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Sun, 28 Nov 2021
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South Sudan Becomes an Independent Nation

South Sudan Independence
The new state is rich in oil, but also one of the world's least developed countries
South Sudan has become the world's newest nation, the climax of a process made possible by the 2005 peace deal that ended a long and bloody civil war.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon are among international dignitaries attending celebrations in the capital, Juba.

Sudan earlier became the first state to officially recognise its new neighbour.

The south's independence follows decades of conflict with the north in which some 1.5 million people died.

Celebrations in Juba began at midnight (2100 GMT). A countdown clock in the city centre reached zero and the new national anthem was played on television.

South Sudan became the 193rd country recognised by the UN and the 54th UN member state in Africa.


Caylee's Law Petition Goes Viral, Some States Begin Drafting Law

© Joe Burbank/Associated Press
Casey Anthony was found not guilty in the murder of her daughter, Caylee.
Disappointment over the not guilty in Casey Anthony murder trial has spurred an online campaign in honor of the Florida mother's dead 2-year-old.

A petition urging lawmakers to create a law in memory little Caylee Anthony has gone viral - garnering more than 250,000 signatures in less than 36 hours.

The campaign, launched by an Oklahoma woman on Change.org, asks lawmakers to craft "Caylee's Law, " which would make it a felony for a parent to fail to report a missing child to law enforcement.

Change.org, the site which launches numerous petitions a day in an effort to create social change, said on its blog that the petition is already the most popular of all time on the website.


US: Man Mistakenly Jailed for Trying to Cash Check at Chase Bank

Chase Bank
© n/a
A 28-year-old construction worker was mistakenly thrown in jail after trying to deposit a check at a local Chase bank, and the whole ordeal ended up costing him his car and job.

KING5 reported that Ikenna Njoku of Auburn, Washington received a home buyer rebate from the IRS, which Chase Bank sent him in the form of a $8,463.21 cashier's check. When he tried to cash the check, a teller at his local Chase Bank suspected it was a forgery and took it, along with his driver license and credit card, to contact bank support.

When he arrived at the bank the next day to get his money, he was arrested for trying to cash a fraudulent check and thrown in jail.

The following day, on Friday, Chase Special Investigations realized the mistake and left a message with the police department. But Njoku ended up staying in jail until Monday morning.


Police suspect a Murdoch executive deleted 'millions of emails'


London police are investigating the possibility that an executive working for Rupert Murdoch's News International deleted "millions of emails" in an attempt to thwart a phone hacking probe, reports said Friday.

On two separate occasions, a senior executive is thought to have erased "massive quantities" of messages, according to The Guardian.

One of the massive deletions may have happened in January, just as police were launching "Operation Weeting" to look into charges that reporters at News of the World hacked voicemails.


Actor Hugh Grant confronts News of the World editor on air

Actor Hugh Grant has had a long-standing grudge match going with the Murdoch-owned tabloid The News of the World for some years.

In April of this year, Grant published an article in Britain's The New Statesman describing the tactics used by the British tabloid media and how each Prime Minister since Margaret Thatcher has known that they can only be elected with the help and consent of Murdoch's NewsCorp, Inc. empire.

Grant had a run-in with former News of the World editor Paul McMullen in which he found out that the tabloid was listening in on his phone messages. As a retaliatory gesture, he made a visit to McMullen's pub with a recording device and got the editor on tape admitting to many of the paper's most dubious practices.

The two men met again on the BBC News Channel and while the discussion began cordially enough, it quickly escalated. Grant's parting shot to McMullen is not to be missed.

Black Cat

TS-hey! Airport agent 'took passenger's iPad and stuffed it down his trousers'... and stole $50,000 worth of devices from luggage

© Broward Sheriff's Office
Charged: TSA worker Nelson Santiago-Serrano, 30, is accused of swiping $50,000 worth of electronics from passengers
  • SA agent Nelson Santiago-Serrano charged in Florida
  • He allegedly admitted theft to police
  • Allegedly sold stolen goods online during shifts
The list of consumer complaints against the TSA over recent months may soon have to include theft, in addition to groping and racial profiling.

That's because a Transportation Security Administration worker has been charged with two counts of grand theft for allegedly stealing electronics out of passengers' luggage, authorities in Florida said Thursday.

According to the Broward County Sheriff's Office, Nelson Santiago-Serrano, 30, was caught by a Continental Airlines employee stealing an iPad from a suitcase in Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport's Terminal 1 on Monday.

Mr Santiago-Serrano was allegedly seen trying to stuff the device into his pants, reports the Broward-Palm Beach New Times.

Police say that after they arrested him on Monday, he admitted to stealing computers, GPS devices, video cameras, and other electronics from bags he was supposed to be screening.


One-armed man fined $200 in Belarus for clapping at unsanctioned rally

© Sergei Samokhin
A court in Belarus fined a one-armed man for taking part in unsanctioned "clapping" protests in Minsk earlier in the week, Belarusian information website Khartiya-97 reported on Friday.

"The court ruled that the disabled man by the name of Konstantin will have to pay a fine of 1.05 million Belarusian rubles [some $200]," the website said.

The man was found guilty by the court of clapping in a public place. The fact that the man was clapping was proved by one of the witnesses during the trial.


US: 'It was kind of messed up that the females got shot': Katrina cover-up officer tells how police fired at unarmed and wounded civilians


Officer Michael Hunter told the court how he and his colleagues had fired at wounded and unarmed people

  • Police sergeant 'randomly fired at wounded and unarmed civilians with assault rifle'
  • Officer 'stamped on mentally disabled man as he lay on the ground dying'
  • Cops wanted to send the message: 'Don't mess with us' in the wake of 2005 hurricane
A police officer told how he saw two wounded women lying on the ground after he and colleagues had fired at unarmed civilians in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Michael Hunter, a government witness in the federal trial of five current or former officers, said he didn't perceive any threat and said he peered over a barrier and saw two wounded females on the ground, embracing each other and crying.

Hunter, who already has been sentenced to eight years in prison, is one of five former officers who have pleaded guilty to participating in a cover-up.

Heart - Black

UK: Kept as a slave, sexually abused and finally beheaded by psychopathic family: How man with learning difficulties was failed by everyone

michael gilbert

  • Vulnerable Michael Gilbert was stabbed, shot at with an air gun and treated like a dog for a decade
  • Criminal family hacked up body and dumped him in a lake
  • Police ignored his pleas for help claiming he had 'invented his injuries'
Police and social services repeatedly failed a vulnerable young man who was tortured and imprisoned for a decade before his headless body was found dumped in a lake.

Two separate reports into the murder of Michael Gilbert, 26, found he was let down by numerous professionals from early childhood until his body was found dumped in the Blue Lagoon in Arlesey, Bedfordshire, in 2009.

He was kept as a slave by a family known to the police, beaten and sexually abused before being killed while his captors claimed his benefit money.


Furious News of the World staff to sue for unfair dismissal and it could land News International with a £14m bill

rebekah brooks

Did she weep or was she dry-eyed? Rebekah Brooks failed in her rallying cry

The 200 staff who were effectively made redundant by News International when it shut down the News of the World are set to sue the company for unfair dismissal - and it could cost the company £14million.

Many of the paper's journalists believe they have been badly mistreated because they had no involvement in the phone hacking scandal, and the large majority were not even working on the paper when the alleged offences took place.

There is the belief among the staff that the axed journalists have been used as scapegoats for NI's chief executive Rebekah Brooks and BSkyB's James Murdoch.