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Daily Rotten Archives
May 11, 2004
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American decapitated on camera in Iraq
London Telegraph | Submitted by: Head & Neck
"[Nick Berg] read out a statement before five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks pulled him aside and cut off his head... They then held the head out in front of the camera. The horrifying video was posted yesterday on a militant Islamic website which claimed that Abu al-Zarqawi, a close ally of Osama bin Laden and America's most wanted man in Iraq, personally carried out the murder. The killers said the murder was revenge for the abuse and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison... President George W Bush, who is facing one of his gravest political crises over the prisoner abuse scandal, said Mr Berg's killers would be pursued and brought to justice."

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Catholic nuns allegedly beat, molested deaf kids
New York Times | Submitted by: Jeezis Kriiste
"Nine former students of a now-closed Massachusetts school for the deaf filed a lawsuit on Tuesday saying they had been sexually, physically and emotionally abused by the Roman Catholic nuns who operated the institution. The plaintiffs, all of whom are deaf and mute, said they were raped, fondled, beaten, stuffed into lockers and had their heads submerged in toilets by [14] nuns. The plaintiffs were ages 4 to 18 at the time, specified in the lawsuit as 1944 to 1977, while they were students at the Boston School for the Deaf... many of the students had their hands tied behind their backs for trying to use sign language, which was discouraged at the school in favor of oral communication."

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Pentagon OK'd Abu Ghraib-style torture at Guantanamo
Wire Services | Submitted by: optional
"The US government last year approved interrogation techiques for use at its detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, that permit reversing the normal sleep patterns of detainees and exposing them to heat, cold, loud music and bright lights. Citing unnamed defense officials, The Washington Post newspaper said a classified list of about 20 techniques was approved at the highest levels of the Pentagon and the Justice Department in April 2003, according to a report on its website. The list represents the first official policy permitting interrogators to use physically and psychologically stressful methods, the paper added."

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Abu Ghraib photos qualify as porn
Baltimore Sun | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"A certain pornographic aesthetic shrouds the Abu Ghraib photos, calling to mind similarly shame-provoking images from some adult magazines, videos and Web sites... The prison photos resemble a niche called gonzo porn that experts say has been popular for the last five years or so, a genre marked by handheld cameras, the illusion of spontaneity and a low-tech aesthetic meant to suggest reality... Even if the soldiers weren't intending to make pornography, that may be an unintended consequence of what they did. As prisons play a larger role in American life - with more Americans incarcerated every year - prison fetish has grown in popularity in the porn industry."

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Federal nuclear agencies not very detail-oriented
BBC | Submitted by: Goatee
"Investigators have established that 28 top federal employees including nuclear monitors possess bogus college degrees and the phenomenon may be much bigger... The report examines how federal funds have been used to purchase them... The report to the Senate Committee on Government Affairs, which does not name any 'graduates,' was compiled between July 2003 and this February and involved an undercover investigator. It says that three senior employees with emergency security roles and security clearances at the National Nuclear Security Administration possess bogus degrees... The GAO concludes that federal agencies lack proper systems to verify degrees." [Ya figure?]

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Massive plastics factory explosion
Daily Record | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Four people were killed and at least 11 were buried alive when the blast destroyed the four-storey Stockline/ICL plastics plant in Glasgow... The factory was torn apart a minute after noon. Staff believe four industrial ovens exploded... Homes, shops and offices in the busy neighbourhood around the factory were shaken to their foundations by the force of the blast. Scores of bloodied workers fled in terror from the wreckage as chunks of debris crashed down around them... The blast was felt more than three miles away."

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More election day killings in India
Calcutta Telegraph | Submitted by: pesar-e-irooni
"Six people were killed and many more injured in a spiral of violence since polling came to a close in the state... Bombs and bullets rained heavy in the battle between rival party workers that started around 11 pm and continued till this morning... Workers of both the parties fired from improvised guns and hurled bombs during the clash in which CPM supporter Momin Mondal and Congress' Mozammel were wounded... District superintendent of police Gyanwant Singh said 26 people have been arrested in connection with poll violence. 'We had to fire two rounds in the air to disperse a violent crowd and post pickets in some areas to maintain peace,' he said." [No comparisons to Iraq, please.]

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Army forced to import bullets from Israel
Arizona Daily Star | Submitted by: Timisoara
"The U.S. Army said it will seek bullets from commercial and foreign producers because its biggest ammunition supplier, Alliant Techsystems Inc., can't keep up with demand... Alliant Friday said demand is rising to its highest level since the Vietnam War. To make up for the shortage, the Army recently awarded contracts to state-owned Israel Military Industries Ltd. and Olin Corp.'s Winchester unit, each for 70 million rounds... The Army wants to buy about 1.4 billion bullets this year... 'It's a surprise they are using so much ordnance over there,' said Philip Finnegan, an analyst for the Teal Group consultancy in Fairfax, Virginia. 'No one would have expected this a few months ago.'"

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Another limitation of blacked-out documents
c|Net | Submitted by: f00f
"The researchers showed their software at the conference, called Eurocrypt, by analyzing a presidential briefing memorandum released in April to the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks. After analyzing the document, they said they had high confidence the word 'Egyptian' had been blacked out... [The technique] involves first using a program to realign the document, which had been placed on a copying machine at a slight angle... Next, they found the number of pixels that had been blacked out in the sentence... They then used a computer to determine the pixel length of words in the dictionary when written in the Arial font. The program rejected all of the words that were not within three pixels of the length of the word that was probably under the blacked-out area in the document."

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Suspicious Israelis caught in Tennessee
News and Observer | Submitted by: Buddha Bubba
"Two Israeli men who led the Unicoi County sheriff on a high-speed chase in a rented moving truck were placed under arrest and are being investigated by the FBI, local officials said. Shmuel Dahan and Almaliach Naor, both from Israel, were being held without bond Sunday afternoon at the Unicoi County Jail... Dahan is charged with reckless driving, littering, false identification and evading arrest, while Naor faces charges of false identification and evading arrest... [Sheriff Kent Harris] said he saw the men throw something from the truck while they were being pursued. Officers scouring the area later found a vial containing an unknown substance along the roadway, he said. [Which ultimately turned out to be some paint stripper.] Once the men were apprehended, officers also found a 'Learn to Fly' brochure in the truck, leading Harris and others to express concern about security at the Nuclear Fuel Services plant in Erwin."

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Famous gender identity subject suicides
Canoe | Submitted by: backuptheholler
"A Winnipeg man who was born a boy but raised as a girl in a famous nurture-versus-nature experiment has died at the age of 38. David Reimer, who shared his story in the pages of a book and on the TV show Oprah, took his own life last Tuesday. His mother, Janet Reimer, said she believes her son would still be here today had it not been for the devastating gender study that led to much emotional hardship... After a botched circumcision as a toddler, David became the subject of an experiment dubbed the John/Joan case in the '60s and '70s."

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Former sheriff admits owning stolen guns
Desert Dispatch | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Former Sheriff Floyd Tidwell pleaded guilty Monday afternoon to four felony counts of concealing stolen firearms, the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office reported. Tidwell, 74, signed out 523 firearms [!!!] from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department's property division between April 1983 and November 2003, according to court records and Assistant District Attorney Mike Risley. While a vast majority of those are presently unaccounted for, Risley said, Tidwell was charged with the 38 guns, which a task force recovered after a 10-month investigation... Tidwell was the county's sheriff from 1982 to 1990."

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Canadian buys MP3 player on eBay, receives handgun
BBC | Submitted by: hooliganbastard
"A Canadian student who ordered an MP3 player over the internet from the US was shocked to receive a licensed handgun instead. Brandon Buchan, 21, an English student at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, bid for the MP3 player on eBay, the Star Phoenix newspaper said. The pawnshop that auctioned the device sent him an unloaded .22-calibre Smith & Wesson gun and a licence by mistake. A Canadian customs official said not all parcels were X-rayed at the border."

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Australian cannibal receives life
Australian Broadcasting | Submitted by: Gintos
"David Kevin Loader, 43, killed George Martin, 64, at Mandorah, west of Darwin, in July 2001. Several witnesses gave evidence that Loader boasted he had killed a man, chopped him up, put him in a camp fire and ate parts of him, including his leg and penis. The judge imposed a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment."

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