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US, Massachusetts: Metal Markers Stolen From Abington Veterans' Graves


Police are looking for some vandals who stole metal rods from a veterans' cemetery, most likely for cash.

The thieves took at least 18 markers made of copper, bronze and brass from the graves of war heroes at Mount Vernon Cemetery.

Cemetery superintendent John Burnett said the staff that holds the marker together with the American flag is what the grave robbers are looking to fence, not the medallions that come with them.

"What they do, they leave the medallion on the ground because they can't turn them in because scrap metal people won't take them because it's a veteran marker," Burnett said.

Info

US, San Francisco: Museum Guard Boots Lesbian Hand-Holders

Image
© Josh Keppel
A lesbian couple was asked to leave the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco for holding hands. The museum has since apologized and taken action.
Ironically, they were visiting a well-reviewed exhibit of well-known lesbian artist

Holding hands in public might be a Faux pas for some but in "anything goes" San Francisco it's hard to imagine offending anyone with a little PDA.

But the San Francisco Chronicle's C.W. Nevius tells the story of one couple that was asked to leave a San Francisco museum for doing just that.

An eyewitness tells the seasoned columnist that she saw "a young lesbian couple" arguing with a security guard at the Contemporary Jewish Museum Sunday afternoon.

The security guard allegedly told the couple that they were not allowed to hold hands in the museum. The couple demanded to see someone in charge at the museum and a small crowd began to gather around them as the argument ensued.

A museum spokesperson confirmed that the incident happened last Sunday and that the women met with the head of security, who issued a verbal apology to the couple.

People

More US Hysteria: Arkansas town seeks to ban free speech for residents

We the People
© barracudabrigade.blogspot.com
Gould, Arkansas, is a small town of about 850 people. If the city council has its way, those 850 people will be barred from gathering together to discuss city matters without approval from the city government.

Mayor Earnest Nash is completely opposed to the plan and is willing to go to court rather than see the ordinance pass.

"This is still America," Mayor Nash told Fox 16.

"You just can't vote and violate people's constitutional rights," he said.

Last Monday, the council voted to ban groups from gathering or forming without city approval.

Sonja Farley, a member of the Gould City Council, said that no matter the group, if anyone meets to discuss the city, that meeting must be approved by the city.

"You can't just come in here, get with four people and decide to start an organization," Farley said, adding, "You will go through your city council with legal documentation and get approval."

Binoculars

US: Police in Georgia Shut Down Girls' Lemonade Stand

Lemonade Stand
© WJCL
Midway - Police in Georgia have shut down a lemonade stand run by three girls trying to save up for a trip to a water park, saying they didn't have a business license or the required permits.

Midway Police Chief Kelly Morningstar says police also didn't know how the lemonade was made, who made it or what was in it.

The girls had been operating for one day when Morningstar and another officer cruised by.

The girls needed a business license, peddler's permit and food permit to operate, even on residential property. The permits cost $50 a day or $180 per year.

One girl, 14-year-old Casity Dixon, says the three had to listen to police and shut down.

Heart - Black

US, Florida: Teen Kills Parents, Throws Party With Bodies in House

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© The Associated Press / St. Lucie county Sheriff's office
This photo provided by the St. Lucie county Sheriff's office on Monday shows Tyler Hadley, 17, of Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Neighbors knew Tyler Hadley as a polite and respectful teen who played basketball with his father in the driveway and built forts of junked wood as a kid -- not as someone who could kill his parents and throw a party while their bodies lay tucked beneath towels and other items in a locked bedroom.

The 17-year-old made his first court appearance Tuesday after being charged in the killings of his parents, Blake and Mary-Jo Hadley, whom authorities say he bludgeoned with a hammer Saturday before hosting a party for dozens of friends. A motive remains unclear.

In his brief appearance via video conference from jail, the teen glanced downward and calmly replied, "No, sir," to two questions from the judge. He was ordered held without bail and appointed a public defender.

Stop

EPA approval of E15 may be mistake, witnesses tell House panel

E15
© Unknown
Federal approval of higher ethanol concentrations in gasoline without further testing could seriously damage engines instead of improving the environment, several witnesses told a subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on July 7.

The US Environmental Protection Agency's desire to allow more ethanol to be used in conventional vehicles should not be allowed to harm investments motorists make in safe, reliable, and economical vehicles, according to Bob Greco, American Petroleum Institute downstream and industry operations director. Greco told the committee's Energy and Environment Subcommittee: "The oil and auto industries cannot support a premature action that could put consumer satisfaction and safety at risk."

The hearing came 2 days after Rep. F. James Sensenbrunner (R-Wisconsin), the full committee's vice-chairman, released statements from 12 automakers regarding the consequences of fuel with 15% ethanol on engines, fuel economy, and warranties.

The statements, in response to a survey he sent June 2 to General Motors, Ford, and 10 other automakers, expressed reservations about allowing ethanol concentrations to rise above their current 10% limit. "Americans need a fuel that will give them more miles out of a gallon of [gasoline] - not one that will prematurely send their vehicles to the junkyard," Sensenbrunner said on July 5.

Comment: To get an idea of the destruction done to the environment, human health and greater society from the addition of ethanol to the fuel supply, check out these links:

Dead Zone in Gulf Linked to Ethanol Production

The Unraveling of the Ethanol Scam

The Dark Side of Ethanol and Biodiesel Subsidies

Surprise: Ethanol as Deadly as Gasoline For Now


MIB

Whistleblower's Death: James Corbett on Murdoch scandal turning bloody

The whistleblower who exposed the News Of The World phone-hacking scandal, has been found dead. Sean Hoare was a journalist at the shamed newspaper and claimed Editors knew what was happening, and encouraged reporters to do it.

He was found dead at his home near London. Police are treating it as unexplained, but not suspicious. Hoare directly named his former Editor, Andy Coulson, for knowing about illegal hacking, which he denies. RT talks to James Corbett, independent news website editor.

Wall Street

Letting Bankers Walk

Image
© 4closurefraud

Ever since the current economic crisis began, it has seemed that five words sum up the central principle of United States financial policy: go easy on the bankers.

This principle was on display during the final months of the Bush administration, when a huge lifeline for the banks was made available with few strings attached. It was equally on display in the early months of the Obama administration, when President Obama reneged on his campaign pledge to "change our bankruptcy laws to make it easier for families to stay in their homes." And the principle is still operating right now, as federal officials press state attorneys general to accept a very modest settlement from banks that engaged in abusive mortgage practices.

Why the kid-gloves treatment? Money and influence no doubt play their part; Wall Street is a huge source of campaign donations, and agencies that are supposed to regulate banks often end up serving them instead. But officials have also argued at each point of the process that letting banks off the hook serves the interests of the economy as a whole.

Vader

America's Disappeared

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© Illustration by Mr. Fish

Dr. Silvia Quintela was "disappeared" by the death squads in Argentina in 1977 when she was four months pregnant with her first child. She reportedly was kept alive at a military base until she gave birth to her son and then, like other victims of the military junta, most probably was drugged, stripped naked, chained to other unconscious victims and piled onto a cargo plane that was part of the "death flights" that disposed of the estimated 20,000 disappeared. The military planes with their inert human cargo would fly over the Atlantic at night and the chained bodies would be pushed out the door into the ocean. Quintela, who had worked as a doctor in the city's slums, was 28 when she was murdered.

A military doctor, Maj. Norberto Atilio Bianco, who was extradited Friday from Paraguay to Argentina for baby trafficking, is alleged to have seized Quintela's infant son along with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of other babies. The children were handed to military families for adoption. Bianco, who was the head of the clandestine maternity unit that functioned during the Dirty War in the military hospital of Campo de Mayo, was reported by eyewitnesses to have personally carried the babies out of the military hospital. He also kept one of the infants. Argentina on Thursday convicted retired Gen. Hector Gamen and former Col. Hugo Pascarelli of committing crimes against humanity at the "El Vesubio" prison, where 2,500 people were tortured in 1976-1978. They were sentenced to life in prison. Since revoking an amnesty law in 2005 designed to protect the military, Argentina has prosecuted 807 for crimes against humanity, although only 212 people have been sentenced. It has been, for those of us who lived in Argentina during the military dictatorship, a painfully slow march toward justice.

Most of the disappeared in Argentina were not armed radicals but labor leaders, community organizers, leftist intellectuals, student activists and those who happened to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Few had any connection with armed campaigns of resistance. Indeed, by the time of the 1976 Argentine coup, the armed guerrilla groups, such as the Montoneros, had largely been wiped out. These radical groups, like al-Qaida in its campaign against the United States, never posed an existential threat to the regime, but the national drive against terror in both Argentina and the United States became an excuse to subvert the legal system, instill fear and passivity in the populace, and form a vast underground prison system populated with torturers and interrogators, as well as government officials and lawyers who operated beyond the rule of law. Torture, prolonged detention without trial, sexual humiliation, rape, disappearance, extortion, looting, random murder and abuse have become, as in Argentina during the Dirty War, part of our own subterranean world of detention sites and torture centers.

Arrow Down

US: Borders' Seeks Approval to Liquidate, Close Stores

Image
© AP Photo/Charles Krupa
Customers leave the Borders bookstore in Boston, Monday, July 18, 2011.
There will be no storybook ending for Borders. The 40-year-old book seller could start shuttering its 399 remaining stores as early as Friday.

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based chain, which helped pioneer the big-box bookseller concept, is seeking court approval to sell off its assets after it failed to receive any bids that would keep it in business. The move adds Borders to the list of retailers that have failed to adapt to changing consumers' shopping habits and survive the economic downturn, including Circuit City Stores Inc., Blockbuster and Linens 'N Things.

On Thursday, Borders is expected to ask the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York at a scheduled hearing to allow it to be sold to liquidators led by Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Group. If the judge approves the move, liquidation sales could start as soon as Friday; the company could go out of business by the end of September.

Borders' attempt to stay in business unraveled quickly last week, after a $215 million "white knight" bid by private-equity firm Najafi Cos. dissolved under objections from creditors and lenders. They argued the chain would be worth more if it liquidated immediately.