Via Fox News: ALAMOGORDO, NM— A New Mexico man’s decision to lash out with a billboard ad saying his ex-girlfriend had an abortion against his wishes has touched off a legal debate…
Articles by BananaFamine
Via The New York Times: The Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad knew he was a marked man. Mr. Shahzad, who covered national security and terrorism, had received repeated threats from Pakistan’s powerful…
I still hate the word “sexting” … Jim Peppard writes for WTSP 10 News:
Brooksville, Florida — Two teenagers were arrested today for sexting a photo of a bare breast.
A 15 year old boy was taken into custody after he told a school resource officer he forwarded a cell phone picture he received last December of a young girl’s breast, the sheriff’s office said. He said another student at Hernando High School had threatened to do him harm, after learning of the photo.
The girl herself was also charged, after admitting she took a picture of herself in the mirror wearing underwear and exposing a breast, and sending it to the boy, according to the arrest affidavit.
Both were charged with transmission of pornography by electronic device, processed at the Hernando County Jail and released into the custody of their parents.
Stephen C. Webster writes on The Raw Story:
Hackers claiming to be part of protest group “Anonymous” published on Friday over 10,000 internal emails from the Iranian government’s ministry of foreign affairs, as part of an ongoing campaign against the authoritarian regime.
The emails were published to torrent file sharing website The Pirate Bay, along with usernames and passwords. Members also claimed they had taken control of the government’s servers.
In a chat with Raw Story, members of Anonymous on the #OpIran server said they were leading the charge because they want Iranians to know they’re not alone in their struggle against the regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
They also pointed to a declaration of intent to attack the Iranian government, which they published to YouTube in February.
Meaghan Murphy writes on Fox News: Sacre bleu! The Smurfs may not be as innocent as they look. The tribe of little blue creatures who live peacefully among the mushrooms are “steeped…
A teenager in China has sold one of his kidneys in order to buy an iPad 2, Chinese media report. BBC News reports:
The 17-year-old, identified only as Little Zheng, told a local TV station he had arranged the sale of the kidney over the internet.
The story only came to light after the teenager’s mother became suspicious.
The case highlights China’s black market in organ trafficking. A scarcity of organ donors has led to a flourishing trade.
It all started when the high school student saw an online advert offering money to organ donors. Illegal agents organised a trip to the hospital and paid him $3,392 (£2,077) after the operation. With the cash the student bought an iPad 2, as well as a laptop.
International Business Times reports: Move aside, Chuck Norris, Ron Paul Facts is now in. Ron Paul, a Texas Congressman and 2012 presidential hopeful, has inspired a fiercely loyal following around the country…
Michael Sheridan writes in the NY Daily News: A truck driver in New Zealand nearly popped after an air hose accidently got lodged in his buttocks. Steven McCormack says he is “lucky…
Via Russia Today: In 2008 the FBI managed to track down a stolen Ferrari — much to the owners delight — but not for long. An agent decided to take the car…
Shane Benjamin writes in the Durango Herald:
A Durango man was sentenced Friday to 60 days in jail for spitting his own feces on a police officer.
Paul Kausalik, 62, stood still and showed no emotion as 6th Judicial District Judge David Dickinson handed down the punishment.
Kausalik apologized to his wife, the officer and the community. His wife was in the courtroom; the officer was not.
“The occurrences of that evening are totally indefensible,” he said.
Through his attorney, Kausalik declined to comment outside the courtroom.
Kausalik’s work as a retail associate at the Durango Post Office, 222 W. Eighth St., made his a well-known face around town. He worked for the service for about 30 years and retired April 29, said Al DeSarro, a spokesman in Denver.
Kausalik was facing anything from probation to two years in jail after spitting feces at Durango police Officer Chad Langley while detained at the Durango police station.
Paul Tassi writes in Forbes:
Roger Ebert’s Twitter has informed me this morning that the government has attempted to prove him wrong in the seemingly endless “games as art” debate.The famed critic got many riled up when he said that no, games were not art, and in fact, they never possibly could be. He was hailed by some as an old man out of touch, but more pressingly, one who didn’t PLAY the games he was critiquing, which is rather essential to the experience.
But gamers have now found themselves an unlikely ally in the debate, the National Endowment for the Arts, which for 2012 has reclassified their definition of “art” to the following:
Projects may include high profile multi-part or single television and radio programs (documentaries and dramatic narratives); media created for theatrical release; performance programs; artistic segments for use within an existing series; multi-part webisodes; installations; and interactive games. Short films, five minutes and under, will be considered in packages of three or more.
Brazil’s biggest bank — the state-run Banco do Brasil — is being sued for allegedly funding deforestation in the Amazon.
Public prosecutors say the bank lent money to companies that illegally cleared the rainforest and used labour practices bordering on slavery. The smaller state-owned Banco da Amazonia is also being sued.
Brazil says it has drastically reduced the rate of deforestation in the Amazon in recent years.
Prosecutors in the state of Para said they had uncovered 55 loans worth nearly $5m (£3m) that the Banco do Brasil approved to farms that had broken environmental and employment laws. They also said they had uncovered 37 loans worth $11m given to farms with similar violations by the Banco da Amazonia.
The loans violated Brazil’s constitution, environmental laws, banking regulations and international agreements signed by Brazil, the independent prosecutors at the Public Ministry said.
Alasdair Wilkins writes in io9: There’s fewer than 800 Mountain Gorillas left in the entire world, and their survival depends in part on people willing to pay money to go see them….
TEHRAN — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday accused Western countries of devising plans to “cause drought” in the Islamic republic, as he inaugurated a dam in a central province.
“Western countries have designed plans to cause drought in certain areas of the world, including Iran,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying in the central city of Arak in Markazi province.
“According to reports on climate, whose accuracy has been verified, European countries are using special equipment to force clouds to dump” their water on their continent, he said.
By doing so, “they prevent rain clouds from reaching regional countries, including Iran,” Ahmadinejad charged. Iran has experienced several droughts in recent years.
Recently John Collins Rudolf reported in the New York Times: The world may have no more than half a century of oil left at current rates of consumption, while surging demand from…
One of the biggest insurance companies in the world held a party for salesmen where they were rewarded with the services of prostitutes.
Munich Re is the world’s biggest re-insurer — in other words, the company acts as an insurance company for other insurance companies.
One of its divisions, Ergo, told the BBC that the party had taken place to reward salesmen in 2007. A spokesman said the people who organised it had since left.
The gathering was held at a thermal baths in the Hungarian capital Budapest as a reward to particularly successful salesmen.
A slanted, but interesting story from CBS’ 60 Minutes:
This is a story about a group of Americans you’ve likely never heard of: they’re called “sovereign citizens.” Many don’t pay taxes, carry a driver’s license or hold a Social Security card. They have little regard for the police or the courts, and some have become violent.
The FBI lists them among the nation’s top domestic terror threats.
By some estimates, there are as many as 300,000 sovereign citizens in the U.S. And with the sluggish economy and mortgage mess, their ranks are growing.
Over 570 Australians Arrested In Police Crackdown On “Booze-Fueled Violence and Anti-Social Behavior”
Marissa Calligeros writes for Brisbane Times: More than 570 people, including seven juveniles, were arrested in Queensland as part of a two-day police blitz targeting booze-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour. Deputy Commissioner…
[disinfo ed.’s note: just as a reminder, the world may end on Saturday. Have a great week!]
A video report from CNN, and below a write up from Fox News:
A New York man spent his entire $140,000 life savings advertising his prediction that the world will end May 21, the New York Post reported Friday.
Robert Fitzpatrick, a 60-year-old Staten Island resident, said he spent at least that sum on 1,000 subway-car placards and ads on bus kiosks and subway cars…
Mark Milian writes on CNN: When you buy a video game from Best Buy, you don’t give the retailer the right to barge into your house whenever it wants. So why do…
Roni Caryn Rabin writes in the New York Times: Americans are suffering from asthma in record numbers, according to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly one…
BBC News reports: Secret US embassy cables released by Wikileaks show nations are racing to “carve up” Arctic resources — oil, gas and even rubies — as the ice retreats. They suggest…
Ernesto writes on TorrentFreak: Talks on implementing a Europe-wide firewall to censor and block ‘illicit’ websites has caused concern among many Internet users in recent weeks, and today one of the targeted…