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Fri, 05 Mar 2021
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GOP Senator Mitch McConnell blocks unemployment benefits for 2 million Americans

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is demanding that government spending cuts be made to pay for an extension to the federal unemployment insurance program, which expires on Dec. 31, 2012, reports the Associated Press.

Without the extension, about two million people will lose their unemployment insurance. On top of that, another million will see their benefits run out after January 2013.

However, Sen. McConnell has not required the Bush tax cuts, which benefit the very wealthy, to be offset by any government spending cuts.

Dollars

Carrefour fined over unpaid breaks

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Supermarket chain Carrefour has been ordered to pay some of its staff for rest breaks, after a long legal battle in the north of France.

Some 540 staff at local branches of Carrefour Market had taken their case to the appeal court, claiming that they were being paid less than the legal minimum wage once compulsory breaks were taken into account.

Lawyers for the workers say they will receive between €2,000 and €5,000 in compensation.

Cowboy Hat

Three officers shot inside New Jersey police station by person in custody

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Police and rescue crews responded to the Gloucester County Municipal Building on Chews Landing Road this morning after shots were fired inside the Gloucester Township police station.

During an impromptu press conference, the deputy police chief told the media that the incident occurred around 5:30 a.m. inside the building when a suspect being taken into custody for a domestic violence-related incident got into a confrontation with officers.

The suspect was able to take a firearm and opened fire on the officers.

Three officers were reportedly injured, including at least one who was shot just below his bulletproof vest. He is said to be in stable condition after undergoing surgery. The other two officers sustained minor injuries and should be released from the hospital shortly as of 9:49 a.m.

The shooter was killed by police.

Snakes in Suits

Sick society: Nearly 1,000 British doctors could still be practicing despite convictions for possessing child porn and drug trafficking

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Patients are not being told about the disgraced physicians, surgeons and GPs, who are still working in surgeries and hospitals across the country
Up to 927 doctors could still be practicing despite being convicted for crimes such as possession of indecent child images, trafficking drugs, kerb crawling and causing death by dangerous driving.

Medical chiefs claim they cannot ban all sex offenders from working because it might breach their human rights.

But patients are not being told about the disgraced physicians, surgeons and GPs, who are still working in surgeries and hospitals across the country.

Those doctors, who have not been struck off the medical register and who have been found guilty of possessing child sex images are even thought to still be treating children.

The figures, obtained by the Daily Mirror through a Freedom of Information request, show that a total of 927 doctors have kept their jobs despite having a criminal record.

Some of them have committed more than one offence.

None of the patients treated have been informed.

Campaign groups yesterday asked the General Medical Council, who released the figures, to tell patients if their doctors have a criminal past.

Roger Goss of Patient Concern told the Mirror: 'Patients should be made aware if their doctor is found guilty of serious criminal offences that could affect their care and be allowed to make up their own minds if they want to risk being treated by them.'

'The problem is that the GMC is funded by doctors while their prime duty is to protect patients but these two things often come into conflict.'

Phoenix

Horror as man turns into 'walking fireball' on Shepherd's Bush Green, London

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© Fulham Chronicle
Emergency services at Shepherd's Bush Green, London, where a man is thought to have set himself alight.
Witnesses have described their horror at seeing a man engulfed in flames on Shepherd's Bush Green on Thursday morning.

Bystanders said the man was a 'walking fireball' and 'head-to-toe' in flames before ambulances and fire crews rushed to the scene and helped douse them.

He was taken to hospital and, at this stage, it is not clear whether he survived his injuries.

It is believed the man doused himself in petrol at the BP garage by the Green before setting himself on fire and walking on to the park itself.

Pablo Jenkins, 29, was driving his daughter to nursery with his girlfriend when he noticed fire out of the corner of his eye. His disbelief turned to horror and then worry as he feared not only for the man's life but also that he could walk back to the petrol station and cause an explosion.

Heart - Black

Christmas Day robbery at Hurricane Sandy relief center shocks Staten Island volunteers

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© Nicholas Fevelo
Shocked and saddened volunteers assess the damage. From left: Dean Malandro, Jack Biondo, Gary Malandro and Charles Milatta.
Christmas Day robbery at Hurricane Sandy relief center shocks Staten Island volunteers

A cruel Christmas crook robbed a Staten Island relief center of clothes intended for Hurricane Sandy victims.

"When people are down, the roaches come out," said Mike Hoffman, 33, who was among the volunteers working at the Boots on the Ground relief center.

"It was a punch in the stomach," the heartbroken New Springfield resident said Thursday. "But in my heart, I don't think it was someone from the community."

Nuke

More lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi accident: Containment failures and the loss of the ultimate heat sink

In this Monday's video, Fairewinds investigates a recently released report from Tokyo Electric. Arnie Gundersen discusses TEPCO's latest analysis that, almost two years after the accident, fully substantiates Fairewinds long held position that the explosion at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 was the result of a detonation shock wave. Arnie also discusses troubling reports that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been avoiding the analysis of damage to many nuclear plants' emergency cooling systems (Ultimate Heat Sink) from storm surges, tsunamis or dam failures. The ramifications of both of these issues on old designs and also the AP1000 are also analyzed in depth.


Arrow Down

Florida man pleads guilty in New York in dinosaur dispute

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© The Associated Press/ U.S. Attorney Office For The Southern District Of New York
This photo released by the U.S. Attorney's office shows the fossil of a Tyrannosaurus bataar dinosaur at the center of a lawsuit demanding its return to Mongolia. Florida resident Eric Prokopi has pleaded guilty, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, at Federal Court in New York to smuggling this fossil and others into the United States. In return for his cooperation, prosecutors say they will recommend leniency.
A Florida fossils dealer pleaded guilty to smuggling charges Thursday and agreed to give up a celebrated $1 million dinosaur skeleton seized by the U.S. government earlier this year for its eventual return to Mongolia.

Eric Prokopi, 38, said he would surrender the 70 million-year-old Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton known as "Ty" and give up any claims to six other dinosaurs and various other bones in a cooperation deal that might win him leniency from charges that carry a potential prison sentence of up to 17 years.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin S. Bell read a list of the dinosaurs to Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis, saying a second substantially complete Tyrannosaurus skeleton was found at Prokopi's Gainesville, Fla., home, while a third was believed to be in Great Britain.

Bell said the government will also get to keep a Chinese flying dinosaur that Prokopi illegally imported; a skeleton of a Saurolophus, a duckbilled, plant eating dinosaur from the late Cretaceous period; and two Oviraptor skeletons, one found at Prokopi's home and the other at another residential dwelling in Florida. The Oviraptors have parrot-like skulls.

"It's among the larger dinosaur shopping lists you'll see today," Bell told the magistrate judge.

In a release, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: "Fossils and ancient skeletal remains are part of the fabric of a country's natural history and cultural heritage, and black marketers like Prokopi who illegally export and sell these wonders, steal a slice of that history. We are pleased that we can now begin the process of returning these prehistoric fossils to their countries of origin."

Sherlock

Las Vegas police find body believed to be missing 10-year-old girl

Jade Morris
© Las Vegas Metro Police
Jade Morris was last seen on Friday in Las Vegas near Martin Luther King Boulevard and Alta Drive. She was wearing blue jeans, a blue shirt and a long brown jacket, police said.
Authorities expect to know Friday whether a child's body found in an undeveloped housing tract belongs to a 10-year-old Las Vegas girl who has been missing for a week.

Las Vegas police homicide Capt. Chris Jones says investigators didn't immediately know if the body discovered Thursday is that of Jade Morris. But he says there's a "likelihood" that it's her.

Police say Jade was last seen by her family at about 5 p.m. Dec. 21 with Brenda Stokes. Stokes was arrested later that night after she was accused of slashing a co-worker with razor blades at the Bellagio resort casino.

Stokes is scheduled to make a court appearance in that case Friday morning.

Jones says Stokes hasn't cooperated in the investigation about the girl's whereabouts.

Source: The Associated Press

Phoenix

Woman set on fire in Los Angeles as she sleeps on bench


For more than 10 years, the homeless woman slept on the same plastic bus stop bench at a busy intersection in the San Fernando Valley, no matter how cold it was or if it was raining.

The 67-year-old, described by one church volunteer who saw her regularly as the "sweetest lady on the street," was nestled in her regular spot early Thursday when the unthinkable happened: A man came out of a nearby drug store, doused her with a flammable liquid and set her ablaze.

She was taken to a hospital, where she was listed in critical condition.

Witness Erickson Ipina called 911, and police arrested Dennis Petillo, 24, a short time later. He was booked for investigation of attempted murder and was held on $500,000 bail. It wasn't immediately known if he had retained an attorney.

"He just poured it all over the old lady," Ipina told reporters at the scene. "Then he threw the match on her and started running."

Police provided no possible motive and released no details on Petillo. The victim's name also was withheld.

LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese told the Los Angeles Times it was unclear whether Petillo spoke to the woman before he allegedly set her ablaze.