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Iran Sentences Former President's Daughter to Jail

Image
© Reuters/STR News
Faezeh Rafsanjani (C), daughter of former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, attends a protest at the Ghoba mosque in northern Tehran June 28, 2009.
The daughter of influential former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was on Tuesday sentenced to jail and banned from political activities for "anti state propaganda" dating back to the 2009 disputed presidential election, Iranian media reported.

The Islamic state has piled pressure on the opposition ahead of a parliamentary election in March 2, the first test of the clerical establishment's popularity since the 2009 vote that critics say was rigged to re-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Rafsanjani, who heads a powerful body that resolves disputes between parliament and a hardline clerical body, sided with the pro-reformers after that vote, which brought tens of thousands of people onto the streets during eight months of protests.

Daughter Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani went on trial last month on charges of "campaigning against the Islamic establishment," student news agency ISNA said.

She was arrested and briefly detained after addressing supporters of candidate Mirhossein Mousavi when they gathered near the state television building in Tehran in defiance of a ban on opposition protests in the aftermath of the election.

Heart - Black

Seven-year-old sacrificed to the gods for good harvest in India

Devotees marching forward in Agartala - capital of Tripura, India. Spirituality, despite poverty and several social evils, is the hallmark of India.
© Jaydip Chakrabarti
Devotees marching forward in Agartala - capital of Tripura, India. Spirituality, despite poverty and several social evils, is the hallmark of India.


New Delhi - A seven-year-old girl was ritually murdered and her liver offered to the gods in return for good agricultural harvest in the central state of Chhattisgarh, India, police said on Sunday.

According to Narayan Das, police chief of Bijapur district, in a telephone conversation with AFP: "A seven-year-old girl was sacrificed by two persons superstitiously believing that the act would give a better harvest."

Police arrested two men in connection with the murder of Lalita Tati after her body was found in October. Her family had reported her missing. According to the police, the men confessed to the crime.

AFP reports that the jungle district of Chhattisgarh is a rebel Maoist stronghold where human sacrifice is still practiced. The sacrifices are believed to appease the gods, spirits and deities.

Attention

Nigeria protests turn violent as price of fuel doubled

Nigeria fuel protest
© Reuters
Nigeria's decision to cancel the subsidy has led to mass demonstrations in cities across the country
At least one person has been killed in Nigeria as violence erupted during angry protests against the doubling of fuel prices.

Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in the commercial capital, Lagos, on Tuesday to vent their anger over a government measure to remove a popular fuel subsidy,

Protesters shut down petrol stations, formed human barriers along motorways and hijacked buses as police used riot control tactics to control them. Witnesses said security forces shot one man at a demonstration after a mob assaulted a Nigerian soldier.

Meanwhile in the central city of Ilorin, another violent protest left one man dead.

V

US: Montanans Move To Recall Congressional Delegation

chains we believe in
© Unknown
Montana residents William Crain, an artist and Stewart Rhodes, an attorney, have launched a petition to recall the state's congressional delegation, Sen. Max Baucus (D), Sen. Jonathan Tester (D) and Rep. Denny Reberg (R) over their vote for the National Defense Authorization Act that explicitly authorized the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects, including American citizens. Montana is one of nine states that has provisions to recall its elected federal officials. Under the Montana Recall Act all state officials in Montana are subject to recall for physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of the oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of a felony offense. The Montana petitions (there is one for each of the three), states the following "reason for recall":

Pistol

US, Washington: Iraq Veteran 'With PTSD' Suspected in Murder of Ranger


UPDATE 12:30 PM MONDAY: The body of a man believed responsible for fatally shooting a ranger in Mount Rainier National Park on Sunday has been found in a ditch in the snow, law enforcement sources said Monday. Updates in The Today File.

ORIGINAL STORY: A man who was being sought in the shooting of four people at a New Year's party in South King County early Sunday is suspected in the fatal shooting of a park ranger in Mount Rainier National Park later in the morning.

Park Ranger Margaret Anderson, a mother of two who was married to another ranger at the park, was shot about 10:30 a.m. after setting up a roadblock to stop a car that was fleeing another officer.

She was shot when the driver apparently stepped out of the vehicle with a shotgun and opened fire. It took authorities nearly 90 minutes to get to her because the assailant continued to fire an assault rifle at Pierce County SWAT team officers as they tried to assist the injured ranger, officials said.

Anderson was the first park ranger shot and killed in the line of duty at Mount Rainier.

Nearly eight hours earlier, King County sheriff's deputies responded to shots fired at a party in Skyway, where an early-morning session of "show and tell" with guns among several armed partygoers devolved into a shootout, according to detectives.

Heart - Black

US, Colorado: Dogs Found Skinned Along Larimer County Roads


Investigators in Larimer County want to find the person responsible for a disturbing case of animal cruelty.

Two dogs were found mutilated outside of Berthoud last week.

The dogs were discovered just a few miles apart. They were so badly abused that veterinarians can't even tell what breed they were.

The first discovery came after an anonymous call on Wednesday. Police found the dog on the side of County Road 4. Police said the dog was skinned and beheaded, and the tail also removed.

Then on Saturday, a second gruesome discovery made along County Road 16 - an almost identical case.

Phoenix

Terrorists Blast Gas Pipeline in Syria

Image
© Press TV
Smoke is seen coming up from a pipeline carrying oil from east to west Syria, which was blown up in the Soltaniyeh area near a refinery in the city of Homs on December 8, 2011.
Terrorists have blown up a gas pipeline near the Syrian town of Rastan in the central province of Homs, where no casualties are reported.

"A terrorist group has targeted a gas pipeline near Rastan," said SANA news agency.

The attack comes in the wake of a similar incident in the same location last week.

Several gas pipelines have been targeted in the volatile state over the past months during the unrest that hit the Middle Eastern country.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011, with demonstrations being held both against and in favor of President Bashar al-Assad.

Eye 1

Israel Nabs French Chemist 'Murderers'

Israeli police
© Press TV
An Israeli police car
Israeli police have arrested four people on suspicion of their involvement in the killing of French chemist Elie Lalouz, a Tel Aviv court has revealed.

The suspects - two female escorts and their male friends - were taken into police custody in Tel Aviv last week following a police investigation, which revealed the involvement of the suspects in the crime.

The women reportedly confessed to the killing, saying that they drugged the 70-year-old chemistry expert and stabbed him to death in his Dizengoff Street apartment. They then put a plastic bag over his head and set his body on fire to cover up the evidence of the crime.

Police found the remains of Lalouz's body after neighbors called to report a strong smell of smoke.

Police also alleged that the two women's partners were also involved in the murder. All four suspects have Ukrainian nationality and are living illegally in Israel.

Handcuffs

US: Three Arrested for Peddling Miracle Cure from Stem Cells


Three men were arrested and a fourth is being sought by the FBI in connection with what investigators said was a scheme to market stem cells as miracle cures to desperate people suffering from terminal diseases.

"Protecting the public from unproven and potentially dangerous drug and medical procedures is very important," said U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. "This office will continue to prosecute violations involving threats to the public health."

The arrests began in the last ten days after two indictments were issued in November charging the four with 39 counts of mail fraud and unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, and selling stem cells and stem cell procedures not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

One of the four men charged, Vincent Dammai, 40, of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, was identified as a researcher at the Medical University of South Carolina. The FBI said he used university facilities to create stem cells without obtaining permission from the FDA or university officials.

Francisco Morales, 52, of Brownsville, Texas, is charged with falsely saying that he was a medical doctor who operated a clinic in Brownsville that specialized in using stem cells to treat "incurable diseases."

Handcuffs

US, Texas: Man Arrested with Explosives at Airport was Army Expert

Image
© Reuters/Midland County Sheriffs Office
On January 2, 2012. Atwater, 30, was booked in the Midland County Jail after a routine TSA check noticed he had explosives in his carry on luggage while trying to board an American Eagle flight from Midland International Airport to Dallas Saturday morning, according to an FBI statement.
A man arrested on New Years Eve at a Texas airport with explosives is an Army-trained demolitions expert and member of the elite Green Berets who served in Afghanistan and is stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, military officials said on Monday.

Trey Scott Atwater, 30, was being held in the Midland, Texas County Jail on a federal charge of attempting to board an aircraft with an explosive, the FBI said.

He was detained after a routine Transportation Security Administration (TSA) check noticed he had explosives in his carry on luggage while trying to board an American Eagle flight from Midland International Airport to Dallas Saturday morning, according to an FBI statement.

Officials declined to speculate on the reason Atwater had the explosives, which city officials said were in "military grade explosives wrapping" in his bag.

"At no time was there any danger to the people at Midland International Airport or the people of Midland Texas," Mark Morgan, Special Agent in Charge of the El Paso office of the FBI said in a statement.