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Fri, 27 Jan 2023
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Kony island: Inside the weird world of Jason Russell

KONY 2012 director Jason Russell describes himself as a radical, rebel soul and dream evangelist.

"If Oprah, Steven Spielberg and Bono had a baby, I would be that baby," he told a magazine last year.

Now he can add another attribute to the list, one that Oprah, Spielberg and Bono are unlikely to approve of: man who runs through the street naked ranting about the devil.

Russell, the co-founder of controversial charity Invisible Children, was taken to a psychiatric ward in San Diego, California, on Thursday after suffering a meltdown in public. He is to be released later today.

TMZ released video footage of Russell hitting the pavement with his fists, swearing to himself and shouting.

It was claimed that Russell was also caught masturbating in the street.

Heart - Black

One in ten British women have been raped

© Unknown
The devastating scale of sexual violence against women in Britain is exposed today by new research which indicates that the vast majority of victims do not report perpetrators to the police.

One in 10 women has been raped, and more than a third subjected to sexual assault, according to a major survey, which also highlights just how frightened women are of not being believed. More than 80 per cent of the 1,600 respondents said they did not report their assault to the police, while 29 per cent said they told nobody - not even a friend or family member - of their ordeal.

Negative social attitudes to rape and sexual assault victims play a big part in the reluctance of women to come forward, the survey by Mumsnet suggests. Nearly three-quarters (70 per cent) of respondents feel the media is unsympathetic to women who report rape, while more than half say the same is true of the legal system and society in general.


White supremacist sheriff candidate says he's just a "concerned citizen"

© The Associated Press/Jason Hunt
Shaun Winkler stands next to Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler during a 2001 Idaho protest
US, Idaho - Distasteful and often baseless accusations of racial insensitivity are nothing new in politics. But one man running for sheriff in Idaho proudly proclaims his prejudice but says he won't discriminate on the job.

According to the Bonner County Daily Bee, local sheriff candidate Shaun Patrick Winkler, 33, has ties to the Aryan Nations and Church of Jesus Christ-Christian, both white supremacist organizations. And despite having taken part in race-based protests, Winkler says he's running in opposition to "increasing federal reach" into the county.

"Whether people will believe me or not, it will be entirely up to their own discretion," Winkler told the paper.


Afghan Murder Suspect Bales 'Took My Life Savings,' Says Retiree

US - Robert Bales, the staff sergeant accused of massacring Afghan civilians, enlisted in the U.S. Army at the same time he was trying to avoid answering allegations he defrauded an elderly Ohio couple of their life savings in a stock fraud, according to federal documents reviewed by ABC News.

"He robbed me of my life savings," Gary Liebschner of Carroll, Ohio told ABC News.

Financial regulators found that Bales "engaged in fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, churning, unauthorized trading and unsuitable investments," according to a report on Bales filed in 2003. Bales and his associates were ordered to pay Liebschner $1,274,000 in compensatory and punitive damages but have yet to do so, according to Liebschner.


Idaho Senate Votes to Require Pre-Abortion Ultrasound

© Reuters/Joshua Lott
Guadalupe Hernandez receives an ultrasound by nurse practitioner Gail Brown during a prenatal exam at the Maternity Outreach Mobile in Phoenix, Arizona October 8, 2009.
US: Salmon, Idaho - The Idaho Senate on Monday approved a measure requiring women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound before ending a pregnancy, joining a number of states passing ultrasound measures to discourage abortions.

The bill now heads to the state House of Representatives, where it was expected to pass.

Idaho's Republican Governor, C.L. "Butch" Otter has not yet said whether he would sign the bill into law and a spokesman declined to comment on Monday.

Otter said last April, after signing a measure banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, that he supported restrictions on abortion.

Idaho is among 10 states considering a form of ultrasound legislation, said Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager for the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion-rights think tank.

A law recently passed in Virginia goes into effect in July, which will bring to eight the number of states requiring pre-abortion ultrasounds, she said.

The bill moving through Idaho's legislature is modeled after a Texas law which requires abortion providers to show or describe to a woman an ultrasound image of her fetus.

Heart - Black

Death of U.S. teen by neighbourhood watch captain prompts outrage

© Reuters/Handout
An undated handout photo released by the Martin family public relations representative shows 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
US: Orlando, Florida - Responding to an international petition, celebrity tweets, and spreading public outrage, the Justice Department opened an investigation on Monday into the shooting of a black teenager by a neighborhood watch captain who escaped arrest.

More than 435,000 people, many alerted by tweets from celebrities like movie director Spike Lee and musician Wyclef Jean, signed a petition on Change.org, a social action website, calling for the arrest of the shooter, George Zimmerman.

The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and the FBI announced they have opened an investigation into the February 26 shooting in Florida of an unarmed 17-year-old, Trayvon Martin.

"The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation," the department said.

The campaign to draw attention to the case is the third largest in Change.org's history, and surpassed a petition of about 300,000 signatures credited last year with persuading Bank of America to drop plans for a $5 debit card fee, said Megan Lubin, a Change.org spokeswoman.


Woman arrested after seven-month-old baby found abandoned behind Manitoba school

© Robin Dudgeon / QMI Agency
Portage Emergency Services responded to a call of an abandoned child at about 3:45 a.m. Saturday behind Fort La Reine School. The 28-year-old mother was arrested and is due to appear in provincial court at a later date.
Canada - Manitoba RCMP say a seven-month-old baby girl was abandoned outside a school in the middle of the night before being found by a passerby.

The lightly dressed baby was left in some leaves near the school's steps early Saturday and spent about two hours alone before a man came by on a bicycle and heard a faint cry, Cpl. Miles Hiebert said.

"He heard a sound that he thought at first was a cat," Hiebert said Monday. "He went by, and then decided on second thought to return and check it out, and it actually turned out to be this baby.

"Luckily, this gentleman did find her and prevented a real tragedy."

The baby was taken to hospital and treated for exposure, and is reported to be doing well, Hiebert said.

Police officers discovered a stroller nearby and later found the mother, who police say had been drinking.


Wave of bombs kills dozens in 12 cities across Iraq

© Ako Rasheed/Reuters
Iraqi security forces inspect the site of a bomb attack in Kirkuk on Tuesday. A car bomb exploded near a police headquarters, killing seven people and wounding 30, police and health sources said.

At least 39 people were killed and 188 wounded as car and roadside bombs exploded in at least 12 cities and towns across Iraq Tuesday, police and hospital sources said, extending a spate of violence ahead of next week's Arab League summit in Baghdad.

The meeting is seen as the country's debut on the regional stage following the withdrawal of U.S. troops in December and Iraq's government is anxious to show it can reinforce security to host its neighbors. Tuesday is the ninth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion.

The AFP news agency reported that while violence in Iraq was down from the peak in 2006 and 2007, a total of 150 Iraqis were killed last month.

The deadliest attack on Tuesday occurred in the southern Shiite Muslim holy city of Kerbala, where twin explosions killed 13 people and wounded 48, according to Jamal Mahdi, a Kerbala health department spokesman.

"The second explosion caused the biggest destruction. I saw body parts, fingers, hands thrown on the road," 23-year-old shop owner Murtadha Ali Kadhim told Reuters.

Magic Wand

Inside The LC: The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation Part XXI

"Why people even said Dr. Crandon committed illegal operations on little children and murdered them."

Mina/Margery Crandon
Houdini's Chinese Water Torture Cell
© houdinez.tripod.com
On April 29, 1911, Houdini debuted his famed Chinese Water Torture Cell escape in Southampton, England, though he had perfected and copyrighted the act well over a year earlier. The inherently dangerous stunt caused quite a sensation: "Just the sight of the apparatus was enough to give you shivers and make you believe, as one critic noted, that you were about to witness a ritual sacrifice."

Around that same time, Houdini was, for reasons unknown, busily buying mothballed electric chairs at auctions across the country.

In 1913, Houdini's beloved mother passed away, which apparently resulted in Harry learning some deep family secret. Following her death, Houdini sent the following cryptic note to one of his brothers: "Time heals all wounds, but a long time will have to pass before it will heal the terrible blow which Mother tried to save me from knowing." The meaning of this rather provocative note remains a mystery. Houdini, by the way, was in Denmark when his mother died, and he requested a delay of her funeral to allow himself time to return to the States. Despite strict prohibitions in Jewish law, the entertainer's request was, of course, granted.

In December 1914, just a few months after the staged provocation that allegedly triggered World War I, Houdini was summoned to the nation's capitol for a private audience with then-President Woodrow Wilson. It is anyone's guess what business the two men discussed, but it probably had little to do with stage tricks.
Houdini's Straightjacket Escape
© Prairie Ghost.com
Houdini became known as the "Handcuff King" but he also perfected the straitjacket escape, which would earn him worldwide fame.

A year-and-a-half later, on that most notorious of dates, April 20, an estimated 100,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C. to watch Houdini perform a straightjacket escape. Other than for a presidential inauguration, it was said to be the largest crowd ever assembled in downtown Washington. One year later, in April 1917, the US declared war on Germany.

For the duration of the United States' involvement in the war, Houdini spent a considerable amount of time aiding the war effort, both through fundraising and by frequently visiting the front lines, where he ostensibly went from camp to camp providing entertainment for the troops.

Houdini's Hollywood career also began just as the US was entering the war. It has often been said that one of his first credits was as a special-effects consultant on the Mysteries of Myra cliffhanger serial, though others have claimed that Houdini had no involvement in the production. Curiously, the real consultant for the project is said to have been occultist/intelligence asset Aleister Crowley.

Che Guevara

Cuba's Ladies in White warned public protests no longer allowed

© Reuters
Members of dissident group The Ladies in White march during their weekly protest in Havana.
The women said that state security told them that they can attend mass in Havana, but cannot march outside. The action comes a week before Pope Benedict XVI arrives for three-day visit.

Cuba's Ladies in White say the secret police have told them that they will shut down the only public protests allowed by the government anywhere on the island - the marches staged by the women after Sunday masses in Havana's Santa Rita church.

The threat came as police arrested more than 70 group members over the weekend and dissidents stepped up their activities as Cuba prepares for Pope Benedict XVI's three-day visit to Havana and the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, starting Monday.

The Ladies in White have been generally allowed to protest outside the Santa Rita church since mid-2010, when Cardinal Jaime Ortega interceded with the government after the women were accosted, sometimes lewdly, several times by mobs of government supporters.

Their Sunday marches after mass at Santa Rita, where many churchgoers are foreign residents of Havana, along the grassy median of Fifth Avenue in the western neighborhood of Miramar have been the only such regularly occurring protest in Cuba.

Police have cracked down harshly, however, when women tried to launch similarly peaceful marches elsewhere, including the cathedral in the city of Santiago de Cuba and the Basilica of Our Lady of Charity in El Cobre, both in eastern Cuba.