Muslim Country Selects Jewish Ambassador

May 30, 2008


Huda Azra Ibrahim Nunu, a Jewish female lawmaker has been named as one of Bahrain’s ambassadors in what vould be called a first in modern Arab history.

It’s not known where she will be posted, rumors in the news suggest Nunu is slated to become her country’s ambassador to the United States. Bahrain, a small Arab island nation in the Persian Gulf, has had zero diplomatic relations with Israel while there has long been political hostility between Arabs and Jews over Israel.

A decree King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa issued on Wednesday named Nunu an ambassador.
Bahrain is predominantly Shiite Muslim but has Sunni rulers. It is pro-American and hosts the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet. Nunu, a legislator in Bahrain’s Shura Council, is a member of a Jewish community that numbers around several dozen out of a total population in Bahrain estimated to be around 700,000.

iNPLACENEWS


Undiscovered Tribe In Amazon Photographed From Plane

May 30, 2008






This story and all other past blogs along with all the up-to-date blogs can be found at the new home of the iNPLACENEWS blog here

Researchers have produced aerial photos of jungle dwellers who may be among the few remaining peoples on Earth who have had no contact with the outside world.

The photos, taken from a small airplane in a remote corner of the Amazonian rainforest, show men outside thatched huts. Their necks are craned upwards, pointing their bows toward the air .

The photos were published on website of The National Indian Foundation, a government agency in Brazil. It tracks “uncontacted tribes” (indigenous groups) that are thought to have had no contact with outsiders and seeks to protect them.

UPDATE: Is this a HOAX? Clink HERE and read the story.

iNPLACENEWS


Vatican Threatens To Excommunicate Women Priests

May 30, 2008

The Vatican announced Thursday (via a general decree) that it will excommunicate anyone who attempts to ordain a woman as a priest and the woman herself, effective immediately. The decree was signed by Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith.

Regina Nicolosi, a program coordinator for Roman Catholic Womenpriests, who was ordained two years ago, did not find it compelling, threatening, or persuasive. “We have come not to take that too seriously,” said Nicolosi, a priest who is a married mother and grandmother living in Red Wing, Minnesota. Her group is composed of 40 to 50 women priests, none of whom are recognized by the church hierarchy. “It’s one of the very last patriarchal hierarchies in the western world, and I don’t know when they will be ready to let go of that.”

Even if she is excommunicated, she will continue her work as a volunteer in a nursing home who celebrates mass in small groups , she said. She is predicting that the church’s resistance will backfire. “This is bringing more and more women into our group, and I think we’re getting more support from Catholics who are saying this is getting ridiculous,” she said.

iNPLACENEWS


Teen Pimps Busted For Teen Prostituting

May 30, 2008


Three teenagers, two 17 and one 16, who were accused of forcing girls as young as 12 into prostitution have reached plea agreements and been sentenced to a juvenile detention center. The agreement will keep them in detention no longer than their 19th birthdays. In exchange for their pleading guilty, prosecutors dropped other charges, including human trafficking. Charges against others allegedly involved in the ring are pending in adult court.

The prostitution ring was discovered in August after a woman was caught offering men sex with a 14-year-old girl for $50. The teenagers were arrested in January after they had taken the girl to a convenience store to have sex with the owner, a regular customer of the ring, according to police. The teen pimps are suspected members of the Varrio Central gang. Court documents suggest the teens that pleaded guilty befriended runaways and other girls with unstable homes. They would take the girls to regular customers or finding new ones by walking through apartment complexes.
Furthering the graveness of the crimes, the gang members beat and sexually assaulted them and threatened their families if the girls refused to have sex for money, police said. One of the girl’s mother said, “These girls have to live with what happened for the rest of their lives,” said the mother, who was not named to conceal the identity of her daughter. “These boys aren’t going to serve much time. I don’t think that after a year and half, they’ll be ready to get back into society.”

iNPLACENEWS


American Idol Clay Aiken Is Going To Be A Daddy

May 29, 2008

American Idol Clay Aiken is going to be a daddy. Reportedly, the woman who is responsible for producing several of Clay’s records will be repsonsible for producing his child. Jaymes Foster, a LA-based record producer whose house Clay lives at when he is in LA, is due in August with Clay’s baby he gave her via artificial insemination. Congrats to them both from iNPLACENEWS.

iNPLACENEWS


Obama Dismisses Joint Trip Invite By McCain as Political Stunt

May 29, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama is considering a trip to Iraq before the November elections, the Illinois Democrat said Wednesday.

Obama told the New York Times that his campaign was considering a trip overseas after he secures the Democratic presidential nomination and that “Iraq would obviously be at the top of the list of stops.”

Details of the trip are yet to be worked out, he told the Times.

Obama said he was considering visiting Iraq after Sen. John McCain had suggested that the two should make a joint trip to the country, a proposal Obama dismissed on Tuesday as “nothing more than a political stunt.”

“I think that if I’m going to Iraq, then I’m there to talk to troops and talk to commanders, I’m not there to try to score political points or perform,” Obama told the newspaper. “The work they’re doing there is too important.”

McCain Wednesday night said he is happy his likely general election opponent is considering a trip and believes that Obama would change his views on Iraq after spending some time there.

“It’s long overdue,” McCain said during a fundraiser in Beverly Hills, California. “It’s been 871 days since he was there, and I’m confident that when he goes he will then change his position on the conflict in Iraq because he will see the success that has been achieved on the ground.”

McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, and his fellow Republicans have strongly criticized Obama for not visiting Iraq since January 2006. The Republican National Committee has a running count of the days since his last trip to the country on its Web site.

“Senator Obama has been to Iraq once — a little over two years ago he went — and he has never seized the opportunity except in a hearing to meet with Gen. Petraeus,” McCain said at a campaign event in Reno, Nevada. “My friends this is about leadership and learning.

“He wants to sit down with the president of Iran but hasn’t yet sat down with Gen. Petraeus, the leader of our troops in Iraq?” McCain said.

Gen. David Petraeus is the top U.S. commander in Iraq and will soon be promoted to the U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for the Middle East.

McCain has criticized Obama for expressing a willingness to engage Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in diplomatic negotiations.

The Arizona Republican said Obama’s rejection of his proposal for joint trip showed “a fundamental misunderstanding of the gravity of this issue.”

The rest of this article can be read @ CNN.com

iNPLACENEWS


CSI Star Pleaded Guilty to Cocaine and Exstacy Charges

May 29, 2008

Gary Dourdan was recently found asleep in his car in Palm Springs, CA. Soon after, narcotics were found in his vehicle. Although he claimed they were not his, he recently pleaded guilty to all the charges that were not dropped. The charge of possession of heroin was dropped, but not for the possession of exstacy or cocaine. His lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, says he is entering a treatment program, but the program is not technically rehab. Rather, he will spend 30 hours of classes that meet once a week. Having completed the program, his charges will be dismissed. At the time of this story, Dourdan had already enrolled, wasting no time at all.

iNPLACENEWS


Defending the Clean Shaven, Another Smart Move By Police

May 29, 2008

Houston city officials seem willing to spend a lot of money in the face of economic hard-times to defend the police department’s ban on beards. The City Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to authorize spending up to $150,000 to defend the city in a lawsuit challenging the no-facial hair policy. Four police officers filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in November claiming the policy is discriminatory. The officers say the prohibition on beards and goatees is unfair for men who suffer a skin condition that reacts negatively to shaving. The condition can cause severe irritation, rashes and ingrown hair. “The lawsuit is pending and we have to defend ourselves,” Councilman Ron Green said. “But we’re basically saying we want new police officers, but we don’t want police officers with beards”. According to a city memo, the police department instituted the policy in 1993 so uniformed officers would look conservative and professional.
Those standing behing the lawsuit said the policy unfairly effects their earning potential, both within the department and at secondary jobs.

iNPLACENEWS


Green Beret Electrocuted To Death in Iraq

May 28, 2008

A highly decorated Green Beret, Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth died a painful death in Iraq this year. He died not on the battlefield. He died in what should have been one of the safest spots in Iraq: on a U.S. base, in his bathroom.

The water pump was not properly grounded, and when he turned on the shower, a jolt of electricity shot through his body and electrocuted him January 2.

The next day, Cheryl Harris was informed of his death. A mother of three sons serving in Iraq, she had feared such news might come one day.

“I did ask exactly, ‘How did Ryan die? What happened to him?’ And he had told me that Ryan was electrocuted,” she said.

Her reaction was disbelief. “I truly couldn’t believe he would be electrocuted … in the shower,” she said.

Maseth, 24, was not the first. At least 12 U.S. troops have been electrocuted in since the start of the war in 2003, according to military and government officials. mom describe horror, heartbreak over son’s electrocution ยป

In fact, the Army issued a bulletin in 2004 warning that electrocution was “growing at an alarming rate.” It said five soldiers died that year by electrocution, with improper grounding the likely culprit in each case.

The Army bulletin detailed one soldier’s death in a shower — eerily similar to Maseth’s case — that said he was found “lying on a shower room floor with burn marks on his body.”

Maseth’s mother says the Army was not immediately forthcoming with details about her son’s death.

At one point, she says, the Army told her he had a small appliance with him in the shower on his base, a former palace complex near the Baghdad airport.

“It just created so much doubt, and I know Ryan, I know Ryan, I know how he was trained, I know that he would not have been in a shower with a small appliance and electrocuted himself,” she said.

The Army refused to answer CNN’s questions about the case, citing pending litigation by Maseth’s family.

Maseth’s mother says she pressed the military for answers, eventually uncovering more details about her son’s electrocution. The surging current left burn marks across his body, even singeing his hair. Army reports show that he probably suffered a long, painful death.

Fellow soldiers had to break down the door to help, said Patrick Cavanaugh, an attorney for Maseth’s parents.

“When they kicked down the door, they smelled burning hair, and they rushed over, saw Sgt. Maseth lying there unconscious, and one of the rescuers himself was shocked electrically and sustained a fairly good jolt because the water and the pipes were still electrified,” Cavanaugh said.

Army documents obtained by CNN show that U.S.-paid contractor Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) inspected the building and found serious electrical problems a full 11 months before Maseth was electrocuted.

KBR noted “several safety issues concerning the improper grounding of electrical devices.” But KBR’s contract did not cover “fixing potential hazards.” It covered repairing items only after they broke down.

Only after Maseth died did the Army issue an emergency order for KBR to finally fix the electrical problems, and that order was carried out soon thereafter.

In an internal e-mail obtained by CNN, a Navy captain admits that the Army should have known “the extent of the severity of the electrical problems.” The e-mail then says the reason the Army did not know was because KBR’s inspections were never reviewed by a “qualified government employee.”

Larraine McGee is the mother of Sgt. Christopher Everett, another soldier electrocuted in Iraq.

“The impression I got was that this was the first time that it had happened,” McGee said.

Her son was cleaning a Humvee on his Iraqi base with a power washer that was not properly grounded in 2005.

“I thought Chris was the first and that because of that, they were going to correct the problem, and it wasn’t going to happen again,” she said.

When she learned of Maseth’s electrocution, she was stunned.

“It makes me very angry, because there is no reason for this to be going on,” said McGee.

The electrocution of soldiers is prompting anger in Washington.

“How did this happen?” asked Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

Waxman has called for an investigation. “Why wasn’t it corrected when we had the first signs that people were dying from electrocutions?”

In a statement to CNN, the U.S. Department of Defense said it “considers this to be a serious issue and has referred it to the DoD Inspector General’s office for action.”

The Defense Department said that there are nearly 40,000 structures and housing units in the Iraqi theater and that “we believe there was adequate oversight of the KBR contractors.”

“In the past 12 months, KBR performed over 2 million service or work order repairs across the theater,” the Defense Department said.

It went on to say that the Pentagon has “no information” that personnel with Defense Contract Management Agency, which handles the KBR contract, was aware of the 2004 Army bulletin or that they “failed to take appropriate action in response to unsafe conditions brought to our attention.”

The Defense Department inspector general’s office said it could not comment on the new investigation at this time.

KBR declined a CNN interview, but in an e-mail the company said it found “no evidence of a link between the work it has been tasked to perform and the reported electrocutions.”

The Defense Contract Management Agency declined to answer CNN’s questions.

Harris says she will continue to fight to make sure other soldiers don’t die similar deaths.
“I’m not going to sit around quietly,” she said. “I want the answers surrounding Ryan’s death — the accountability. And even further, I want to make sure that our troops are taken care of that are left on the ground … [so] they don’t have to wake up and worry about taking a shower and electrocution.”

Original article found @ CNN.com

iNPLACENEWS


French Serial Killer Couple Sentenced

May 28, 2008

Michel Fourniret, 66, was given the maximum sentence by the jury in northeast France having been accused of seeking young virgins to rape and kill. He was sentenced to life in prison, and he cannot be considered for parole before serving 30 years behind bars. His wife, Monique Olivier, 59, also was convicted of complicity in four of the murders and sentenced to life in prison, too. At least 28 years must be served before she can be considered for early release.

The verdict closes a two-month trial that shocked France and neighboring Belgium, the location of one of the murders. All aged 12 to 21, the victims were strangled, shot or stabbed with a screwdriver between 1987 and 2001. These acts, according to prosecutors, were done in an effort to feed Fourniret’s obsession for virgins. Fourniret also was convicted of kidnapping and rape (or attempted rape) of all seven victims.

iNPLACENEWS