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Mon, 02 Oct 2023
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US: Key Witness Paints DiMasi as Cash-Driven Conspirator

Joseph Lally
© Boston Globe
Joseph Lally was a codefendant in the case, but agreed to testify in exchange for a reduced sentence.
Joseph P. Lally Jr. testified in federal court yesterday that he wanted to clear his conscience by telling of the bribery scheme he orchestrated with Salvatore F. DiMasi when DiMasi was speaker of the Massachusetts House and with DiMasi's two associates to help a Burlington software company win state contracts.

"The truth is, I entered into a conspiracy with these three defendants to commit a crime,'' Lally, a 50-year-old former salesman and vice president of Cognos, told jurors in US District Court in Boston.


US: Fishermen Receive Apology, Almost $650,000 in Returned Fines From Feds

Acknowledging that some federal fish police "overstepped the bounds of propriety and fairness", US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is returning almost $650,000 in fines to 11 fishermen or businesses, the majority in the Northeast.

The unusual move - and apology - comes after years of accusations by fishermen of excessive fines and intimidation by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's office of Law Enforcement. Locke had appointed a special investigator last year to investigate 30 cases that a federal Inspector General's office report said appeared problematic.

Heart - Black

US: Mother is Charged in Death of Boy Found on Maine Road

Maine boy found dead
© Bob Whitaker/Lowell Sun/AP
State Police took custody of the woman's vehicle. A vehicle matching that description had been seen near where the boy's body was found.
A Texas woman taken into custody earlier Wednesday in Chelmsford was arrested late Wednesday night on charges that she suffocated her 6-year-old son. The arrest came four days after the child was found dead on a Maine back road in an episode that shocked the region.

Julianne McCrery, 42, of Irving, was charged late Wednesday night with second-degree murder in the death of her son, Camden Pierce Hughes, New Hampshire Attorney General Michael A. Delaney said in a statement.


US: Discovery of human bones raises questions about "cold case"

Human bones were recently discovered inside a building set to be torn down in Dow City, Iowa. That's raised a lot of questions. Whose bones are they? How did they get there? And, are they connected to a 14-year-old Crawford County "cold case".


US: $45,000 Cash Discovery Leads to a Lesson in Honesty for New Bountiful Homeowners

Josh Ferrin cash
© Deseret News
Lincoln and his father, Josh Ferrin, who recently closed on a new home, unloads bags of money and ammo boxes to turn over to Dennis and Kay Bangerter, sons of the former owner.
He hit the mother lode, but not once did Josh Ferrin even think of laying claim on the more than $45,000 cash that he found in his garage.

In fact, he gave it all back.

"You can't make plans for money like this that's found in a situation like this," Ferrin said. "It just doesn't feel right to do anything but give it back."

Bizarro Earth

Iranian FM says Bushehr nuclear plant is operational

© Stringer Iran / Reuters
Nuclear power plant has reached critical mass, will be powered up within weeks, Salehi says, echoing statements of senior Russian diplomat.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that the Bushehr power plant is operational, Press TV reported on Wednesday.

"As we have previously announced, Bushehr power plant has reached the criticality stage, meaning it has been successfully launched," Salehi reportedly said.


Plane Crash in Argentina: 22 People Have Died


A private jet of the Argentinian Sol Company crashed Wednesday night in in a desert region of Patagonia (South), killing 22 people - 19 passengers and three crew members - has announced an official source.

"We have not found any living person. No survivors. Everything is charred in thousands of pieces, " said Ismael Ali, director of the hospital in Los Menucos, who participated in the rescue operation.

Sol company said in a statement that Flight 5428 disappeared from radar screens while on the route "Cordoba, Mendoza, Neuquen, Comodoro Rivadavia" in southern Argentina.

The Company spokesman, Horacio Farre, confirmed that there are no survivors.


5 Internet memes that could kill you

© YouTube/pewpewpewlazers17
An example of planking.

Given the abundance of kitschy memes circulating on the Internet (think "Rick-Rolling" or "LOLcats"), there are bound to be a few that perpetuate and encourage brazen, risky or downright insane activities. Such was the case when a man died earlier this week while trying to perform a stunt called "planking."

Planking is a popular game that involves laying prostrate in unusual -- and often precarious -- locations, while an accomplice documents and uploads the pose to the Internet. An Australian man, Acton Beale, was posing for a planking photo on a the guardrail of a seventh-story high-rise apartment balcony when he lost his balance and fell to his death. As a result, much media attention has been cast on the game and its risks.

But planking is just the latest Internet meme that poses potentially grave risks. Here is our list of the five Internet memes that have the most potential to go awry.

Bizarro Earth

Powerful and Primitive

© Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Maureen Dowd
Oh, she wanted it.

She wanted it bad.

That's what every hard-working, God-fearing, young widow who breaks her back doing menial labor at a Times Square hotel to support her teenage daughter, justify her immigration status and take advantage of the opportunities in America wants - a crazed, rutting, wrinkly old satyr charging naked out of a bathroom, lunging at her and dragging her around the room, caveman-style.

Bad Guys

Fracking: Natural gas industry keeping water testing data from researchers


Protesters against Marcellus Shale drilling march across the Rachel Carson Bridge in Pittsburgh in November 2010.

Despite having complained for years that studies on the effect of hydrofracking on drinking water supplies are deficient because they don't include pre-drilling water quality data on wells and water systems, the natural gas industry has been keeping that data away from researchers.

ProPublica reports:
The absence of baseline data was one of the most serious criticisms leveled at a group of Duke researchers last week when they published the first peer-reviewed study linking drilling to methane contamination in water supplies.

That study - which found that methane concentrations in drinking water increased dramatically with proximity to gas wells - contained "no baseline information whatsoever," wrote Chris Tucker, a spokesman for the industry group Energy in Depth, in a statement debunking the study.

Now it turns out that some of that data does exist. It just wasn't available to the Duke researchers, or to the public.