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Sat, 09 Dec 2023
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Scientists stung by theft of research bees

© Reuters/Russell Cheyne
A bumble bee lands on a plant in Pitlochry in Scotland May 29, 2010.
London - Several thousand bees that were part of a multi-million pound neuroscience research project have been stolen from a British university.

Police in the Scottish region of Tayside were appealing for information Tuesday after four bee hives containing several thousand British black bees were stolen from a medical school in the city of Dundee.

"This theft will undoubtedly hamper our research," said Dr Chris Connolly, the lead researcher on the Dundee project, who reported the bees missing Sunday.

In a statement he described the bees as "very unique" and said they should be easy to identify if they are sold on.

The hives are a part of a 2 million pound ($3.3 million) project at the Center for Neurosciences at the Dundee University's medical school which is investigating the potential effect of pesticides on bee learning and health.

Police said they were keen to trace a white van and two men that were seen in the area at around 0900 GMT on May 8.

Connolly said he thought the bees may have been stolen for breeding, or for selling on to specialist bee-keepers.

"Clearly whoever did this knows what they were doing and how to handle bees," he said.


Canada: Daughter testifies father drew cross in blood after shooting her boyfriend


Kim Walker, who is accused of killing James Hayward
The daughter of a Saskatchewan man says her father shot her boyfriend, then leaned down and drew a bloody cross on the dying man's forehead.

Kim Walker is charged with second-degree murder in the March 2003 death of James Hayward in Yorkton. Hayward, 24, was dating Walker's daughter, Jadah, who was 16 at the time.

She testified Wednesday that Hayward was a "bad influence" on her life - that he dealt drugs and injected her with morphine.

Jadah Walker said her father came to Hayward's house the day of the shooting and pleaded with her to come home.

"He placed his hand on my arm and said something along the lines, 'Please come home Jadah. Please come with me,'" she said.

That's when Hayward came forward and yelled at Walker to get out of the house, she said.

"James was yelling and then my father reached across, grabbed his gun and started firing."

Alarm Clock

Global Alliance Against Female Genital Mutilation Greatly Needed

Female genital mutilation isn't going away; people are realizing that it is not confined to African Countries.
(GENEVA) - Female genital mutilation can no longer be dismissed by Western governments as 'an issue in Africa' or only as 'an African problem'.

Migration from east to west, in recent decades, has meant FGM is globalizing. Its existence can no longer be denied and the lack of action to combat it can no longer be excused. Western law enforcement discovering FGM crime 'on their patch' has prompted a dialogue about global strategies.

The entire United Nations system is committed to helping countries end FGM, in one generation.

This year's International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM (Feb 6) was marked by a speech by the Director of UNFPA, Alana Armitage, in Geneva. She noted that the UN Interagency Statement (signed in 2007) by ten UN agencies - OHCHR, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNECA, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, [UNIFEM], and WHO - marked the shift in the way the international community supports countries in their efforts to eliminate FGM.


Japan: Chubu to Start Shutting Hamaoka Reactors Tomorrow After Directive From Kan

© Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg
Chubu Electric Power Co.'s Hamaoka nuclear power station in Omaezaki city, Shizuoka prefecture,
Chubu Electric Power Co. will begin shutting down the reactors at its Hamaoka nuclear plant tomorrow, after Japan's third-largest utility accepted a government call to idle them to address safety concerns.

The Nagoya-based company will start the process of shutting down the 1,137-megawatt No. 4 unit at Hamaoka around 3 p.m. local time tomorrow, Atsuo Sawaki, spokesman at the utility, said by telephone today. The 1,380-megawatt No. 5 reactor will be shut the following day, he said.

Chubu Electric this week agreed to Prime Minister Naoto Kan's call to close Hamaoka for as long as three years so it can build a sea wall and take other measures to protect the plant, which lies close to an active fault line. The station is located about 190 kilometers (118 miles) southwest of Tokyo.

An earthquake and tsunami on March 11 knocked out power equipment and cooling systems at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Dai-Ichi station, causing the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl and raising concern about the safety of other plants in Japan.


US: Former ESPN Personality Jay Mariotti Charged with Felony Stalking and Assault

© unknown

Former ESPN sports personality Jay Mariotti has been charged with three felonies - - stalking, domestic violence and assault - - after he confronted his ex-girlfriend the same day a court ordered him to stay away from her, prosecutors said.

He pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the charges: stalking, corporal injury on a spouse or domestic partner, and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. He was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of disobeying a court order. If convicted, he faces up to five years in state prison. His next court date is June 1 before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz.

In addition to confronting his ex-girlfriend at a restaurant Sept. 30 -- the day he pleaded no contest to one count of misdemeanor domestic violence -- prosecutors said he argued with his former girlfriend again outside of a Venice restaurant April 15. He allegedly pulled a chunk of her hair out and grabbed her cellphone, while shouting at her, prosecutors said.

As part of a deal reached in the original case with the Los Angeles city attorney's office, six other misdemeanor counts against Mariotti were dismissed -- four domestic-violence-related counts, grand theft and false imprisonment.

Eye 1

US: Former New Orleans Police Department Officer Changes Rape Plea to Guilty Just as 15-Year-Old Victim Takes Witness Stand

© unknown
Christopher Buckley
The girl wore a pink ribbon in her hair, faux pearl earrings and a grim expression as she reached the witness stand Wednesday, ready to describe how former New Orleans police officer Christopher Buckley raped her multiple times in 2008, when she was 13.

But she never got past her name.

Buckley's defense attorney, Robert Jenkins, called a sudden halt to the trial on its second day just as the teen prepared to testify. Buckley, who served on the force for 10 years, changed his plea to guilty as charged, copping to seven counts of forcible rape. Six of them relate to the sexual assault of the girl, now 15, and the seventh to an alleged attack against a woman in 2003, for which Buckley awaited a separate trial.

Afterward, in a narrow hallway at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, one of Buckley's relatives allegedly accosted the girl. Police arrested Jasmine Buckley, 20, and charged her with obstruction of justice and intimidating, impeding or injuring a witness, online jail records show. It's not clear whether anyone was injured in the fracas. She was still being booked late Wednesday.

Christopher Buckley, 39, was the boyfriend of the teen's mother, also an officer with the NOPD. He resigned shortly after his arrest on Oct. 21, 2008, after the girl told her mother that Buckley raped her three times that month. The Times-Picayune is not naming the girl or her relatives.


US: Rapper Attends White House Event Despite Criticism

© unknown
Despite the best efforts of right-wing pundits and contradicting earlier reports, controversial rapper Common went through with his White House appearance at Michelle Obama's poetry event Wednesday.

Earlier reports suggested that he wasn't there, but a White House video confirms that he showed up later than expected.

The Daily Caller earlier reported that he wasn't in attendance at the afternoon session, saying that when the first lady welcomed the poets who had been invited, she neglected to mention Common, and reporters did not see him at the event. But he apparently showed up for the evening session and even tweeted about his presence there.

It was revealed a few days ago that Common was among the poets that Obama had invited to her poetry session, and the Drudge Report and others immediately noted the rapper's history of violent lyrics, notably directed at police officers. He's also rapped his advice to "Burn a Bush," a reference to President George W. Bush.


US: 3 Men Arrested in Death of Maine Mom Krista Dittmeyer

© The Associated Press
This undated picture made available by Conway, N.H. Police shows 20-year-old Krista Dittmeyer.

Three men have been arrested in the death of a Maine mother whose body was pulled from a pond days after her car was found abandoned in a New Hampshire parking lot with her baby inside, FoxNews.com confirms.

The New Hampshire attorney general's office said in a statement Wednesday that 28-year-old Anthony Papile, of Ossipee, N.H., has been charged with second degree murder in the death of 20-year-old Krista Dittmeyer.

Twenty-three-year-old Trevor Ferguson of Tamworth and 28-year-old Michael Petelis of Ossipee have each been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit robbery.

The young mother's body was found April 27 in a pond in Conway, N.H., about a quarter-mile from where her black Nissan Sentra was found idling in the parking lot of Cranmore Mountain ski area. The car's engine was still running and her baby daughter was found unharmed inside.


US: Tuscan Shooting Suspect, Loughner Writes Letters to Court

Jared Lee Loughner
© Scripps Media, Inc.
The new photo of Loughner was released by U.S. Marshals on February 22.
A judge in Arizona has ordered that two letters recently written by the suspect in the Tucson shooting rampage should be given to his defense attorneys but not prosecutors.

The ruling Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns says defense attorneys for 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner should get copies of the letters because they pertain to the attorney-client relationship.

For that same reason, Burns says the court also determined the letters should not be disclosed to the government.

The judge did not provide any details about what the letters say.

Loughner has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the Jan. 8 mass shooting that killed six and wounded 13, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.


OK to kill Osama bin Laden? Absolutely, U.S. says

© The Associated Press / Jason DeCrow
With the new One World Trade Center building in the background, second left, a large, jubilant crowd reacts to the news of Osama bin Laden's death at the corner of Church and Vesey Streets, adjacent to ground zero, during the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 2, 2011 in New York.
Was the U.S. right to kill Osama bin Laden? Absolutely, and about time, Americans say.

A new Associated Press-GfK poll shows the nation supporting the raid with rare unanimity - nearly 90 percent.

About 50 percent said it increased the threat of terrorist acts against the United States. Seventeen percent said it decreased the threat, while 31 percent said they believed it had no effect on terrorism.