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Ambulance

Canada: Home Depot bans pets after nose-biting incident

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© CBC
A Shih Tzu bit Home Depot employee Anne Riel's nose while she was handing out flyers and greeting customers at an Ottawa store.
Certified assistance dogs will still be permitted under new policy

Home Depot is barring domestic animals from its Canadian outlets, following an incident last week in Ottawa when a shop greeter had the tip of her nose bitten off by a customer's dog.

Home Depot Canada issued a statement on Thursday explaining that the new no-pets policy was "the best decision for the shopping enjoyment and safety of all customers."

U.S. Home Depot locations will not be affected by the change.

Only certified assistance dogs, such as those needed to guide the visually impaired, will still be permitted inside.

People

Asylum-Seekers riot in Australia, burn buildings

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Sydney - Asylum seekers torched a number of buildings at a Sydney detention centre in a night of wild riots, with police still trying to talk down a handful of protesters from the rooftops on Thursday.

The riots kicked off late Wednesday at the Villawood Detention Centre with an estimated 100 detainees involved at the height of the drama.

At one stage firefighters were pelted with roof tiles and pieces of furniture, ABC radio reported.

USA

Pro-pot, anti-war Republican Gary Johnson running for president

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© Wikimedia Commons
Former Gov. Gary Johnson (R-NM) announced Thursday morning that he's running for president in 2012, adding a fresh libertarian perspective to a field of candidates touting their social conservative credentials.

The ex-governor is perhaps best known in recent years as an outspoken opponent of the drug war who believes marijuana should be legalized. He's in favor of same sex marriage, saying it would reflect America's commitment to "freedom" and "liberty." And he wants to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Johnson, a long-shot at best for the GOP nomination, first made the announcement on Twitter, following it with a series of tweets previewing his campaign platform.

Attention

US: Protesters disrupt Obama's SF fundraiser

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© Lea Suzuki / The Chronicle
Naomi Pitcairn of Oakland is detained on Third Street after protesting and leaving a fundraiser at the St. Regis in San Francisco, Calif., Thursday, April 21, 2011.
President Obama's pricey breakfast fundraiser today at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco was interrupted by a crowd of singing protesters who paid $76,000 for tickets to air their feelings about the treatment of Pvt. Bradley Manning, the alleged leaker of U.S. military documents posted on WikiLeaks.

Oakland activist Naomi Pitcairn told The Chronicle that she put up the funds for tickets for a crowd of protesters from freshjuiceparty.com, a liberal group that aimed for "performance art" at Obama's final fundraiser in the city before flying to Los Angeles, the next stop on his trip to promote his deficit plan and raise money for his re-election campaign.

A crowd of political luminaries was assembled in the dining room at the St. Regis to hear Obama, including U.S. Sen Dianne Feinstein, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and state Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Gov. Jerry Brown, who showed up to the hotel, left before the president began speaking to the crowd of about 200 supporters, who paid anywhere $5,000 to $35,800 apiece to see him.

The Bay Area protesters included UC Santa Cruz art professor Elizabeth Stephens; songwriter Craig Casey; activist Jane Sullivan of Santa Cruz; writer Greg Archer; David Schiller of Berkeley; and organizers from Tony's Circus, a performance group.

Bomb

US: Authorities Have Number of Leads in Search for Colorado Mall Bombing Suspect

 

Authorities have a number of leads -- but no arrests yet -- in their search for a suspect in an attempted bombing Wednesday morning at a Colorado mall.

The incident involving mysterious explosives found at the Southwest Plaza Mall in Littleton came 12 years to the day after the shooting rampage at Columbine High School, which is located just one mile from the mall.

The FBI has released two images of a "person of interest" that were recorded on surveillance video, and investigators are asking for the public's help in identifying the man.

"He's a person of interest, not a suspect," Jefferson County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Jackie Kelley said. "He was in the area, so he may be a witness."

Question

Chopper Conundrum: Officials Tight-Lipped About Mysterious Helicopter Crash in Sehwan, Pakistan

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© Unknown
According to a ‘witness’, the helicopter crashed in Shikargah forest, near the city of Daulatpur.
The media and officials played hide-and-seek on Wednesday over reports of a helicopter crashing in Nawabshah - or Sehwan - at around 2 pm. The mysterious helicopter allegedly crashed in a jungle and initially, officials had said that the agencies confirmed that it belonged to the government and six people were on board.

When the news spread, however, every relevant authority started zipping up about it.

The Inter-Services Public Relations denied the crash, saying that if it were an army helicopter, it would have known. The Civil Aviation Authority said it had no idea about the mysterious chopper and had only heard of it through the media. "We checked through our systems and found nothing," CAA spokesman Pervez George told The Express Tribune. Meanwhile, a CAA Nawabshah official quipped, "We do not know anything about the helicopter because it was not ours. We only heard it from the media, so it must be yours." Along with him, the Nawabshah DCO also denied any crash happened.

Pistol

The Mysterious Deaths of Nine Gulf Oil Spill Whistleblowers

BP Whistleblowers
© YouTube

In the past year, nine vocal critics or potential whistle-blowers of the Gulf oil spill all died in extremely mysterious ways. Their deaths could be strange, unrelated coincidences. Or they could have been killed as part of a conspiracy to silence those who were speaking out against the worst oil spill in American history.


Nuke

Japan bans entry into Fukushima evacuation zone

Fukushima road block
© BBC News
Residents will be allowed brief supervised visits home to collect belongings
Japan has made it illegal to enter a 20km (12-mile) evacuation zone around the stricken Fukushima nuclear reactor.

People were urged to leave the area shortly after the 11 March earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant, but the order was not enforced by law.

Cooling systems were knocked out by the twin disasters and radiation has been leaking from the plant.

Meanwhile a strong earthquake hit eastern Japan. The magnitude 6.1 quake shook buildings in Tokyo.

The epicentre of Thursday's tremor was in Chiba prefecture, east of the capital.

Bizarro Earth

US: Pennsylvania Fracking Spill: Natural Gas Well Blowout Spills Thousands Of Gallons Of Drilling Fluid

Thousands of gallons of fracking fluid have spilled following an accident at a natural gas well in Pennsylvania, WNEP reports.

The Chesapeake Energy well in Bradford County lost control late Tuesday night.

From WNEP:
The well blew near the surface, spilling thousands and thousands of gallons of frack fluid over containment walls, through fields, personal property and farms, even where cattle continue to graze.
Francis Roupp, deputy director of the county emergency management agency, told AP that there were no injuries, and that although fluids have reached a small stream, "no adverse effects" have been reported.

Roupp suggests a cracked well casing could be the culprit behind the fracking spill, but that certain details won't be known until the situation is under control.

Attention

US: Bees sting elderly couple to death in south Texas

An elderly South Texas couple died and their son was injured after a swarm of bees attacked them on their remote ranch, authorities said on Wednesday.

William Steele, 95, and his wife, Myrtle, 92, died and their son, Richard, 67, was injured after bees attacked them as they tried to clean a hunting cabin on their ranch near Hebbronville on Monday, an investigator with the Jim Hogg County Sheriff's Office said.

"It was a terrible thing," Investigator Reyes Espinoza told Reuters. "You don't prepare for something like that."

Richard Steele told investigators he and his parents were attacked after they moved a wood stove in the cabin and exposed a hive of bees, Espinoza said.

The son immediately drove about 15 miles to the nearest road, where he managed to call for help on a cell phone.