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Thu, 21 Jan 2021
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First Lawsuits Filed Against Theater in Colorado Shooting

Century 16, theater shooting, James Holmes

The Century 16 theater in Aurora, Co.
Denver - Three Colorado moviegoers who were hurt when a gunman opened fire in a crowded theater in July sued the owners of the theater, Cinemark USA, on Friday accusing it of failing to provide adequate security, their lawyers said.

The action marks the first known civil lawsuits filed over the July 20 shooting at a suburban Denver screening of the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises that killed 12 people and wounded 58 others.

James Holmes, a former neuroscience graduate student at the University of Colorado, has been charged with murder and attempted murder in the case.

"Readily available security procedures, security equipment and security personnel would likely have prevented or deterred the gunman from accomplishing his planned assault on the theater's patrons," the law firm of Keating, Wagner, Polidori and Free said in a statement.

Representatives of Cinemark could not immediately be reached for comment on the suits.

Black Cat

Texas Mom Hauled off to Jail for Letting Children Play Outdoors after Nosey Neighbour Calls Police

A stay-at-home-mom from Texas is suing the local police department after she was held behind bars for 18 hours for child abandonment, a charge she says is completely false.

"Orange jump suit, in a cell, slammed the door, for 18 hours," Tammy Cooper tells KPRC News. That's how she describes how she spent almost a full day after officers with the La Porte Police Department responded to a call questioning the mother's parenting skills.

Cooper's children, ages 6 and 9, were playing on their motorized scooters outside of their La Porte, Texas home when a nearby neighbor called 9-1-1 and reported that the children weren't being supervised. When the authorities arrived, they acted on the complaint and concluded that Cooper must have been at fault. On her part, the mom insists she was watching her children the whole time from a lawn chair on her property.

"I was out there the entire time," Cooper tells the network. "I never left that lawn chair the entire time."

Penis Pump

Polish police in a lather over creepy 'initiation' photos showing teens licking whipped cream off priest's knees

School in southern Poland posted the pictures on its website. The priest, who is the head of the school, said the creamy ritual was a long-standing tradition of kids paying 'tribute.'
 young teens licking cream off a priest's knees
© Laski Diffusion / East News / Polaris
Officials in Poland are in an uproar over photos showing a group of young teens licking cream off a priest's knees.

Polish authorities have launched a probe about a possible perv priest after photos surfaced showing teenage boys and girls licking whipped cream off his knees during a bizarre "initiation ceremony." The priest's school, however, doesn't see what all the fuss is about.

The creepy snapshots were taken during an initiation ceremony for freshmen at St. Dominika Savio Silesian School in Lubin, southeast Poland.

The shots show a group of boys and girls on all fours - some of them in cat make-up - taking turns licking white foamy cream off Father Marcin Kozyra's knobby knees.


Is the food shortage before us? Will we be buying bacon and pork sausages next year?

There could soon be a global pork shortage, and a sharp rise in prices, the National Pig Association warns. But will British consumers be willing to pay more to save their bacon and sausages? Served as bacon rashers in an English breakfast, roasted with crackling, stir-fried in a noodle dish or used as the key meat in a regional sausage recipe, pork is the most eaten meat in the world.

"Pork has always played an important part in British cuisine," says Phil Brady, spokesperson for the British Sausage Appreciation Society. So much so, there are more than 470 recipes and flavours of British sausages in use today. "We are a nation of pork producers and eaters," says food writer Karen Burns-Booth. "And the low cost makes it accessible for families for good meals."

But the cheapest of red meats that provides the flavour base for the nation's beloved bangers is under threat. An escalating crisis in the global pork industry could put an end to "cheap" cuts and bargain pork prices.

Comment: Sounds like now is a good time to be buying up pork, salting and smoking it. And canning it.


Latest Designer Drug Called 'Smiles' Linked to Teen Deaths

© Fedor Kondratenko, Shutterstock
The synthetic drug 2C-I is usually sold in white powder form.
Several teenagers' deaths have law enforcement officials concerned about the next in a long line of illegal synthetic drugs: 2C-I, also known as "Smiles."

The drug, a hallucinogen, has been linked to two deaths in East Grand Forks, North Dakota, though little is known about this drug's dangers. Other synthetic drugs, including K2 or "fake weed," have caused problems by proliferating before being made illegal.

"There is hardly any research at all in the scientific literature on these things, even in animals, much less any sort of formal safety evaluation in humans," said Matthew Johnson, a professor of behavioral pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University.

A new high

2C-I is part of the 2C family of drugs, a group of closely related molecules that have psychedelic effects. Along with the other 2Cs, 2C-I was discovered by chemist and synthetic-drug guru Alexander Shulgin, who published the formulas of psychoactive drugs in his book PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story (Transform Press, 1991). As of July 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration classifies 2C-I as a Schedule I controlled substance, making it illegal to manufacture, buy, sell or possess the drug.

Usually sold in powder form, 2C-I can also be taken as a tablet. Users often mix the powder form with a stabilizing substance, such as chocolate or candy, before ingesting. The drug's effects include auditory and visual hallucinations, along with feelings of giddiness, relaxation and empathy.

"[M]y conversations were extremely clear and insightful," wrote one 2C-I user on erowid.org, which hosts an online version of Shulgin's book. "The degree of honesty was incredible."


Suicide Now Kills More Americans Than Car Crashes

© Medical Daily
A study published today has found an alarming trend: suicide now kills more people than do car accidents. In fact, while the number of car crash-related deaths has declined significantly, the number of suicide-related deaths, via poisonings and falls, has increased drastically.

"Suicides are terribly undercounted; I think the problem is much worse than official data would lead us to believe," study author Ian Rockett said. Rockett, a professor of epidemiology at West Virginia University, believes that as many as 20 percent of deaths could be unrecognized suicides. He pointed to overdoses in particular, many of which were caused by prescription drugs.

He said that this rise was a problem mostly swept under the rug, and he would like to see the same amount of attention placed on suicides as there is on traffic fatalities.

The study authors examined data provided by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics to determine the number of injury deaths. They found that unintentional and intentional deaths had increased 10 percent between 2000 and 2009 but car accident deaths do not account for that jump.


Mystery of dad who stabbed himself in the heart

© Unknown
The Webb family

Mystery surrounds the horrific death of a placid family man who went berserk and attacked his wife before stabbing himself in the heart.

The inquest into Howard Webb's suicide could find no reason for his sudden decision to kill himself.

After he and his wife Michelle went to bed he started mumbling something she could not hear, then punched her in the face and put his hands around her neck as if to strangle her, the inquest heard.

Mrs Webb, who still lives at the family home in Mersey Road, Whaddon, Cheltenham, told Assistant Deputy Gloucestershire Coroner Tom Osborne that she had no idea what had sparked her 57-year-old husband off and he had never been violent towards her before.

She told the inquest that they had been married for five years and lived with their three children and two of her children from previous relationships.


Three Mile Island nuclear plant shuts down unexpectedly

© Jeff Fusco, Getty Images
A reactor at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant shut down unexpectedly this afternoon because of a cooling problem, a month after it went offline because of a leak in the cooling system, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says.

Update at 4:54 p.m. ET: The NRC says a cooling pump for Unit One stopped working at 2:16 p.m. ET, triggering the automatic shutdown, as the system is designed to do. An agency inspector was at the plant at the time.

The same unit shut down automatically Aug. 22 as it was being taken offline to fix a coolant leak.

Here's some of what the NRC's Preliminary Notification update explained when Unit One went back online Sept. 5:
The plant reached cold shutdown on August 23, 2012, and the source of RCS leakage was confirmed to be from micro-cracks in the alloy 600 diaphragm for the upper pressurizer heater bundle. This heater bundle was subsequently replaced with a bundle that contained a stainless steel, non-alloy 600 heater diaphragm. An NRC specialist inspector, who was deployed to the site, confirmed the source of the RCS leakage and monitored pressurizer heater replacement activities. The licensee subsequently conducted extent-of-condition inspections on the other two pressurizer heater bundles and no indications of leakage were identified. The inspectors determined that the licensee's post-installation and extent-of-condition inspections were acceptable.
It's not yet clear whether the same pump or part failed today.


Detroit Chrysler Employee Stabs Co-Worker to Death, Kills Self

crime scene tape
© unknown
A worker was stabbed to death Thursday morning after an argument inside a Chrysler Group LLC plant in Detroit and a man suspected of the killing was later found dead, apparently having shot himself, police and the company said.

Work at the Jefferson North Assembly plant was suspended for one shift. The plant will reopen for its second shift on Thursday afternoon, Chrysler said.

"Two employees were involved in an altercation inside the plant," Chrysler said in a statement. "One employee was stabbed and unfortunately pronounced dead at the scene."

Shortly after the stabbing, Detroit police said, the body of the man suspected in the stabbing was found in a vehicle not far from the plant. He apparently had shot himself, police said.

Chrysler makes two sport utility vehicles at the plant, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango.

Detroit police did not comment on the motive for the stabbing. Law enforcement authorities and the company were due to hold a news conference on the incident on Thursday afternoon.

Bizarro Earth

Restrictions on Religion Rise Around the World

Legal limits and social pressures against religion have risen to the point where three-quarters of the world's population live in states where practicing their faith is restricted in some way, a new study said on Thursday.

Restrictions on religion, ranging from a Swiss ban on minarets to Islamist attacks on churches, rose in all major regions of the world during the study period from mid-2009 to mid-2010, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey said.

Christianity and Islam, the world's largest and second largest religions, suffered the most harassment by governments and groups or individuals, it said.

Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Myanmar, Iran, Vietnam, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nigeria ranked as the countries with the most restrictions on religion - both by their governments and by their societies - in mid-2010, the survey showed.

"A rising tide of restrictions on religion spread across the world between mid-2009 and mid-2010," the 86-page survey said.