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Northern Ireland's richest man, Lord Ballyedmond killed in helicopter crash

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Northern Irish member of Britain's House of Lords Lord Ballyedmond has been killed in a helicopter crash in rural Norfolk, east of England.

On Friday, British police named Lord Ballyedmond as one of the four people who died in the chopper crash in the English county of Norfolk.

The helicopter came down in thick fog at the village of Gillingham, near Beccles on Thursday evening. The aircraft was reportedly travelling to Northern Ireland, and it crashed near a stately home owned by the Conservative peer.

Lord Ballyedmond, known as Northern Ireland's richest man, was the chair of Norbrook, the largest privately owned pharmaceutical company in the world.

"The helicopter has been confirmed as a civilian aircraft and the four occupants on board are thought to have died in the crash. Next of kin will be informed before further details of a deceased are released," a Norfolk Police spokesperson said.

Beaker

French government bans GM maize MON 810

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© AFP Photo / Yuri Cortez
France's agricultural ministry on Saturday banned the sale, use and cultivation of Monsanto's genetically modified maize MON 810, after France highest court twice previously struck down similar measures.

Currently the MON 810 is the only insect-resistant maize authorized in the EU. But France insists that GM crops pose significant environmental risks. The current socialist government of Francoise Hollande, like the conservative one before it, has opposed supporting GM crops in light of public suspicion and protests from environmentalists and farmers.

The decree by the agricultural ministry is timed to prevent farmers being able to sow GM maize before a draft law is debated on April 10, which will seek to permanently ban the planting of any genetically modified crops. Maize is sown in France in the second half of March.

Bell

Want to make a Libertarian's head explode? Talk about these 3 things

Libertarians tend to ride on theoretical unicorns that don't take them too far in the real world.

Libertarians are proponents of a philosophy that embraces free-market ideology, limited government, and a certain form of individual liberty. They would like to take the government and drown it in the proverbial bathtub. Unfortunately, libertarians tend to ride on theoretical unicorns that don't take them too far in the real world.

Next time you find yourself in the company of one of these quizzical beings, try bringing up one of the following topics and watch them start galloping off in 10 directions at once.

1. The inequality problem: Why do some people end up with most of the toys? The fact that in a capitalist system, money seems to flow into the hands of the few is a source of big headaches for many libertarians, though not all - some seem to regard any market outcome as the hand of God herself.

Irrefutably, America's income distribution has become ridiculous, ranked #4 in the world out of 141 countries for inequality, behind Russia, Ukraine and Lebanon, and this rattles many libertarians.

Libertarians usually start by insisting that how much money you have boils down to the choices you make as an individual. Bad, stupid choices = poverty. Good, smart choices = wealth (those clever Russian oligarchs!). Often the libertarian will rush to the defense of the rich. For example, we have W. Michael Cox, director of Southern Methodist University's Center for Global Markets and Freedom, offering this tidbit of wisdom recently on the Glenn Beck show:
"The truth is: If you look at almost all successful people in this country, from the time they were young they played with the right kids, studied in school, make good grades, get a job, get a lot of education, be productive at work everyday, save their money, start a business, hire people, invest - they made good choices."
The truth is actually this: Many a rich person gets wealthy just by being born to wealthy parents. Others get rich by ripping off other people. Bankers committed massive fraud on mortgage loans leading up to the financial crisis, and continue a crime spree which includes laundering money for terrorists and drug cartels, rate-rigging, manipulating the prices of commodities, taking bribes, engaging in insider trading, participating in ponzi schemes, cooking the books, and so on. Fraud has grown so pervasive in corporate America that legendary short seller Jim Chanos describes a culture in which executives think they have a fiduciary duty to cheat. The idea is that since everybody else is cheating, they owe it to shareholders to cheat in order to stay competitive!

Beyond the blatant crimes, bankers are engaging far more in reckless speculation that destabilizes the economy than doing useful things like lending money to people who need it. Put simply, they make a great deal of money looting the economy through cheating taxpayers and screwing customers with fees and tricks. Result: Bankers get very rich, while the rest of us get poorer.

Candle

Belgian deputy reports situation in Crimea calm, not as it being pictured abroad

Crimea
© Flickr.com/ BiLK_Thorn /cc-by-nc-sa 3.0
The situation in Crimea is calm, Deputy of the Belgian parliament Frank Creelman, who arrived to monitor the referendum to be held on March 16, said on Saturday.

The situation is quite normal and calm, there are many pro-Russian people among residents and many law enforcement officers are at streets, Creelman said.

Nevertheless, everything is very calm and absolutely not the way it is being pictures abroad, he said. Creelman said he intended to monitor the referendum on the status of Crimea not just in Simferopol but in relatively small Crimean settlements as well.

The Belgian politician said that, of course, he would observe the referendum in Simferopol but would also go to smaller towns in order to monitor the transparency of the referendum there as well.

Airplane

Missing airliner may have flown on for 7 hours after "disappearing"‏

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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday that a missing passenger jet was steered off course after its communications systems were intentionally dismantled and could have potentially flown on for seven additional hours.

In the most comprehensive account to date of the plane's fate, Najib drew an ominous picture of what happened aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, saying investigators had determined there was "deliberate action by someone on the plane."

Cow

Oops: Retards onboard British Navy warship accidentally fires torpedo into nuclear dockyard

Submarine
© EPA
A Plymouth warship fired a torpedo towards a bridge in a training blunder at Devonport Naval Base. Military chiefs have admitted that a training torpedo was fired by error by HMS Argyll on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 12. Military chiefs launched a major investigation yesterday after a Royal Navy warship accidentally fired a torpedo at a nuclear dockyard.

Workers watched in disbelief as the tube-shaped projectile flew 200 yards through the air before blasting a hole in a security fence and slamming into a storage container.

The torpedo was an unarmed version used for testing drills so it merely thudded into the metal container and did not explode.

Nobody was hurt but shocked Navy bosses ordered an urgent investigation into the incident that took place inside a high security area where Britain's nuclear submarines are refuelled and repaired.

Cult

UK's great World War Two general accused of molesting children 'as they sat in his Rolls-Royce'‏

Viscount Slim
© Unknown
Viscount Slim
A decorated military commander, hailed as one of Britain's greatest, has been accused of molesting children while serving as the Queen's representative in Australia.

Field Marshal William Slim, 1st Viscount Slim, has been accused of abusing the youngsters who attended a school for underprivileged children.

Victims in Australia have come forward, claiming they were abused by the First and Second World War veteran, who died in 1970 at the age of 79.

The Telegraph reported Bob Stevens, has filed a lawsuit against Fairbridge Farm, a school near Pinjarra in south western Australia.

Mr Stevens claims Viscount Slim would arrive at the school in his Rolls Royce and 'the next minute we were sitting on his knee and he's got his hands up our trousers'.

The majority of pupils at the school were British migrants. Mr Stevens was sent to Fairbridge from England at the age of eight.

Laptop

Syrian hackers claim to break into US Central Command network

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© Unknown
SEA Attack on Harvard website
Hackers loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad say they have accessed US military documents after penetrating the network of US Central Command (CENTCOM).

The hackers, who call themselves the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), say they targeted CENTCOM after US President Barack Obama announced a "decision to attack Syria with electronic warfare."

In a message on its Twitter account on Friday, the group claimed to "have already successfully penetrated many central repositories."

Airplane

It WAS hijacked: Malaysian official says it's CONCLUSIVE - seized by individual or group 'with significant flying experience‏

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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Saturday refused to confirm reports the plane was 'hijacked'
Investigators say the missing Malaysia Airlines jet was hijacked and steered off-course.

A Malaysian government official said people with significant flying experience could have turned off the flight's communication devices, meaning the plane could have flown for up to six hours after it was lost by satellite.

The representative said that hijacking theory was now 'conclusive', and police are now believed to be searching the home of one of the pilots.

While Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak refused to confirm that flight MH370 was seized, he admitted 'deliberate action' on board the plane resulted in it changing course and losing connection with ground crews.

Question

New York parrot-pigeon "hybrids" probably just dyed pigeons

Dyed Pigeon?
© bytegirl's flickr
Experts agree: this is not a magical pigeon-parrot hybrid.
Last weekend some mysterious pigeon-parrot hybrids were spotted in Queens, but experts now tell us these are just your garden variety rock pigeons with some colorful dye applied. Next they'll tell us this isn't a photo of Anthony Weiner astride a pegasus! Below are theories and thoughts from a birder, a pigeon fancier, and the NYC Audubon.

New York City birder Yojimbot tells us the pigeon "has been dyed... impossible to say with what but I'm guessing some vegetable based dye, because anything else would affect the flight of the bird. I've heard of similar things in Europe and India for religious ceremonies."

Onorio Catenacci, a pigeon fancier from Michigan, tells us the process is painless: "I've seen pigeons with dyed feathers before; it doesn't hurt the birds at all any more than a human being dyeing his or her hair would hurt them.