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Thu, 30 Mar 2023
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How Lego Toys Led to the Arrest of a High-Flying Silicon Valley Executive

© The Associated Press
Thomas Langenbach, a Silicon Valley technology executive, is facing charges after authorities say he changed the bar codes on Lego toys at a Target store to buy them for less.
US, California - A Silicon Valley software executive has been charged with four felony counts of burglary after allegedly printing his own discount bar codes and pasting them on Lego toys he would later resell online.

Thomas Langenbach, 46, declined Tuesday to enter a plea when he was formally charged. A hearing was scheduled for June 20.

"In his house, we found hundreds of boxes of unopened Lego sets," Mountain View police spokesman Liz Wylie told the San Jose Mercury News.

Langenbach and his partner Maggie Hoang lived in a $1.8 million house on Sudan Lane in San Carlos, Calif., near the Palo Alto offices of German software giant SAP (Systems, Applications and Products), where he had worked since 1988.

Langenbach allegedly sold 2,100 Lego toys on eBay over the last 13 months for $30,000, police said.

"I don't think it's money," said Supervising Deputy District Attorney Cindy Hendrickson, who is prosecuting Langenbach.

"Money might have been a part of what brought him pleasure, but I think all indications are there's something way more complex here," Hendrickson was quoted by the San Jose Mercury News.

"Remember, he's going out and paying for these things. This is something that he did in a painstaking way, and it took time, it took effort and it took expense. I don't think you do that just for the money. There had to be something else. Beating the system? An element of compulsion?"


14-Year-Old German Boy Arrested after Opening Fire in School

© Reuters
Police gather at a local sports ground where an eighth-grader is hiding in Memmingen
German police arrested an armed 14-year-old boy after he opened fire in his school with a handgun, threatening to "shoot them all".

The boy was arrested in the Bavarian town of Memmingen following a stand-off with dozens of heavily armed police officers during which he fired at least 20 shots and threatened to shoot himself.

He had earlier caused panic at his school when he produced two pistols, telling one boy that if anything bothered him today he would "shoot them all". He also threatened a teacher and fired a shot into the ground.

As news of the gunman spread through the school around 280 teachers and pupils locked themselves in classrooms, and waited for the police.

The incident triggered painful memories of the 2009 Winnenden massacre in Germany when 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer shot 16 children dead at his old school before turning his gun on himself.


'May God help the new president': Egyptians head to polls in historic vote

© The Associated Press/Hasan Jamali
Egyptians line up to vote in the presidential election Wednesday, May 23, 2012, outside a polling station in Cairo, Egypt.
Cairo, Egypt - More than 15 months after autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak's ouster, Egyptians streamed to polling stations Wednesday to freely choose a president for the first time in generations. Waiting hours in line, some debated to the last minute over their vote in a historic election pitting old regime figures against ascending Islamists.

A sense of amazement at having a choice pervaded the crowds in line, along with fervent expectation over where a new leader will take a country that has been in turmoil ever since its ruler for nearly 30 years was toppled by mass protests.

Some backed Mubarak-era veterans, believing they can bring stability after months of rising crime, a crumbling economy and bloody riots. Others were horrified by the thought, believing the "feloul" - or "remnants" of the regime - will keep Egypt locked in dictatorship and thwart democracy.

Islamists, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, saw their chance to lead a country where they were repressed for decades and to implement their version of Islamic law. Their critics recoiled, fearing theocracy.

"You can't tell me, 'Vote for this or else you're a sinner!"' Wael Ramadan argued with another man in line at a polling station in the impoverished Cairo neighbourhood of Basateen. "We never said that," protested the man. "Yes, you did," Ramadan shot back.

"The revolution changed a lot. Good things and bad things," Ramadan, a 40-year-old employee at a mobile phone company, said afterward. "The good thing is all this freedom. We are here and putting up with the trouble of waiting in line for electing a president. My vote matters. It is now a right ... Now we want a president that has a vision."

A field of 13 candidates is running in the voting Wednesday and Thursday. The two-day first run is not expected to produce an outright winner, so a runoff between the two top vote-getters will be held June 16-17. The winner will be announced June 21. Around 50 million people are eligible to vote.


Police State: Montreal Police Enforce Controversial New Laws to Arrest More Than 100 Protesters

© Reuters / /Brett Gundlock
Montreal police march during a protest against student tuition hikes on the 100th day of Quebec's student strikes, in downtown Montreal May 22, 2012.
Canada, Montreal - Montreal police brought the hammer down on student demonstrators Tuesday night, enforcing a controversial law that brought tens of thousands into the streets in a protest earlier in the day that drew international support.

By the end of a cat-and-mouse operation that marked the fourth straight night of clashes, police spokesman Simon Delorme said that at least 100 people had been arrested and two police officers had been injured.

Four other people were taken to hospital but the extent of their injuries was not immediately known.

It is believed to be the first time Bill 78 and the city's new anti-mask bylaw were used by police although Sherbrooke police used the provincial law on Monday to round up 36 protesters in that city.

While the atmosphere during the day in Montreal was almost carnival-like, the mood in the evening soon turned as dark as the night that enveloped the march.

Projectiles were thrown at police and gusts of pepper spray tinged the air as riot equipped police sent people scattering.

Alarm Clock

Operation Laminar Cracks Global Child Porn Ring

An abused New Zealand child is among at least 12 removed from harm as a result of a global online child pornography investigation sparked by the Department of Internal Affairs.

The operation, code-named Operation Laminar and spanning 20 countries, has targeted 55 key suspects in the worldwide distribution of child sexual abuse pictures. Some were involved in the actual sexual abuse of the children depicted.

At least 12 abused children have been identified and removed from harm including one in New Zealand who is now in the custody of Child Youth and Family.

Chart Pie

Government Gouging: Utah School Fined $15,000 for Accidentally Selling Soda During Lunch

A Utah high school is learning the hard way that the government is serious about nudging students away from food it doesn't want them to consume. Davis High School in the Salt Lake City area is having to fork over a whopping $15,000 in fines to the Feds because it accidentally sold soda through a vending machine during lunch.

Federal law requires the school to turn off its soda machines during the lunch period, which is 47 minutes a day. And Davis High school did turn off the machines in the lunch room. However, the school didn't realize that there was another machine in the school bookstore that wasn't being turned off. And when the food police realized it, the school was hit with a $0.75 fine per student for the duration of the offense.

Now the school is going to have to cut money to fine arts programs to make up the cost.


High-Paid Celebrities Cannot Save Mainstream Media

In the span of only a year, CNN lost 50 percent of its total viewers and many are wondering why audiences are abandoning major news outlets in droves. Many big name anchors are paid millions of dollars to deliver the news, but the corporations blame the on-air talent for the decline in ratings. Meanwhile, critics believe the disconnect of content found online compared to whats being talked about on TV is the reason viewers are turning off their televisions. Christopher Chambers, journalism professor at Georgetown University, joins us with more.


Stroller Brigade Rolls to Capitol For Toxic Chemical Reform

© Mike Licht/Creative Commons
Americans Want Safer Food, Often (Literally) Eating Crap.
Moms and cancer survivors parked their strollers in front of the U.S. Capitol today as part of the "Stroller Brigade" to demand that Congress take action to help regulate toxic chemicals that are found in everyday items used by children.

The group called on Congress to pass Sen. Frank Lautenberg's, D-N.J., Safe Chemicals Act, a bill to overhaul old laws governing toxic chemicals.

"As a consumer I am woefully unequipped to protect my family," said Polly Schlaff, whose son was born with a urological birth defect caused by prenatal exposure to environmental estrogen. "Worse yet, because of the utter failure of federal laws, I must rely on the chemical industry to protect my family from the hidden dangers of the more than 800,000 chemicals they produce and manufacture."

Out of 800,000 chemicals in the nation, only 200 have been reviewed for safety. Five percent of pediatric cancers are caused by exposure of toxic chemicals, while 10 percent of neurological disorders and 30 percent of childhood asthma cases are associated with hazardous chemicals from hundreds of every day products including detergents, household cleaners and baby bottles.

The Lautenberg bill would require chemical makers to prove their products are safe before they end up in children's bodies.

"Our current law allows too many untested chemicals on the market," Lautenberg said at the rally today. "We want to have a responsible oversight and regulation of the chemical industry giving the EPA the authority....so that chemical companies will be required to tell what is in the chemical and what testing has been done."

Lautenberg is pushing for a vote on his bill in the Senate Environment and Public Works committee and if it gets out of that committee it could go the full Senate for a vote.

Comment: Forum members have gathered large amounts of data about diet, health, nutrition, supplementation and detoxification, among other things. We invite you, the reader to have a gander at some of the many health topics open to discussion and further data. We only ask that you please introduce yourself and read the forum guide lines before joining various discussions.

Heart - Black

Native Americans Demand Justice over 'KKK' Scar Carved During Open Heart Surgery at Rapid City Hospital

Hundreds of Native Americans demanded justice on Monday from Rapid City Regional Hospital in Rapid City, South Dakota for Vern Traversie.

Traversie, a legally blind member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, says the initials KKK were carved into his chest during open-heart surgery at Regional Hospital in August 2011, reports the Rapid City Journal.

An online video (below) about the scars recently went viral. However, not everyone can see the KKK lettering.


People Power! As Schools Crumble: Quiet Call for Revolution in Philadelphia

© Max Klingensmith/flickr)
The Philadelphia school district expects to lose 40 percent of its enrollment between now and 2017.
Last week, the city of Philadelphia's school system announced that it expects to close 40 public schools next year, and 64 schools by 2017. The school district expects to lose 40% of its current enrollment, and thousands of experienced, qualified teachers.

But corporate media in other cities made no mention of these massive school closings - nor of those in Chicago, Atlanta, or New York City. Even in the Philadelphia media, the voices of the parents, students and teachers who will suffer were omitted from most accounts.

It's all about balancing the budgets of cities that have lost revenues from the economic downturn. Supposedly, there is simply no money for the luxury of providing an education for the people.

Where will those children find an education? Where will the teachers find work? Almost certainly in an explosion of private sector "charter schools," where the quality of education - from the curriculum to books to the food served at lunch - will be sacrificed to the lowest bidder, and teachers' salaries and benefits will be sacrificed to the profits of the new private owners, who will also eat up many millions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies.

Comment: One of the reasons there is not enough money for education is that the elites do not want the masses to be able to think critically. It is much easier to control a population that has been dumbed down, does not ask any questions and just follows orders.
The Assault on Public Education
Who Controls Our Children ? (Public Education Dumb Down Kids)