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US North Dakota: Fireworks Accident Decapitates Fargo Man

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© Chris Franz / The Forum
Passersby view the exact area on Kelly street in north Fargo Tuesday, July 5, 2011, where a man died from a firework accident Monday night.
Neighbor: 'I'm never going to light a firecracker again in my life'A 41-year-old father of two was killed when he lit a commercial-grade firework, an explosive that is federally regulated.

Fargo - An eyewitness here says a Fourth of July fireworks accident decapitated a Fargo man Monday night.

Police identified the victim as Jesse William Burley, a 41-year-old father of two, who enjoyed life to its fullest, said Burley's stepfather Chuck Asplin of Fargo.

Chris Hanson, Burley's neighbor who saw the accident, was packing up his car to leave north Fargo's Riviera Heights mobile home park as tornado sirens sounded just before 9:30 p.m.

Burley was getting ready to set off a second round of what Hanson said he believed was either a homemade or illegal artillery shell firework.

"He went over into the middle of the street, and within 10 seconds of us talking to him, he lit it and all we saw was a cloud of smoke, a bang," Hanson said.

What Hanson saw next immediately sent him into shock, he said.

"When I walked up to his body, it was nothing but his shoulders down," Hanson said Tuesday.

Police Lt. Joel Vettel said Tuesday police are confident the device was a commercial-grade firework, which are federally regulated.

The area Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting Fargo police to investigate whether this type of firework was illegal and how it was obtained, Vettel said.

Heart - Black

Elderly Australian woman's remains found in her Sydney home, years after she was last seen

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© unknown
Skeletal remains believed to be those of an elderly woman last seen in 2003 have been found in an inner Sydney unit
When an elderly Australian woman apparently vanished from view eight years ago, no one bothered to call the police. Not her relatives, her neighbours, or government officials, who kept paying her welfare benefits into a bank account that sat untouched.

New South Wales state police said Wednesday that they discovered the woman's skeletal remains on the floor of her Sydney home on Tuesday, after her sister-in-law finally called them to report that she had not heard from the woman - who would have turned 87 next month - since 2003.

"It's sad that the woman appears to have died several years ago without anyone noticing," said police Acting Superintendent Zoran Dzevlan.

Police were trying to determine exactly when the woman died, but said they didn't think the death was suspicious.

The woman, whose name was not released by police, was a recluse who had no relatives except for her sister-in-law, Dzevlan said. The two had a fight in 2003 and never spoke again. Police have not said why the sister-in-law waited years to report the woman missing, or what prompted her to call now.

Alarm Clock

UK - Jilted husband built electric chair in garage in attempt to kill wife

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© Cavendish Press
The home of Andrew Castle who built an electric chair in his garage with the intention of using it to kill his wife.
Andrew Castle, 61, was so furious at the crumbling of his 18 year marriage he planned to rig a metal armchair to the mains - and invited wife Margaret in ''for a chat.''

Castle asked unwitting Margaret to sit in the chair so he could knock her her out with a cosh and throw on the switch.

But Margaret, 61, got up out of the seat and the couple then got caught up in a violent struggle. Castle landed several blows on his wife's head with the rubber cosh but she escaped through a side door.

The fight then carried on outside their £110,000 seaside bungalow in Knott End-on-Sea in Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancs, before a passer-by intervened and called police.

Margaret was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary to be treated for minor head injuries. Her husband was found in the back garden with self inflicted knife wounds to his wrists after grabbing a blade from the kitchen in a bid to commit suicide.

Bad Guys

UK - Phone hacking: families of war dead 'targeted' by News of the World

The bereaved relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan may have had their phones hacked by a private investigator working for the News of the World.

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© Associated Press
Paul Dadge helps injured tube passenger Davinia Turrell away from Edgware Road tube station.
The Daily Telegraph has learnt that the personal details of the families of servicemen who died on the front line have been found in the files of Glenn Mulcaire, the private detective working for the Sunday tabloid.

The disclosure that grieving relatives of war dead were targets for the newspaper prompted anger among military charities, who said it was a "disgusting and indefensible assault on privacy".

Bizarro Earth

Casey Anthony subpoenaed in nanny's defamation suit

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© Unknown
Casey Anthony was served papers in jail Tuesday night for her deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, an assistant to Gonzalez's attorney John Morgan said Wednesday.

Gear

Propaganda Alert: TSA warns of possible airline threat involving implanted bombs

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© Mark Boster
A traveler is inspected at a TSA checkpoint at LAX this year.

The government has warned airlines that terrorists are considering surgically implanting explosives into people in an attempt to circumvent screening procedures, according to U.S. officials.

There is no indication of an immediate plot, but the new information could lead to additional screening procedures at the nation's airports. Existing scanners would not necessarily detect bombs implanted under a person's skin, experts said.

While the information suggests such a threat would come from overseas rather than domestic groups, federal officials are ordering precautions both in the U.S. and abroad, the official said.

Binoculars

Canada: Mysterious white powder delivered to office of Toronto MPP, woman in custody

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© Dave Chan, Reuters, Postmedia News
A 50-year-old woman is in custody accused of delivering an envelope filled with mysterious white powder to the Toronto offices shared by interim federal Liberal leader Bob Rae and Ontario provincial representative Glen Murray.
A 50-year-old woman is in custody after allegedly delivering an envelope filled with mysterious white powder to the Cabbagetown office shared by Ontario MPP Glen Murray and interim federal Liberal leader Bob Rae.

The powder, which arrived at the building at about 2 p.m., caused itching, sneezing and coughing amongst building employees. "It was a non-toxic but noxious substance, people in the office had respiratory symptoms and redness but it was nothing poisonous," said a spokesperson for Mr. Murray.

The building was briefly evacuated and the immediate area was blocked off by police. While emergency crews clad in HazMat suits removed the package, affected employees were treated onsite. Officials soon reported that the powder was "innocuous."

The woman, whose motivation is not known, was apprehended soon after.

Bad Guys

La Toya Jackson Claims Bizarre Abuse by Ex-Husband

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© Russ Einhorn/Splash News
La Toya Jackson book signing for Starting Over, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, The Grove, Los Angeles, California.
La Toya Jackson claims her abusive ex-husband once offered her up to have sex with boxing champion Mike Tyson for $100,000.

Michael Jackson's sister made the bizarre allegation during an appearance on CBS's The Talk where she was promoting her new autobiography Starting Over.

It tells of the abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of her ex-husband and manager Jack Gordon, who she says also 'hated and despised' her legendary entertainer brother.

2 + 2 = 4

Millerites' 1844 'rapture' event called the Great Disappointment

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© Unknown
The Rev. William Miller began peddling his end-of-the-world prediction in the 1820s based on a series of elaborate charts such as this one called "Chronological Chart of the Visions of Daniel and John."
Thousands of Cincinnatians camped out in 1844 to witness what they believed was going to be the world's greatest - and final - fireworks display.

They weren't celebrating the Fourth of July. They were waiting for the end of the world.

These happy campers were the followers of a 19th-century version of the Rev. Harold Camping, the Rapture predictor.

The views of the Rapture reverend, broadcast over his multi-million-dollar radio, TV, satellite and website empire, would move those Cincinnatians to say: Been there. Done that.

Hardhat

US - 'Mammoth peat' for sale ... get your 'black gold'!

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© Kelly Cox/post Independent
Evan Gould with Gould Construction shows off handfuls of the rich peat moss that the company hauled in from the Ziegler Reservoir excavation site in Snowmass Village. The company started out with 6,000 cubic yards for sale to gardeners, and still has 4,500 cubic yards available at its location south of Glenwood Springs.
It probably won't grow prehistoric mastodons or mammoths, but peat moss from the Ziegler Reservoir excavation site just might help produce a whopper crop of garden vegetables.

Glenwood Springs-based Gould Construction is selling peat soil excavated from the construction site, which became one of the world's largest fossil finds last fall after the preserved bones of numerous prehistoric mammals were discovered.

Before the find, Gould, which was the initial contractor on the construction site, was in charge of excavating and disposing of the material, explained Evan Gould, trucking supervisor and safety director for the company.

Most of that "material" was rich, black high-elevation peat moss. The deeper layers of the reservoir site ended up holding a virtual motherlode of ice age fossils. Thousands have since been removed and preserved by scientists working with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Rather than simply get rid of the dirt that was part of Gould's initial work, the company decided to make the peat moss available for sale to local gardeners and landscapers.

"This stuff is great for flower beds, gardens, any place where you want to grow things," Evan Gould said. "If you like to buy locally, and buy all-organic stuff that you know exactly where it came from, this is the best."