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Texas Man Executed for Killing Wife, Her Boyfriend

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© The Associated Press/Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Keith Thurmond
US - A Texas man condemned for fatally shooting his estranged wife and the neighbor who became her boyfriend denied killing them Wednesday, moments before he was put to death by lethal injection.

Strapped to the gurney inside the death chamber, Keith Thurmond declared, "I didn't kill my wife. ... I swear to God I didn't kill her."

His execution for the 2001 slayings near Houston came about an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected arguments to halt the capital punishment, the third this year in Texas. The 52-year-old Thurmond was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m. - 11 minutes after lethal drugs began flowing into his arms.

Thurmond's attorneys argued that lawyers representing him in earlier appeals were "grossly deficient" and that his execution should have been postponed until justices decide on a similar case in Arizona.

With his death nearing Wednesday, Thurmond blamed the shooting deaths on another man before telling prison officials, "Go ahead and finish it off."

As the drugs began flowing, he said, "You can taste it." He wheezed and snored before losing consciousness.

Stormtrooper

Montreal Police Use Tear Gas to Control Protesting Students

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© he Canadian Press/Marie-Esperance Cerda
Police clash with students during a demostration in Montreal, Wednesday, March 7, 2012.
Canada - Four people were injured during student protests as Quebec's battle over university tuition-fee hikes took a nasty turn Wednesday.

Clouds of tear gas wafted over downtown Montreal as riot police used billy clubs to slam their way through protesters who were blocking a public building. Some responded by tossing snowballs at officers.

Though the injuries were all minor, two people - one policeman and one protester - had to be whisked away by ambulance to have their wounds treated in hospital.

The scene in Montreal's streets illustrated the increasingly bitter battle over fees, pitting the Charest government against those who deem the province's rock-bottom tuition rates an inviolable right.

It also served to highlight the student pushback that in the past has dissuaded Quebec governments from increasing rates, which have remained frozen in the province for 33 of the last 43 years while authorities either avoided or abandoned plans for hikes.

Hourglass

Daylight Saving Time 2012: Is It Time to End This Malarkey Already?

Daylight Saving
© Minyanville
Spring forward.

Come 2am on Sunday, March 11, daylight saving kicks into effect. Clocks spring forward one hour to 3am, which means grumpy mornings for everyone since we get one hour of precious sleep taken away from us.

Every year around this time, the debate as to whether or not daylight saving is a good thing gets revived. (Not so much in November since we get an extra hour of sleep then.)

Most of us are familiar with the history of "spring forward, fall back." In the US, DST was first observed in 1918, starting March 31, when the Standard Time Act was established. Since then, there have been numerous changes and adjustments to the duration and scope of DST.

The most recent change came in 2007, when DST was moved to the second Sunday of March. Previously, we only sprung forward on the first Sunday of April. Of course, if you're in the two states that do not observe DST -- Hawaii (because there isn't a large variation in daylight length all year around) and Arizona (because it gets too hot in the summer, so it's better for residents to have more cool hours in the night) -- then you have no clock adjustments to worry about.

One of the biggest reasons advocates of DST put forth for keeping the tradition is that doing so helps America save energy. The logic goes that more people are up at 5pm than at 6am, so a great deal more oil, electricity and energy are used when it's dark out in the evening. Thus, lengthening the amount of daylight in the evening would help significantly cut down the evening peak load, which more than offsets the small increase in the early morning load caused by the change.

Dollar

Greek default about to trigger $1.3tn black hole bigger than Lehman

Greece
© Unknown
Greek bondholders will be compelled to accept terms of their $270 billion restructuring plan tomorrow and that will trigger more than $1.3 trillion in contingent liabilities through loan insurance, and nobody knows exactly who holds that insurance.

It is credit event bigger than the collapse of Lehman Brothers that ushered in the 2008-9 recession. Stock markets sold off sharply yesterday but have barely digested this news.

Star of David

Brooklyn District Attorney Investigating Death Of Baby Who Got Herpes During Ritual Circumcision

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© Unknown
The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office is investigating the death of a two-week old boy who perished at a Brooklyn hospital in September after contracting herpes through a controversial religious circumcision ritual.

"We are looking into the circumstances surrounding the death of this child," said Brooklyn DA spokesman Jerry Schmetterer.

The unidentified infant died Sept. 28, 2011, at Maimonides Hospital, according to a spokeswoman for the city Medical Examiner, who confirmed the death after a News inquiry.

The cause of death was listed as "disseminated herpes simplex virus Type 1, complicating ritual circumcision with oral suction."

Mayor Bloomberg Tuesday defended that finding.

"The doctors who found this are objective and independent scientists who don't answer to anyone, including whoever is Mayor," he told reporters at an unrelated event in The Bronx.

Attention

Homeless Teen Students Exploited For Food & Shelter


Just when you thought the inter-generational tyranny couldn't possibly deteriorate further, here is a piece that'll make you feel simultaneously ill, depressed and outraged.

Blankfein walks around professing to be doing God's work. I never thought God's work was a negative externality that subjected teens to predators in exchange for shelter.

Amazing how the innocent third parties were decimated by a handful of psychopaths so they can jet around in Gulfstream V's with gold faucets. (Hat tip Sax over at Chris Martenson's)
Anne Stattelman, Director of Posada, says that the numbers are indicative of Pueblo County's high poverty rate, reportedly one of the highest in the state. According to the 2010 Census, the county has the highest child poverty rates in the state, an alarming 31 percent.

Stattelman says over they years the rate of ten percent for students reporting they were homeless sometime during the school year, has been fairly consistent. Where she becomes even more concerned is the number of those who do not have a family is growing.

Stattelman says many teens turn to unsafe adults who provide shelter or basic needs in return for favors, including sexual favors.

Pills

Pharmaceutical Corporations: How Poor Indians Are Recruited for Clinical Drug Trials

volunteers for a clinical drug trial
© n/a
View from a hidden camera shows volunteers for a clinical drug trial in a waiting room of one of the companies that conducts the studies.
Few people in the slums of Ahmedabad, India, know more about the supply of human guinea pigs for clinical drug trials than Rajesh Nadia.

When Indian firms working for pharmaceutical companies need test subjects, they often turn to Nadia, who has carved a small niche for himself as a recruiter in the international drug-testing industry.

"Companies call me or send me text messages," he told Dateline NBC correspondent Chris Hansen.

Self-confident and well-groomed with gelled hair and tight-fitting designer jeans, Nadia said he is paid about $12 for every recruit he brings to the three Indian research labs with whom he works. In a region of western Indian where the average worker earns 50 cents a day, that's good money.

"I don't feel guilty," Nadia said. "I believe conducting these studies is a humanitarian effort. So many people benefit from (the) advancement of medicine."

Drug trial outsourcing to foreign countries is rapidly becoming an attractive alternative for U.S. pharmaceutical companies looking to save millions of dollars, avoid regulatory scrutiny and tap into a seemingly endless supply of drug study participants.

But a year-long Dateline investigation into one of the preferred destinations for overseas drug trials, India, raises questions about lax regulatory oversight in these studies, the integrity of some of the companies contracted to run them and the reliability of the data they produce.

Bizarro Earth

Kaptur Defeats Kucinich in Ohio's 9th District Primary

Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, has defeated fellow Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich in the state's 9th District congressional primary.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer called the race for Kaptur near midnight. With 84 percent of precincts reporting, Kaptur led Kucinich 60 percent to 36 percent.

Kaptur and Kucinich were drawn into the same district after slow population growth forced Ohio to contract two seats in congressional redistricting last year. Kucinich ran strong in his Cuyahoga County base outside Cleveland, but Kaptur more than made up the difference around her home in Toledo and the sliver of territory between the two cities that was new to both representatives.

Kaptur's victory puts her in pole position for the top Democratic slot on the powerful House Appropriations Committee next year. She is the second-ranking Democrat on the committee now, but ranking member Norm Dicks, D-Wash., announced last week that he will retire at the end of this Congress.

The result will also end Kucinich's eight-term career in Congress. First elected in 1998, Kucinich used his time in the House to advocate liberal causes, often pushing the Democratic Party from the left on issues like health care reform and the Iraq War. But Kaptur's campaign used Kucinich's reputation as a liberal crusader against him in their merged seat race, repeating that Kucinich was a "show horse" while Kaptur more consistently brought federal money home to the district. For more, go to Hotline On Call.

Comment: They bastardize a decent, thinking human being with Liberal, Left wing.. this is a tragedy.




Arrow Down

Wall Street's worst day of the year

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© Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Stocks tumbled Tuesday, as the risk of a disorderly default in Greece and a reduced growth target in China dented recent confidence in the global economic recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 204 points, marking the worst day of the year for the blue-chip index and the first decline of more than 200 points since Nov. 22.

The CBOE Volatility Index, Wall Street's "anxiety gauge," jumped above its 50-day average for the first time since November. A dozen stocks fell for every issue that rose on the New York Stock Exchange, with bank and mining shares among the top decliners.

Equities' recent gains have been supported in part by expectations that Europe's credit crisis will be contained and China's economy will avoid a hard landing. Recent data seem to undermine these assumptions, at least in part.

"It's one of those days when we are seeing bits of negative news come into one, all at the same time," said Randy Frederick, director of trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research.

Stormtrooper

8 women allege rape, harassment in U.S. military suit

Washington - Eight current and former members of the U.S. military allege in a new federal lawsuit that they were raped, assaulted or harassed during their service and suffered retaliation when they reported it to their superiors.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, accuses the military of having a "high tolerance for sexual predators in their ranks" and fostering a hostile environment that discourages victims of sexual assault from coming forward and punishes them when they do. The suit claims the Defense Department has failed to take aggressive steps to confront the problem despite public statements suggesting otherwise.

The eight women include an active-duty enlisted Marine and seven others who served in the Navy and Marine Corps. Seven women allege that a comrade raped or tried to sexually assault them, including in a commanding officer's office after a pub crawl in Washington and inside a Naval Air Station barracks room in Florida. The eighth says she was harassed and threatened while deployed to Iraq, only to be told by a superior that "this happens all the time."

"There (are) no circumstances under which women who are brave enough and patriotic enough to stand up and defend this nation should have to be subjected to being called 'slut, whore, walking mattress,'" said Susan Burke, a lawyer representing the women. "This is the year 2012. This kind of conduct is not acceptable."