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Mon, 17 Jan 2022
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Funny Thing: It's not the end of the world

© Unknown
Ben Bromley
The good news is we aren't dead. The bad news is we will be soon. And that's a real shame, given how close I am to amassing a complete set of Smurfs glasses from Hardee's.

If only I had another year to find a mint-condition Gargamel glass. But sadly, according to doomsday preacher Harold Camping, the world will end Oct. 21, leaving my collection of 1982 fast-food chain giveaways tragically incomplete.

Of course, we've heard it all from Camping before. The California radio host first predicted the apocalypse in 1994, then blamed his folly on a mathematical error. He renewed his prophecy this year, stating 200 million Christians would be taken to heaven May 21, before the Earth was destroyed. But once again, he had forgotten to carry the 1: When the world didn't end, Camping went back to the blackboard and decided the Rapture would occur Oct. 21. He predicts our planet will be consumed by a fireball, so be sure to keep your SPF 80 handy.


Russell Crowe calls Jewish circumcision 'barbaric' and compares it to human sacrifice in Twitter row

Russell Crowe - talking sense on circumcision
Russell Crowe, the Gladiator star, has sparked outrage after describing circumcision as barbaric in an angry four-letter outburst on the social networking site Twitter.

The Oscar-winning actor laballed the practice "barbaric and stupid" during a row with his Twitter followers, telling them to "f--- off" if they disagreed with him.

The 47-year-old engaged in an angry exchange with one follower, whom he branded a "moron", before imploring Jewish people to "stop cutting your babies".

The debate followed a question by one of his fans called @picknic11 who asked him: "My son is due soon. Do you think I should get him circumstanced? [sic]"

Crowe tweeted: "Circumcision is barbaric and stupid. Who are you to correct nature? Is it real that GOD requires a donation of foreskin? Babies are perfect."

He added: "Many Jewish friends, I love my Jewish friends, I love the apples and the honey and the funny little hats but stop cutting yr babies.

"I will always stand for the perfection of babies, I will always believe in God, not man's interpretation of what God requires.

"Last of it, if u feel it is yr right 2 cut things off yr babies please unfollow and f--- off, I'll take attentive parenting over barbarism."


Mutant rabbit born near Fukushima plant

The birth of a white rabbit with no ears not far from the damaged Fukushima power plant in Japan has sparked fear in locals.
The animal is a living reminder of the danger that radiation leakages may pose, reports Italian Corriere TV, branch of the newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The Fukushima nuclear power plant was damaged by the powerful earthquake and the subsequent tsunami on March 11. Authorities evacuated all residents within 20 km as the reactors went into meltdown. The exclusion zone was later extended to 30 km.

The mutant rabbit was born in a village just outside the perimeter.


UK: Princess Di's Letters May Fetch As Much as $30,000

© Express Newspapers/Getty Images
Prince Charles and Princess Diana stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding ceremony at St. Paul's Cathedral, London, England, July 29, 1981.
They were the personal letters of a very public princess.

And now a 30-year collection of previously unpublished letters penned by the late Princess Diana has been unveiled for the first time, to be sold to the highest bidder.

"Just a cosy nest for Mr. and Mrs. Wales to roost," the Princess of Wales wrote of Highgrove, the new home she shared with Prince Charles shortly after their lavish royal wedding.

The letters, more than 30 years worth, dating as far back as September 1981, will be sold on June 21 at a Royal Memorabilia auction in England.


Canada: Catholic Schools in Ontario Ban Rainbows

While most people may see rainbows as a good sign because the rain is ending, some Catholic schools in Ontario have banned visual references to the iconic colourful arch.

Leanne Iskander, 16, tells Xtra that the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board prevented her group from displaying any rainbows at their information booth during an anti-homophobia event last week.

Iskander is the founder of the unofficial gay-straight alliance at St. Joseph Catholic School in Mississauga.

"We brought signs and posters with rainbows, and we were told we can't put them up," says Iskander to Xtra. "They said rainbows are associated with Pride. There's so many other things that a rainbow could be. It's ridiculous."

But this did not stop the group from showing a rainbow. They baked cupcakes with different colour icing and displayed them on the table so it resembled a rainbow. Better yet, when people bit into the cupcake, there was a rainbow of colours inside.


18 Killed in Western India When Truck Plows into Pilgrims Asleep by Roadside

Police say a truck plowed into a group of pilgrims sleeping by the roadside in western India, killing 18 of them and injuring seven.

Senior police official Ashish Bhatia says the accident took place before dawn Thursday about 50 miles (80 kilometres) southwest of Ahmadabad after a burst tire made the truck driver lose control of his vehicle.

Police inspector K.V. Jhala says the pilgrims were on their way to a Sufi Muslim shrine in the town of Baliad. Many pilgrims walk to the shrine and often rest by the roadside.

Police figures show India has the world's highest road death toll, with more than 110,000 people dying each year in accidents commonly caused by speeding, overcrowding and poor vehicle and road maintenance.

Source: The Canadian Press


US: Rapper Lupe Fiasco Calls Obama a "Terrorist"

© Meredith Gregory
Lupe Fiasco doesn't have a lot of love for President Barack Obama.
Popular rapper criticizes fellow Chicagoan

We know of at least one Chicago rapper who won't be getting an invite to the White House anytime soon.

Lupe Fiasco called out President Barack Obama this week, calling his fellow Chicagoan "the biggest terrorist."

The comments came in an interview with CBS News Tuesday while discussing the political content of his music.

As political as the statement sounds, Fiasco, who grew up on the West Side, says he doesn't vote or get involved in politics.


Canada: Two Killed in Bizarre Motorway Accident as Airborne 21Stone Black Bear Smashes Through Car Windscreen

A man and woman were killed in a bizarre motorway accident when an airborne 21stone black bear smashed through their windscreen and exited through the back window.

Their car was travelling east on Highway 148 just outside Quebec, Canada, at around 10.30pm on Monday night.

A vehicle travelling in the opposite direction hit the bear, sending it flying into the air across the other lane.

Bizarre accident: Two people were killed when an airborne bear smashed through the windscreen of a car on a motorway near Quebec in Canada

The bear lies dead at the side of the road after being struck by two cars
It was then struck by the second car, killing the 25-year-old female driver and her friend Steven Leon, 40, who was sat in the back seat.

The driver, a student dietitian who was due to graduate in September, has not been named at the request of her family.

Alarm Clock

Measles epidemic spreads in Quebec

© David McNew/Getty Images
File photo: A child reacts to a Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccination (MMR) as his father comforts him in 2002.
254 cases; disease leapfrogged from Europe

Montreal - Quebecers travelling to Europe this summer should make sure their immunizations are up to date, as France battles a measles epidemic, health officials warned Monday.

An outbreak of measles - a highly contagious respiratory disease that's jumped here from Europe - has affected 254 people in Quebec, and officials expect more as the virus spreads among people who have not been vaccinated.

Waves of the vaccine-preventable disease have been reported in the United States, England, Wales and France. The disease's rise is often cited as a legacy of a now-discredited study by a British autism guru who scared parents from immunization.

It's not known whether vaccine rates in Quebec are decreasing as the province does not keep a formal register. But increasingly, doctors are spending more time with parents answering questions about immunization fears, said Montreal pediatrician Richard Haber, director of the pediatric consultation centre of the Montreal Children's Hospital. Controversies over measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines have eroded public confidence in vaccination and threaten herd immunity, he said.


US: Casey Anthony trial continues: Cadaver dog handler tells court he was 'overwhelmed' by smell of death in trunk of Anthony's car

A sniffer dog trained to detect human corpses homed in on the boot of Casey Anthony's car and on a patch of grass in front of her dead daughter's playhouse, a court in Florida heard today.

Gerus, a German Shepherd dog working with Orange County Sheriff's Department K-9 unit during the search for missing toddler Caylee Anthony in July 2008, indicated that he could smell human death in the back of Anthony's Pontiac Sunfire car, and at a spot in the garden of her home in Orlando.

The canine detective, who is trained only to hunt for human remains and to ignore distractions such as food and other odours, twice gave his handler an indication known as a 'final trained alert' to indicate that it had pinpointed a scent source.

© Associated Press
On trial: Casey Anthony sits in the courtroom before the start of court on the 12th day of her murder trial at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando today