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Nuke

U.S. Nuclear Bomb Facility Shut after Activists Breached Security

Washington - The U.S. government's only facility for handling, processing and storing weapons-grade uranium has been temporarily shut after anti-nuclear activists, including an 82-year-old nun, breached security fences, government officials said on Thursday.


WSI Oak Ridge, the contractor responsible for protecting the facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is owned by the international security firm G4S, which was at the center of a dispute over security at the London Olympic Games.

Officials said the facility was shut down on Wednesday at least until next week after three activists cut through perimeter fences to reach the outer wall of a building where highly enriched uranium, a key nuclear bomb component, is stored.

The activists painted slogans and threw what they said was human blood on the wall of the facility, one of numerous buildings in the facility known by the code name Y-12 that it was given during World War Two, officials said.

While moving between the perimeter fences, the activists triggered sensors that alerted security personnel. But officials conceded the intruders were still able to reach the building's walls before security personnel got to them.

Ellen Barfield, a spokeswoman for the activists who called themselves "Transform Now Plowshares," said three were arrested and charged with vandalism and criminal trespass.

Pistol

Homeless Man Found With Cache of Weapons, Ammo and List of Politicians' Names

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© San Francisco Police Dept.
Robert Johns
San Francisco Police displayed an array of high power weapons and ammunition Wednesday that were found in a homeless man's car last month in Golden Gate Park.

Officers had prior contact with the man, but Chief of Police Greg Suhr ended up defending his department even though the suspect got past them with a large amount of weapons.

When police found a huge cache of guns, knives, a shotgun, 5,800 rounds of ammunition and camouflage gear in Robert Johns' car on July 21st it was thought they may have diverted some kind of planned attack.

Also in that vehicle was a list of names of political leaders, reportedly including President Barack Obama.


Beer

Olympics: Drunk Australian Rower Arrested after Shop Front Damaged

An Olympic rower for Australia was arrested by police after a shop front was damaged, officials said today.


Joshua Booth, 21, then fainted and hit his head while at the local police station and had to be taken to hospital for a check-up.

Booth, who it is believed may have been drinking, competed in the men's eight rowing event yesterday, but his team failed to win a medal.

He was arrested early today following the incident in Egham, Surrey. Booth must return to the police station tomorrow.

Nick Green, Australia's Olympic Commission chef de mission was called from the police station at 3.30am with the news that one of his team's athletes was under arrest.

Mr Green, speaking at a press conference in the Olympic Park, said: "At about 3.30 last night I had a phone call, we had an unfortunate incident.

Comment: Let the orgies begin! Athletes come clean on Olympics debauchery
Olympic Athletes Leak Village's Sex, Drinking and Drug Secrets


Toys

Teddy Bears Get the Drop on Belarus, Bring Down Two Generals

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© The Associated Press/Gero Breloer
Swedish Tomas Mazetti, left, and Hannah Frey, right, show a teddy bear on a parachute as they pose for a photo in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. The slogan on the paper fixed to the bear reads "We support the Belarusian struggle for free speech". Mazetti and Frey intruded Belarus' airspace with a Swedish light plane and dropped in hundreds of such teddy bears decked out in parachutes and slogans supporting human rights. Belarus' authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko has sacked the nation's air defense chief and the head of the Border Guards service after this action.
It's probably the first time in history that teddy bears have defeated generals.

Belarus' authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko has sacked two of the nation's top defense officials after two Swedish advertising agency employees piloted a light plane into the country's heavily guarded airspace, dropping 879 teddy bears decked out in parachutes and slogans supporting human rights.

Officials in the ex-Soviet state denied the July 4 incident until Lukashenko called a meeting last week to scold authorities for allowing such a "provocation."

The Belarusian ruler nicknamed "Europe's last dictator" on Tuesday fired the nation's air defense chief and the head of the Border Guards service and reprimanded several other top security officials, his office said Wednesday.

Thomas Mazetti and Hannah Frey, the two Swedes behind the stunt, said they wanted to show support for Belarusian human rights activists and embarrass the country's military, a pillar of Lukashenko's power.

"Hopefully, we've made people more aware in the world and that there will be more people supporting Belarusian people," Frey said.

Bizarro Earth

Vacant Detroit Becomes Dumping Ground for the Dead

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© The Associated Press/Carlos Osorio
In a July 31, 2012 photo, a trashed strewn street is seen in east Detroit. Abandoned lots, alleys and neglected parks in Detroit used to be a favorite destination for discarded tires and trash. But over the past few months they have become dumping grounds for the dead.
From the street, the two decomposing bodies were nearly invisible, concealed in an overgrown lot alongside worn-out car tires and a moldy sofa. The teenagers had been shot, stripped to their underwear and left on a deserted block.

They were just the latest victims of foul play whose remains went undiscovered for days after being hidden deep inside Detroit's vast urban wilderness - a crumbling wasteland rarely visited by outsiders and infrequently patrolled by police.

Abandoned and neglected parts of the city are quickly becoming dumping grounds for the dead - at least a dozen bodies in 12 months' time. And authorities acknowledge there's little they can do.

"You can shoot a person, dump a body and it may just go unsolved" because of the time it may take for the corpse to be found, officer John Garner said.

The bodies have been purposely hidden or discarded in alleys, fields, vacant houses, abandoned garages and even a canal. Seven of the victims are believed to have been slain outside Detroit and then dumped within the city.

It's a pattern made possible by more than four decades of urban decay and suburban flight. White residents started moving to burgeoning suburbs in the 1950s, then stepped up their exodus after a deadly 1967 race riot. Detroit's black middle class followed over the next two decades, leaving block after block of empty homes.

Bulb

General anatomy Of a power outage

Power Grid
© Stephanie Carter/Illustration Works/Corbis
What happened in India is still sketchy. India's power minister cited excess demand on the system, while a former electricity regulator told the New York Times that the problem was political interference in the operation of the grid.
With a giant swath of India losing power in the largest blackout in history, we look at exactly how these utilities work.

The blackout that blanketed India earlier this week was one of the largest of its kind in history. Some 670 million people went without power in an area stretching across northern India.

Details are still sketchy, but the incident has raised questions about whether a similar event could happen in the United States.

The U.S. electrical grid is pretty robust. Nobody expects power to go out on a regular basis. But there are still situations that can cause major failures, and the interconnected nature of the electrical grid means a problem in one place can be far-reaching.

"Our grid is just one big machine," said Steven Greenlee, a spokesman for the California Independent System Operator Corporation, which manages power distribution across most of the state.

The total amount of energy on a network is constant, and the voltage and current are related. They also have to be kept at certain levels. Another wrinkle in alternating current systems is that generators all have to run in sync with each other.

All this means that the loads on the equipment transmitting power have to be balanced. Too much demand in one area pulls more current through the system and drops the voltage. But running more current has another effect: Equipment heats up. The power lines, substations and everything else that make up the grid are all designed to operate up to a certain temperature.

Bizarro Earth

Sign of the times: Chinese teen kills nine in knife attack

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© Getty Images
A teenager has been arrested after killing nine people and wounding four others in a knife attack in northeast China, state media reported Thursday.

The 17-year-old, who was identified only by his surname Li, barged into the home of his girlfriend armed with a knife following an argument and killed two relatives of the girl, the Legal Daily said.

As he left his girlfriend's home in Liaoning province's Xinbin county, he stabbed six more people to death and wounded five, it said.

One of the injured died Thursday in hospital, the paper said.

Li was arrested near the scene of the attack, late on Wednesday night, and was taken into custody, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Police had nabbed him as he was preparing to jump from a building in an apparent suicide attempt, it added.

Bizarro Earth

Olympic bus driver bailed by police after running over cyclist

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© AFP
The driver of an Olympics media shuttle bus was bailed by police on Thursday following a fatal collision with a cyclist just outside London's Olympic Park.

The driver, in his mid-60s, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, following the incident late Wednesday.

An AFP reporter saw a man's legs protruding from under the double-decker bus on a Games lane slip road leading from the park. The man's mangled racing bicycle lay nearby.

The cyclist, a man aged 28, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The incident happened just outside the perimeter of the Olympic Park behind the Riverbank Arena, where a men's hockey match between Pakistan and Argentina was taking place.

Bizarro Earth

Video: Woman Sentenced to Community Service for Innocent Child's Play

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© Unknown
Mom Susan Mortensen has agreed to 50 hours of community service after her 4-year-old daughter used chalk to draw on rocks on Belle Isle in Richmond, Virginia.

Even though her daughter did the drawings, Mortensen was convicted on charges of vandalism, but the charges will be dismissed by the judge if she completes the 50 hours of work, according to WWBT-TV (video below).

Mortensen will have to clean and repaint hundreds of rocks, but first, she will have to remove all the weeds around the rocks.

Arrow Down

San Bernardino, California, files for bankruptcy with over $1 billion in debts

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© Unknown
San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday citing more than $1 billion of debts and making it the third California city to seek protection from creditors. The city of about 210,000 residents 65 miles east of Los Angeles declared a fiscal crisis last month after a report said local government had tapped out its reserves and projected spending would top revenue by $45 million in the fiscal year that began on July 1.

The filing, made in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Central California District, states that the city has 'more than $1 billion' in liabilities, and estimated that it has between 10,001 and 25,000 creditors. It also states that San Bernardino has estimated assets of more than $1 billion. San Bernardino's city council voted on July 24 to adopt an emergency three-month fiscal plan that would suspend debt payments, freeze vacant jobs and quit paying into a retiree health fund while city staff produce a more detailed bankruptcy plan. "The bankruptcy filing was just to get the protection in place, to kick the process off," a city spokesperson said.