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Thu, 02 Dec 2021
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Thousands descend on tiny Dutch town after Facebook invitation goes viral

Amsterdam - Riot police broke up crowds of youths who turned violent in a tiny Dutch town late on Friday after several thousand people descended on the community after a schoolgirl's Facebook invitation to her sixteenth birthday party went viral.

Media reports said six people were hurt, including three seriously, after disturbances broke out in the quiet northern Dutch town of Haren. Reports said shops were vandalized and looted, a car set on fire and street signs and lampposts damaged before police broke up the crowds.

Up to 600 riot police were on the scene during the disturbances, according to one media report. There were at least 20 arrests, media said.

Pictures from the scene showed party-goers wearing T-shirts with "Project X" written on them -- apparently a reference to the movie Project X, in which three high school seniors throw a party that gets out of control as word spreads.

Some 30,000 people received the invitation from a girl announcing her birthday party on Facebook, according to media reports. The party was intended to be a small-scale celebration, but the girl did not set her Facebook event to private and the invitation went viral.


Tree trimmer crushed to death by palm fronds in Los Angeles

A tree trimmer was apparently crushed to death by heavy palm fronds that fell on him while he worked, authorities told The Los Angeles Times.

Emergency personnel responding to a call on Saturday about a trapped tree trimmer in Hollywood found the body of an unidentified man buried in palm fronds about 30 feet above the ground, according to the Times.

"Palm fronds like this have been known to weigh as much as half a ton," Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey told the newspaper. "In these scenarios, the tree trimmer can be crushed, asphyxiated or have their neck broken."

Humphrey added that the cause of death has not yet been determined.


2 Year Olds Fingerprinted and Given Mugshots By Olympic Security Firm

Prison staff from scandal-hit security firm G4S took the fingerprints and mugshots of children as young as two who visited inmates at a new jail.

The practice was stopped only after a string of complaints to jail bosses at HMP Oakwood, a privately run prison in Staffordshire that holds 1,605 offenders.

The Mail on Sunday has discovered that over-zealous staff forced children who were visiting family members to pose for pictures and have electronic fingerprints taken, which were then stored on a computer at the prison.


Man Longing to Be 'One With the Tiger' Jumps into Zoo Cage

The man who jumped out of the Bronx Zoo's monorail into the tiger exhibit was charged with trespass Saturday, according to law enforcement officials.

Alarm Clock

Wal-Mart Shoplifter Kills Security Employee, Then Self

A man who tried to steal undershirts valued at $16 from a Wal-Mart in Margate, Fla., shot and killed a loss prevention employee there Friday evening, police said.

Bizarro Earth

Mother Kills Her Children Then Commits Suicide

A 34-year-old Florida woman apparently killed her two children in their house and then committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said Saturday.

Deputies responded to a house in unincorporated Clearwater, west of Tampa, shortly after 2 a.m. after receiving a call for help. They discovered Dawn Brown and her two children, ages 5 and 9, dead in the house.

Bizarro Earth

Possible Random Sulfuric Attack on Woman

A man allegedly threw sulfuric acid on a woman who was walking into a Golden Hill laundromat just before 6 a.m. Saturday, police confirmed.

The assault happened at 1015 25th St. The suspect fled the scene by car.

The woman was taken to a hospital and treated for second-degree burns on her face, arms and back. Officials said the victim was injured pretty badly.


Victorian Catholic Church Reveals 620 Abuse Cases

No Child Abuse
© Karenr/Dreamstime.com
The Catholic Church in Victoria has revealed that at least 620 children have been abused by its clergy since the 1930s, sparking a fresh call for an independent inquiry into sex abuse.

The Catholic Church in Victoria revealed the number in a submission to a state parliamentary hearing on Friday but said the instances of abuse reported had fallen dramatically from the "appalling" numbers of the 1960s and 1970s.

"It is shameful and shocking that this abuse, with its dramatic impact on those who were abused and their families, was committed by Catholic priests, religious and church workers," Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart said.

Last year Pope Benedict XVI told Australian bishops that their work had been made more difficult by the clerical sex abuse scandal which has rocked the church as he exhorted them to "repair the errors of the past with honesty".

The full submission was not released publicly but the church said most of the 620 criminal abuse claims it had upheld over the last 16 years related to incidents 30 to 80 years ago, with very few related to abuse that has taken place since 1990.

Archbishop Hart said the church had taken steps to redress the issue, including a program implemented in the 1990s involving an independent investigation, an ongoing program of counselling and support, and compensation.

"This submission shows how the church of today is committed to facing up to the truth and to not disguising, diminishing or avoiding the actions of those who have betrayed a sacred trust," he said.


Two 13 Year Old Boys Charged With Killing Great-Grandmother With Hatchet

Two 13-year-old Wisconsin boys are charged with using a hatchet and hammer to kill one boy's great-grandmother while stealing jewelry and a car from her home.

Both teens appeared Friday in Sheboygan County court and were ordered held on $1 million bond each on charges of party to first-degree intentional homicide.

Control Panel

Forgetting Bin Laden: What's wrong with our memory?


Matthew Gray - After the death of Osama Bin Laden was announced, rumors about it swirled throughout the Middle East. Given its history and politics, the region is particularly prone to conspiracy theories--and there is little that can be done to counter them.

(Photo illustration by Foreign Affairs, image courtesy Reuters.)
Why the Facts Don't Always Change History

Two new books address exactly what happened during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Squabbling over the details, though, misses the point. What survives in historical memory depends as much on patterns of human understanding as on the arguments churning through the news cycle.

Two new books about the May 2, 2011, raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed Osama bin Laden are scribbling in the margins of the first draft of history. No Easy Day, written by Matt Bissonnette (under the pen name Mark Owen), a Navy SEAL who participated in the operation, offers a fresh accounting of what will likely be remembered as one of the biggest moments of the decade. No Easy Day has roiled Washington. It has also sparked the publication of a competing e-book, No Easy Op, which was quickly assembled by a group of special operations veterans who question Bissonnette's motivations and criticize his incomplete recounting of what actually happened on that moonless night in South Asia.

Those involved seem to assume that the truths they uncover today will be chiseled into the historical record tomorrow. What survives in historical memory, however, depends as much on patterns of human understanding and memory as on reports, details, and arguments churning through the news cycle. Rather than the truth freeing itself through revelation and sharing, what is actually remembered about the killing of the world's most wanted man will likely be shaped by larger, more commandeering forces. Political pundits recognize this, which is why they talk about "controlling the narrative."