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US: Huge Long Island explosion completely destroys house, blows out neighbours' windows and sends 21 to hospital

A huge explosion flattened an empty house, blew out the windows of neighbouring homes and sent shoes and bedding flying into nearby trees.

Amazingly no one died in this morning's explosion on Long Island, New York, but 21 people were taken to hospital for evaluation.

The blast, which happened at 10.40am in Brentwood, Suffolk County, was most likely caused by a ruptured gas pipe, but investigators have not ruled out arson, according to the New York Post.

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© Paul Mazza
Rocked: Amazingly no one died in this morning's explosion on Long Island, New York, but 21 people were taken to hospital for evaluation
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© Associated Press

Stormtrooper

Footage reveals Bahrain police brutality

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New footage coming from Bahrain shows a protester has been beaten brutally to death by Saudi-backed troops in the capital Manama.

Officials in Salmaniyah hospital have pronounced him clinically dead.

Another footage from the same hospital indicates two protesters are being brutally beaten by Bahraini troops as well.

The victims are shown to have sustained severe injuries in their heads and legs.

Earlier on Sunday, Saudi-backed Bahraini forces stormed into an all-girls' school in the north of the country as part of the government's violent crackdown on popular revolution that has engulfed the Persian Gulf state since mid-February.

Stormtrooper

US: Police beating of Las Vegas man caught on tape


When Mitchell Crooks checked out of the county jail last month and checked into a Las Vegas hospital, the 36-year-old videographer knew he had a fight on his hands.

His face was bloodied and bruised. His $3,500 camera had been impounded by police, and he faced criminal charges for battery on a police officer.

One month later, things have changed for Crooks.

The Clark County district attorney's office has dropped all charges, and Crooks has retained an attorney of his own. The Metropolitan Police Department has opened an internal investigation into the Las Vegas police officer, Derek Colling, who Crooks says falsely arrested and beat him for filming police.

And his camera -- which captured the entire March 20 altercation between Crooks and Colling -- has been returned.

Newspaper

US: California gangster's tattoo of crime scene helps solve murder

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© Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Anthony Garcia
When Los Angeles County Sheriff's homicide investigator Kevin Lloyd was routinely looking through snapshots of tattooed gang members, he saw something that caught his eye - a crime scene he was familiar with.

Anthony Garcia, a member of the Rivera-13 gang, had a tattoo that resembled the scene of the liquor store killing of 23-year-old John Juarez in Pico Rivera on Jan. 23, 2004, reports the Los Angeles Times.

There were numerous details the murder inked on the gang member. The paper reports that the tattoo included the Christmas lights that lined the roof of the liquor store where Juarez was shot and killed, the direction his body fell, the bowed street lamp across the way and the street sign. Above everything read the title, "RIVERA KILLS", a reference to the gang. A helicopter was also placed above the scene raining down bullets, a nod to Garcia's alias "Chopper."

When police discovered the evidence on Garcia's chest in 2008, they launched an investigation, which was followed by the arrest of Garcia, reports the paper.

Butterfly

Indian spiritual guru Sai Baba dies at 86

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© Reuters
Devotees sit beside the body of Indian spiritual guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba at an ashram at Puttaparti
Indian spiritual guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba, revered by millions of followers as a living god, died Sunday in a hospital in southern India. He was 86.

Sai Baba, who was admitted to hospital in his hometown of Puttaparti a month ago, died of multiple organ failure, media said.

His followers, estimated to number six million, included top Indian politicians, business tycoons and Bollywoods stars.

Sai Baba, with distinctive frizzy hair and always clad in his trademark saffron robes, ran schools and hospitals through trusts in numerous countries. Questions are likely to arise over the management of his substantial assets.

Eye 1

Big Brother and Reproductive Rights: Policing Pregnancy

pregnant women
© Unknown
Utah prosecutors and conservative politicians are determined to lock up the young woman known in court filings as J.M.S. for the crime of trying to end her pregnancy. Her grim journey through the legal system began in 2009, when she was 17 and pregnant by a convicted felon named Brandon Gale, who is currently facing charges of using her and another underage girl to make pornography. J.M.S. lived in a house without electricity or running water in a remote part of Utah. Even if she could have obtained the required parental consent and scraped together money for an abortion and a couple of nights in a hotel to comply with Utah's twenty-four-hour waiting period, simply getting to the nearest clinic posed an enormous challenge. Salt Lake City is more than a three-hour drive from her town, twice that in bad weather, when snow makes the mountain passes treacherous. There is no public transportation, and she didn't have a driver's license.

And so, according to prosecutors, in May 2009, in her third trimester and desperate, J.M.S. paid a stranger $150 to beat her in the hope of inducing a miscarriage. The assault failed to end her pregnancy, but that didn't stop police from charging her with criminal solicitation of murder. The juvenile court judge who heard her case, however, tossed it out on the grounds that her actions were legal under the state's definition of abortion.

Local abortion opponents were outraged that J.M.S. had been freed. "It revealed an extreme weakness in the law, that a pregnant woman could do anything she wanted to do - it did not matter how grotesque or brutal - all the way up until the date of birth to kill her unborn child," said Carl Wimmer, a state representative. He led a successful campaign to amend Utah's abortion law so that as of last year, women who end their pregnancies outside the medical system can be prosecuted as killers. "We will be the only state in the nation that will do what we're attempting to do here: hold a woman accountable for killing her unborn child," Wimmer told the Salt Lake Tribune.

He's wrong. In recent years, women in several states have faced arrest and imprisonment for the crime of ending their pregnancies, or merely attempting to do so. For decades now, feminists have warned about a post - Roe v. Wade world in which women are locked up for having abortions. Antiabortion activists dismiss such fears as propaganda. "The pro-life position has always been that women are victimized by abortion," says the Priests for Life website, which has a page of sample letters to the editor meant to refute claims that abortion bans could lead to women being prosecuted. "In fact, we have repeatedly rejected the suggestion that women should be put in jail, much less executed." But as abortion rights weaken and fetuses are endowed with a separate legal identity, women are being put in jail.

Nuke

Radioactive rain causes 130 schools in Korea to close - Yet rain in California had 10 TIMES more radioactivity

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Citizens arm themselves with umbrellas, raincoats, boots, Korea Times, April 7, 2011:

[Emphasis Added]
... The Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS) said radioactive iodine and cesium were found in rainwater collected in the early morning at a checkpoint on the island. The concentration level of iodine-131 was 2.02 becquerels per liter (Bq/l), that of cesium-137, 0.538 Bq/l, and that of cesium-134, 0.333 Bq/l. ...

Following the news that minuscule radioactive substances were detected on Jeju, people in all parts of the country carried umbrellas to work or school even though the rainfall was light.

Parents had their children not only use umbrellas but also wear raincoats, rubber boots and even masks. Some of them gave their children a ride to school, with streets near schools congested.

In Gyeonggi Province, about 130 pre-, elementary and middle schools were closed after the regional educational office allowed school heads to close them if they deemed it necessary. More than 40 others shortened school hours. ...

Handcuffs

Prosecutor orders Mubarak be moved to prison hospital

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Cairo - Egypt's public prosecutor ordered on Sunday that ousted President Hosni Mubarak be transferred to a prison hospital in Cairo after a doctor declared him well enough to travel.

Mubarak took refuge in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikhafter a popular uprising ended his 30-year rule. He now faces questioning over corruption and murder allegations.

"The public prosecutor has ordered the Interior Ministry to transfer former President Hosni Mubarak to Mazra'a hospital in Torah prison (in Cairo)" once the hospital is ready to receive him, the prosecutor said in a statement.

Coffee

Rising energy, food prices spark global protests

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© REUTERS/James Akena
Supporters of Uganda's Forum for Democratic Change leader Kizza Besigye participate in a protest along the road in the Kasangati suburb of the capital Kampala, April 14, 2011.
Oil prices hit their highest level in over two years this month, cutting into workers' incomes, compounding the effects of high unemployment, and fueling protests around the world.

West Texas intermediate crude oil reached $112 Friday, up 32 percent from a year ago. Average prices at the pump hit $3.84 in the United States, up 30 cents from a month ago, and over one dollar from April 2010, according to the American Automobile Association. Gas prices on the West Coast of the United States are even higher, averaging over four dollars per gallon.

Food prices edged down slightly from their February high last month, but remained higher than any other month on record, according to the world food price index published by the World Bank. Prices were up by 36 percent compared with a year ago.

No Entry

US: Man Sentenced To Over 250 Years for Rape, Assault, Robbery

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© unknown
A 25-year-old man was sentenced to over 250 years in prison Friday after a home invasion and robbery that left a woman raped and her boyfriend beaten. The presumptive sentence by Missouri Sentencing Commission guidelines would have been 20 years.

Taurian J. Burton, of Kansas City, had only been out on parole for seven months from another home invasion burglary in Jackson County. In July 2009, Burton and another person invaded the victims' home to steal their plasma TV. Once inside the home, prosecutors said Burton pistol-whipped and bound the pair.

"Our male victim had a skull fracture and a broken finger and was lying unconscious in the living room while his girlfriend was dragged into a bedroom, gang-raped at gunpoint, and sexually assaulted with the barrel of a handgun," Clay County Prosecutor Daniel White said.

The victim told jurors the rape lasted 45 minutes.