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Heart - Black

U.S.: Search warrants fill in some details on discovery of caged Gloucester girl

A residential burglary reported on April 17 led investigators to the grim discovery of an emaciated girl who was kept penned for months in a modified cage in a Gloucester single-wide trailer.

A homeowner in the Cappahosic area reported several bars of gold bullion, a vacuum cleaner, flashlights, a passport, $2,000 in cash and other items had been stolen from his home sometime during the previous three weeks, according to documents filed in Gloucester County Circuit Court.

The homeowner told Gloucester Sheriff's deputies he had not been at the home since March 23, according to court documents.

The gold bullion bars were traced to the Harris & Co. Auction House -- located in the former home of Carolina BBQ, where Shannon Gore worked before it closed down -- where the owner said he had purchased two gold bullion bars from Shannon Gore, according to court documents.

Heart - Black

US: Gloucester VA, Emaciated Girl Kept Penned for Months in Cage

Search warrants fill in some details on discovery of caged Gloucester girl

A residential burglary reported on April 17 led investigators to the grim discovery of an emaciated girl who was kept penned for months in a modified cage in a Gloucester single-wide trailer.

Attention

Mysterious Packages Of Pot Being Delivered All Over

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A month ago, employees at Dr. Toothy's Dental Office in Chinatown were shocked when they received a delivery of a 31-pound brick of marijuana, we assume from the Marijuana Fairy. Now, two Pennsylvanian residents have also received surprise packages with pounds of marijuana, worth $22,400 each on the street. So what the heck is going on with dealers? Is this becoming a trend? And is there any way we can win this lottery?

Because it doesn't seem like medical marijuana is coming to NYC anytime soon. Not that the question isn't amusing Mayor Bloomberg a bit. During his weekly WOR radio appearance, Bloomberg took this Twitter question (watch him answer it below), which he was "reticent" to read at first: "What's up with medical marijuana in NYC. Is it going to be OK'd soon? Need to know by this weekend." He laughed and answered it wasn't legal yet, but added:
The argument is that the only way you're ever going to end the drug trade is to legalize drugs and take away the profit motive, and the corruption...in Mexico, tens of thousands of people have been killed in wars with the government trying to clamp down on drug dealers. There's no easy answers to any of these things. There are places where they've legalized drugs, and whether it destroyed the society or didn't, it's up to debate.

Question

US: Osama bin Laden death: "When are they going to show us the body?"

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© Jim Young / Reuters
People cheer and wave U.S. flags outside the White House after President Obama delivered remarks to the nation on the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
At O'Connell's bar in Long Beach, two patrons walked in, announced "Osama bin Laden is dead!" and told the bartender to change the channel on the television. At first, no one believed them.

But slowly, all eyes looked up from their pints of beer and started to fixate on television screens showing clips of President Obama's remarks and the crowd gatherin

"It's crazy that we're celebrating a death, but this is a good thing for our country," said Kristen Lawson, 30, of Long Beach.

She wondered what the news means for the war in Afghanistan: "This is exactly what we're there for," she said.

Antoinette Collins, 26, of Whittier learned the news from a text message sent by a friend in the military. ("Osama is dead," the terse message said).

Collins comes from a military family and thinks Bin Laden's death is a positive development for the war and a victory for Obama, but she worries about retaliation from terrorists.

Info

US: Judge's revelation prompts challenge to Prop 8 ruling

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© Elaine Thompson, AP
Retired U.S. District judge recently disclosed that he's in a long-term relationship with a man.
Now that retired U.S. District judge Vaughn Walker has revealed he is in a committed relationship with a man, do grounds exist to cancel his ruling that California's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional?

Supporters of the ban, known as Proposition 8, say yes and have filed a motion contending Walker should not have heard the case because he might want to marry someday.

Law professors who specialize in legal ethics, such as the University of Minnesota's Richard Painter, say no and compare targeting Walker's personal relations to targeting a judge's religion or race.

The new claim filed by Washington lawyer Charles Cooper on behalf of the Proposition 8 backers is scheduled to be heard June 13. It marks the latest move in the protracted battle over the proposition adopted by California voters in 2008 and a new chapter in the debate over when judges should sit out disputes. Challenges to judicial ethics are hardly new, yet a spate of high-stakes appeals, including over new federal health-care legislation, have spawned fresh questions about judges' impartiality.

Walker, a 1990 appointee of Republican President George H.W. Bush, told reporters in April that he has been in a relationship with another man for more than 10 years. Walker retired from the bench earlier this year. In February 2010, during the Proposition 8 trial, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that Walker is gay and "has never taken pains to disguise - or advertise - his orientation."

Arrow Down

US: A much smaller May Day march

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© Wally Skalij, Los Angeles Times
A crowd of immigrants-rights protestors march down Broadway toward 1st Street. Unlike in previous years, most of the attendees came with unions or communist or socialist groups.
Hundreds of thousands rallied in downtown L.A. for immigration reform in 2006, and last year's event drew 60,000. One student said attendance is dropping because 'people are starting to lose hope.'

Few people felt the low turnout at this year's May Day march as acutely as Salvador Ramirez.

Ramirez, an illegal immigrant from Jalisco, Mexico, pushed a cart among the few thousand immigrant-rights and labor activists Sunday on Broadway, selling American flags.

"It's really bad," said Ramirez, 48, who said he lost his job as an electrician due to his lack of documents and became a street vendor a year and a half ago. About halfway through Sunday's march, Ramirez had only sold about 10 to 15 flags, which he buys for $7.50 a dozen.

"I'm selling them almost at cost," he said. "It's not like the year before. Last year was great."

Only a few thousand people showed up for the nine-block march that started early and ended quickly. Los Angeles police declined to issue a crowd estimate, but marchers didn't even fill the intersection of Broadway and 1st Street, where the demonstration ended.

It marked a steep drop-off for a movement that prided itself for bringing hundreds of thousands onto the streets of downtown in 2006, and a million nationwide, to rally for legislation that would legalize the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants. Last year, galvanized by Arizona's controversial anti-illegal-immigration law, about 60,000 marchers participated in Los Angeles.

People

US: Reactions to Bin-Laden Death: Euphoria, Concern

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© unknown
Students at Pennsylvania State University took to the streets to celebrate the announcement of Osama bin Laden's death.
The 61-year-old mother of a bond trader killed during the attacks at the World Trade Center said she feared she would go to her grave before Osama bin Laden did.

"Justice really has been served," said Judith Reiss of Yardley. "There's a special place waiting in hell for this man."

Reiss said she and her husband, Gary, whose 23-year-old son, Joshua, died on 9/11, feared that the mission to kill bin Laden had fallen off the front burner.

"We're joyous," said Gary Reiss.

They were not alone, as rejoicing resonated from the ballpark to college campuses to watering holes.

"You know I'm not a hater, but I'm glad this bastard's dead," said Patrick White whose cousin, Louis Nacke II of New Hope was on board Flight 93 when it crashed in a field in Shanksville during the 9-11 attacks.

Smiley

Royal revenge: 'We had to draw the line somewhere'

queen elizabeth,tony blair
© AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Tony Blair greeting the Queen outside No 10 in 2002

The Queen doesn't like him, so he wasn't invited. But the snub to Tony Blair makes a nonsense of claims that Friday's wedding has modernised a fundamentally Conservative institution

Of course it was a snub. The Royal Family wouldn't be so vulgar as to do it in the open, so there was a cover story, but it was a snub.

The cover story, which had the technical advantage of being true, was that protocol allowed Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to be left off the guest list. But it was a flying buttress of piffle.

If you care to follow me, I can explain the intricacies of precedent that sustain this nonsense. You do not need to immerse yourself in the angels and pinheads, because they are beside the point, but if you stay with it there is a kind of Catch-22 charm to the idiocy of it all.

Bizarro Earth

Taiwan Doomsday Prophet's Blog Sparks Panic

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© Agence France-Presse
Workers had been hired to fit out "survival" containers with doors, windows and air conditioning
Police in Taiwan are investigating a self-proclaimed prophet whose doomsday warnings on a blog have caused panic.

The man, identifying himself as Teacher Wang, said Taiwan would be struck by a magnitude-14 earthquake and 170m (560ft) high tsunami on 11 May.

More than 100 cargo containers have been bought and set up in a mountainous area of central Taiwan.

Police said they were investigating if the blogger had conspired with a container business to defraud people.

"Teacher Wang" suggested people live in such containers to survive the disaster, which he said would kill millions of people and split the island in half.

Cloud Lightning

Storm cellar saves Alabama couple, as neighbors perish

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© Reuters/Tami Chappell
Brenda Roberts reacts after her wedding ring was found in the rubble of her home destroyed by a tornado in Phil Campbell, Alabama, April 30, 2011.

Travis Roberts invited his neighbors into the storm cellar he built for $600, but they figured they would ride out the twister bearing down on them.

Five were killed and two critically injured when it struck, splintering their homes, but Travis and his wife Brenda survived below ground in their storm-rocked concrete shelter.

"We did not respect the warning enough," said Roberts of the tiny Alabama town of 1,100 people, which was largely flattened in the deadly tornado outbreak that killed at least 350 people across seven states.