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US: Exxon Yellowstone River pipeline leaked for twice as long as company admitted... as 40 landowners claim damage from spill

While clean up crews continue to sop up oil spilled Friday night into Montana's Yellowstone River, critics probe ExxonMobil's response, and others worry about their property.

Federal documents show it took ExxonMobil nearly twice as long as it publicly disclosed to fully seal the pipeline that spilled roughly 1,000 barrels (42,000 gallons) of crude oil into the Yellowstone River, the AP reports.

Details about the company's response to the Montana pipeline burst emerged late Tuesday as the Department of Transportation ordered the company bury the duct deeper beneath the riverbed, where it is buried 5 to 8 feet underground to deliver 40,000 barrels of oil a day to a refinery in Billings.

Yellowstone 1
© Reuters
Sopping up: An emergency response crew hired by ExxonMobil cleans up the oil spill along the Yellowstone River in Laurel, Montana

2 + 2 = 4

US: Indiana schools to stop teaching cursive writing

cursive writing
© Laurence Mouton, PhotoAlto / AP Photo
Starting this fall, schools in Indiana won't have to teach kids how to write in cursive.

Until now, kids started learning cursive handwriting in 2nd grade; but state education officials say computers and web books have made cursive a relic of the past; so it won't be required any more.

Local school districts can still teach it if they want; but the state says it's more important to teach kids good keyboard skills.


How Science Fell Short in Anthony Case

Casey Anthony
© Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT/Getty
Casey Anthony
Casey Anthony's trial for the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter has roused discussion about the role of scientific evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that a person committed the crime he or she is accused of.

Regardless of Anthony's acquittal for murder and public opinion on the verdict, the scientific evidence presented by prosecutors was portrayed as fallible by the defense.

The prosecution thought the evidence it brought forward was convincing: DNA analysis of a strand of hair found in Anthony's car; results showing that chloroform and signs of decomposition could be measured in the car's trunk, where Anthony was accused of hiding and transporting her daughter's body; and Internet searches for incriminating terms such as "chloroform."


US: Oklahoma Lawmaker Plans to Introduce "Caylee's law"

© unknown
An Oklahoma lawmaker said on Wednesday he planned to introduce a "Caylee's law" in his state requiring parents to swiftly report the death or disappearance of a child in the first legislation stemming from the death of the Florida toddler.

A jury found Casey Anthony not guilty on Tuesday of murder in the death of 2-year-old Caylee, whose skeletal remains were found in woods near the Anthony family home with duct tape dangling from her skull.

Casey, who was convicted of lying to police, had initially said Caylee had been kidnapped by a nanny, triggering a nationwide search before her remains were found six months later.

"It is unconscionable for a parent to delay notifying the authorities of the death of their child. Most parents would immediately notify authorities if their child had gone missing," state Rep. Paul Wesselhoft said, adding he planned to introduce the law in Oklahoma's 2012 legislative session.


US: PTA Mothers Charged with Stealing Millions in Ponzi Scheme

© handout
Maricela Barajas, 41 and Juliana Menefee, 50 and Eva Perez, 51
Approximately $14 million was collected during the scheme which involved more than 40 victims

Three mothers who were on the PTA at Diamond Bar elementary are accused of stealing millions of dollars from dozens of victims in an elaborate Ponzi scheme.

Two of the suspects, 41-year-old Maricela Barajas (aka Maricela Torres) and 50-year-old Juliana Menefee were arrested Tuesday at their homes in Diamond Bar.

The third suspect, 51-year-old Eva Perez, is currently behind bars, serving an 11-year sentence at the Central California Women's Facility on prior felony grand theft charges.

They were charged on Wednesday with 22 criminal counts each of grand theft of personal property and securities fraud, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

If convicted on all counts, the women could get up to 13 years in state prison.


US: TSA to Woman: 'We're Going to Have to Examine Your Hair'

Laura Adiele wasn't expecting any trouble when she put her hair up, packed her bags, and headed for SeaTac to catch a flight to Texas. So, she was quite surprised when she was pulled out of the security line after having gone through the Advance Imaging system (that see-through technology) and told she needed a pat-down.

"When I first heard her say, 'We're going to have to pat you down,' I thought she was talking about my body. I was turning around and putting my arms out and she said, 'no, we're going to have to examine your hair,' and I said, 'no, we're not going to do that today and you're going to have to get security or your supervisor,'" said Adiele.

Adiele claims she looked around, saw plenty of other women with "big hair, ponytails" who weren't being searched, and it made her mad. She felt it was discrimination, that she as a black woman with an afro tucked up into a curly bun, was being selected for hand-screening when women of other races weren't. She had nothing to hide but just didn't want strangers feeling her hair.

"It's just totally a violation of my personal space and my biggest question is if I'm going through a full body X-ray what more do you need to find, after that?" Adiele said.


US: Grizzly Kills Hiker in Yellowstone National Park

© AP Photo/Yellowstone National Park, James Peaco
In this 2005 file photo, a grizzly bear moves through the brush at Yellowstone.

It's the first such fatality in 25 years

A man out on a hike with his wife in Yellowstone National Park's backcountry was killed by a female grizzly after the couple apparently surprised the bear and its cubs today, park officials said. The attack was the first fatal bear mauling in the park since 1986. "In an apparent attempt to defend a perceived threat to her cubs, the bear attacked and fatally wounded the man," said a park statement. "Another group of hikers nearby heard the victim's wife crying out for help, and used a cell phone to call 911."

Cell Phone

UK: News of the World Phone Hacking: Police Review all Child Abduction cases

© AFP/Getty Images
Madeleine McCann, which is expected to be the first case to be re-examined in the wake of Milly Dowler phone hacking allegations.
Detectives to examine every case involving attacks on children since 2001 in response to Milly Dowler phone hacking

Police officers investigating phone hacking by the News of the World are turning their attention to examine every high-profile case involving the murder, abduction or attack on any child since 2001 in response to the revelation that journalists from the tabloid newspaper hacked into the voicemail messages of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

The move is a direct response to the Guardian's exclusive story on Monday that a private investigator working for the News International tabloid, Glenn Mulcaire, caused Milly's parents to wrongly believe she was still alive - and interfered with police inquiries into her disappearance - by hacking into the teenager's mobile phone and deleting messages.

News of the impending police action capped a dramatic day of unfolding developments in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

Last night, it emerged that News International handed to the Metropolitan Police details of payments made by News of the World to senior police officers between 2003 and 2007, the period when Andy Coulson was the paper's editor.

The development brings the crisis closer to the door of prime minister David Cameron who appointed Coulson as his director of communications when in opposition and then staunchly defended him until Coulson quit in January 2011.


US: Rockefeller Imposter Extradited to LA for 1985 Murder

A man accused of posing as a member of the Rockefeller family was charged with the murder of an LA man in 1985.
A German man accused of posing as a member of the Rockefeller family has been extradited to Los Angeles to face charges connected to the murder of a Southern California man more than 25 years ago.

The man calls himself Clark Rockefeller, but his real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter.

The L.A. Sheriff's Department says Rockefeller is en route from Boston, where he was serving a prison sentence for kidnapping.

He was charged in March with killing 27-year-old John Sohus of San Marino in 1985. Sohus' body was discovered nearly a decade later.

An investigation determined he was killed by blunt force trauma to the head. Sohus' wife, Linda, is still missing.

Authorities won't disclose which jail he will be sent to due to safety reasons. He is due in a Alhambra courtroom Friday and is being held on $10 million bail.

Source: KABC-TV/DT.

Bizarro Earth

Mass Grave with 900 Corpses Found in Iraq

© Agence France-Presse
The Iraqi press and military gather at the site of a mass grave in February 2011, close the northeastern city of Baquba. Iraqi authorities uncovered a mass grave with 900 corpses near the central city of Diwaniyah on Wednesday, believed to be Kurds killed during the rule of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, an official said
Iraqi authorities uncovered a mass grave with 900 corpses near the central city of Diwaniyah on Wednesday, believed to be Kurds killed during the rule of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, an official said.

The corpses were found in the Shanafiya region, 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Diwaniyah.

"The corpses were buried in a trench. There were 900 bodies," said Dakhil Saihoud, provincial head of the Justice and Accountability Commission which investigates issues related to Saddam's regime.

"Initial indications show the remains are those of Kurds. They were transferred to laboratories in the city of Najaf to help in identification," Saihoud said. He said the corpses apparently dated back to the 1980s.

Last April, authorities said they had found another mass grave in Anbar province of western Iraq containing the bodies of more than 800 people, including women and children, executed during Saddam's regime.