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  • Japanese nabbed for "kidnapping" sweet-toothed doll
    TOKYO, April 26 (Reuters) - "Peko-chan," a round-eyed
    mannequin with a lip-licking grin, has seen a lot in her five
    decades of hawking sweets for a leading Japanese confectioner.
    Not until recently, however, has the eternal six-year-old
    with the sweet tooth become a target of kidnappers.
    Police on Monday were investigating whether a 42-year-old
    man arrested last week on suspicion of snatching a "Peko-chan"
    doll from a Fujiya Co Ltd shop was responsible for a recent rash
    of disappearing dolls, Kyodo news agency reported.
    The man, who nabbed a 45-centimetre (18 inch) "Dancing
    Peko-chan" after distracting the manager with a strawberry
    shortcake order, told police he had hoped to sell it in an
    Internet auction, where the dolls can fetch up to $2,000.
    Thirty-one "Peko-chan" mannequins have gone missing from
    Fujiya storefronts since January, the company said in a
    statement, adding that it had told employees to be on guard.
    The company had originally suggested tying the dolls down,
    but customers complained it was cruel.
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    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
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    Comment


    • Some set of Balls?

      Dog Feels Below Par After Eating 28 Golf Balls
      LONDON (Reuters) - Vets cut open a German Shepherd dog to
      find she had scoffed no fewer than 28 golf balls.
      Eighteen-month old Libby had been coughing blood after
      weeks of fetching golf balls at the northern England course
      where owner Mike Wardrop works as a bar manager.
      Wardrop told Reuters on Friday he hadn't realized the dog
      had a secret appetite for the dimpled balls she found at
      Didsbury Golf Club in Manchester.
      "When I take her for a walk every day she is prone to
      finding golf balls," Wardrop said. "She can fit five in her
      mouth."
      Libby is now recovering from the operation to remove the
      balls, with 30 stitches across her belly.

      Reut01:00 04-26-04
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      Comment


      • Check One M F O

        Kuwait court okays gender switch in landmark case
        KUWAIT, April 25 (Reuters) - A Kuwait court has approved a
        request by a Kuwaiti man who had sex-change surgery to change
        his gender officially to female, setting a precedent in the
        conservative Muslim Gulf Arab state.
        The Personal Status Court of First Instance ruled that the
        plaintiff had suffered physiologically and psychologically since
        childhood due to hormonal imbalances, defence lawyer Adel
        al-Yahya told Reuters on Sunday.
        Saturday's ruling has to be referred to a higher court
        before the decision becomes final, Yahya said, adding the
        process might take up to a month.
        Yahya said he presented the court with an edict issued by
        Egypt's al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's top religious institution, that
        allowed people to change their gender if medical reports showed
        this was to their benefit.
        "We have evidence, a fatwa from al-Azhar, because we have a
        case of illness, not a case of switching gender or as they call
        it in Kuwait a third-sex case," Yahya told Reuters. "This is a
        very rare condition...and the court ruled according to that
        condition."
        The 25-year-old plaintiff, who wants a name change to Amal
        from Ahmad, had a sex-change operation in Bangkok in October
        2002, the Arab Times daily reported.

        Reut07:26 04-25-04
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        *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
        On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

        Comment


        • Where's the BEEF?

          No-carb eating couple booted from buffet for eating too much beef
          SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A couple on a low-carb diet were kicked
          out of a buffet restaurant after the manager said they'd eaten too
          much roast beef.
          Sui Amaama, who along with his wife have been on the Atkins Diet
          for two weeks, was asked to leave after he went up to the buffet at
          the Chuck-A-Rama in suburban Taylorsville for his 12th slice of
          roast beef.
          "It's so embarrassing actually," said Isabelle Leota, Amaama's
          wife. "We went in to have dinner, we were under the impression
          Chuck-A-Rama was an all-you-can-eat establishment."
          Not so, said Jack Johanson, the restaurant chain's district
          manager.
          "We've never claimed to be an all-you-can-eat establishment,"
          said Johanson. "Our understanding is a buffet is just a style of
          eating."
          The general manager who was carving the meat Tuesday became
          concerned about having enough for other patrons and asked Amaama to
          stop, Johanson said.
          Offended, the couple asked for a refund. The manager refused and
          called police when they would not leave.
          The couple said they have eaten at Chuck-A-Rama's $8.99 buffet
          at least twice a week, but did not plan to return.

          (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

          APTV 04-23-04 2127EDT
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          Comment


          • Dutch artist says made pistol out of own skin
            By Paul Gallagher
            AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch artist has used a flap of her
            own skin to make a replica pistol to be shown at an Amsterdam
            art show next month, she said Friday.
            "I made a pistol to express my concern about violence in
            society and to show the connection between what a pistol does
            and the human body," said Joanneke Meester said of the replica,
            which is about the size of a matchbox.
            Meester said she made the tiny replica pistol with a piece
            of skin -- 20 centimeters (8 inches) long and four centimeters
            (1.6 inches) high -- surgically removed from her abdomen. The
            puckered skin was stretched and sewn over a plastic and fiber pistol mold.
            Meester said she had the flap of skin removed under local
            anesthetic to allow her to make the pistol. The surgery left
            her with 16 stitches. She froze the skin, then defrosted it to
            make a replica weapon preserved in formaldehyde.
            Meester, whose piece will be on display in a glass case at
            Amsterdam's Kunstvlaai exhibition organized in a former gas
            works in the Dutch capital from May 8-16, has used skin as a
            theme in her other work too.
            The 38-year-old artist has made "cuddly toys" with pig
            skins
            she obtained from a butchers and produced video installations
            in
            which actors are mummified by skin-tight costumes, rendering
            their faces anonymous.
            But the pistol is the first time she has used human skin in
            her work. "It felt like something between chicken skin and pig
            skin," she said.
            "It took me about an hour to make (the pistol) and at a
            certain point the edge started drying up and you could see a
            little blood on the skin, congealed," she said.
            "If everyone made a pistol from their own skin, I think
            they
            would think twice about using a gun. I think there would be
            less
            violence in the world," she said. "But it's not that easy.
            Violence will always exist."
            In the television age too many people were distanced from
            its stark reality, she said.
            "It's actually not an unambiguous work of art," she said.
            "I
            can understand that it can come across as shocking."
            REUTERS
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            Comment


            • German woman parks car, sparks nude protest
              BERLIN, Germany (Reuters) - A naked man chased a woman
              motorist to her house in Germany to protest that she had parked
              badly, police said Friday.
              "A resident ran completely naked after the 30-year-old
              woman
              in order to communicate his displeasure about the 'noise and
              time she had taken to park,"' police in the central town of
              Goettingen said in a statement, adding that he could face
              prosecution.
              Police said the woman dismissed the man with "strong
              language" before alerting authorities and her neighbors.

              Reut10:54 04-23-04
              Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
              Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

              *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
              On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

              Comment


              • Talking Trash...

                BERLIN (Reuters) - Berlin has introduced five talking waste
                bins which say thank you in three different languages or scream
                "goal" to help promote a cleaner city.
                The talking waste bins -- which curiously say thank you in
                French, Japanese and English but not German -- are located in
                an area popular with tourists at the central Potsdamer Platz
                and at the Zoo train station in the west of the city.
                Fifteen more solar-powered talking waste bins may follow in
                the short term, Bernd Mueller, spokesman for the city's waste
                disposal services, said Monday.
                However, the city does not plan to teach all 20,000 Berlin
                bins to talk.
                "That's much too expensive," said Mueller. "But everybody
                loves those bins."
                Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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                On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                Comment


                • Teens Steal Skull, Use as Puppet
                  LONDON (Reuters) - Two Scottish teenage boys escaped a jail
                  sentence for breaking into the tomb of one of Scotland's most
                  violent noblemen and taking a skull to use as a ventriloquist's
                  dummy.
                  Sonny Devlin, 17, and a 15-year-old boy who cannot be named
                  for legal reasons, were put on probation for three and two
                  years respectively under the ancient crime of "violation of
                  sepulchre" -- the first such trial for over a century,
                  newspapers said on Saturday.
                  Last June, the boys broke into the mausoleum of Sir George
                  "Bloody" MacKenzie, a senior official of Charles II who died in
                  1691. He earned his nickname for his zealous persecution of
                  Presbyterians.
                  The court heard the crime was motivated by "immature and
                  drunken bravado more than anything sinister." The boys were
                  accused of stealing the unidentified skull, using it "like a
                  glove puppet" and then throwing it away.
                  Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                  Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                  *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                  On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                  Comment


                  • Police Stop Drunk Bulldozer Joyrider
                    BERLIN (Reuters) - German police stopped a 17-tonbulldozer
                    weaving through Berlin's streets at 3 a.m. by jumping onto the
                    excavator, smashing the window and spraying mace into the
                    driver's face.
                    A police spokesman said a 28-year-old man was detained for
                    drunk driving and may be charged with theft for taking the
                    bulldozer on a four-km (2.5 mile) joyride Sunday after leaving
                    a pub in the Berlin district of Neukoelln.
                    One of the officers climbed onto the moving vehicle, but
                    the driver held the door shut. Only after the officer smashed
                    the window and sprayed mace in his face did the driver stop.
                    "He was first spotted by a police squad car as he drove
                    through a red light at about 35 kph (20 mph) and then ignored
                    orders from the police to stop," the spokesman said.
                    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                    Comment


                    • SpiderMan Tactics

                      Calif. cops want spider gun to snare bridge jumpers
                      SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Attention Spiderman:
                      California needs you.
                      The state highway patrol, hoping to avoid another epic
                      traffic jam caused by a suicide jumper on a major bridge, wants
                      inventors to design and build a gun that can capture would-be
                      jumpers in a spider-like web.
                      "At this point we're about ready to put out a request for a
                      proposal," said California Highway Patrol spokesman Tom
                      Marshall. "And we'll just see if there's some technology that
                      might be usable."
                      The idea for a suicide spider gun was first floated by a
                      local radio talk-show host following a 13-hour standoff between
                      cops and a blade-wielding man threatening to jump off the San
                      Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, Marshall said.
                      After hours in traffic, some motorists were so furious that
                      some yelled out for the man to jump.
                      The April 2 incident cost the highway patrol an estimated
                      $100,000 in overtime and other expenses, Marshall said, not to
                      mention the costs of the delays to the region.
                      The stand-off came to a close only after the man,
                      exhausted, curled up on the platform and a SWAT team stunned
                      him with a bean-bag gun. He now faces criminal charges.
                      "Any time you tie up a major artery like the Bay Bridge,
                      you want to look at what could we do that would be different,"
                      Marshall said.
                      REUTERS
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                      Comment


                      • Russia seeks hike in U.S. ambassador's $3 rent
                        MOSCOW (Reuters) - The United States pays less than $3 a
                        year for its ambassador's opulent Moscow residence and Russia
                        is seeking $9 million in back rent, Interfax news agency
                        reported Monday.
                        Since the rent for Spaso House in central Moscow was set in
                        1985, the Soviet Union has collapsed and the ruble has lost
                        more than 99.9 percent of its value, cutting the vast mansion's
                        annual rent to around $2.50, the agency reported.
                        Spaso House was built in 1914 for a rich merchant and was
                        seized by communist revolutionaries three years later, before
                        becoming home to the U.S. envoy in 1933.
                        With a domed, 82-foot main hall, the residence is one of
                        the most prestigious in Moscow, where rents held low in the
                        Soviet era have soared to rival those of London and Tokyo.
                        The U.S. embassy declined to comment, but Ambassador
                        Alexander Vershbow has previously said he wants to resolve the
                        issue and draw up a new contract.
                        Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                        Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                        *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                        On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                        Comment


                        • Horseplay encouraged?

                          Turkmen leader opens leisure centre...for horses
                          ASHGABAT (Reuters) - Turkmenistan's autocratic
                          president opened a gleaming new leisure center Monday,
                          equipped with a swimming pool, air conditioning and even
                          medical facilities -- all of it for horses.
                          President-for-life Saparmurat Niyazov, officially known as
                          Turkmenbashi or Father of the Turkmen, showed diplomats the
                          vast $15 million complex which includes an operating theater, a
                          hippodrome and stables kept cool from the desert heat.
                          The horse complex, named Turkmenbashi after him, is
                          equipped with modern X-ray and ultrasonic scanning machines in
                          its state of the art equine operating theater.
                          Niyazov, who brooks no dissent in his nation, told the
                          diplomats he wanted to organize a round-the-globe race to
                          publicize the famous local breed of horses, the Akhal Teke.
                          "I am offering you 50 of the very best Akhal Teke
                          racers...to make it a show tour of all European and American
                          states," he said. "So it's up to you to decide now."
                          The Akhal Teke breed is praised by sportsmen for its noble
                          stature and outstanding stamina and is thought to be at least
                          3,000 years old. Akhal Teke horses have been presented to the
                          leaders of Britain, Russia, France and Iran.
                          The new equine center, shown on state television, proved
                          something of a contrast to conditions for many people in the
                          gas-rich yet impoverished Central Asian state.
                          Niyazov last week fired several ministers for failing to
                          bridge huge salary arrears, which average little more than the
                          official minimum wage of $70 a month and are regularly paid
                          late. Earlier this year he fired 15,000 nurses and medical
                          staff -- likely to be replaced by conscripted soldiers -- in an
                          unexpected shock reform of the national health system.
                          REUTERS
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                          Comment


                          • April 27, 2004 -- After four years of college and $112,000 in tuition, students at Villanova University in Pennsylvania were hoping for a more inspiring commencement speaker than Big Bird. Caroll Spinney, who plays the giant, yellow "Sesame Street" character, is scheduled to address the graduating class next month. The student newspaper complains that there are "other people who also embody truth and loyalty and love and other values of the university without also being iconic to the pre-school class." We'll bet the editors didn't learn "iconic" on "Sesame Street."

                            ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
                            NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
                            343
                            CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
                            LT. John Ginley Engine 40
                            FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
                            FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
                            FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
                            FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
                            FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
                            FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
                            FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
                            FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
                            FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

                            Charleston 9
                            "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
                            *******************CLICK HERE*****************

                            Comment


                            • April 29, 2004 -- They say twins feel each other's pain, but 8-year- olds Cassidy and Marissa Wiese of Laurel, Neb., have taken that idea a bit too far. In a five-hour span, both girls had skating accidents that resulted in broken left arms. "I just kept saying, 'You have got to be kidding me,' " said their mom, Tami, who had the girls fitted with matching blue casts.
                              ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
                              NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
                              343
                              CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
                              LT. John Ginley Engine 40
                              FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
                              FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
                              FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
                              FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
                              FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
                              FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
                              FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
                              FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
                              FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

                              Charleston 9
                              "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
                              *******************CLICK HERE*****************

                              Comment


                              • Cop Suspended for Hitler Salute
                                BERLIN (Reuters) - A policeman guarding Britain's embassy
                                in Berlin has been suspended after he gave a fellow officer the
                                stiff-armed Hitler salute at the start of his shift.
                                The 42-year-old is under investigation for making the
                                outlawed salute and subsequent Nazi greeting, believed to be
                                either "Sieg Heil" or "Heil Hitler."
                                He could face prosecution for the use of illegal symbols, a
                                police spokesman said on Thursday.
                                "The officer raised his right arm upon arrival in the
                                police duty office at the British embassy and greeted his
                                colleague by making an outlawed statement," police said in a
                                statement.
                                Inciting racial hatred, displaying Nazi emblems like the
                                swastika and performing the Hitler salute are crimes punishable
                                by imprisonment in Germany.
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