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US: Westboro Baptist Church Goes To Mississippi - And Loses

Westboro Baptist protestor
© Unknown
Westboro Baptist is really more of an asylum than a church
On Saturday USMC Staff Sgt. Jason Rogers, who was killed in action in Afghanistan April 7, was buried in Brandon, Mississippi.

That, by itself, is a sadly unremarkable - though certainly noteworthy and solemn - occasion for us to mark.

And in fact when Sgt. Rogers' body returned to Brandon it was greeted by hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, of well-wishers who gathered at the roadside to honor the fallen American hero. The dashboard camera from Mississippi state trooper Elmo Townsend's cruiser gives an indication of the scene last Thursday.

What is most notable about Sgt. Rogers' funeral in Brandon, however, is what didn't happen.

You see, the troglodytes from Westboro Baptist Church had threatened to spew their poison at Sgt. Rogers' funeral.

But the Westboro mob wasn't on the scene, and Sgt. Rogers was laid to rest without incident - thank God.

Why weren't there protestors?

Planning ahead by the locals, as it turns out.

Comment: To give readers who may be unfamiliar with the Westboro Babtist Church a clear understanding of the pathology they represent and why taking extreme measures to prevent their 'protests' is necessary, here is a brief summary of a message the church put out earlier this year in praise of the Gabriel Giffords shooter, Jared Loughner:

...God appointed this rod for your sins! God sent the shooter! This hateful nation unleashed violent veterans on the servants of God at WBC--hoping to silence our kind warning to obey God and flee the wrath to come...Your federal judge is dead and your (fag-promoting, baby-killing, proud-sinner) Congresswoman fights for her life. God is avenging Himself on this rebellious house! WBC prays for your destruction--more shooters, more dead carcasses piling up, young, old, leader and commoner--all. Your doom is upon you! ...
Needless to say, while SOTT never condones violence in any situation, it applauds Brandon's creative use of passive resistance.

For further reading on other resistance activities against this so-called 'church' see:

Anonymous hacks Westboro Baptists during live interview

Jester claims credit for knocking Westboro Baptist Church offline

US: Oklahoma passes law to restrict Westboro Baptist protests


Guantanamo leak reveals nuclear threat lurking in Europe

© Unknown
A Guantanamo detainee at the detention facility
Secret files have revealed that terrorists claim to be hiding a nuclear bomb in Europe, according to WikiLeaks.

An al-Qaeda commander claims that a such a dirty bomb will apparently be detonated if Osama bin Laden is captured or assassinated.

The files also reveal only one in three detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp was classed as a dangerous terrorist.

About half were foot soldiers and one in five was innocent.

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U.S. gets C credit rating, lower than Mexico


San Francisco - The U.S. got a sovereign credit rating of C on Thursday, in line with ratings for such smaller economies as Mexico, Estonia and Colombia.

Weiss Ratings, based in Jupiter, Fla., has rated the creditworthiness of financial institutions for several years, but the firm launched sovereign- debt ratings of 47 countries on Thursday. The U.S. rating of C (Fair) ranks it 33rd, Weiss noted in a statement.

The rating comes just over a week after Standard & Poor's Rating Services revised the outlook on its AAA rating for U.S. government debt, cutting it to negative from stable. Read the story here.


Morocco cafe blast kills 14 and officials suspect 'criminal act'

Explosion tears apart Argana cafe in Marrakech's Jamaa el-Fna square, which is popular with foreign tourists
cafe ruins
© AFP/Getty Images
Inside the ruins of the Marrakech Argana cafe, destroyed by a blast that officials say was a 'criminal act'.
A suspected terrorist bomb attack in the Moroccan city of Marrakech has killed at least 14 people and injured 20 at a market square cafe popular with tourists. As many as 11 foreigners are believed to be among the dead with one report saying they include a French couple and a Briton.

The blast just before noon tore the facade off the two-storey Argana cafe, leaving awnings dangling. Bystanders dragged away bodies and tried to put out flames with fire extinguishers, witnesses said.

The interior ministry said there was evidence the blast was a "criminal act". The ministry later confirmed that the explosion was caused by a bomb and called it a terrorist attack.

A Moroccan government spokesman, Khalid Naciri, said that the dead came from different countries but did not say which ones. "We worked for more than an hour, maybe less, on the hypothesis that this could eventually be accidental. But initial results of the investigation confirm that we are confronted with a true criminal act," Naciri said in an interview with France-24 television.


Wal-Mart: Our Shoppers Are "Running Out of Money"

© Farija Kavilanz/CNN Money
Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke (left) speaking to a gathering of industry watchers in New York on Wednesday
New York -- Wal-Mart's core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and the retail giant is worried, CEO Mike Duke said Wednesday.

"We're seeing core consumers under a lot of pressure," Duke said at an event in New York. "There's no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact."

Wal-Mart shoppers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, typically shop in bulk at the beginning of the month when their paychecks come in.

Lately, they're "running out of money" at a faster clip, he said.

"Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year," Duke said. "This end-of-month [purchases] cycle is growing to be a concern.


Why We Are Not Surprised? Air France Recorder Found, but Missing Its Memory

Comment: In THIS article we wrote that "what ever happened to The Airbus 320-303 was a big tragedy, and finding an explanation including providing a needed closure is a priority. But considering what we know about authorities' ability to either ignore or distort the available data, we are a bit skeptical if the highly probable cause will ever be seriously looked into, and especially announced. Meanwhile, time is running out for another similar disaster to occur".

And now, it appears that due to the supposedly "dissociated" memory module of the plane's flight data recorder we may never know what really happened. At least from the official point of view. Didn't we tell you not to hold your breath?

© Unknown
The investigation into what caused the crash of an Air France jet two years ago suffered a major setback, officials said Wednesday, when search crews in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean located one of the plane's black boxes - only to discover that its memory unit was missing.

Martine Del Bono, a spokesman for France's Bureau of Accident Investigations, said the memory module of the plane's flight data recorder - which contains information on the plane's position, speed, altitude and heading when it ran into trouble - had been "dissociated" from its protective housing. "This is no doubt due to the shock of impact with the water," she said.

French investigators said the recorder was located by underwater drones late Tuesday, surrounded by debris from other parts of the airplane. The search continued Wednesday for the missing component, as well as for a second black box, which contains recordings of the conversations in the cockpit in the minutes before the crash.


US: Locals Outraged Over Cop Response in Attempted Rape Case

Residents of 16th Street said police were a month late to investigate a sexual assault that took place in March.

More than a month after a horrifying rape attempt took place on 16th Street, outraged residents of the block say cops did little to investigate the crime.

"The day of the attack, police left as quick as they came," said Donald Harrington, 44, a 16th Street resident who witnessed the attack from his second floor window and ran out after the would-be rapist. "Then the police didn't show up until the press came, a month later."

"I'm not at all happy with the way police handled this," added neighbor Jim Gallagher, 52. "This guy is still walking around out there."

A video of attack - which took place on March 20 at 11:30 p.m. between Fourth and Fifth avenues - became widely circulated last week, after a neighbor shared a video of the incident taken by a stationary security camera on his house.


US: Springville man pleads guilty in brutal Provo rape, attack

© James Roh
Shawn Michael Leonard talks with a corrections officer during his plea hearing in 4th District Court in Provo on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. Leonard plead guilty to five charges in connection with a brutal rape and assault.
A Springville man accused of brutally raping a young woman and leaving her for dead near the Provo River Trail plead guilty Wednesday.

Shawn Leonard, 34, plead guilty to attempted aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, and two counts of aggravated kidnapping. In exchange for his plea, a charge of aggravated sexual assault was dismissed. All charges are first-degree felonies.

Last June, Leonard walked away from his jail work-release program.

On June 9, 2010, Leonard grabbed a 19-year-old woman walking along the Provo River Trail, pulled her off the trail into some bushes, strangled her and smashed her face with a rock and cement cinder block. When the victim came to, she found her pants and underwear around her ankles. She had to crawl back to the trail to get help.


US: 65-year-old man to be arraigned in alleged sexual assault of 3-year-old child in Connecticut

A Canterbury man is set to make his first court appearance since being charged with sexually assaulting a 3-year-old child.

Sixty-five-year-old Robert Hardy is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday at Danielson Superior Court on charges of misdemeanor sexual assault and felony risk of injury to a minor. Conviction on the felony charge carries a penalty of one to 10 years in prison.

State police say Hardy turned himself in at the Danielson barracks on April 15 as part of an investigation by troopers and the Department of Children and Families. Authorities haven't released any other details of the allegations.

Hardy couldn't be reached for comment. There's no phone listing in his name, and it's not clear if he has a lawyer.

Source: The Associated Press

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US: Child rape case against Stonehill tutor dropped

© unknown
Stonehill College officials say they look forward to helping Kevin Treseler return to his studies. He had been suspended.
After weeks of deliberation, a grand jury has not indicted a Stonehill College student accused of raping an 8-year-old girl he tutored in Brockton, and he will not be prosecuted, authorities said yesterday.

As a result, Kevin Treseler, 21, of Millis will be welcomed back to Stonehill, from which he was suspended last month following the allegations.

Treseler is not sure he will return to the Easton school, his lawyer said.

"Kevin Treseler's name has been cleared,'' said his attorney, Michael P. Doolin of Dorchester. "I hope that he's able to go back to the life that he had, and his family is very relieved and gratified for the findings of the grand jury.''

Matthew H. Malone, superintendent of Brockton's public schools, said officials believe a crime was committed and the school district will continue to work with law enforcement to identify a perpetrator. He did not indicate whether another participant in the tutoring program would be targeted.