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New Zealand: Mutilated Sharks Found on Beach

Mutilated Baby Sharks
© Stuff.co.nz
Dead and Dissected: More than a 100 baby sharks, missing their backs, were found on Waiheke Island.

More than 100 baby sharks have washed up on Waiheke Island minus their fins, sparking a Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries investigation.

Two visitors to the Waiheke Winter Blues Festival made the gruesome discovery while walking the coastal route around Owhanake Bay on Sunday.

At the western end of Owhanake Beach the two men, Keith Chaplin and Nigel Brunt from Whangaparaoa, found more than 100 dead baby sharks measuring "about a foot long".

"The seagulls had been at them a bit but it was obvious all their backs were missing," Chaplin says.

The two men reported it to Waiheke police on Monday as they had only been able to leave an answerphone message to MAF on Sunday.

A police spokesperson says it will be investigated by a fisheries officer.

Heart - Black

'I am your everyday psychopath': What UK rapist wanted for murder of 77-year-old spinster told earlier teenager victim

A fugitive rapist who went on the run after a frail spinster was murdered in a hammer attack at her home once told a victim: 'I am your everyday psychopath.'

Graeme Jarman, 47, was jailed for seven years for the horrifying rape at gunpoint of his 17-year-old victim who later described him as an 'evil and cunning' predator.

'I suffered seven hours at the hands of that man,' she said. 'He told me to shut up and do what he said, adding, "I am your everyday psychopath". Those words will live with me for ever.'

© Unknown
Ready to board: Footage of Greame Jarman getting on a bus in Stockton High Street, Cleveland, on the morning of Friday, August 26
© Press Association
Wanted by police: Jarman caught on CCTV shortly after 9am
Jarman, a former civil servant, is now at the centre of a nationwide manhunt mounted by detectives investigating the killing of 77-year-old pensioner Judith Richardson.


Revolution is a Potluck

"A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another." ~Mao Zedong
© Unknown
First of all, don't worry, I am not advocating violent overthrow of the Robber Class in this piece - now that your mind is eased (or disappointed), I will go on.

Today, Peace of the Action, and our Re-Creating Revolutionary Communities or Bust Tour is wrapping up near Yosemite in bucolic (and hot), Oakhurst. We began in Eugene, Or. and stopped in Hood River and Newport before heading down to California where we had events in Arcata, Garberville, Fresno and soon in Oakhurst.

At each stop, a community potluck was included and I observed and heard many revolutionary acts being planned by members of each community stemming from the mere act of building community


US, Massachusetts: Obama's Uncle Held by Immigration Authorities

© The Associated Press/Framingham Police Department
This Aug. 24, 2011 black-and-white booking photo provided Monday, Aug. 29, 2011 by the Framingham Police Department shows Onyango Obama, arrested in Framingham, Mass., for several infractions, including operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. He is the uncle of President Barack Obama.
President Barack Obama's uncle was stopped on suspicion of drunken driving in Massachusetts, told police he planned to arrange bail through the White House and is being held without bail by federal immigration officials, authorities said Monday.

Onyango Obama, 67, was arrested last week in Framingham, about 20 miles west of Boston, after police said he made a rolling stop through a stop sign and nearly caused a cruiser to strike his sport utility vehicle.

Police said that after being booked at the police station, Obama was asked whether he wanted to make a telephone call to arrange for bail. "I think I will call the White House," he stated, according to a police report filed in Framingham District Court.

Police said Obama, who is originally from Kenya and is the half-brother of the president's late father, pleaded not guilty Friday and is being held without bail on a detainer from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In a court document, ICE said Onyango Obama had an earlier deportation or removal order.

His immigration status couldn't immediately be confirmed, but such orders are generally reserved for people living in the country illegally. A spokesman for ICE declined to comment on Onyango Obama's immigration case, and the White House had no comment.

Obama was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and failure to yield the right of way.

Michael Rogers, a spokesman for Cleveland immigration attorney Margaret Wong, said Wong will represent Obama. He confirmed that Onyango Obama is the half-brother of Obama's father and the full-blooded brother of another relative, Zeituni Onyango, of Boston.


US, Texas: Convicted polygamist leader Jeffs hospitalized in Texas, prison official says he's not eating

© The Associated Press/Tony Gutierrez
In this Aug. 5, 2011 file photo, Warren Jeffs, right, is escorted out of the Tom Green County Courthouse by a law enforcement officer in San Angelo, Texas. The polygamist leader has been hospitalized after not eating or drinking enough.
A Texas prison official says polygamist leader Warren Jeffs has been hospitalized after not eating or drinking enough since his recent conviction on child sexual assault charges.

Michelle Lyons with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice told The Associated Press on Monday that the head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is in critical but stable condition.

Jeffs attorney Emily Detoto told the AP that Jeffs was taken Sunday night to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler. She says he "hasn't been feeling well" but wouldn't elaborate.

The 55-year-old was convicted earlier this month on charges that he sexually assaulted underage followers he took as spiritual brides.

Jeffs has been housed at the Powledge Unit outside Palestine, about 100 miles (160 kilometres) southeast of Dallas.

Source: The Canadian Press


What's going on with the economy?

sinking economy
© coto2

There's a very good post over at Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis today. ("US in recession right here, right now") Blogger Mike Shedlock makes the case that the economy may already be in recession. It's all matter of whether if one uses the the consumer price index (CPI) or the the BEA's measure of price inflation to make their calculations. There's a fair amount of technical jargon to wade through in the article, but the charts are pretty persuasive and--if nothing else--they reinforce most people's suspicions that the economy is getting worse by the day.

It's too bad we don't have a financial media that's willing to explain what's going on in simple terms (like Mish), but we don't. Instead, we're deluged with daily datapoints that have little meaning to the average working slob who just wants to know whether he's going to have a job tomorrow or if the company he works for is going to pack-it-in and head for Shandong Province.

Monday's report on consumer spending is a perfect example of how the media distorts the news to create a cheery narrative of "economic recovery". Here's a clip from Bloomberg:
"Consumer spending climbed more than forecast in July as Americans dipped into savings to buy cars and cool their homes, showing the biggest part of the economy is holding up.

Purchases rose 0.8 percent, the biggest gain since February, after a 0.1 percent decline the prior month, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 74 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 0.5 percent increase. Incomes grew 0.3 percent, pushing the savings rate to a four-month low.

Industry data showed autos sold at the fastest pace in three months as supply constraints from Japan's March earthquake began to ease, while outlays on services, which includes utilities like electricity and gas, climbed at the fastest pace since December 2009."

Heart - Black

China: Eight Children Hurt in Shanghai Day Care Attack

© Agence France-Presse
Eight children have been hurt after a staff member at a day care centre for the children of migrant workers in China's eastern city of Shanghai went on a stabbing spree, local media said
Eight children were hurt on Monday when a staff member went on a stabbing spree at a day care centre for migrant workers' children in the Chinese city of Shanghai, local media said.

The female worker used a box cutter to slash at children aged between three and four years old at the "Little Happiness Star" nursery in an eastern suburb of Shanghai, the Xinmin Evening News said on its website.

"Adults and children were all screaming 'Help'," it quoted one witness as saying.

The incident was the latest in a series of violent attacks against children that have forced the authorities to increase security and brought calls for further investigation into the root causes of such acts in China's schools.

The suspect, who is believed to have suffered from psychiatric problems, has been detained by police, the newspaper said. Her name was not given.


Canada, North Slave Region: Futuristic 'Airships' Planned for North

© unknown
Yellowknife, British companies sign tentative deal for aircraft that can land almost anywhere

A British manufacturer hopes to build a fleet of airships for Yellowknife's Discovery Air to supply remote communities and enterprises in the North, the two companies say.

The futuristic giant blimps from Hybrid Air Vehicles would cost $40 million each, Discovery Air Innovations, a Quebec-based subsidiary of Discovery Air, announced after signing a tentative deal with HAV.

The aircraft use a mix of non-flammable helium and air power to fly and can land on almost any surface, HAV says on its website.

They'll be able to carry up to 50 tonnes of cargo to mining camps and remote communities, HAV says.

Stuart Russell, the vice-president of a Yellowknife mining logistics company, suggests northern transportation is a challenge just waiting for solutions.

Magic Wand

US, Montana: Rare Fortune Teller Discovered in Ghost Town Prompts Big Offers from Copperfield, Collectors

© The Associated Press / The Canadian Press / Michael Albans
In this July 28, 2011 photo, a visitor sits outside the Gypsy Museum which houses an antique Gypsy fortune teller machine, in Virginia City, Mont., and has received multimillion dollar offers from curators including magician David Copperfield. Collectors say the 100-year-old machine that speaks your fortune may be the last of its kind.
The Gypsy sat for decades in a restaurant amid the Old West kitsch that fills this former gold rush town, her unblinking gaze greeting the tourists who shuffled in from the creaking wooden sidewalk outside.

Some mistook her for Zoltar, the fortune-telling machine featured in the Tom Hanks movie Big. Others took one look at those piercing eyes and got the heebie-jeebies so bad they couldn't get away fast enough.

But until a few years ago, nobody, not even her owner, knew the nonfunctioning machine gathering dust in Bob's Place was an undiscovered treasure sitting in plain sight in this ghost town-turned-themed tourist attraction.

The 100-year-old fortune teller was an extremely rare find. Instead of dispensing a card like Zoltar, the Gypsy would actually speak your fortune from a hidden record player. When you dropped a nickel in the slot, her eyes would flash, her teeth would chatter and her voice would come floating from a tube extending out of the eight-foot-tall box.

Word got out when the Montana Heritage Commission began restoring the Gypsy more than five years ago, and collectors realized the machine was one of two or three "verbal" fortune tellers left in the world.


Family of dismembered 8-year-old sue child's murderer for $100 million

levi aron
© Getty Images
Levi Aron admitted to the brutal homicide

In a gesture that is more symbolic than punitive, the family of Leiby Kletzky has filed a wrongful death suit against the child's admitted kidnapper and killer Levi Aron.

The slain boy's father, Nachman Kletzky, is seeking more than $100 million in damages from the psychopath that abducted his son as he walked home from day camp last month, later smothering the child.

A civil suit filed with the Brooklyn Supreme Court states that Leiby Kletzky:
was terrorized, physically and psychologically assaulted and injured, and was murdered and his body dismembered, with parts of his body hidden in a refrigerator.