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Bad Guys

US - 16-year-old North Carolina teen Rebecca Blackmore stabbed newborn, left body in her closet: cops

© Currituck County Sheriff's Office
Rebecca Blackmore, 16, was charged with first degree murder for allegedly killing her newborn baby, police say.
A teenager in North Carolina gave birth to a beautiful baby girl last Friday, then brutally stabbed her to death, authorities said.

The 16-year-old is now facing first-degree murder charges and is in the custody of the Currituck County Sheriff's Office.

Heart - Black

Pervert tax consultant posed as Harrods' modelling agent to trick women into bizarre sex acts

© Manchester Evening News
Conman: Jeffrey Edwards offered modelling work to 18 women over three years in a bid to seduce them
A tax consultant posed as a modelling agent for Harrods in a bid to trick women into bizarre sex acts.

Jeffrey Edwards scoured small ads and customers' details on his work database to identify victims. He told them he was a fashion industry insider called Brett Raphael.

The 47-year-old, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, offered modelling work to 18 women over three years, using home-made documents and cash to convince them he was a talent scout for top stores, including the famous Harrods store in London.

In fact, he had no connection with Harrods or any other shops.

But, once women had given him their phone number, Edwards, of Romiley, would 'relentlessly' text them asking for intimate details or making obscene suggestions.

He turned up on the doorstep of a young mum he met in the street even though she hadn't given him her address. Once inside Edwards demanded to see 'cleavage' and tried to coax her into posing topless for a photo-shoot.

Heart - Black

Rebels rape 100 women in Congo in latest mass rape

About 100 women have been sexually assaulted and many more injured in the latest mass rape by suspected rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, international aid workers and local media reported Thursday.

The attacks took place between June 10 and 12 in villages about 25 miles north of the town of Fizi in South Kivu, medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) told Reuters by telephone.

"We have medical teams in the area, we were about to start on a mass vaccination program when we started hearing stories of rape relating to these events," said Megan Hunter, the mission head in South Kivu, from the Dutch branch of MSF.

"We've certainly treated over 100 women who say they have been raped or are suffering trauma," she said, adding they were working with Congo's Ministry of Health officials to confirm the numbers of victims.

The attacks have been blamed on a group of about 200 rebels who had been integrated into the Congolese army before deserting this month, U.N.-backed Radio Okapi said.


US: Forced sterilization victims in North Carolina voice anger, grief

© AP
"It's hard for me to accept or understand or even try to figure out why these kinds of atrocious acts could be carried out...," said Gov. Bev Perdue.
There is nothing the state of North Carolina can do, Elaine Riddick says, to make up for forcing her to be sterilized when she was 14 years old.

"They cut me open like I was a hog," said Riddick, who now lives in Atlanta. She spoke Wednesday at a hearing of a panel working to determine compensation for thousands of victims of the state's defunct eugenics program. "My heart bleeds every single day. I'm crushed. What can they do for me?"

Riddick, 57, was one of 13 people who spoke at the meeting, and one of nearly 3,000 living victims of the program, which was shuttered in 1977, three years after the last sterilization was performed.

Bizarro Earth

US: Arrest Ends Manhunt in New York Drug Store Shooting; 4 people Killed in Botched Long Island Robbery

© Stephen Barcelo for Daily News
David Laffer is removed by police from his Medford, L.I., home which was raided by cops Wednesday morning in connection with the quadruple homicide at a pharmacy.
Medford - The tall, gaunt man entered the pharmacy cloaked in a loose sweat shirt, baseball cap and glasses. His thin face was hidden under a bushy beard as he opened fire, killing all four people inside during a robbery for painkillers.

Police circulated clear surveillance photos of the suspect after the weekend shooting, and received hundreds of tips in an intense manhunt that ended Wednesday with the capture of a 33-year-old who was led from his Long Island home in handcuffs.

David Laffer, who a few years ago proposed to his now-wife at a New York Islanders hockey game, was later arrested and charged with first-degree murder and resisting arrest, according to Suffolk County Police. He was being held overnight at the Fifth Precinct and was scheduled for arraignment Thursday, police said.

Laffer said nothing as he was led from police headquarters Wednesday wearing a white jumpsuit. He was later briefly hospitalized, but officials did not say why.

His wife, 29-year-old Melinda Brady, also was taken away. She was arrested on charges of robbery for her involvement in the drug store heist and obstructing governmental administration. Her role in the robbery wasn't specified. Police said she was being held overnight and also is to be arraigned Thursday.

Bad Guys

US: Why is there a Media Blackout on Nuclear Incident at Fort Calhoun in Nebraska?

Since flooding began on June 6th, there has been a disturbingly low level of media attention given to the crisis at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Facility near Omaha, Nebraska. But evidence strongly suggests that something very serious has in fact happened there.

On June 7th, there was a fire reported at Fort Calhoun. The official story is that the fire was in an electrical switchgear room at the plant. The apparently facility lost power to a pump that cools the spent fuel rod pool, allegedly for a duration of approximately 90 minutes.


US - Post office suspends retirement contributions

© Unknown
Washington - The financially troubled Postal Service is suspending its contributions to its employees' pension fund.

The agency said Wednesday it is acting to conserve cash as it continues to lose money. The post office was $8 billion in the red last year because of the combined effects of the recession and the switch of much mail business to the Internet. It faces the possibility of running short of money by the end of this fiscal year in September.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., called the announcement "the canary in the coal mine moment for the Postal Service."

"If we don't heed this warning and act quickly, the Postal Service as we know it will cease to exist in the very near future," said Carper, chairman of the Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over the agency.

The post office needs reforms "to cut costs and protect taxpayers from an expensive bailout," said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The mailing industry echoed their comments.

Comment: One wonders why this is. Absent this singular regulation, the US Postal Service is one of the few profitable departments in the government

Bizarro Earth

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faces impeachment threat

Iranian president under increasing pressure from MPs after supporting foreign minister's controversial appointment of deputy

© Reuters
Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the Iranian parliament on Tuesday, where many MPs are said to be ready to begin impeachent proceedings against him.
Ministers in Iran moved a step closer towards impeaching the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, after a series of clashes with supporters of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Impeachment proceedings were launched against foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi for appointing a man close to Ahmadinejad's chief-of-staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, as his deputy.

Supporters of Khamenei, including the overwhelming majority of parliament, say Ahmadinejad is under the spell of Mashaei, who is accused of attempting to undermine clerical power and increase his own political influence.

A power struggle between Ahmadinejad and the establishment, especially the clerics, has come to light after the controversies surrounding Mashaei became public. Muhammad Sharif Malekzadeh, the deputy foreign minister in the middle of the row, was appointed last week but has already resigned. Despite that, Iranian MPs went ahead with their motion to impeach Salehi, signed by 33 deputies, which was officially read out in the parliament.

Bizarro Earth

US: Self-help guru convicted in Arizona sweat lodge deaths

A jury finds James Arthur Ray guilty of negligent homicide in the 2009 deaths of three clients. He is acquitted of the more serious manslaughter charges.

© Tom Tingle / Associated Press
James Arthur Ray, left, and his attorney, Thomas Kelly, right, stand in the courtroom of Judge Warren R. Darrow, in the Yavapai County Courthouse in Camp Verde, Arizona on June 22, 2011.
A jury in Arizona on Wednesday convicted a bestselling author and self-help guru in the deaths of three clients during a sweat lodge ceremony in 2009 that was intended to help participants overcome adversity to reach their full potential.

After hearing four months of testimony, the eight-man, four-woman jury deliberated for fewer than 12 hours before finding James Arthur Ray guilty of three counts of negligent homicide. The panel acquitted Ray of the more serious charges of manslaughter.


Belarus Police Break Up Peaceful Protest

© The Associated Press
Belarusian policemen detain protesters during the 'Revolution via social network' protest in Minsk, June 22, 2011
Six months after protests against fraudulent elections led to a brutal crackdown against Belarus' political opposition, Belarusians are coming out to protest again - this time against the nation's economic collapse.

This is a protest Belarus-style. The loudest voices are those of the police, telling people to disperse.

Protesters do not chant slogans. They do not carry signs. They do not wear political T-shirts or buttons. They just walk on the sidewalks, mingle and chat on a summer evening.

But that apparently was too much for the government of Belarus - on edge after a 50-percent devaluation of the Belarusian ruble in recent weeks.

To break up what is now a weekly protest, police in Minsk detained scores of people Wednesday night, including Oleg Gruzdilovich, a correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

The arrests came after President Alexander Lukashenko, the long-running dictator of Belarus, threatened to fire his interior minister if another protest took place against his government. In a rambling, five-hour press conference, the president denounced social networks and threatened to shut down the Internet.