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Canada: For All The Right Reasons

06/15/2011 - A day that will go down in history for all the wrong reasons

I cried twice today.

I'm an eternal optimist, always have been, always will be, and never once did the thought of the Vancouver Canucks losing in the Stanley Cup Final cross my mind. Not once.

That made dealing with the inevitable hardship worlds more difficult; Thursday was truly a day of grieving and it got the best of me when I took a seat in Rogers Arena for an all-staff meeting just before lunch. They were tears of disappointment and exhaustion.

I wanted to be so hungover Thursday that my headache had a migraine, instead I spent the bulk of the day sitting in my office playing out different what-if scenarios in my head. Then I was asked to head downtown to the scene of the unthinkable riots to talk to some people who were apparently spearheading a cleanup effort.

Great, I thought, a few people will be picking up trash, it'll be the equivalent of fighting a rhinoceros with a cocktail sword.

Then I got to the heart of the city.

And I cried again. They were tears of pride.



Warmonger Prince Harry could return to frontline in Afghanistan

Prince Harry
Prince Harry salutes at the opening of The Royal British Legion Wootton Bassett Field of Remembrance in Lydiard Park on Nov. 9, 2010, in Wootton Bassett, England.

British newspaper The Guardian states Harry has reportedly been cleared for a return (the Ministry of Defense will not comment officially). Prince Harry recently qualified to pilot Apache helicopters.

The Guardian quotes Clarence House: "Harry is an army pilot and will deploy wherever the army chooses to send him. His course finishes in 2012 and after that his deployment will be a matter for the army chain of command."


Canada: Crowd Attacks Man During Vancouver Riot

A man attempting to halt the looting and destruction of a storefront is attacked and severely beaten by the riotous crowd (relevant portion of video begins at 3:15 - Warning: Graphic Video)


Fukushima's Apocalyptic Threat

© Shiho Fukada/IHT
A Japanese child evacuee rests at a temporary shelter in Kesennuma, 03/17/11.
Fukushima may be in an apocalyptic downward spiral.

Forget the corporate-induced media coma that says otherwise ... or nothing at all.

Lethal radiation is spewing unabated. Emission levels could seriously escalate. There is no end in sight. The potential is many times worse than Chernobyl.

Containing this disaster may be beyond the abilities of Tokyo Electric or the Japanese government.

There is no reason to incur further unnecessary risk. With all needed resources, it's time for the world's best scientists and engineers to take charge.

Even then the outcome is unclear.

For a brief but terrifying overview, consult Dr. Chris Busby as interviewed by RT/TV.

Fukushima Units One, Two and Three are all in various stages of melting down.


Canada: Angry Vancouver Fans Set Cars Ablaze, Fling Bottles After Stanley Cup Loss

© The Canadian Press / Geoff Howe
Vancouver Canucks fans watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, June 15, 2011.
The same city that played peaceful host to an idyllic 2010 Winter Olympics showed a darker side Wednesday as a heartbreaking Stanley Cup loss sent furious hockey fans on a violent, liquor-fuelled rampage in downtown Vancouver.

Angry, drunken revellers ran wild after Wednesday night's 4-0 Game 7 loss to the Boston Bruins, setting cars and garbage cans ablaze, smashing windows, showering giant TV screens with beer bottles and dancing atop overturned vehicles.

For many, the ugly chaos added a vicious sting to the already bitter taste of defeat.

"This isn't what the Canucks are about," said Chad McMillan, 31, a Vancouver resident and lifelong Canucks fan.

"This isn't what their fans are about, this isn't what this city is about."

Tear gas mingled with the stench of acrid smoke and stale beer as riot police, truncheons drawn, moved in to quell the violence, pushing crowds away from the burning cars that were at the epicentre of the anger.

Later in the evening, police cars were also set aflame.

© Reuters / Anthony Bolante
A Vancouver Canucks fan poses for photos in front of a destroyed pickup truck during a riot after the Canucks lost Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs to the Boston Bruins in Vancouver, British Columbia June 15, 2011. Riot police fired tear gas to control a mob that turned violent in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday after the game.
At one point, police were using flash-bangs - grenades that are designed to distract and disorient, rather than injure - to try to break up the mob, McMillan said.


Residents describe 'scary' China riots

Zengcheng - Residents of a southern Chinese town on Wednesday described frightening scenes of overturned cars engulfed in flames and armed police out in force after days of violent clashes.

A heavy security presence remained on the streets of , which is part of the greater Guangzhou area -- a bustling city in China's industrial heartland packed with migrant workers that lies near the border with Hong Kong.

The clashes, sparked by rumours spread on the Internet that police had beaten a street hawker to death and manhandled his pregnant wife, have so far led to 25 arrests.

"It was very scary -- the scariest thing I have encountered since I was born," said Chao, a 27-year-old owner of a denim shop in Xintang, a garment district in Zengcheng, which is about 90 minutes by car from central Guangzhou.

Chao said at one point in the melee, there were a "few thousand rioters" facing off against a massive police force, adding: "They burnt down one of the buildings."


Illegal Spread of GM Rice Alarms Chinese Officials

Genetically modified rice has been spreading illegally for years in China, officials have admitted, triggering a debate on a sensitive aspect of the food security plan in the world's most populous nation.

Two strains of GM rice were approved for open-field experiments but not commercial sale in 2009. In January, the agriculture ministry said "no genetically modified cereals are being grown in China" outside the test sites.

But in April, an environment ministry official told the weekly Nanfang Zhoumo that a joint investigation by four government departments had found that "illegal GM seeds are present in several provinces because of weak management".

The agriculture ministry did not respond to an AFP request for clarification.

Arrow Down

US: Two Refugio Women Sue Sheriff, Deputies Over Illegal Strip Search

© unknown
Two Refugio women have filed a lawsuit against Refugio County Sheriff Robert Bolcik and two of his deputies over claims that the officers illegally strip searched them on the side of the highway in plain view of oncoming traffic.

Plaintiffs Brittah Williams and Jessica Mascorro claimed Bolcik, who was elected sheriff in November 2008, along with deputies Jeff Raymond and Shelley Haertig, both of whom are named as defendants in the lawsuit along with Bolcik, violated the plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment rights, which guard against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Refugio County also is named as a defendant.

The lawsuit was filed June 8 in federal court.

Bolcik, who received a copy of the lawsuit Monday via email, did not respond to messages left by The Advocate for comment.

Both Refugio County Judge Rene Mascorro and County Auditor Diana Moss said they were unaware of any lawsuit pending against the county, and therefore could not comment.


US: Woman Accused of Stealing from Another's Purse at Church

Police say there's a woman stealing from purses in the middle of church services all over the Houston area and some people may not even realize they've fallen victim to her.

One of the churches hit by the thief is Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in northwest Houston, say police. But it's the video from another church that investigators want you to watch closely.

Sheriff's deputies believe she has targeted victims across the city and as far away as Galveston -- and in a place those victim's least expected it.

Cynthia Gonzalez, 43, also known as Cynthia Martinez, is not new to the criminal justice system. Her rap sheet goes back 20 years. But the doors she's suspected of passing through now are even surprising to investigators.

"It's rare that you see this type of surveillance video," Harris County Sheriff's Office Spokeswoman Christina Garza said.


UK: Plot to 'Rob and Murder' Joss Stone Foiled as Police Swoop on Two Men Armed with Swords, Rope and a Body Bag Near Her Home

© PA
Plot: International soul singer Joss Stone was the target of an alleged robbery and murder plan
  • Pair were caught with plans to the star's home
Two men armed with swords have been arrested over an alleged plot to rob and murder soul singer Joss Stone at her home in Devon.

The pair were caught in a car near her home with weapons - thought to be swords - along with a body bag, plans to her house and rope.

Police said the two men, aged 30 and 33, were arrested in Cullompton, Devon, at about 10am yesterday.

Detectives said the men were initially arrested for possession of offensive weapons and being equipped to steal.

Officers found swords, rope and a body bag when they arrested the men near the 24-year-old star's isolated country home, the Sun reported.

The men also had detailed maps and aerial photos of her rural property, it was reported.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: 'Police attended an address in Cullompton yesterday morning after alert residents notified officers about a suspicious-looking vehicle.

'Officers attended the area at around 10am and subsequently arrested the occupants of a red Fiat Punto.