them - don't serve them food, deliver their mail, babysit their kids, avoid them in church, whatever it takes to ostracize them.

Black Magic

What our soldiers have become

Bales, on his fourth combat deployment, had been drinking and watching a movie with other soldiers at his remote post at Camp Belambay in Kandahar Province when he slipped away before dawn on March 11, 2012. Bales said he had also been taking steroids and snorting Valium.

At one point during his plea hearing, the judge asked Bales why he killed the villagers.

Bales responded: "Sir, as far as why - I've asked that question a million times since then. There's not a good reason in this world for why I did the horrible things I did."

Heartbreaking for all involved. This is who our soldiers HAVE to become to carry out the orders given in this bullshit war on terror. Of course he's fucked in the head. And these soldiers, after several deployments- any expectation that the end product will be anything other than a monster or a irretrievably broken human being should be an insult to all of us.

There are more soldier suicides than service related deaths. The unending testimonies of soldiers never being able to be "normal" again- you have to go out of your way not to hear them. And as much as we'd like to think, this isn't just a few rogue units- it is the operating system from the time they enter theater.


Indian doctor who campaigned to end superstition in India murdered

A leading Indian rationalist, who was campaigning for a law to eradicate superstition in a country famed for its mystics and gurus, was shot dead on Tuesday, police said.

Two gunmen on motorbikes fired at Narendra Dabholkar, a medical doctor who had faced accusations of being anti-religion, as he was taking his morning walk in the western city of Pune, its police chief said.

"He was shot dead this morning, our investigations are on," Pune police commissioner Gulabrao Pol told AFP, adding that no suspects have yet been identified.

Dabholkar founded more than two decades ago the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti - the Committee for the Eradication of Blind Faith - that aimed to change mindsets of India's deeply superstitious population.

Dabholkar, known for his campaigns to promote progressive and scientific thought, had for several years been lobbying for Maharashtra state's parliament to pass legislation banning superstition and black magic.

Two years ago, in an interview with AFP, he rejected critics' charges that the bill was anti-religion.

"In the whole of the bill, there's not a single word about God or religion. Nothing like that. The Indian constitution allows freedom of worship and nobody can take that away," he said.

"This is about fraudulent and exploitative practices," he said.