After hearing of a newspaper account of an unclaimed $853,492 Powerball ticket from October, Steve Jones decided to do a little housecleaning. Of the three tickets he swept out from under the bed, one wound up being the prizewinner.
On Thursday, Jones took the ticket to the Louisiana Lottery Corp.'s headquarters in Baton Rouge and walked out with $597,447 after taxes. "Someone had mentioned to me there was a story in the paper about the missing ticket," Jones said. "I buy them all the time, and after he told me that, I went into the room I sleep in and started looking. I grabbed me a mop and went up under the bed and found three of them."
Jones took the tickets to a liquor store where he buys many of his lottery tickets, and a store clerk scanned them. "The first two were nothing, but the third ticket said I needed to go the lottery office," said Jones. "I didn't know whether it was the Match-5 winnings or something else. But when they said I had to drive to Baton Rouge, I started looking for someone to drive me."
The retailer who sold the Match-5 Bonus ticket got $8,534. Match-5 Bonus, pays a bonus to players who match the five white ball numbers but do not correctly match the red Powerball number when a record Powerball jackpot is surpassed. Jones' ticket was to expire April 17. Winners of the lottery's draw games, such as Powerball, have 180 days after the drawing to claim their prize.
The fossilised skeleton of a rabbit-like creature that lived 55 million years ago has been found in Mongolia, Science magazine reports. Gomphos elkema, as it is known, is the oldest member of the rabbit family ever to be found. Gomphos was surprisingly similar to modern rabbits - and probably hopped around on its elongated hindlimbs.
The fossil adds weight to the idea that rabbit-like creatures first evolved no earlier than 65 million years ago. "This skeleton is very complete," co-author Robert Asher, of Humboldt Universität, Berlin, Germany, told the BBC News website. "Gomphos gives us valuable information about the anatomy of early rabbits - it tells us what they looked like.
"Gomphos had a true 'rabbit's foot'; that is, a foot more than twice as long as the hand that could be used for hopping."
But the ancient creature did have some traits that were unlike its modern relative. For example, Gomphos had quite a big tail and some of its teeth were more squirrel-like than rabbit-like.
Prior to this discovery, the oldest, most complete fossil lagomorphs (the family which includes rabbits, pikas and hares) were about 35 million years old. Scanty fossil evidence has led to some uncertainty about when modern placental mammals first appeared in evolutionary time.
One camp believes that modern placental mammals (which include elephants, bats, rabbits, lions etc, but not kangaroos, opossums or echidnas) existed long before the famed "KT" boundary 65 million years ago, which marked the demise of the dinosaurs. The other camp disagrees with this view, and instead claims that modern placentals did not originate until close to, or shortly after, this event. Gomphos has waded - or hopped - into the debate, adding evidence to the latter theory.
Hitherto, there was a strong school of thought that suggested lagomorphs are more closely related to an extinct group of Cretaceous animals called the "zalambdalestids", than they are to other, modern mammal groups. Zalambdalestids lived before the great mass extinction event 65 million years ago. So, if they were close relatives of the lagomorphs, it would suggest modern placental groups were diverging during the Cretaceous period.
But an analysis of Gomphos suggests this is not the case, Dr Asher and his colleagues believe. This makes it more likely that modern lagomorphs - and other placental mammals - originated after the dinosaurs went extinct. "This skeleton gives us more data to throw into the analysis," he told the BBC News website. "And using this new information we favour the second idea."
The discovery of a fossil beaver that lived when the dinosaurs ruled the Earth could challenge some currently accepted ideas on mammal evolution. Castorocauda lutrasimilis , which was unearthed in China, is a species previously unknown to science. It dates back to 164 million years ago, a time when mammals were thought to be primitive creatures confined to land. But this animal was adapted to life in water, meaning scientists may now have to rethink their theories.
The fossil was found in the Middle Jurassic Jiulongshan Formation, a deposit rich in the remains of dinosaurs, early insects and other organisms. Like modern beavers, the creature had fur, a broad scaly tail, and webbed feet for swimming. It was about the size of a small female platypus and had seal-like teeth for eating fish.
Such advanced features have surprised many scientists, suggesting mammals that lived during the hey-day of the dinosaurs had already conquered a variety of environments. The mammals of the time were once thought to be largely primitive shrew-like creatures, scuttling at the feet of dinosaurs, and only flourishing when the dinosaurs died out some 65 million years ago.
Commenting on the find, revealed in the journal Science, Thomas Martin of the Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg in Frankfurt, Germany, said it showed mammals had conquered the water 100 million years earlier than previously thought. "This exciting fossil is a further jigsaw-puzzle piece in a series of recent discoveries, demonstrating that the diversity and early evolutionary history of mammals were much more complex than perceived less than a decade ago," he wrote.
Posted by: too true ||
02/25/2006 13:15 Comments ||
This is one thing I DO agree with WFB on. We're wasting far too much time and energy fighting this drug business. Legalize it, tax it, make laws stating that discriminating against users is perfectly legal, slam anyone operating under the influence in jail forever, and count the money we save. It's a losing battle that we don't need to fight. The idiots who are smoking this stuff now probably won't smoke any more of it if it's legal and those who want to be a part of productive society will avoid it anyway. Legalize it and get on with dealing with much bigger problems.
I hate drugs and think pot heads are pussies but I agree w/you Mac. Legalize, regulate, and tax it accordingly. I had a buddy who ran a similar though albeit smaller operation on the west side of Detroit. He had a fake wall in his garage w/black lights on timers and everything. The fake wall & ceiling was covered in tin foil - go figure. Anyways he was the most paranoid dude you'd ever wanna meet. One because he had enough cannabis to put himself away for 30+ years and two because he was always smoking his own shit. He claimed he was addicted to pot though most cannabis advocates I've met say it is not habit forming. Either way, I could give a rat's *ss because as I said, I think it's a lame waste of time - though it doesn't concern me if some numb nut wants to get high in their own house as long as they don't operate a vehicle or distribute to minors.
No one can deny marijuana is a drug, but there are much worse drugs, like alcohol. The government should legalize grass, and start spending money on discouraging drugs that actually completely ruin people's lives= crack and crystal meth. Pot maybe be a gateway drug, but the current methods of fighting drugs are obviously not working.
They might not look like sensitive sorts, but seven out of ten Hells Angels in Stockholm are on sick benefits with depression, Stockholms police commissioner Carin Götblad told the press on Monday.
"Øh, Spike! I'm sø depressed!"
"Me, tøø, Butch!"
Now the doctor who signed most of the mens sick notes could be struck off the medical register.
"Right. Thøse guys're depressed."
"Ja, sure! They løøked depressed to me!"
Doctor Roman Nowik is at the centre of an enquiry announced on Monday into members of the biker gang, which has about 30 members in Stockholm. It is believed that many of those on benefits were working at the same time. Police and officials at the Swedish social insurance administration (Försäkringskassan) say they plan to work together more closely to find proof that the bikers were cheating the system.
"Yøuse gøt nuttin' on us, cøppers! Nuttin'!"
Nowik told Dagens Nyheter on Wednesday that the Hells Angels members he had seen were not faking. They are depressed in many cases suicidal and have not tricked me. I am an expert on depression, he told the paper.
"Ånd whåt måkes yøu ån expert?"
"Dø I løøk håppy?"
But a report in December from the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) said that Nowik had often failed to provide medical evidence when signing sick notes. Meanwhile, officials at the insurance administration have said that announcing the investigation into the Hells Angels publicly will make the probe more difficult.
Christoffer Franzén at Försäkringskassan said the public announcement was unfortunate.
"Ja, sure! Very unførtunåte!"
Dagens Nyheter reported that many police were upset that a previously secret investigation had been put into the public domain. But Inspector Christer Nilsson said that the police had made the operative decision that it was not wrong, to announce that the Hells Angels were being investigated.
Nordic bikers are actually a staple of local organized crime, from what I understand, they're not a quaint odditiy.
In the mid 90's, they used rocket launchers and explosives to blow up each others HQ and nightclubs.
Still, I agree, Bandidos, Hell's, Rock Machines and the like are usually associated with the never-ending highways of the USA, not with the old continent's small roads.
Same "clubs" in Europe, btw, there are some RM in the south of France I think, and one famous 80-90's skinhead, Serge Ayoub/"Batskin" is now a parisian Hell's, and was convicted for traffiking metamphetamine a few years ago, he's out by now I believe.
IIRC, nordic bikers don't ride bikes that much, climate is too cold. Bikeless bikers, ha.
There's two kinds of droughts from my experience in Caliphornia. The first is the kind that nature creates. It results in farmers no longer being able to grow cotton in the desert. The second is man made. It results in "If it's brown flush it down, if it's yellow let it mellow."
I've got a couple of Austrailian Caroma toilets at home, NS. There are two buttons on top: the half flush gives a chaser, and the full flush gives a woosher. That cuts down water use greatly and appropriately.
It is true that many cities, especially older ones have a high percentage of their water wasted because of old water mains. That sould be addressed, but like in NYC, we are talking about extremely expensive and extremely disruptive.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
02/25/2006 12:57 Comments ||
I spent a month in London in Sept/Oct. Walked by a broken water pipe near a tree on Bayswater Road across from Hyde Park on the first day I was there. It was gushing at least 5 gal/min. I have no idea how long it had been broken before I saw it but it wasn't fixed until the day before we left. As this example shows, the British simply aren't careful with water. Maybe a serious drought will convince them they need to be a bit less profligate.
True, Jackal. One thing about more energy and conservation: most govt and enviros go for the headlines and buzzwords, and do not list the energy sinks, from biggest to smallest, and prioritize conservation measures, based upon the best return for the effort. We are on a well here, so less water use means less electricity. I used to pack water where I lived up north, so I religiously do not believe in wasting it in my life.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
02/25/2006 15:34 Comments ||
Doctors in mainland France have detected a mosquito-borne disease among people returning from the Indian Ocean region, where the virus is spreading rapidly, a senior health official said on Saturday.
France's health minister has blamed "Chikungunya" fever, for which there is no known cure or vaccine, for directly or indirectly killing 77 people on the French island of La Reunion off the southeast coast of Africa.
French health officials say 157,000 people have now been infected by the disease on La Reunion, about one in five of the population.
"We have people returning from La Reunion who have symptoms of chikungunya and their diagnoses have been confirmed," Francois Bricaire, head of the infectious diseases service at Pitie-Salpetriere hospital in Paris, told Europe 1 radio.
"It's not surprising, quite simply because of the contacts between the island of La Reunion and mainland France."
He said about 30 cases had been found by his service and it was likely that other medical services had detected cases. The disease can only spread via mosquitoes and Bricaire did not say whether the people with symptoms were confined or allowed home.
Health Minister Xavier Bertrand told Europe 1 that the mosquito which carries the virus could be present in southeastern France but gave no details.
The illness, which has also been found in the nearby Indian Ocean islands of the Seychelles and Mauritius, is marked by high fever and severe rashes. Most people recover although it is extremely painful.
The number of people infected in Mauritius has risen to 962 from 341 the previous week, the Mauritius government said.
French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin is due to travel to La Reunion on Sunday. He faces growing criticism over the failure to prevent the disease spreading and said this week that the entire island should be cleared of mosquitoes.
The spread of chikungunya is likely to increase health concerns in France following confirmation of the presence of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu at a farm in the east of the country where thousands of turkeys died.
First recognized in East Africa in 1952, chikungunya leaves the immune system weak, proving opportunities for other diseases to set in. The name comes from the Swahili for stooped walk, referring to the posture of those afflicted.
La Reunion is a popular tourist destination for European travelers. The Reunion Committee on Tourism has reported tour cancellations but has not provided figures for costs incurred.
Polish president Lech Kaczynski has said the EU constitution has "no chance" of being ratified in Poland, while pleading for a new, less centralist kind of charter. The Polish leader made his remarks in an interview with French daily Le Figaro on Friday (24 February), ahead of a two-day visit to France on Friday and Saturday. "This treaty has practically no chance of being ratified in Poland, neither by referendum, nor via the parliamentary route," he was quoted as saying.
Mr Kaczynski's interview reiterated earlier calls for a new EU charter, looser and more decentralised than the EU constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters last year. The Polish leader told Le Figaro "In any case, it should take reality into account, that is to say the differences between the members of the union as far as the levels of development are concerned as well as traditions and expectations."
Underlining the central role of nation states in his thinking, he said "what interests the Poles is what will come out of Poland, not the future of the union as a whole. It's the same in France." "What interests people is what Jacques Chirac says, not the declarations of Mr Barroso," he said mockingly.
On Wednesday he had stated that the current EU constitution text "brings us closer to a super-state," according to PAP.
The trip to Paris constitutes Mr Kaczynskis first visit to a capital in "old" Europe, before a trip to Germany planned in March. Le Monde writes that Mr Kaczynski's choice of Paris shows a warming-up in Franco-Polish relations which suffered during Polands support for the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Mr Chirac famously said in 2003 after Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic backed the US position "They missed a good opportunity to shut up," adding "These countries have been not very well behaved and rather reckless of the danger of aligning themselves too rapidly with the American position."
Poland has not forgotten Mr Chiracs "unfortunate" remarks, Mr Kaczynski indicated. He told Le Figaro "to me, that way of thinking of the type 'we welcome you in the European Union, but you have to abide', that doesn't make sense."
AMSTERDAM: The UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague rejected Slobodan Milosevic's request for provisional release from detention in the Netherlands to travel to Russia for medical treatment, the court said on Friday. "The request is denied," the court said in a written decision. "The trial chamber is not satisfied... that the accused, if released, would return for the continuation of the trial." But the court said doctors treating Milosevic for a heart condition and high blood pressure could look after the former Serb president in the Netherlands, where he is on trial for crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes.
A small Canadian university has ruled out campus-wide wireless internet access because its president fears the system's electromagnetic forces could pose a risk to students' health.
Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, has only a limited Wi-Fi connections at present, in places where there is no fibre-optic internet connection. According to president Fred Gilbert, that is just fine. "The jury is still out on the impact that electromagnetic forces have on human physiology," Mr Gilbert told a university meeting last month, insisting that university policy would not change while he remained president. "Some studies have indicated that there are links to carcinogenetic occurrences in animals, including humans, that are related to energy fields associated with wireless hotspots, whether those hotspots are transmissions lines, whether they're outlets, plasma screens, or microwave ovens that leak."
Lakehead University published a transcript of Mr Gilbert's remarks on its website. Spokeswoman Eleanor Abaya said the decision not to expand the university's few isolated wireless networks was a "personal decision" by Mr Gilbert. He didn't want to spring for a free tinfoil hat for everyone. And underwear.
But the president's stance has prompted a backlash from students and from Canadian health authorities, who say his fears are overdone. "If you look at the body of science, we're confident that there is no demonstrable health effect or effects from wireless technology," said Robert Bradley, director of consumer and clinical radiation protection at Canada's federal health department. He said there was no reason to believe that properly installed wireless networks pose a health hazard to computer users.
Adam Krupper, president of the Lakehead students' union, estimated about 1000 of the school's 7500 students have laptops that could pick up a wireless signal, and he said students "really, really" want Wi-Fi on campus. "Considering this is a university known for its great use of technology, it's kind of bad that we can't get Wi-Fi," he said.
Mr Gilbert is a former vice-provost of Colorado State University who holds degrees in biology and zoology. He was previously a zoology professor. I could understand an English major, but a zoology professor?
Just like all that cell phone brain cancer that is now in epidemic levels! Killing all our ... what? Studies proved no link and they are safe? Um... but, studies also ... false? ... um ... GLOBAL WARMING AND BUSH HATES BLACK PEOPLE!!
100 megawati megawatts? Daymn! I could set up the transmitter outside the garage and turn the snow to steam on my driveway during the worst of blizzards.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
02/25/2006 15:38 Comments ||
Turn snow to steam... probably not too far off the mark: 100 million watts-- the output of nearly a quarter-million microwave ovens-- pumped into that dinky 6" long antenna on the router would yield some interesting phenomena, that's for sure.
The air around the router, probably for many meters, would be ionized a harsh, brilliant electric blue; and the temperature within a few feet of it would be higher than the surface of the Sun.
"Some studies have indicated that there are links to carcinogenetic occurrences in animals, including humans, that are related to energy fields associated with wireless hotspots, whether those hotspots are transmissions lines, whether they're outlets, plasma screens, or microwave ovens that leak."
Speaking of microwave ovens that leak, I had a friend in HS whose microwave was an old 70's beast that was built in to the cabinets of his parents' home. I was over there one day, goofing off and one of the other guys opened the microwave door WHILE it was still running and the thing kept running. Needless to say, I didn't have my tinfoil on, so there's no telling how messed up I am. And, on another note, what the heck's a "Carcinogenetic?" Is that something where I don't get cancer, but my kids could? Never actually heard the term, but I'm no zoologist.
"All I'm saying is that there are some things beyond the ken of mortal man that shouldn't be tampered with. We don't know everything, Andy. There's plenty going on right now in the Twilight Zone that we don't know anything about and I think we ought to stay clear."
The executive producer of CBS "48 Hours Mystery" has apologized for airing an altered image of the front page of the Tribune in an episode about the murder trial of Ryan Ferguson that aired Saturday night. CBS aired an altered image of the Tribunes front page for its 48 Hours Mystery. The producer, Susan Zirinsky, said she didnt know the image of the front page containing the story about Fergusons sentencing had been manipulated until this week after Tribune Managing Editor Jim Robertson complained to CBS in an e-mail. "It was an egregious oversight for us not to know it," Zirinsky said. "It was a graphic, and we dont feel it changed the editorial value of the story, per se."
Bob Steele, a senior ethics faculty member at the Poynter Institute, a premier journalism training center in Florida, said CBS executives should apologize to viewers and use the networks Web site to explain what went wrong and accept responsibility for an ethical failure. "What they did wrong was twofold," he said. "One, they altered reality by changing a piece of documentary journalism. Secondly, they deceived their viewers because they left them with the impression that what they showed was a truthful representation of what the newspaper showed."
The TV newsmagazine showed several front pages from the Tribune during its hourlong program "Dream Killer," about the trial of Ferguson, found guilty in October of killing Tribune Sports Editor Kent Heitholt. During the show, which raised the question of whether Ferguson was wrongly convicted, a graphic of the Tribunes Dec. 5 front page showed a photograph of Ferguson that was different from what actually appeared in the Tribune. The original photograph showed Ferguson in a jail uniform as he appeared at his sentencing. In "Dream Killer," Ferguson was shown in a suit and tie.
Zirinsky said the graphic has been changed in the master tape of the program to accurately reflect the Tribunes front page. A freelancer hired by CBS for the first time was responsible for the alteration, Zirinsky said. "We feel we are doing the right thing," she said. "We have apologized to the editor."
Eh? Looks like a minor oversight to me.
I gather the tone of the whole program was slanted towards this killer. Photoshopping the newspaper front page to make him look respectable and mature rather than the shot of him in an orange jumpsuit talking to his lawyer in court fits that. They really didn't need to show the newspaper at all, so why do it if not to convey a visual impression?
IRS exams found nearly three out of four churches, charities and other civic groups suspected of having violated restraints on political activity in the 2004 election actually did so, the agency said Friday.
Most of the examinations that have concluded found only a single, isolated incidence of prohibited campaign activity. In three cases, however, the IRS uncovered violations egregious enough to recommend revoking the groups' tax-exempt status.
The vast majority of charities and churches followed the law, but the examinations found a "disturbing" amount of political intervention in the 2004 elections, IRS Commissioner Mark Everson said.
"It's disturbing not because it's pervasive, but because it has the potential to really grow and have a very bad impact on the integrity of charities and churches," Everson said in an interview.
The tax agency looked only at charities, churches and other tax-exempt organizations referred to the IRS for potentially violating laws that bar them from participating in or intervening in elections, including advocating for or against any candidate.
Those referred to the IRS represent a tiny fraction of more than 1 million tax-exempt organizations organized under section 501(c)(3) of the tax law.
The IRS examined 110 organizations referred to the tax agency for potentially violations, and 28 cases remain open. Among the 82 closed cases, the IRS found prohibited politicking and sent a written warning to 55 organizations and assessed a penalty tax against one group. Those organizations included 37 churches and 19 other organizations.
In the three additional cases in which the IRS recommended revoking tax-exempt status, none of the organizations were churches. The agency did not identify the three. The IRS found tax violations unrelated to politics in five cases. Examinations of the 18 remaining groups did not turn up any wrongdoing.
In some cases, the IRS found flagrant violations of the law. In others, charities did not understand their obligations. Many activities fall into an ambiguous area that requires closer scrutiny of context and timing.
"There are very few places where you can draw bright lines," Everson said. "People have to think about this."
Among the prohibited activities, the examiners found that charities and churches had distributed printed material supporting a preferred candidate and assembled improper voter guides or candidate ratings.
Religious leaders had used the pulpit to endorse or oppose a particular candidate, and some groups had shown preferential treatment to candidates by letting them speak at functions.
yes, we watched al-Kerry at some of them
Other charities and churches had made improper cash contributions to a candidate's political campaign.
The IRS said the cases covered "the full spectrum" of political viewpoints.
The tax agency set up a task force in 2004 to review allegations of improper political activity. The special procedures, revealed shortly before the election, drew criticism from some tax-exempt groups.
An audit by Treasury Department inspectors found nothing inappropriate in the examinations, but it faulted the IRS for creating the appearance of political motivations by waiting too long to announce the project and contact organizations.
The IRS said it plans to continue using the task force, and its speedier procedures, for this year's election and in the future. It also released detailed guidance to charities and churches about the prohibitions against political activities.
I think both the left and the right did this. The left seemed more open about it - as always they believed that it was their superior right to do so. However, the right did it as well.
Churches should stay out endorsing candidates. While it is natural that their message might influence voting, as is only natural, blatant endorsement should be punished with the loss of their tax exempt status.
Many people supported the supercops because snuffing out the bad guys, most felt, was better than putting them through a failing justice system where witnesses could be manipulated and cases drag on for years
Once the poster boy of Mumbais police force and eulogised by Bollywood filmmakers, Daya Nayak has been accused of corruption and links with the underworld
For eight years, Daya Nayak killed with impunity - sometimes with his pistol but often with an AK-47 automatic rifle - as he bumped off people suspected to be gangsters or involved in acts of terrorism in Mumbai.
These days, the policeman just kills time.
Once the poster boy of Mumbais police force and eulogised by Bollywood filmmakers, Nayak helped to dramatically curb organised crime in Indias financial capital, breaking the back of violent gangs and sending mobsters on the run.
But after years of tormenting crime dons, the past has returned to haunt him.
The tall, moustachioed Nayak, 34, has been arrested and ordered held until early March as anti-corruption officers probe allegations he had amassed wealth, including real estate worth millions of rupees, far beyond what his salary could pay for. Nayak is not alone in his fall from grace. More than half a dosen officers of a crack force, formed over a decade ago, have been accused of corruption and links with the underworld.
Known in the Indian media as encounter specialists for shooting down criminals in raids, the men have either been dismissed or suspended until an investigation into their financial assets is completed.
Nayaks critics claim that as well as taking mob money; the so-called supercops have been routinely killing gangsters in stage-managed shootouts and in custody. Human rights workers have branded the deaths nothing more than extra-judicial executions.
Ive done nothing wrong. These charges are false, the sub-inspector, who says he killed over 80 criminals in shootouts, said recently after appearing in a Mumbai court.
In the late 1990s, Mumbai, then known as Bombay, faced a tide of mafia killings, abductions and extortion demands.
Poor migrants from villages and small towns were drafted into gangs, taking up the gun for cash, earning relatively small amounts but more than they could hope to make honestly.
The underworld was remote-controlled by bosses based in Dubai, Malaysia and Karachi who had fled India to avoid arrest, leaving behind associates to carry out their orders.
Rough Justice: Mumbais authorities hit back, giving a free hand to officers like Nayak who worked informers and wielded their guns to administer justice.
In a decade of violent confrontations, the officers busted hideouts and shot dead at least 350 suspected gangsters, drawing cheers from businessmen and the Bollywood set, prime mob targets.
Newspapers splashed photographs of the officers across their front pages, while film directors explored Nayaks climb from abject poverty. Many people supported the supercops because snuffing out the bad guys, most felt, was better than putting them through a failing justice system where witnesses could be manipulated and cases drag on for years. Human rights activists say police routinely killed criminals in cold blood after taking them to a lonely spot and telling them to run. When they did so, or even if they did not, they were shot, usually in the back.
They kill them (criminals) somewhere and then take their bodies to hospital and put it down as a shootout death, PA Sebastian, a human rights activist, told Reuters.
Sometimes, rights activists allege, officers blaze away as they compete with each other for media headlines.
But police say they open fire only in self-defence.
Does a policeman enjoy killing? Those killed are trying to get us. They arent saints, said officer Pradeep Sharma, who police records say has shot dead 104 criminals.
Sharma is facing an inquiry in the disappearance of an accused in a 2002 bomb blast in Mumbai. Human rights activists say the man, Khwaja Yunus, was killed in custody while police say he simply escaped.
Many of these encounters are fake and killings by police extrajudicial, said criminal lawyer Majeed Memon.
Sharmas boss says the controversial tactics have yielded results.
Its for all to see that stern police activity has curbed crimes, Mumbai police commissioner AN Roy said. reuters
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered its deputy registrar in Karachi to confirm whether the conversion of three newly converted girls was forced or based on their free will. The court ordered its Karachi Registry to meet Reena, 21, Reema, 17, and Usha, 18, in the presence of a Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) representative at the Edhi Home and record their statements to ascertain whether they accepted Islam out of their free will or under pressure. In our opinion it is appropriate to record statements of the girls under oath to verify whether the statement of their counsel was correct or not, a three-member bench consisting of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Faqir Khokhar and Justice Shakirullah Jan observed.
The girls were living in Madrassa Taleemul Quran in Karachi, but were later shifted to Edhi Home on the orders of the Supreme Court. An FIR was lodged regarding the girls abduction and rape. The three sisters were later found in a religious seminary getting Islamic education. The Supreme Court took up the application and summoned the girls to record their statement. The girls appeared in court on December 16 and testified that they had accepted Islam out of their free will. On Friday, their counsel gave a letter written by them to the court, stating that it was difficult for them to travel from Karachi to Islamabad for hearings, thus their case may be disposed of.
The Supreme Court on Friday directed the inspectors general of police (IGPs) of the four provinces and the Northern Areas to stop womens marriages to settle family feuds, declaring the customs of Vani and Swara un-Islamic. A three-member bench consisting of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Faqir Muhammad Khokhar and Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan directed the IGPs to protect Vani victims. The court also summoned a report from the IGPs by the last week of April.
The court was moved to abolish the social customs of Vani and Swara (a mode of dispute settlement in which young girls of the offenders family are wedded to the men of the victim family as compensation). The court also heard the cases of five girls from Mianwali who have appealed to President Pervez Musharraf and the chief justice to save them from Vani, and a petition by freelance anthropologist Samar Minallah against the notorious customs. Five girls Asiya, 8, Amina, 9, her sisters Abida, 7, Sajida, 5, and Fatima, 7 were given in verbal Nikah in compensation of a murder to save their elders. Amina, Sajida and Abida have reportedly threatened to commit suicide if not protected from the custom.
due to financial issues, but it opens the door to Muslim extremists winning seats
I doubt that'll happen. They'd be a side issue, since they're concentrated in the far south. But I don't imagine Toxin will be back as PM after the elections. Most anybody they get will have more testicular heft and less corruption baggage to lug around.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.