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Sun, 20 Jun 2021
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'Prehistoric animal' mystery solved

Dead Orca
© Luana Lovell-Dewes
The carcass was discovered by a group of quad bikers.
New Zealand - A large animal carcass that washed up on a Bay of Plenty beach left some locals wondering if they'd come across the remains of a prehistoric animal.

The carcass was discovered by a group of quad bikers on a beach about 5km east of Pukehina Beach. The animal's jaw and teeth and parts of its body were still intact.

"People have been asking about it all weekend. It's caused a bit of 'What is it?' in the beach," says Luana Lovell-Dewes, one of the quad bikers who found the remains.

"We haven't seen teeth like that on an animal that's washed up."

Photos of the animal have been sent to the Department of Conservation and Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium for identification, but Mrs Lovell-Dewes says it has proven difficult to get any confirmation.


Five women die in limousine fire on California bridge

© Oakland Tribune-Bay Area News Group, Jane Tyska/AP Photo
San Mateo County firefighters and California Highway Patrol personnel investigate the scene of a limousine fire on the westbound side of the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge in Foster City, Calif., on Saturday, May 4, 2013.
A limousine traveling on a major bridge in the San Francisco area burst into flames, killing five female passengers who were trapped inside and injuring four others who escaped, authorities said Sunday.

The limo was carrying nine female passengers and a male driver when it caught fire late Saturday on the San Mateo bridge, California Highway Patrol officer Art Montiel told The Associated Press.

Five occupants became trapped, while four others suffered injuries but managed to get out after the vehicle came to a stop on the bridge, the patrol said. The driver escaped uninjured.

Montiel said that the victims were all in their 30s. Authorities said the names of the dead would be released once families have been notified.


Soccer referee punched by teen player dies

Ricardo Portillo, seen here in this undated photo, was severely injured while refereeing a youth soccer game in Taylorsville, Utah on May 2, 2013 when a player took a swing at him.
A soccer referee who was allegedly punched in the face by a teenage player and slipped into a coma has died.

Ricardo Portillo, 46, had been in critical condition since the April 27 incident and passed away Saturday night, according to the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake in Utah.

Authorities will consider additional charges against the 17-year-old suspect this week since the referee died, police said in a statement.

Lt. Justin Hoyle with the Salt Lake Unified Police Department said that Portillo was a refereeing a game at Eisenhower Junior High, in Taylorsville, Utah, last weekend when he flagged the teen for a foul.


Death of small business: U.S. self-employment at all-time low

© AFP Photo / Julie Denesha

The unemployment rate in the United States is at a four-year low, but another labor stat is shrinking in not such a favorable way: a decline in the number of self-employed Americans suggests the personal business will soon be a thing of the past.

Since the Great Depression, the number of Americans who identify themselves in the work force as "self-employed as a share of non-farm employment" has been getting smaller. Some economists now say though that the major US recession that started in 2007 will soon send that stat straight down to zero.

The number of self-employed Americans at the end of World War II was roughly one-quarter of the country's population, but during the length of just the 1960s that section shrank from nearly 20 percent to being barely in the double digits. From the 1970s through the first half of the '90s that rate stayed constant, but since just before the start of this century the stats have been smaller than ever. That figure is continuing to decrease, and the result is a major drop in the number of self-employed workers due to the recent recession is ravaging what was once a viable way of making a living.

Although the proportion of self-employed workers has been shrinking during the last few decades, the sheer number of workers who identify as such dropped drastically as a result of the recession - all the while, of course, the population of the country as a whole got larger.


Suicide rates surge in U.S. surpassing road fatalities

© AFP Photo / David Mcnew
More Americans now die of suicide than from car accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a disturbing statistic that some experts say points to the true depths of the US economic crisis.

From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among US citizens between the ages of 35 to 64 soared by about 30 per cent, to 17.6 deaths per 100,000 people, a jump from 13.7.

In 2010, there were 33,687 deaths from motor vehicle crashes and 38,364 suicides.

Although suicide has been traditionally viewed as a problem among the youth and elderly, the recent study, published in Friday's issue of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, shows a marked rise in the number of suicides among middle-aged men and women.

The suicide rate for men aged 35 - 64 years jumped 27.3 per cent, from 21.5 to 27.3 per 100,000, while the rate for women increased 31.5 per cent, from 6.2 to 8.1.

Comment: Considering the extent of income inequality in the U.S., the devastation the ongoing financial crisis has dealt, along with the massive drugging of the population, these statistics are not surprising.
Economic Downturn Taking Toll on Americans' Mental Health
An Epidemic: Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in the U.S.
Warning: Antidepressants May Led to Suicidal Tendencies
Understanding and Overcoming the Myths of Suicide

Bad Guys

Pipeline rupture redux! New ExxonMobil spill hits Missouri

© Reuters
While questions over the severity of ExxonMobil's March 29 oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas still remain, the same pipeline has now ruptured, this time to the north, in Missouri.

The 70-year-old Pegasus pipeline, which released thousands of barrels of tar sands oil in Arkansas, has now caused another, albeit far smaller incident in Ripley County, Missouri, 200 miles north of Mayflower, Arkansas.

A resident notified ExxonMobil after spotting a patch of oil and dead vegetation in their yard outside the town of Doniphan, according to Reuters.

Luckily, unlike the spill that is still ongoing in Mayflower, the latest breach seems so far to be minor, with an estimated one barrel of crude oil having been leaked. According to an Exxon spokeswoman the cleanup operation there was "close to completion."

Originally built in the late 1940s, the Pegasus is now the subject of severe scrutiny, as many environmentalists argue that the increased corrosive impact of transporting tar sands oil presents a greater concern than other forms of oil. It is worth noting that the pipeline was shut down following the Arkansas spill, and leaked in Missouri despite being out of operation.

Cow Skull

22 facts that prove the bottom 90 percent of Americans are systematically getting poorer

© Joe Mabel
The mainstream media is not telling you this, but the truth is that most Americans are steadily getting poorer. The middle class is being absolutely eviscerated, and poverty is soaring to unprecedented heights. The fact that 90 percent of the population is constantly sliding downhill is not good for our society. The United States is supposed to be a land of opportunity with a vibrant free market system that enables average people to make better lives for themselves. Unfortunately, free enterprise is being strangled to death in the United States today. Entrepreneurs and small business are being pounded into oblivion by rules, regulations, red tape and oppressive levels of taxation. At the same time, millions of jobs have been shipped out of the United States by corporate giants and sent to countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages. All of this has happened under both Democrats and Republicans.

Meanwhile, wealth and power continue to become even more heavily concentrated in the hands of big government and big corporations. Our founding fathers warned that we should not allow such large concentrations of wealth and power, because they tend to funnel the rewards of society into the hands of a select few. We need to change the rules of the game so that entrepreneurs, small businesses and average workers can thrive in this country once again. If big government and big corporations continue to gobble up even more wealth and power, the wealth inequality that we see right now will only get even worse.

The following are 22 facts that prove that the bottom 90 percent of America is systematically getting poorer...


Hysteria: Florida teen girl charged with felony after 'small explosion' caused by water bottle science experiment

kiera wilmot
© Unknown
Kiera Wilmot got good grades and had a perfect behavior record. She wasn't the kind of kid you'd expect to find hauled away in handcuffs and expelled from school, but that's exactly what happened after an attempt at a science project went horribly wrong.

At 7 a.m. on Monday, the 16 year-old mixed some common household chemicals in a small 8 oz water bottle on the grounds of Bartow High School in Bartow, Florida. The reaction caused a small explosion that caused the top to pop up and produced some smoke. No one was hurt and no damage was caused.

According to WTSP, Wilmot told police that she was merely conducting a science experiment. Though her teachers knew nothing of the specific project, her principal seems to agree.

"She made a bad choice. Honestly, I don't think she meant to ever hurt anyone," principal Ron Pritchard told the station. "She wanted to see what would happen [when the chemicals mixed] and was shocked by what it did. Her mother is shocked, too."

After the explosion Wilmot was taken into custody by a school resources officer and charged with possession/discharge of a weapon on school grounds and discharging a destructive device. She will be tried as an adult.

Arrow Down

Man claims to be Pink Floyd singer to avoid medical bill, police say

© SCTimes.com
Phillip M. Schaeffer
St. Cloud police are investigating a Monticello man who claimed to be Pink Floyd band member David Gilmour while racking up a care bill as high as $100,000 at St. Cloud Hospital.

The man even signed an autograph for a hospital employee's son before he was arrested by St. Cloud police. No charges have been filed against Phillip Michael Schaeffer, 53, who was booked April 24 at the Stearns County Jail for investigation of felony theft by swindle.

Schaeffer came to St. Cloud Hospital on April 20 for treatment and gave the name David Gilmour when he checked in, according to St. Cloud police. He claimed to not have any health insurance and was treated and released.

After he left, hospital employees had suspicions that he wasn't really the Pink Floyd singer-guitarist. That suspicion led to the hospital flagging his patient chart in case he returned, hospital spokeswoman Jeanine Nistler said.The next day, "there was some discussion among security staff leading people to believe that he really wasn't David Gilmour," Nistler said. "So our security supervisor pulled up the security camera shots of when this man entered the hospital and compared them to pictures on the Internet of Pink Floyd's David Gilmour and determined he was not David Gilmour."


Hysteria alert! Boston high school student facing 20 years for saying "F#*k the Government!" on his Facebook page

Methuen Police Chief Joe Solomon told the Valley Patriot this afternoon that D'Ambrosio a sent text message and posted terrorist threats on social media.

"We took this very seriously," Chief Solomon said.

"He posted a threat in the form of rap where he mentioned the White House, the Boston Marathon bombing, and said 'everybody you will see what I am going to do, kill people."