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"Hundreds" of poisoned meatballs discovered in SFO dog zones

Poisoned Meatballs
© The San Francisco Appeal
San Francisco police are continuing to investigate a case involving numerous poisonous meatballs found on city streets recently.

Police warned dog owners in the city's Twin Peaks and Diamond Heights neighborhoods about the meatballs last week, and now say hundreds have been recovered.

The meatballs, which investigators said contained rodent poison, had been deliberately placed in spots where dogs defecate in the area of Crestline, Burnett and Parkridge drives, according to police.

One dog gobbled up a meatball last Wednesday evening while being walked by its owner, then became sick and had to be taken to a veterinarian, police said.

Anyone who sees anything resembling the meatballs should call the Police Department's non-emergency number at (415) 553-0123. Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity is asked to call 911.

Police also advised residents in those neighborhoods who have been involved in disputes over pets to call the Park Station investigations team at (415) 242-3000 and ask to speak with Lt. Pengel or Inspector Nannery.


'Juror B37′ sheds light on not guilty verdict in Zimmerman murder trial

A juror in the George Zimmerman trial said Monday that the actions of the neighborhood watch volunteer and Trayvon Martin both led to the teenager's fatal shooting last year, but that Zimmerman didn't actually break the law.

She also revealed that during initial deliberations, half of the jurors wanted to convict Zimmerman.

The woman known as Juror B37 told CNN's Anderson Cooper that Zimmerman made some poor decisions leading up to the shooting, but that Martin wasn't innocent either.

"I think both were responsible for the situation they had gotten themselves into," said the juror, who is planning to write a book about the trial. "I think they both could have walked away."

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Nutritional tests conducted on hungry Canadian aboriginals: documents

Nutritional Tests
© The Canadian Press/Library and Archive Canada/HandoutA nurse takes a blood sample from a boy at the Indian School, Port Alberni, B.C., in 1948, during the time when nutritional experiments were being conducted on students there and five other residential schools.
Recently published historical research says hungry aboriginal children and adults were once used as unwitting subjects in nutritional experiments by Canadian government bureaucrats.

"This was the hardest thing I've ever written," said Ian Mosby, who has revealed new details about one of the least-known but perhaps most disturbing aspects of government policy toward aboriginals immediately after the Second World War.

Mosby - whose work at the University of Guelph focuses on the history of food in Canada - was researching the development of health policy when he ran across something strange.

"I started to find vague references to studies conducted on 'Indians' that piqued my interest and seemed potentially problematic, to say the least," he said. "I went on a search to find out what was going on."

Government documents eventually revealed a long-standing, government-run experiment that came to span the entire country and involved at least 1,300 aboriginals, most of them children.

It began with a 1942 visit by government researchers to a number of remote reserve communities in northern Manitoba, including places such as The Pas and Norway House.

They found people who were hungry, beggared by a combination of the collapsing fur trade and declining government support. They also found a demoralized population marked by, in the words of the researchers, "shiftlessness, indolence, improvidence and inertia."

The researchers suggested those problems - "so long regarded as inherent or hereditary traits in the Indian race" - were in fact the results of malnutrition.


Amnesia victim in California was member of Swedish medieval society

A man found unconscious in a California motel room who left US authorities baffled when he woke up only speaking Swedish, has been identified by a member of a Swedish medieval society as one of their kin

"I first met him when we were both members of a Middle Ages association called the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA) in the 1980s. He went by the name of Strongbow," Johan Cassel of the SCA told The Local on Monday.

Cassel explained that the man identified in US and Swedish media reports as Michael Boatwright spent several periods living in Sweden before they lost contact in the late 1990s, adding that Boatwright learnt to speak Swedish fairly well.

"He could speak pretty good Swedish, although you could hear that he came from an English-speaking country. He had an accent," Cassel said.

The SCA is an international association that brings together people with an interest in the Middle Ages and members typically engage in range of activities, such as jousting. According to fellow member Olle Sahlin, Boatwright was active in the SCA's European chapter and was an early member of the Swedish Jousting Team.

"He organized a jousting exhibition for Saab and Scania's anniversary in 1985. I was one of the extras clad in a costume from the Middle Ages," Sahlin told The Local.

Sahlin explained that the SCA was launched in Sweden in the early 1980s and joined up with a Europe-wide movement that was dominated by servicemen and women of the US armed forces based in Europe.

"The SCA is divided up in districts, principalities and kingdoms. We are in the principality of Nordmark, in the Kingdom of Drachenwald," Sahlin told The Local.

Johan Cassel also recalled having met Boatwright while competing in jousting events and reports that the American, who originates from Florida, was a pretty accomplished performer.

Comment: Man found in California motel awakens with amnesia


Food prices in Indonesia soar during Ramadan

© JG Photo/Rezza EstilyBeef prices have skyrocketed throughout the month of Ramadan, peeking on Sunday at Rp 120,000 per kilogram.
Prices for certain kinds of food have doubled five days into the Ramadan fasting month, prompting the president to scold his ministers for their failure in preventing the inflation.

One of the more significant increases has been the price of beef, which jumped from between Rp 50,000 and Rp 60,000 ($5 and $6) to Rp 110,000 and 120,000 per kilogram on Sunday.

Meanwhile, some traders have been selling chicken meat at Rp 45,000, up from Rp 25,000, and the price of chilli has risen to Rp 100,000 from Rp 50,000 per kilogram.

In several Bogor markets for instance, traders have complained that sales of beef have dropped by half because it has become difficult to make sales at such a high price.

"Rp 110,000 is the highest price I have ever sold since I started selling beef 10 years ago," said Syahroni, a beef seller at the city's Jambu Dua market on Sunday.

The Indonesian Merchants Association (Ikappi) also confirmed that in general the price of beef had increased by almost 40 percent to Rp 120,000 per kilogram, while chicken meat surged to Rp 42,000 from Rp 27,000 per kilogram per kilogram.


San Francisco plane crash victim may have been run over by ambulance

© ReutersUS National Transportation Safety Board investigators work at the scene of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash site at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California.
An investigation into how the teenager died began as it emerged that the plane's pilot Lee Kang-kuk, 46, was training and in the process of getting a licence for the Boeing 777, which he was landing at that airport for the first time.

One of two Chinese schoolgirls who died in a plane crash in San Francisco may have survived the disaster only to be run over by a fire engine or ambulance.

An investigation into how the teenager died began as it emerged that the plane's pilot Lee Kang-kuk, 46, was training and in the process of getting a licence for the Boeing 777, which he was landing at that airport for the first time.

He had logged only 43 hours at the controls on nine flights in that aircraft. More than 180 people were injured, 49 of them seriously, when Asiana Airlines Flight 214 hit a sea wall at the start of the runway, ripping off its tail, on Saturday.


Greece grinds to a halt as thousands join strike against further public sector staff cuts

Thessaloniki protest
© AFP Photo / Sakis MitrolidisProtest against fresh austerity measures the government is imposing in order to keep receiving EU-IMF loans in Thessaloniki on July 16, 2013.
Tens of thousands of Greeks have abandoned their workplaces on Tuesday and rallied in front of parliament in the capital Athens against government plans to satisfy foreign lenders by firing public sector employees.

It is the third and the largest general strike the crisis-hit country has experienced since the start of the year.

The 24-hour walkout came a day before the Greek MPs vote on a series of unpopular reforms, which the European Union and International Monetary Fund say are obligatory if Greece want more financial aid.

"The public sector still composes a major part of the Greek economy. These jobs are protected by the constitution since the end of the 19th century," RT's correspondent, Egor Piskunov, reports from Athens.

Heart - Black

Terry Smith Jr. - The strange, sad story of a murdered 11 year old boy in Menifee, California

An 11 year old boy named Terry Smith Jr. disappeared from Menifee California on Saturday July 6th 2013. My family and I were involved in the search effort and my daughter is a classmate and acquaintance of the boy's older brother. I will share my observations of the events of this past week to the best of my ability in case you are unfamiliar with this story.

Terry, known as JuJu, lived with his mother Shawna Smith and her lesbian partner Denise, his 14 year old half-sister Mary Atilano and his 16 year old half-brother Skylar Atilano, in a small rural community about half-way between, and a bit east of, Los Angeles and San Diego. Once a small farming town from California's early days, Menifee has grown to approximately 80,000 residents in the last few decades and only recently incorporated as a city. Terry's home was located in area that has seen very little change during the development boom and is referred to as "Old Menifee". That area is known for having pockets of poverty, with drug use rampant among a certain percentage of the population that is made up of mostly "old time" families that have lived in the valley since well before the boom. Terry's home is located in one of those pockets just south of the center of "Old Menifee", the Menifee Market.

The community first became aware of Terry's disappearance on Sunday July 7th. The initial story circulating was that Terry's mother left for the evening at 7:30pm on Saturday to play on her pool league at a local bar and left 11 year Terry in bed, with his older brother Skylar looking after him. She returned late and did not check in on Terry until the next morning at 10:30 am when she realized he was missing. She notified police and news spread quickly in town that a small autistic boy had possibly wandered off and was lost in the rocky and desolate hills of Menifee in 100F temperatures wearing only basketball shorts and no shirt or shoes. Bloodhounds had traced his scent to the end of the dirt road near the family's home. Here is the Riverside County Sheriff's press release with a list of agencies that assisted in the effort.

Comment: Sadly, stories of children murdering children - assuming that this is what happened in this case - are all too common in today's world. Although numerous charlatans are found among 'psychic detective' types, a number of murder cases have been solved thanks to tip-offs from people who can see/sense/intuit/read into the crimes.


Best of the Web: The U.S. v. Trayvon Martin: How the system worked

Trayvon Martin
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Senator Rand Paul, Florida State Representative Dennis Baxley (also sponsor of his state's Stand Your Ground law), along with a host of other Republicans, argued that had the teachers and administrators been armed, those twenty little kids whose lives Adam Lanza stole would be alive today. Of course, they were parroting the National Rifle Association's talking points. The NRA and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the conservative lobbying group responsible for drafting and pushing "Stand Your Ground" laws across the country, insist that an armed citizenry is the only effective defense against imminent threats, assailants, and predators.

But when George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, teenage pedestrian returning home one rainy February evening from a neighborhood convenience store, the NRA went mute. Neither NRA officials nor the pro-gun wing of the Republican Party argued that had Trayvon Martin been armed, he would be alive today. The basic facts are indisputable: Martin was on his way home when Zimmerman began to follow him - first in his SUV, and then on foot. Zimmerman told the police he had been following this "suspicious-looking" young man. Martin knew he was being followed and told his friend, Rachel Jeantel, that the man might be some kind of sexual predator. At some point, Martin and Zimmerman confronted each other, a fight ensued, and in the struggle Zimmerman shot and killed Martin.


Man found in California motel awakens with amnesia

© AP Photo/The Desert Sun, Jay CalderonThis June 28, 2013 photo shows Michael Boatwright, who refers to himself as Johan Ek, a 61-year-old Florida man who awoke with no memory of his past speaking only Swedish and no English, in Palm Springs, Calif. Police transported Boatwright to the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, Calif. after he was found unconscious in a Motel 6 room in February.
Palm Springs - Four months after he was found unconscious in a Palm Springs, Calif., motel, doctors are looking into the mystery of a Florida man who awoke with no memory of his past and speaking only Swedish.

Michael Boatwright, 61, woke up with amnesia, calling himself Johan Ek, The Desert Sun reports. Boatwright was found unconscious in a Motel 6 room in February. After police arrived, he was transported to the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs where he woke up.

Hospital officials said Boatwright may have been in town for a tennis tournament in the Coachella Valley. He was found with a duffel bag of exercise clothes, a backpack and tennis rackets.

He also carried four forms of identification - a passport, a California identification card, a veteran's medical card and a Social Security card - all of which identified him as Michael Thomas Boatwright.

Palm Springs police have documented his information in case anyone lists Boatwright as missing or wanted, authorities said.

In March, doctors diagnosed Boatwright with Transient Global Amnesia, a condition triggered by physical or emotional trauma that can last for several months.

The rare mental disorder is characterized by memory loss, "sudden and unplanned travel," and possible adoption of a new identity, according to the Sun.