Saturday May 9th

Judge releases former soldier turned “contractor” who shot and killed handcuffed Taliban murderer. Once you read the story you just might say good for the judge.

A former US military contractor who shot and killed a defenceless and handcuffed member of the Taleban walked free today after a judge decided he had been provoked by the Afghan’s brutality. The extraordinary case of Don Ayala, a former US Army Ranger who once served as personal bodyguard for President Karzai of Afghanistan and Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister, ended in a Virginia courtroom when he was sentenced to probation for the killing of Abdul Salam in November last year. US prosecutors, who originally charged Alaya with murder, had argued that he acted as judge, jury and executioner and was a cold-blooded killer after Salam had set fire to one of Alaya’s colleagues. But the judge decided that probation was warranted under the circumstances. Alaya was also fined $12,500. Ayala had pleaded guilty to the voluntary manslaughter of Salam, an undercover member of the Taleban, whom he shot in the temple.

Obama to allow taxpayer funded abortions in D.C. but stops short of pushing for it nationwide. Now both sides of the issue are pissed.

President Obama called for overturning a decade-old ban on publicly funded abortions in the District as part of his budget proposal Thursday, but did not overturn the national ban on federal funding, thus angering advocacy groups on both sides of the volatile issue. Under his proposal, the District for the first time in more than a decade would be allowed to pay for abortions with the money it raises from its own taxpayers. “This is just the most recent in a long line of actions by President Obama to placate the abortion industry actions that fail to match his words with regard to abortion policy,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life women’s group.

Illinois Treasurer threatens Wells Fargo over company that makes Obama’s suits. Sounds like good old mob politics going on here.

Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is threatening to pull state business from Wells Fargo & Co. unless the bank stops trying to liquidate a company that makes suits for President Barack Obama. Giannoulias made the ultimatum outside a Hartmarx Corp. factory in Des Plaines Thursday. Chicago-based Hartmarx is the nation’s largest maker of men’s tailored clothing.

Same Illinois Treasurer threatening banks saying they must “invest in their communities” or the state will yank deposits. Sounds a lot like the stuff ACORN was doing, forcing banks to give money to people who could not repay the loans.

Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is threatening banks that fail to invest in their communities. He says financial institutions will have to sign a pledge before they can receive state deposits. Giannoulias says banks must promise to make small business loans, and work to prevent home foreclosures.

Now here is a great use of taxpayer money. U.S. gov’t researchers are down in Argentina studying why gay men get drunk then have sex.

Government researchers are spending more than $400,000 in taxpayer money to hit the bars in Argentina. The National Institutes of Health are paying researchers to cruise six bars in Buenos Aires to find out why gay men engage in risky sexual behavior while drunk — and just what can be done about it. Doctors and specialists from the New York Psychiatric Institute are using the generous grant from NIH’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to help tailor HIV prevention programs to work at bars and clubs.

Germany says nein to folks wanting to use long last names. Has long regulated what parents can name their kids.

Germany is renowned for fighting inflation, but the battle extends beyond money and into the realm of names. In a split decision on Tuesday, the German Constitutional Court upheld a ban on married people combining already-hyphenated names, forbidding last names of three parts or more. It was not the first time the court was forced to weigh in on the subject of names, which are regulated start to finish, fore to family, in Germany. This time, it was a Munich couple who decided to challenge the constitutionality of a 1993 rule limiting the names of married people to a single hyphen and two last names.

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Welcome to the edge of that slippery slope Texas. State poised to ban restaurants from cooking food with oil containing “trans fat.”

Chicken-fried steak with zero trans fat? Are you kidding? Not at the Texas Legislature, they’re not. Under a bill passed Friday by the Senate, restaurants across the state would be banned from cooking with oil that contains trans fat. Many major fast-food chains and doughnut shops already have stopped using trans fat, said Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, sponsor of the measure. Trans fat raises LDL, the “bad cholesterol,” and lowers HDL, or “good cholesterol,” which can lead to clogged arteries and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Weird news of the day. British man pops “twin brother” out of his gut in his doctor’s office.

A PLUMBER reeled in agony as his stomach ruptured — and the embryonic remains of his TWIN spilled out. The lumpy mass forced its way out after lying inside Gavin Hyatt’s abdomen since he was born 30 years ago. In a scene echoing the horror movie Alien, Gavin staggered into his GP’s surgery bleeding from his belly button. His stunned GP Dr Joe Santos said: “It was like something from Alien. I didn’t believe Gavin when he said something was coming out of his belly button until I saw him.”

British scientists working hard at developing bullet resistant turbans so Sikhs can join the armed police forces.

Sikhs are currently barred from becoming firearms or riot police because their religion does not allow them to remove their turbans to put on protective headgear. But scientists are now working on developing a turban made from Kevlar-like material to protect their heads from gunshots. There are more than 2,000 Sikh police officers and staff in the UK as well as a recently formed British Police Sikh Association. “Sikh officers have been prohibited from becoming firearms officers because our religion does not allow us to remove the turban,” said Inspector Gian Singh Chahal, from Kent Police and vice chairman of the BPSA. “Nor can we wear the NATO helmet for public order policing.

Trolley driver texting girlfriend slams into another trolley stopped at red light injuring dozens.

An MBTA trolley operator was sending a text message to his girl-friend when he rear-ended a trolley last night in a crash that injured dozens of passengers and created a surreal scene as emergency workers set up a makeshift emergency area next to a circus tent before taking the wounded to hospitals. “It’s difficult for me to contain my outrage,” said Daniel A. Grabauskas, general manager of the MBTA, who learned about the text message sent by a 24-year-old operator soon after the crash near Government Center. None of the 49 injuries was considered life-threatening, officials said. But the passengers were startled, screaming, and more than a few were bloodied when the collision occurred without warning at 7:18 p.m.

Kobe and Vanessa Bryant’s former housekeeper wins court ruling against couple for unemployment benefits. She claims Laker basketball star and his wife were abusive towards her.

A state appeals panel has ruled that Kobe and Vanessa Bryant must pay unemployment benefits to their former housekeeper, who is suing them for harassment. The California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board affirmed a decision by Administrative Law Judge Mary McInerny, who said that Maria Jimenez testified credibly that she quit because she was repeatedly “demeaned and humiliated” by her employer. The Bryants failed to present evidence to contradict Jimenez’s testimony, according to McInerny’s decision.

Heads up on Wall Street’s “sucker rally.”

The market is a cruel mistress indeed. Compounding the pain of big swoons, it kicks investors when they are down by luring them into sucker’s rallies – typically sharp but fleeting bounces in the middle of a bear market. The current recovery has propelled the S&P 500 a third above its March low in just 60 days, convincing many sceptics that a new bull market has begun. Noted bear Doug Kass of Seabreeze Partners said the recent nadir may be a “generational low” and strategist Tobias Levkovich of Citigroup claimed many large investors who had feared another bear market rally may soon capitulate, pushing markets higher. The Bull Market Express may really be pulling out of the station, but Wall Street’s trains have a nasty tendency to derail just as passengers jostle for seats. Most recently, the S&P 500 soared 24 per cent over seven weeks ending in early January, only to plunge to a new low. It was a fairly typical sucker’s rally and bear markets often need more than one to create sufficient disillusionment for a definitive bottom.

UC Berkley health services center computer network hacked. Personal information of 160,000 at risk.

Hackers broke into the University of California at Berkeley’s health services center computer and potentially stole the personal information of more than 160,000 students, alumni, and others, the university announced Friday. At particular risk of identity theft are some 97,000 individuals whose Social Security numbers were accessed in the breach, but it’s still unclear whether hackers were able to match up those SSNs with individual names, Shelton Waggener, UCB’s chief technology officer, said in a press conference Friday afternoon. The attackers accessed a public Web site and then bypassed additional secured databases stored on the same server. In addition to SSNs, the databases contained health insurance information and non-treatment medical information, such as immunization records and names of doctors patients had seen.

Quote of the day.

America will be far safer if we reduce the chances of a terrorist attack in one of our cities than if we diminish the civil liberties of our own people.

-Nancy Pelosi

[Offered as a rare Pelosi moment of mental clarity…ed]

This entry was posted in J.A.R.G\'s \"Gotta Read\" News Of The Day.

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