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October 30, 2010

UK court jails man for trolling online tribute pages

UK court jails man for trolling online tribute pages

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Manchester Magistrates’ court in the UK yesterday jailed a self-described online troll for posting messages to Facebook tribute pages. Colm Coss, 36, was sentenced to eighteen weeks in prison after admitting breaching the Communications Act of 2003.

Coss targeted a page in tribute to the late Jade Goody, made famous by reality TV show Big Brother, as well as a page dedicated to young Liverpool dog-attack victim John Paul Massey. Overseas deceased were also targeted, with Coss trolling tributes to a Canadian murder victim, an Australian road accident fatality and a dead US citizen.

Coss was arrested after he sent typed letters to neighbours containing photographs of himself and explaining he was “a troll”. Although he initially refused to cooperate, Coss later wrote to a police officer and admitted posting the messages, in some of which he said he had had sex with the bodies of the deceased or claimed to have engaged in fictional acts of paedophilia.

“The harm and upset that this can cause is obvious,” according to Paul Mitchell, prosecuting Coss. Coss was charged with ‘sending malicious communications that were grossly offensive’, entering a guilty plea last month. Yesterday, defence lawyer Leanne Press sought investigation of her client’s psychiatric state prior to sentencing, arguing he “had a history of mental health issues.” However, magistrates decided he could be sentenced without this.

Magistrate Pauline Salisbury noted sentencing guidelines of twelve weeks imprisonment, but said the offences were serious enough to warrant 26 weeks. Eight weeks were shaved off the sentence owing to his guilty plea.



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First Prime Minister of Greenland Jonathan Motzfeldt dies at age 72

First Prime Minister of Greenland Jonathan Motzfeldt dies at age 72

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

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Motzfeldt at the Bogforum book fair in 2008

Jonathan Motzfeldt, the first and third Prime Minister of Greenland, has died at the age of 72. He had been admitted to the Queen Ingrid Hospital in Nuuk after being diagnosed with pneumonia. He died on Thursday of a brain hemorrhage. He started his first role as Prime Minister in 1979.

Motzfeldt first trained as a teacher but later started his career in politics. At the introduction of the home land rule, he became the first Prime Minister of Greenland in 1979. He lost the post in 1991. He later became Prime Minister again in 1997 and held the post until 2002. He was also the leader of the Siumut Party on two different occasions.

Tributes have been paid to the two-time leader. “We knew Junnuk as a spirited personality, intelligent and human. Junnuk was for many years the Greenlandic people’s supporter and torch-bearer, our national rallying point. In our country’s recent history, there was not a prouder person than Junnuk,” said the current Premier of Greenland, Kuupik Kleist.



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Final launch of Space Shuttle Discovery delayed another day

Final launch of Space Shuttle Discovery delayed another day

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

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The launch of NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery (pictured above on launch pad) will be delayed another day to accommodate repairs to several leaks.
Image: NASA.

The launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on its final mission, STS-133, has been delayed another day. Launch is now targeted for 3:52 PM EDT on Wednesday, November 3.

Discovery’s launch was originally scheduled for this Monday, but was delayed until the following day after several helium and nitrogen leaks were discovered aboard the shuttle. The initial delay was to accommodate repairs to these leaks. These repairs are taking longer than expected according to NASA officials.

According to a NASA statement, repair technicians worked through the night to facilitate repairs to these leaks but “are slightly behind the timeline that was prepared yesterday”. If the shuttle isn’t ready to launch by November 7, the launch will be pushed into December.

STS-133 will deliver supplies and components to the International Space Station, including the Permanent Multipurpose Module and the third of four ExPRESS Logistics Carriers. Two spacewalks are to be performed by the crew during their 11 day mission, the 133rd flight of the Space Shuttle Program and the 39th flight of Discovery.



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October 29, 2010

University of Missouri Hospital in lockdown after \’violent individual\’ attempts to gain access to building

University of Missouri Hospital in lockdown after ‘violent individual’ attempts to gain access to building

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Friday, October 29, 2010

University of Missouri Hospital, which was placed in a state of lockdown after a murder suspect attempted to gain access to the building.
Image: Jaspee.

University Hospital on the University of Missouri campus was placed in a state of lockdown on Wednesday after a “violent individual,” reported to be a murder suspect, attempted to gain access to the building. “The University Hospital was locked down at noon today. University officials have reason to believe that a violent individual may seek access to the hospital. The lockdown was initiated to ensure the safety of patients, visitors and staff,” a statement from the hospital said.

Cquote1.svg We have no reason to believe that this individual will seek access to any other building on campus. Cquote2.svg

—MUPD Chief Jack Watring

It is believed that the individual, Joshua William Maylee, 23, shot and killed a 46-year-old man and injured his wife, who was transported to University Hospital. Reports suggest that the suspect may have been trying to gain access to the woman to kill her. The Fulton Sun reported that the woman is expected to make a full recovery. Sgt. Robert Bruchsaler of the Callaway County Sheriff’s Department played down the incident. “There’s no indication that he’s even in that county or anywhere near the hospital,” he said. “It’s just standard procedure for the hospital to be doing what they’re doing.”

Missouri University Police Department (MUPD) Chief Jack Watring said that no other buildings on the campus were affected by the disturbance. “We believe the rest of campus is safe at this time,” he said. “We have no reason to believe that this individual will seek access to any other building on campus.” The hospital added that all “patients, visitors and staff will have access to the hospital but will be screened as they enter and leave.”



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October 28, 2010

Russian cargo ship launches to International Space Station

Russian cargo ship launches to International Space Station

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

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A Russian Progress resupply ship blasted off to the International Space Station (pictured) Wednesday.
Image: NASA.

Progress M-08M, an unmanned Russian cargo spacecraft, departed for the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome to resupply the orbital outpost.

The rocket carrying the craft, a Soyuz-U, lifted off at 7:11 pm Moscow time (15:11 GMT). Russian Space Agency officials deemed the launch a success after the Progress successfully achieved orbit and separated from the third stage of the rocket. Docking of the spacecraft with the ISS is expected to occur on Saturday.

The Progress will deliver more than 2.5 metric tons of supplies and essentials to the orbiting American-Russian crew, as well as gifts and letters from the crew members’ families.



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Fifteen dead in Mexican car wash shooting

Fifteen dead in Mexican car wash shooting

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mexican drug cartel’s spheres of influence as of 2008. Ever since Mexican president Felipe Calderon launched a war on drugs in 2006, 30,000 people have been killed in drug-related fighting.
Image: US CONGRESS, COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS.

Fifteen people were shot dead on Wednesday in the western Mexican state of Nayarit. The attack occurred in a car wash in the city of Tepic, and, according to the state attorney general, was the work of a drug cartel. All 15 killed were workers at the Gamboa car wash.

“The workers were all men; they were washing cars when the gunmen, probably members of organized crime, drove up in SUVs and started opening fire,” a spokesman for the state attorney general said on Wednesday. Pictures of the scene show bodies on the roadside with blood pooling at their heads.

The massacre, which was just blocks away from federal offices, resulted in the closure of schools and businesses in the area. It is not yet clear what the motive was behind the attack, although men who work at Mexican car washes are often spies for drug gangs.

This slaying is the third major murder in six days. On Friday, cartels killed fourteen people and wounded a nine year-old boy in Ciudad Juarez, a major battleground for fighting drug cartels. Two days later, hit men killed another 14 people in Tijuana. Both cities are major cities on the United States border; however, Nayarit is a quiet resort state that has largely been free of drug violence until now.



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October 27, 2010

Paul the \’psychic\’ octopus dies in Germany

Paul the ‘psychic’ octopus dies in Germany

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paul the Octopus correctly predicts a win by Germany over Uruguay in the third place play-off of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Paul the Octopus, the octopus who became famous for correctly predicting the winner of Germany’s seven matches at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as well as the final, has died of natural causes. During the football tournament in South Africa earlier this year, Paul, who lived in an aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany, chose between two glass boxes placed in his tank, which would have a German flag and the flag of the country which the country would be playing against. Both boxes would contain food, and the box which Paul chose to eat out of would be the winners. The octopus correctly predicted the result of all of Germany’s games, and hypothesised that Spain would beat the Netherlands in the final — which they duly did. Paul became internationally famous for his correct predictions, and was dubbed by some as the “oracle octopus”. All his predictions were filmed and broadcast across the world, and he became a hit on the video sharing website YouTube.

Cquote1.svg His success made him almost a bigger story than the World Cup itself. Cquote2.svg

—Aquarium spokesperson

During the World Cup, Rupert Adams of William Hill, one of Britain’s largest bookmakers, said that the octopus’s success rate was remarkable. “If you had had ten pounds on each and every prediction then re-invested your winnings you would currently have over 1,450 pounds,” he said. “It’s an astonishing feat to get six predictions in a row. I am told people are walking into our shops and saying ‘I will have what the Octopus predicted.'” After the World Cup this year, it was announced Paul would retire. “He won’t give any more oracle predictions — either in football, nor in politics, lifestyle or economy,” a spokesperson for the aquarium said at the time. “Paul will get back to his former job, namely making children laugh.” Paul’s life was not without controversy. During the tournament Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the media storm was a sign of decay in Western culture. “Those who believe in this type of thing cannot be the leaders of the global nations that aspire, like Iran, to human perfection, basing themselves in the love of all sacred values,” he said.

Paul’s death was announced by the aquarium on Tuesday, when a spokesperson said that he had died of natural causes during the night. “We are consoled by the knowledge that he enjoyed a good life here and that the care provided for him by our dedicated displays team could not have been bettered,” he said. He added that common octopuses live for only a few years. Paul’s final prediction was that England would host the World Cup in 2018. A special clothing line and a mobile phone application are to be released, along with a documentary tracking his life. “His success made him almost a bigger story than the World Cup itself,” the spokesperson said. “We may decide to give Paul his own small burial plot within our grounds and erect a modest permanent shrine. While this may seem a curious thing to do for a sea creature, Paul achieved such popularity during his short life that it may be deemed the most appropriate course of action.”



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Filesharing software distributor LimeWire ordered to close by court

Filesharing software distributor LimeWire ordered to close by court

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Logo of the LimeWire software

One of the world’s largest distributors of Filesharing software, LimeWire, has been placed under permanent injunction by the US District Court in the Southern District of New York, to cease distributing and supporting its software. The injunction, requested by multiple parties including Bertelsmann Music Group, Motown, Capitol Records, and Sony Entertainment, was filed and approved 26th October and was issued under Title 17 U.S.C §502, covering infringement of copyright.

The injunction states that LimeWire “intentionally encouraged direct infringement” and “…failed to implement any meaningful technological barriers or design choices aimed at diminishing infringement.” Since the order was approved, LimeWire has closed its website, posting a notice on the front page explaining the situation, with a link to a copy of the injunction.

As ordered, the software is no longer downloadable from its website. LimeWire is now only responding to inquiries from the press and paid customers of LimeWire Pro. LimeWire could not be reached for comment.



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  • United States District Courts, Southern District of New York. “Injunction.pdf” —  26 October 2010
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October 26, 2010

Over 250 dead in Haiti cholera outbreak, thousands infected

Over 250 dead in Haiti cholera outbreak, thousands infected

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cquote1.svg Now that cholera has established itself with a strong foothold in Haiti, it’s clear to us that this will not go away for several years Cquote2.svg

—Jon Andrus, deputy director of PAHO

At least 259 people are dead and over 3000 people have been infected in the Haitian cholera outbreak. Officials from the United Nations have said that they fear that the disease will spread across the entire country. As the cholera spreads quickly across the country anxiety levels are high as fears mount that the disease will spread to the earthquake ravaged city of Port-au-Prince. However, so far only a few cases have been reported in the capital which occurred when five people from the Artibonite region traveled to the capital where the disease became symptomatic.

Image of cholera bacteria
Image: Dartmouth Electron Microscope Facility.

A field hospital has been setup in Saint-Marc to help treat patients while Oxfam has sent specialists to set up sanitation, hygiene and water facilities. The Health minister, Alex Larsen, and the president, Rene Preval, toured the affected areas and Larsen revealed that the government was launching a large anti-cholera campaign, aided by the WHO and US health officials. The UN has set up cholera treatment facilities in the Artibonite region and sent additional doctors. Facilities were also set up in the capital. It is believed that the massive surge of deaths will soon subside, but there will be more cases in the future due to the disease being established in the atmosphere.

Cquote1.svg A nationwide outbreak with tens of thousands of cases is a real possibility Cquote2.svg

—United Nations

According to the CDC cholera is “an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.” The CDC also says, “the infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe. Approximately one in 20 (5%) infected persons will have severe disease characterized by profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps. In these people, rapid loss of body fluids leads to dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours.” Cholera is contracted from drinking water or eating food contaminated by the Vibrio cholerae bacteria.



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Magnitude 7.7 earthquake strikes off Indonesia coast

Filed under: Archived,Earthquakes,Indonesia — admin @ 5:00 am

Magnitude 7.7 earthquake strikes off Indonesia coast

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

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A shake map of the earthquake

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake occurred off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, at 9:42 p.m. local time (14:42 UTC). The quake prompted a tsunami warning, which was later canceled.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported the epicenter of the earthquake at 12.8 miles (20.6 kilometres) deep and approximately 150 miles (240 kilometres) from Bengkulu, Sumatra. It was felt by residents of Sumatra as well as Singapore, but no damage or casualties were reported. “There was shaking that went on for about three seconds or so. Residents panicked and ran to the hills but now they are starting to come down,” said Priyadi Kardono, a spokesperson for the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management.

Sofyan Alawi, who felt the quake in Padang, Sumatra, said, “Everyone was running out of their houses.” Alawi also said that tsunami warning alarms were going off and that roads were congested with fleeing residents. Ade Syahputra, who was also in Padang, said, “We kept looking back to see if a wave was coming.” The areas most affected by the quake are not heavily populated.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami watch in response to the earthquake, but it was later lifted. The magnitude of the earthquake was first reported by the USGS as 7.5 MW, but the agency later revised their measurement, reporting it as 7.7 MW.

Several aftershocks hit the same area, near the Mentawai Islands. A magnitude 5.0 quake followed less than one hour after the original, and a magnitude 6.1 aftershock struck around four hours later.



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