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Fri, 31 Mar 2023
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French Journalist Missing in Colombia


Romeo Langlois
A French journalist is missing after being injured in a shoot-out between Colombian security forces and members of the revolutionary guerrilla group FARC.

It is believed Romeo Langlois may have been kidnapped by the rebels.

He has not been seen since the firefight, prompting French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe to make a statement saying his government is liasing with Bogota.

Langlois had been following the security forces as they tracked the FARC members.

The Colombian Defence Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon described what he had been told about the last sighting of Langlois.


Nutella Backs off 'Balanced Breakfast' Claims After Hit with $3-million Lawsuit

© unknown
They were four aggrieved American mothers who said they were shocked when they found out that the Nutella they were spreading on their kids' bread was a confection that packed twice as much sugar as a similar amount of jam or syrup.

Now, the makers of the popular hazelnut-flavoured spread have agreed to a $3-million settlement to end four class-action suits filed in the United States that claimed that Nutella engaged in misleading marketing to portray its product as a healthy part of breakfast.

The women alleged they and other consumers were duped by Nutella television ads, which used words like "nutritious" and "healthy," and by the company's website, which quoted a nutritionist.

Nutella contains little protein and consists primarily of sugar and modified palm oil, the plaintiffs said in court documents.

They also noted that in 2008 a British advertising watchdog had determined that Nutella's manufacturers ran similarly misleading ad campaigns in the United Kingdom.

The settlement, which was reached earlier this spring, will be reviewed before approval at court hearings in California and New Jersey in July.

Comment: Sott has carried many excellent articles about the detriment of sugar consumption:

Sugar High: The Dark History and Nasty Methods Used to Feed Our Sweet Tooth
Sugar Should Be Regulated As Toxin, Researchers Say
Addicted to Sugar?
Stopping Addiction to Sugar: Willpower or Genetics?
Sugar Addiction is Real
Sweet Sabotage: The Harsh Reality of Sugar, Sugar Substitutes and "Natural Sweeteners"

Heart - Black

Florida Man Allegedly Stabs Bathing Grandmother to Death

© unknown
Whaley, 23, is facing one count of first-degree murder. He is being held without bond at the Polk County Jail.
US, Florida - A 23-year-old Lake Wales man is being held without bond at the Polk County Jail facing first-degree murder charges in the death of his grandmother.

Christopher Chase Whaley allegedly stabbed Barbara Denmark repeatedly while she bathed.

According to a Polk County Sheriff's Office report the suspect had gotten into an argument with Denmark, 69, and his aunt, Cassandra Pippin, on Saturday. The suspect was in Daytona Beach at the time and allegedly decided to kill the pair when he returned home.

Detectives say Whaley had been living with Denmark in her Lake Wales mobile home for at least the past five years.

When the suspect arrived home he went into his bedroom and thought about committing the murders. Whaley then went to the kitchen, grabbed two knives and attacked his grandmother in the tub.

The report states he left the bathroom and when he came back she was out of the tub and on the floor. Whaley checked but found her unresponsive and called 9-1-1. The suspect apparently decided not to kill Pippin, who also lives in Polk County.

When deputies arrived Whaley met them and turned himself in. He was arrested on one count of first degree murder and transported to the Polk County Jail.

Heart - Black

7 People Killed as Bus Carrying Vacationers Crashes on its Way to Tokyo Disneyland

A bus carrying dozens of vacationers to Tokyo Disneyland has crashed on a highway, killing seven passengers.

Police say the other 38 passengers and the driver were injured in Sunday morning's accident on a highway in Gunma, north of Tokyo.

The bus crashed into a roadside wall. Steel wall panels sliced the vehicle in half.

Police are investigating the cause. They say all the passengers are believed to be Japanese nationals, mostly young adults.

Police were having difficulty identifying the bodies. Six of those killed were women.

The crash happened as Japan head into the "Golden Week" holidays this week.

Source: The Associated Press


Sudan Declares State of Emergency as Clashes Continue

© Goran Tomasevic/Reuters
A woman in South Kordofan. Fleeing air attacks from Sudanese forces, thousands have left their homes for makeshift shelters in the Nuba Mountains.
Khartoum, Sudan - Sudan declared a state of emergency on Sunday along much of its border with South Sudan as the momentum toward all-out war continues to build after weeks of clashes over disputed areas and oil.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir's decree gives authorities in the border areas wide powers to make arrests and set up special courts. It was issued a day after Sudan detained three foreigners and a South Sudanese near the border and accused them of spying for South Sudan, a charge the South denies.

South Sudan, meanwhile, said Sunday that it would remove its security forces from the contested region of Abyei in response to demands from the African Union and the United Nations Security Council. "We are not occupying any contested area," said South Sudan's minister of information, Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

But reports of fighting continued through the weekend. On Saturday, Sudanese aircraft bombed Panakuach, a town near the border in Unity State, Mr. Benjamin said. And on Sunday, South Sudan's army said clashes with what it called a militia group backed by Sudan left 21 people dead in Malakal, near the border. Mr. Benjamin called the militia a "mixture" of Sudanese forces and southern militiamen.


Nigeria: As Gunmen Fire On Worshippers...Two Profs, 17 Others Killed in Buk Attack

© unknown
Bayero University
Kano - Two professors and at least 17 other people were killed yesterday when gunmen struck a lecture theatre and a sport complex used by Christian worshippers at the Bayero University, Kano.

Witnesses said the attackers arrived on motorbikes and a Honda car at about 9am, and hurled small homemade explosives into the two centres before opening fire on fleeing worshippers.

Professor Andrew Leo Ogbonyomi of the university's Library Science Department and a Chemistry Professor were among those reported dead.

A number of other lecturers as well as some students were believed to have also been killed in the incident. It happened at a time when the university was on vacation.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which was the deadliest yet in Kano since the major Boko Haram assault on the city on January 20 that left 186 people dead.

Witnesses told Daily Trust that the attackers came through the university's main gate and escaped on motorbikes through a smaller gate.


Australian Billionaire Clive Palmer to Build Titanic II

Clive Palmer
© Agence France-Presse
Mr Palmer says the Titanic replica will be a tribute to the men and women who built the original ship
Clive Palmer, one of Australia's richest men, has commissioned a Chinese state-owned company to build a 21st Century version of the Titanic.

The mining billionaire told Australian media that construction will start at the end of next year.

It would be ready to set sail in 2016.

The plan, he added, is for the vessel to be as similar as possible to the original Titanic in design and specifications, but with modern technology.

Mr Palmer told Australian media that he had signed a memorandum of understanding with CSC Jinling Shipyard to construct the ship.

"It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic but of course it will have state-of-the-art 21st Century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems," he said in a statement.

The announcement comes just weeks after the centenary of the sinking of the ill-fated Titanic.


'Real life Barbie' Stirs Debate Over Cosmetic Surgery

Valeria Lukyanova
© Valeria Lukyanova/Tumblr
Do Barbie dolls create unrealistic expectations for young women?
A recent article about 21-year-old Ukrainian model Valeria Lukyanova has caused an uproar across the Internet, as people debate whether or not the "real life Barbie" achieved her appearance through cosmetic surgery. It has also stoked a larger debate over whether or not excessive pressure is placed on young women by the media and popular culture to fit within a certain cosmetic mold.

Lukyanova's Tumblr account features some pictures of the model without cosmetics, but in most of the photos she appears to be wearing a lot of makeup. In addition, several readers are questioning whether the photos have been altered, and there's speculation as to whether Lukyanova underwent extensive plastic surgery at such a young age to get her look.

So, are young women really altering their bodies in an attempt to look like Barbie?

Writing for Discovery News, Benjamin Radford says "little research" has actually been done on whether girls actually look up to Barbie as a physical ideal. Radford cites an article from the journal Adolescence, in which authors Tara Kuther and Erin McDonald write that, "the extant literature about Barbie dolls tends to be opinionated and based on essays and popular media articles" rather than actual scientific research and analysis.


Teen Justice Trolls vigilantes' Videos May Have Helped Nab Real Child Predator in British Columbia

Canada - So the Justice Trolls may have got their man after all.

RCMP in Chilliwack, B.C., about 90 minutes' drive east of Vancouver, have confirmed their investigation into a case of attempted child luring is linked to video taken by a group of costumed vigilantes who tricked a suspected pedophile into meeting them last year, the Vancouver Province reports.

The teenage crime fighters calling themselves the Justice Trolls hung up their colourful duds and took down videos of their encounters on the advice of police.

But on Tuesday, RCMP released a photo of a man allegedly using a computer to try and lure a young girl. Five hours later, the Mounties said they'd identified the man through tips from the public.

"A very short time after the release was sent, several tips were received from the public and the police were able to make an identification and can now take the necessary steps in furthering their investigation," RCMP said in a news release.


Police Brutality: Windsor Police Caught on Tape Beating Legally Blind Doctor

Canada - CBC News has obtained video that shows a Windsor, Ont., police officer beating a doctor who is legally blind.

Det. David Van Buskirk, who attacked Dr. Tyceer Abouhassan on April 22, 2010, pleaded guilty Thursday to assault causing bodily harm.

Video cameras at the Jackson Park Health Centre captured the beating, although much of the physical altercation is slightly out of frame. Afterwards, Van Buskirk wrote in his report that the doctor ""immediately reached out and grabbed my throat and pushed me backward."

In pleading guilty, Van Buskirk admitted that Abouhassan "did not strike him at all." He also confirmed that all of the doctor's reaction "was in lawful resistance to being assaulted by the accused."