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US: Oak Park, Michigan Resident Julie Bass Faces 93 Days In Jail For Vegetable Garden

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© Unknown
Oak Park, Mich., resident Julie Bass faces misdemeanor charges for refusing to remove a garden from her front yard.
This isn't your typical, garden-variety crime.

After a warning, a ticket and now a misdemeanor charge, an Oak Park, Mich., woman faces up to 93 days in jail for refusing to remove a vegetable crop from her front lawn.

Julie Bass says that she thought it would be "really cool" for the neighbors and kids to see a frontyard garden, but some community members don't appreciate the vegetable plot.

"I think it's sad that the City of Oak Park that's already strapped for cash is paying a lot of money to have a prosecutor bothering us," she told My Fox Detroit.

Bass has since started a blog -- Oak Park Hates Veggies -- to chronicle her battle with the authorities.

"We now find ourselves in a storm of controversy worthy of some high level mischief. Seriously?" she wrote in an entry. "It's a GARDEN. It's not a high crime or treason or murder. IT'S VEGETABLES. And yes, we did throw in a few flowers."

Attention

Washington, US: Butchered Torso Found on Conveyor Belt at Seattle Recycling Plant; Murder Case is City's 5th in 2011

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© Kiro Television
Workers at a recycling plant in Seattle discovered the dismembered body of a man among some construction site debris, launching the city's fifth homicide case of the year.
Workers at a recycling plant in Seattle were horrified to discover the dismembered torso of a man rolling by on a conveyor belt, launching the city's fifth homicide investigation of the year.

The butchered body was mixed in with materials from a construction site, police said.

The case was being investigated as a murder, and cops said the victim did not work at the plant, which is operated by local waste hauler CleanScapes.

"We don't believe that this person was killed here on site, but rather that they were transported here," police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Police arrived at the scene in the city's industrial SoDo neighborhood at around 10:50 a.m. on morning after workers discovered the grisly remains rolled up in a soiled rug.

Heart - Black

US: Child Porn Link Sought in Teen Phylicia Barnes' Murder


The FBI is investigating whether Phylicia Barnes, the star student from North Carolina whose nude body was found in April, nearly four months after she went missing in Maryland, was a victim of sexual exploitation or child pornographers before her murder.

Federal investigators are seeking warrants to gain access to Facebook and email accounts belonging to Barnes, 16, and to four men from Baltimore, according to a report from ABC News affiliate WSOC-TV in Charlotte, N.C.

According to the Charlotte Observer, FBI Special Agent Jacqueline Dougher wrote in the request for the warrants that investigators have "reason to believe" the search will uncover evidence of child sex crimes or child pornography.

An autopsy conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Maryland determined her death to be a homicide, the state police said in May.

Video

The Chimp Who Became Human

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© Harry Benson
Nim Chimpsky, as seen in Project Nim.
Project Nim, in theaters Friday, chronicles a bizarre 1970s project that sought to teach chimpanzees language. Marlow Stern spoke with the Oscar-winning filmmaker James Marsh about the ape

It's been almost 80 years since King Kong dangled Fay Wray from the Empire State Building, but once again, simian cinema is all the rage in Hollywood. There's the Kevin James comedy The Zookeeper, featuring a gorilla voiced by Nick Nolte, and later this summer the ubiquitous James Franco, not to be outdone, will square off against a legion of apes imbued with human-like intelligence in the blockbuster Planet of the Apes prequel, Rise of the Apes. And, outside of the "high concept" Hollywood kingdom, there's Project Nim, the latest documentary from James Marsh, who won an Oscar in 2008 for his awe-inspiring film about Philippe Petit's high-wire balancing act between the Twin Towers, Man on Wire.

"It's one of those things that you don't know when you set out on a film two years ago where it will end up in the culture and the zeitgeist," said Marsh. "I heard the same thing about The Dark Knight and Man on Wire. Take your pick, in a way. Ours is true, ours happened, and you see real human emotions in that, and real animal emotions in that."

Magnet

Meet 'Magnet Boy' the 11-year-old Brazilian Who is Attracting Attention - and the Odd Saucepan - With a Bizarre Ability

An 11-year-old boy has been attracting worldwide attention... and a load of metal implements.

Knives, forks, spoons, scissors and even large saucepans all seem to stick to Paulo David Amorim, a Brazilian boy who claims to have magnet-type qualities.

His friends have nicknamed him 'Magnet Boy,' while his astonished doctor says he has never seen anything like it in 30 years as a physician.
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© The Associated Press
There's something about Paulo: The 11-year-old Brazilian seems to attract metal objects on his front and back

Comment: H/t to SOTT reader bngenoh for pointing out this video:


Paulo is not alone it seems.


Star of David

US Collusion In the Gaza Blockade is an Affront to Human Rights

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© Getty
Peace activist Rachel Corrie being interviewed by a TV crew in the Rafah refugee camp in 2003, two days before being killed by an Israeli bulldozer.
My daughter's death shows the cruelty of an America that won't protect its own and is complicit in harming Palestinian civilians.

When Greek authorities prevented the US ship the Audacity of Hope leaving its port in Athens this week, they dealt a blow to a group of brave and principled Americans who were trying to carry thousands of letters from US citizens to those who wait on Gaza's shores.

I know many of the people who were on this boat, and my family's letter was part of their cargo. In 2003 my daughter Rachel Corrie made her journey to Gaza and was run down and killed by a US-made Israeli military Caterpillar D-9 bulldozer. She was trying to protect a Gazan family and their home, one of thousands illegally destroyed in Israeli military clearing operations.

Eye 1

US, Florida: Hypnotist Principal Faces Questions After Suicides

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© unknown
High school principal George Kenney acknowledged using hypnosis to help people: students who needed to relax before tests, a basketball player having trouble making free throws and even school secretaries who wanted to quit smoking.

But now the popular 51-year-old principal's future at North Port High School is in question since it came to light that he had hypnotized two students before their separate suicides this spring. There is no indication their deaths were any more than a tragic coincidence. However, Kenney acknowledged conducting the sessions after being warned by his boss to stop such one-on-one hypnosis with students at school.

Most students, teachers and fellow administrators at the southwest Florida school were aware that Kenney was a trained hypnotist who would eagerly help those who sought him out for sessions, according to a school district report. Students looked forward to his demonstrations in a psychology class and at other school events.

In April, according to the Sarasota County School District report, he hypnotized a 16-year-old student to help him better focus on a test. The next day, the boy committed suicide. Kenney was put on leave in May when the boy's parents, who had given their permission for the sessions, raised concerns after his death.

Stormtrooper

US, Washington: Kirkland 6-year-Old Patted Down by TSA Agents Twice

A Kirkland family has filed a complaint claiming their 6-year-old son was singled out by TSA for a hand-search. KING 5's Tonya Mosley has the story.



Heart - Black

100 Feared Dead as Russia Plays Down Chances of Finding Boat Survivors

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© Reuters
A survivor from the tourist boat Bulgaria that sank
The chances of finding more survivors after a tourist boat sank in Russia's Volga river were "very small", according to the government, raising fears that more than 100 people have died.

The double decker boat carrying more than 180 people sunk "within minutes" during a heavy storm on Russia's Volga River on Sunday killing at least two people and leaving more than a hundred other passengers missing.

In an accident that will raise fresh questions about the safety of Russia's ageing Soviet-era trains, planes and boats, eyewitnesses said the tour boat sank about two miles from the nearest river bank in bad weather.

"It was not that choppy but it was raining hard and there was a storm," Yelena Kaleyeva, a resident of a nearby village, told local media.

Other witnesses said the vessel, called Bulgaria, sank within about two minutes, that visibility in the area was low, and that passengers dashed to grab hold of anything that floated to stay alive.

Not all of them managed to get a life jacket or to make it to one of the few emergency boats however.

Bad Guys

New Australian Law to Make Muslims Lift Veils

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© unknown
Muslim women would have to remove veils and show their faces to police on request or risk a prison sentence under proposed new laws in Australia's most populous state that have drawn criticism as culturally insensitive.

A vigorous debate that the proposal has triggered reflects the cultural clashes being ignited by the growing influx of Muslim immigrants and the unease that visible symbols of Islam are causing in predominantly white Christian Australia since 1973 when the government relaxed its immigration policy.

Under the law proposed by the government of New South Wales, which includes Sydney, a woman who defies police by refusing to remove her face veil could be sentenced to a year in prison and fined 5,500 Australian dollars ($5,900).

The bill - to be voted on by the state parliament in August - has been condemned by civil libertarians and many Muslims as an overreaction to a traffic offense case involving a Muslim woman driver in a "niqab," or a veil that reveals only the eyes.

The government says the law would require motorists and criminal suspects to remove any head coverings so that police can identify them.

Critics say the bill smacks of anti-Muslim bias given how few women in Australia wear burqas. In a population of 23 million, only about 400,000 Australians are Muslim. Community advocates estimate that fewer than 2,000 women wear face veils, and it is likely that even a smaller percentage drives.