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Mon, 28 Nov 2022
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Drones coming to a sky near you as interest surges

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Sharp-eyed dog walkers along the San Francisco Bay waterfront may have spotted a strange-looking plane zipping overhead recently that that looked strikingly like the U.S. stealth drone captured by Iran in December.

drones in US skies
© Eric Risberg/AP
In this March, 28, 2012, photo, Mark Harrison, right, and Andreas Oesterer, left, prepare their drones for a flight over a waterfront park in Berkeley, Calif.
A few key differences: The flying wing seen over Berkeley is a fraction of the size of the CIA's waylaid aircraft. And it's made of plastic foam. But in some ways it's just like a real spy plane.

The 4 1/2-foot-wide aircraft, built by software engineers Mark Harrison and Andreas Oesterer in their spare time, can fly itself to specified GPS coordinates and altitudes without any help from a pilot on the ground. A tiny video camera mounted on the front can send a live video feed to a set of goggles for the drone's view of the world below.

"It's just like flying without all the trouble of having to be up in the air," Harrison said.

Heart - Black

Ohio Woman Stabbed, Suffocated, Dismembered, and Parts of Remains Taken to Kentucky.; 5 Arrested

© unknown
From left, Matthew Starr Puccio, Andrew Peter Forney, Kandis Jenniene Forney, Christopher Wright and Sharon Cook have been arrested in connection to the brutal murder of Jessica Rae Sacco
US: Urbana, Ohio - Five people have been arrested in connection with the death of an Ohio woman who police said was stabbed, suffocated and dismembered in a bathtub before some of her remains were taken to Kentucky.

Jessica Rae Sacco, 21, was found dead Friday in her apartment in Urbana, about 40 miles northwest of Columbus. Authorities arrested five people Saturday, including a 25-year-old man who lived at the same address as Sacco. He's charged with murder, assault, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

"We believe that he stabbed her, and then subsequently suffocated her by placing a bag over her head," police Chief Matt Lingrell told WDTN-TV. The station said police described the murder suspect as Sacco's on-again-off-again boyfriend. His bond is more than $530,000.

He was arrested in Hamilton along with a man and woman from Fenton, Mich. Felony charges against the Michigan couple and a man and woman from Urbana allege they failed to intervene during the killing or helped to hide it, police said.


Willie Brigitte arrested in French terror crackdown

© unknown
Willie Brigitte
A man convicted of plotting to attack the Lucas Heights nuclear research facility outside Sydney is among 17 people arrested in a French crackdown on suspected Islamist networks.

Willie Brigitte was deported from Australia in 2003 after being convicted of the attempted attack.

Brigitte was sentenced to nine years in jail, but allowing for time already spent in custody, he was freed in 2009.

When police raided his suburban home in Paris on Friday morning they did not find any weapons, but they did confiscate his computer and a mobile phone.

France's domestic intelligence unit says those arrested are French nationals involved in "collective war-like training, linked to a violent, religious indoctrination".


Three Bombs in Thailand's South Kill at Least 14

© Sumeth Panpetch/Associated Press
Thai fire fighters and soldiers walk at the site of the car bomb attack in Yala province, in southern Thailand, Saturday. Suspected Muslim insurgents set off co-ordinated bomb blasts as shoppers gathered for lunch Saturday in a busy hub of Thailand's restive south.
Three car-bomb attacks Saturday in southern Thailand, which killed at least 14 people and wounded hundreds of others, are propelling a long-simmering Muslim insurgency to a fresh crisis point after years of brutal attacks.

The blasts singled out weekend shoppers and vacationers in bustling commercial zones, a move security analysts said shows that Thailand's southern militants are modifying their targets by searching out higher-profile targets, and turning a low-intensity campaign into a much more dangerous conflict.

National police chief Priewpan Damapong early Sunday confirmed a third car bomb, which triggered a fire at a hotel in Hat Yai city, killing at least three people and badly damaging a McDonald's restaurant.

Security officials blamed the attacks on Muslim rebels seeking to break away from the control of the national government of this predominantly Buddhist nation.

Authorities said the first set of explosives were planted in a parked pickup truck and tore through a street of restaurants and stores in Yala city, the main commercial area in Thailand's three Muslim-majority southern provinces.


Trayvon Martin Case Exposes Worst in Media

Trayvon martin and George Zimmerman

Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman
The Trayvon Martin case has exposed some of the media's worst tendencies--selective editing, rushing to judgment, stoking anger for ratings and page views--and it's taken more than fake photos, the incendiary stumbles of Geraldo Rivera and Spike Lee and verbal clashes between Piers Morgan and Toure to shine a light on them.

Here are three recent, troubling examples:
  1. After ABC News aired surveillance video of George Zimmerman, Martin's shooter, entering a police precinct without any apparent injuries, the Daily Caller treated the tape like a Zapruder film, enhancing still images from the video and concluding that it found "what may be an injury to the back of his head." The site's photo "analysis" of the back of Zimmerman's head--replete with yellow Photoshopped arrows--"indicates what appears to be a vertical laceration or scar several inches long."

    Keep in mind, this is the same Daily Caller that published 152 pages of what the conservative site claims were Martin's tweets--which, if they were, prove that Martin was a pretty typical high school male, preoccupied with girls, sex and getting out of class early.

Cell Phone

Students Face School Punishment for Facebooking, Tweeting

© Agence France-Presse
Philippine girl banned from graduation, Indiana student expelled for using social media outside of school

We've all been cautioned about bosses or potential employers looking at our social media activity, but now some schools are taking drastic steps after students post items they don't like.

A 16-year-old girl in the Philippines is being banned from her graduation ceremony for posting pictures on her Facebook page. In the photos she posed in a bikini while holding a cigarette and a liquor bottle. The girl, who attends the St. Theresa's College High School in central Cebu City, will graduate, but she can't take part in the ceremonies, reports the Associated Press.

The mother is suing the private school and calling the punishment "too harsh" and "unjust," according to Asia One.

But it isn't just Facebooking outside of school that can land students in trouble. A high school senior in Indiana has been expelled for using swear words in an off-school hours tweet. Yahoo! News describes the tweet as "non-threatening," but it did drop a number of F-bombs. The school discovered the late-night tweet because its computer system tracks the students' social media presence.


Falkland Island Hero's Brutal Past Discovered

Carlos Diaz
Human rights activist Carlos Diaz stands in Mar del Plata City Hall, where a wall displays portraits of the victims of a 1970s-era military dictatorship in Argentina.
Capt. Pedro Giachino was the first to die in his country's failed invasion of the Falkland Islands, 30 years ago Monday. He's an iconic figure of sacrifice, but human rights groups have found another role he played in Argentina's history.

In Argentina, Capt. Pedro Giachino has long been remembered as a hero. He was the first to die in his country's failed invasion of the Falkland Islands, which took place 30 years ago on Monday.

Recently, though, human rights groups discovered that the iconic figure of sacrifice in the war with Britain had been a henchman in Argentina's brutal military dictatorship.

Carlos Diaz, a leading human rights activist in the city of Mar del Plata, walks gingerly into the city council, a dimly lighted chamber that is a sort of microcosm of Argentina's once-violent past.

On two walls are solemn photographs of soldiers - heroes killed in Argentina's ill-fated war over the Falklands. On a third wall, there are 433 black-and-white photographs of young men and women from this orderly city on the Atlantic coast.

"What we see here are those who were disappeared or executed in Mar del Plata," says Diaz, referring to people who were interrogated by the military and killed. Their bodies were secretly buried or tossed into the Atlantic from aircraft.

2 + 2 = 4

Schools Called Hotbeds for Luring Young Sex Slaves

Prosecutors training educators to spot kids in trouble, warn playgrounds can be hunting grounds

© Unknown
"Many girls are forced to go to middle school playgrounds and recruit other young girls" into prostitution, said Assistant District Attorney Lauren Hersh.
It's the most chilling of hunting grounds.

Sex traffickers who coerce kids into prostitution are using the city's schoolyards and playgrounds as recruiting offices.

It's such a troubling problem that Brooklyn prosecutors have started training educators on how to spot kids in peril on their turf.

"It happens enough that I can say it happens a bunch," Assistant District Attorney Lauren Hersh told the Daily News. "Many girls are forced to go to middle school playgrounds and recruit other young girls."

Hersh, who runs a pioneering sex-trafficking unit for the DA's office, has held several workshops and hopes to expand into as many schools as possible.

Last fall, pimp Abking Wilcox admitted turning girls as young as 15 into being sex slaves and making them recruit others in Bushwick and Brownsville middle schools.


The shame of Apple: iPhone factories where they work 76 hours a week and up to 11 days straight

Factory workers in China assembling iPhones and iPads for Apple are working exhausting hours for low pay, a report commissioned by the computer giant has admitted.

The inquiry, set up by Apple after a series of suicides at its Chinese factories, revealed employees often worked more than 76 hours a week and 11 days in a row.

The investigation, which was run with America's Fair Labour Association, found 'significant' failings at three Chinese plants run by Foxconn, a major supplier for Apple which also makes half of the world's consumer electronics.

© Unknown
First visit: Tim Cook at a brand new Foxconn factory in Hebei
Critics have blamed a string of suicides and injuries on appalling conditions at the 'sweatshop factories', where 90 per cent of Apple's products are put together.

As a result of the report, Apple and Foxconn bosses have agreed to reduce working hours, improve health and safety conditions, and 'establish a genuine voice for the workers'.


Fans Burn Couches, Flip Cars after Kentucky's Win

© The Associated Press/The Courier-Journal/Amy Wallot
Kentucky fans dance around a fire on State Street as they celebrate Kentucky's 69-61 win over Louisville in an NCAA Final Four semifinal college basketball tournament game, Saturday, March 31, 2012, in Lexington, Ky.
US: Louisville, Kentucky - Riot police used pepper spray in small amounts for crowd control as thousands of rowdy fans swarmed into the streets near the University of Kentucky campus, overturning cars and lighting couches ablaze after a victory over cross-state rival Louisville in a Final Four matchup.

Police had been bracing for the possibility of post-game violence and resorted to pepper spray though large amounts weren't needed before they ultimately began dispersing the throngs, Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said.

She said 150 officers deployed on the streets at one point to quell what she called "a very dangerous situation with the fires and the violence" that dragged on for hours.

"It's a fairly difficult situation, but not anything we didn't plan for," Roberts told The Associated Press.

Lexington City spokeswoman Susan Straub said police made fewer than 10 arrests, and a few injuries were reported after the celebrations turned rowdy in the streets after the Wildcats' 69-61 win in New Orleans.

Roberts subsequently told The Lexington Herald-Leader that by 1 a.m. there had been at least 13 arrests, including several people suspected of arson. The newspaper also reported police had to dodge flying beer bottles while taking fire extinguishers to put out dozens of fires involving sofas, trash and other debris set ablaze in the streets. There were no immediate reports of any serious injuries to police.