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Sat, 03 Jun 2023
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Australia Teaching Drones a New Trick: Playing Lifeguard

Aerobot Ring, drone

The Aerobot Ring
The use for unmanned drones increases every day. This time it's to keep an eye on the beaches of Queensland, Australia to look out for swimmers in trouble - and, of course, any sharks lurking too close.

Surf Life Saving Australia will be deploying the Aerobot Ring, a co-axial hexacopter, in a trial of the drones' effectiveness. The drones are roughly three feet wide and have a payload capacity of around 15 pounds for a flight time of 15 minutes. They'll carry cameras to keep an eye on the water, as well as life buoys to drop to those in distress. Plus, there's a siren to warn people of potential trouble before it happens.

Should the tests prove to be successful, Brett Williamson, head of Surf Life Saving Australia would like to see the trials expanded to patrol many of Australia's remote beaches unmanned by lifeguards.


Rhode Island School District Bans Father-Daughter, Mother-Son Events

© Getty Images
School attorneys find such activities are not exempt under state law banning gender discrimination.

A school district in Rhode Island has ended its traditional father-daughter and mother-son sanctioned events, saying they violate a state gender discrimination law.

The move came after a single mother complained that her daughter had not been able to attend her father-daughter dance.

The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to school officials on behalf of the mother, the Providence Journal reported.

School attorneys looked into the matter and found that national Title IX legislation exempts activities like father-daughter dances and mother-son ballgames. However, Rhode Island state law does not, the lawyers said.

The school then moved to ban such events.


Florida Man Used Dog to Beat Girlfriend


Michael Jones, 42, of Sanford.
Sanford, Florida - A Sanford man was arrested on allegations of beating his live-in girlfriend with her own dog.

Michael Wayne Jones, 42, was arrested Thursday on charges of domestic battery by strangulation, criminal mischief and animal cruelty.

According to Sanford police, Jones got into a fight with his girlfriend and she attempted to drive away.

ones, however, grabbed her dog and started swinging the animal in the air, said police, who added that Jones then beat his girlfriend with the dog.

Police said Jones also started choking his girlfriend before fleeing on a bike while carrying the dog. He was later located and arrested.

The woman, who police said had red marks on her neck, and the dog were not seriously injured.

Jones was booked into the Seminole County jail.

Heart - Black

Florida Farmhand Arrested for Sex with Miniature Donkey

WARNING! This article contains graphic content!

A Florida farmhand arrested for having sexual contact with a miniature donkey explained to cops that the Sunshine State was "backwards" since its residents "frown on zoophilia," according to a police report.

Carlos Romero, 31, was collared yesterday and charged with misdemeanor sexual activity with an animal.

Investigators report that a witness last month spotted Romero, pictured in the mug shot at right, "up against the rear of the donkey" apparently having sex with the animal.

Romero--who was shirtless and had his pants down--pulled away from the donkey when he spotted the witness, who had been delivering a horse to the barn he rents.

When interviewed Friday by cops, Romero made a series of shocking admissions.


Bomb Threat Prompts Louisiana State Campus Evacuation

© Ken Lund / Flickr
Tiger Stadium at Louisiana State University's Baton Rouge campus. A bomb threat forced evacuation of the campus, one of a string that has unsettled several American universities in the past week.
Officials evacuated Louisiana State University on Monday after yet another bomb threat forced students to leave a campus.

A caller phoned in a vague threat to 911 that was received by the East Baton Rouge Parish emergency center at 10:32 a.m., university spokesperson Kristine Calongne told the Los Angeles Times. University officials blasted out an evacuation notice on social media platforms a little over an hour later, at 11:37 a.m.

By Monday evening, law enforcement officials were allowing students to return to dorms and some other facilities while continuing to inspect the rest of the campus. Classes were canceled for the day.

"We have a huge campus, so it takes a little time," Calongne said.

Unless police find a bomb, the threat looks to be yet another hoax - the fourth to strike an American university in the past week. The trend is a tough one for school officials who must protect students even from potentially spurious threats since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and a gunma's rampage at Virginia Tech in 2007.


Hoax Call About Hijacking Prompts Investigation at New York's JFK Airport

Three passenger planes were quarantined and investigated for 90 minutes at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Monday after an apparent hoax call about a possible hijacking.

Fox 5 News reports that it appeared to be part of a coordinated hoax at airports across the country claiming there were hijackings planned on the flights, according to the Port Authority Police Department.

Someone anonymously called in a threat about an American Airlines flight from San Francisco and a FinnAir flight from Helsinki saying there were terrorists hiding in the wheel well.

The New York Post reported that the caller said he received the information from a member of an unnamed Muslim terrorist group.


US Teen Dies After Amazon Psychedelic Ritual

Buried Body
© Sky News
Police found the body buried at the retreat.

A shaman has admitted trying to cover up the death of an American teenager who died after eating an hallucinogenic plant by burying him in the grounds of his Amazon retreat.

Kyle Nolan, 18, died after drinking extracts of a psychedelic plant called ayahuasca during a ritual in the Madre de Dios jungle region of Peru.

He was reported missing ten days later when he failed to return to the US.

His mother Ingeborg Oswalo, from northern California, travelled to Peru and launched a media appeal for information after police failed to find him.

He was eventually traced to the Shimbre Shamanic Centre, near Tres Islas, but shaman Jose Manuel Pineda Vargas, 58, told them he had disappeared from the area.

He later confessed to burying him in the grounds of the retreat, and was arrested with two other men who helped cover up the death.

Bizarro Earth

Oil Company Loses Radioactive Tool; Could be Dangerous to Humans

© opensecrets.org
Halliburton lost a 7-inch radioactive cylinder used for hydraulic fracturing.

Oil company Halliburton has lost an important instrument for its drilling processes somewhere in Texas, and if touched by humans, it could be harmful.

Halliburton recently announced that is lost a 7-inch radioactive cylinder that is used for hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing is a process where oil and gas companies insert water and other components underground to break up subterranian formations. By doing this, natural gas is free to leak to the surface.

However, Halliburton slipped up and lost this 7-inch radioactive cylinder somewhere in West Texas. While the cylinder doesn't produce radiation in a way that would kill humans quickly, it's still dangerous. The Texas Department of State Health Service warns that humans should stay back 20-25 feet if they come in contact with it.


More than 130 escape from Mexican prison on U.S. border

© The Associated Press
A group of federal police stand in front of the prison in Piedras Negras, Mexico, after a mass escape by inmates
Mexico City - More than 130 inmates escaped through a tunnel from a Mexican prison on the border with the United States in one of the worst jailbreaks the country's beleaguered penal system has suffered in recent years.

Homero Ramos, attorney general of the northern state of Coahuila, said 132 inmates of the prison in the city of Piedras Negras had got out through the tunnel in an old carpentry workshop, then cut the wire surrounding the complex.

Corrupt prison officials may have helped the inmates escape, said Jorge Luis Moran, chief of public security in Coahuila, adding that U.S. authorities had been alerted to help capture the fugitives if they try to cross the border.

The jailbreak is a reminder of the challenges that await Enrique Pena Nieto, the incoming president, who has pledged to reduce crime in the country after six years of increased gang-related violence under President Felipe Calderon.

Many of Mexico's prisons are overcrowded and struggle to counter the influence of criminal gangs that can use their financial muscle to corrupt those in charge.

Ramos said that the state government of Coahuila was offering a reward of 200,000 pesos ($15,700) for information leading to the capture of each fugitive.

The Piedras Negras complex housed a total of 734 inmates, and the tunnel through which the prisoners escaped was about 1.2 meters (four feet) wide, 2.9 meters (9-1/2 feet) deep and seven meters (23 feet) long, Ramos said.

2 + 2 = 4

Chicago Teachers Strike: Teachers Considering Offer, Ending Strike; Emanuel Files Lawsuit

© Scott Olson/Getty Images
Striking Chicago teachers and their supporters attend a rally at Union Park, Sept. 15, 2012.
Chicago - Teachers across the nation's third-largest city will be poring over the details of a contract settlement Tuesday as the clock ticks down to an afternoon meeting in which they are expected to vote whether to end a seven-day strike that has kept 350,000 students out of class.

Some union delegates said they planned to take a straw poll of rank-and-file teachers to measure support for a settlement that includes pay raises and concessions from the city on the contentious issues of teacher evaluations and job security. But many warned the outcome was still uncertain two days after delegates refused to call off the walkout, saying they didn't trust city and school officials and wanted more details.

"It takes a lot to start a strike. You don't want to prematurely end it," said Jay Rehak, an English teacher and union delegate who planned to survey his colleagues at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School before voting at a meeting scheduled for 3 p.m.

Pressure has mounted on the teachers to come to a decision quickly on the tentative contract, which labor and education experts - and even some union leaders - called a good deal for the Chicago Teachers Union.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, irked by the union's two-day delay in voting on whether to send children back to school, took the matter into court Monday. A judge has called a hearing for Wednesday morning to rule on the city's request for an injunction ordering the teachers back to work.

Widespread support from parents also appeared to be waning as the strike begins to drag. At least one parent group has sprung up and organized to express its frustrations with the kids being out of class after the teachers decided to stay out on Sunday.